Headlines 

Donald Trump is currently a bigger headache for Europe than Iran

London (CNN)This week’s escalation in tensions between Iran and the US has exposed an uncomfortable reality for many of America’s friends in Europe. Europe’s China problem is acute. The continent’s stagnating economies benefit from Chinese investment, but that often comes with the potential security risk of allowing state-owned Chinese companies like telecoms giant Huawei to operate in Europe. For its part, China is only too happy to cement its position as a major influence in Europe, home to some of the largest economies on the planet. Historically, China and Iran…

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Odds and Ends 

FintechOS raises $14M to help banks launch products as fast as fintech startups

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of fintech startups like N26 and Monzo to challenge the incumbents with new products like challenger banks. But what if the big banks wanted to compete in that game themselves? This is the aim of FintechOS, a Romanian startup that actually aims to help incumbents compete in this brave new, competitive, world. FintechOS allows banks and insurance companies to act and react faster than the new upstarts on the scene with plug and play products. It’s announcing today that it has secured $14 million (£10.7 million)…

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Italian PM calls for unity as three senators move to far-right party

League party leader Matteo Salvinis influence is insidious, says Giuseppe Conte The Italian prime minister, teach climate change in schools, has hinted at forming a parliamentary group that would include other disgruntled M5S politicians. In what was hailed as a victory against the far right, M5S in September went into coalition with the centre-left Democratic party (PD) after the collapse of its alliance with Matteo Salvinis League when he brought down the government in a move to force elections. But the past four months have been marred by constant bickering…

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The pastor versus the populist: Hungarys new faith faultline

Victor Orbn claims to run a Christian government, but one of his former allies has denounced his hate-filled regime On the wall of Pastor Gbor Ivnyis study, in the heart of one of Budapests poorest districts, a painting depicts Moses in the wilderness, gazing towards the promised land. A gift from an American visitor, it portrays Moses as a rugged Israelite matinee idol; a Charlton Heston in the desert. It is, Ivnyi smiles, a bit kitsch. Ivnyi himself has the look of an Old Testament prophet, dressed in black and…

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It’s been a banner year for authoritarian leaders. Especially Vladimir Putin

Moscow (CNN)In the global battle of ideas, Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a banner year. For much of the summer, the Russian capital of Moscow saw a wave of opposition demonstrations. For a time, unsanctioned rallies and solo protests seemed to gain momentum. Russian authorities even dropped criminal charges against a prominent investigative reporter after an unexpected public outpouring of support. But a crackdown on the opposition then followed, with the detention of leading opposition figures and sweeping arrests of more than 2,000 demonstrators. The Russian government, it seemed,…

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Angela Merkel speaks of ‘deep shame’ on first visit to Auschwitz

German chancellor says crimes at Nazi death camp will always be part of countrys history Angela Merkel has expressed deep shame during her first visit as German chancellor to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust memorial and vowed to fight rising racism and antisemitism in Germany and Europe. Dressed in black, Merkel said the crimes committed at the site in southern Poland where the Nazis ran their largest death camp would always be part of German history. This site obliges us to keep the memory alive. We must remember the crimes that were…

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Grenade thrown at migrant children’s centre in Madrid

Facility in Hortaleza had previously been singled out for criticism by far-right Vox party Bomb squad officers in Madrid have carried out a controlled explosion after a practice hand grenade was thrown over the wall of a centre for unaccompanied foreign minors in the north-east of the Spanish capital. A spokeswoman at the Madrid headquarters of the national police force said the grenade carried a small amount of explosive. There were no reported injuries. Staff at the centre found a suspicious object in the centres patio between 8.30 and 9…

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Albania earthquake: at least 16 dead and hundreds injured

Magnitude 6.4 quake strikes at shallow depth, bringing down buildings in Tirana and nearby At least 16 people have died and 600 people have been injured after a powerful earthquake hit Albania in the early hours of Tuesday, causing damage along the countrys Adriatic coastline and in the capital, Tirana. Several buildings collapsed, burying residents in the rubble. The 6.4-magnitude quake struck shortly before 4am local time (0300 GMT), the US Geological Survey said, and was the second powerful tremor to hit the region in two months. It was centred…

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Rudy Giuliani says Trump will stay loyal to him but jokes that he has ‘insurance’

Presidents lawyer, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, speaks to Guardian amid speculation Republicans will seek to paint him as a rogue actor Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trumps personal lawyer, has said he is confident the president will remain loyal to him as an impeachment inquiry unfolds in which the former New York mayor has become a central figure. But Giuliani joked that he had good insurance in case Trump did turn on him, amid speculation Republicans will seek to frame him as a rogue actor. In a telephone interview…

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Monopolies cost Americans $300 a month. We’re no longer the land of free markets | Thomas Philippon

In a reversal from a few decades ago, American consumers are facing oligopolies while Europeans benefit from competition When I landed in Boston in 1999, the United States was the land of free markets. Many goods and services were cheaper here than in Europe. Twenty years later, American free markets are becoming a myth. Internet service, cellphone plans, and plane tickets are now cheaper in Europe and Asia than in the US. In 2018, the twice as much on cellphone services as households in France or the UK. This is…

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Spanish Socialist Workers Party wins election but falls short of majority

(CNN)The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) won Spain’s election Sunday with 120 seats, but fell short of gaining the parliamentary majority. The fifth-largest economy in Europe, Spain has been in a political deadlock since former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was ousted by a no-confidence vote over a corruption scandal in his party. Spain’s two-party system also fragmented in recent years, with both the PSOE and the PP coming under pressure following the 2008 financial crisis and a series of corruption scandals. The emergence of the left-wing Unidos Podemos (UP) and…

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Brexit: EU prepares to grant UK three-month extension

UK will have option to leave earlier if deal is ratified, leaked draft shows The EU is preparing to sign off on a Brexit extension to 31 January 2020 with an option for the UK to leave earlier if a deal is ratified, according to a leaked draft of the agreement seen by the Guardian. Despite UKs request for a further delay. The UK would be able to leave on the first day of the month after a deal is ratified, according to the paper. The draft paper suggests a…

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Franco’s remains to finally leave Spain’s Valley of the Fallen

Dictators tomb to be opened and coffin taken to cemetery near Madrid on Thursday Spains socialist government is finally to fulfil one of its key promises when the foundation that bears his name, and the Benedictine abbot who presides over the basilica. The family mausoleum where Francos remains are to be taken. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images But after months of appeals and legal arguments, Spains supreme court gave dressed as a monk and equipped with a climbing harness was arrested at the valley, allegedly while trying to gain access to…

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Headlines 

Prince Harry tears up at award ceremony as he recalls knowing he was going to be a dad

London (CNN)Prince Harry was overcome with emotion during a speech at an award ceremony Tuesday as he recounted the feeling of knowing he was going to become a parent. “And both of us were thinking what it would be like to be parents one day, and more so what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time.” He went on to address the crowd of children, their families and carers, telling…

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Odds and Ends 

Amazon introduces new $99 Eero mesh Wifi routers

Amazon is launching a new generation of Eero router, the first new iteration of Eero hardware since it acquired the company earlier this year. The new router is $99 for one, or available in a three-pack for $249, and is available in the U.S. today and in Europe later this year. Alongside the new hardware, Amazon has added even more specific voice commands for its routers, including the ability to turn on and off guest Wifi via voice, as well as pause Wifi access for specific devices on the network…

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