Stock Market News: May’s Brexit, Emission Cheats, Social Media Tax. British prime minister takes personal control of Brexit talks.

Stock Market News

Around 50 Brexit staff will be transferred into the Cabinet Office, concentrating power over the last phase of Brussels negotiations in the hands of the prime minister and her chief Europe adviser, Olly Robbins, who emerged on Tuesday as the Brexiters’ bogeyman.

The Brexit transition period should now end in December 2020 as the government abandons its symbolic Brexit date of 29 March 2019.

US unveils $12bn in farm aid

To ease the impact of tariffs, the Trump administration has readied billions of dollars in new aid for farmers.

Fire, floods strike Greece and Laos

The worst wildfire to hit Greece in a decade has torn through a small resort town outside of Athens, killing at least 74 people.

Facebook makes friends through China subsidiary

The social networking site confirmed on Tuesday that it has set up a Chinese subsidiary, as part of an “innovation hub” in Zhejiang to support developers and start-ups in the country. Facebook is banned in China but sells advertisements to Chinese companies seeking customers outside the Great Firewall.

More dirty tricks from carmakers

The European Commission has found evidence that carmakers are already manipulating emissions for new standards that come into force in 2020, this time using “tricks” to make test results look worse than they are. (FT)

CNN publishes Trump-Cohen tape

CNN has published a recording of Donald Trump apparently talking about buying the story rights of a former Playboy model who has claimed she had an affair with him, in a dramatic new turn in the feud between the president and his former attorney Michael Cohen. The audio tape of the 2016 conversation was provided by Mr Cohen’s attorney.

The day ahead

Pakistan general election

Pakistan will elect a new leader in what is shaping up to be a tight race. Imran Khan, the country’s former cricket captain, stands on the verge of victory. Pakistanis began voting on Wednesday as Mr Khan faces a challenge from his main opponent Shehbaz Shairf, the brother of former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.

US-EU trade talks

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Donald Trump in Washington to discuss trade tensions. Ahead of the meeting, find out what is at stake, who is emerging as the winners and losers, and how to tell if tensions are starting to damage the US economy.

Iranians fear US clash

A war of words is raising concerns in Iran that the country is heading towards a possible confrontation with the US. It is deepening questions about the long-term direction of the US president’s policy on Iran.

Uganda’s Facebook tax

Since July 1, Ugandans have had to pay a tax equivalent to about 5 US cents, for every day they use services including Facebook, Twitter, Skype and WhatsApp. In a country where about a third of the population lives on less than $2 a day, it is hardly surprising that usage of the platforms has dropped, while campaigners are concerned the tax is a bid to censor opponents.

The race to folding phones

China’s Huawei Technologies, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, is planning to roll out the first foldable handset with a flexible screen ahead of its bigger rival Samsung Electronics.

Australian wine makes a toast

Strong demand from China has driven Australia’s wine exports to grow at their fastest rate in 15 years last year. Yet the news comes as the country is facing a customs delay at Chinese ports.

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