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FirstFT – Mrs May in Brussels, how the cult of the expert collapsed and the Haitian warlord who met his match

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Sign up to receive FirstFT by email hereTest your knowledge with the week in news quiz.British American Tobacco is poised to create a new tobacco giant. It has made a bn offer to buy control of rival US company Reynolds American, bringing together the makers of cigarette brands Lucky Strike and Camel. The move is the latest blockbuster consolidation effort in the tobacco industry, which has responded to years of litigation and the loss of consumer interest in developed markets with a combination of dealmaking to squeeze out costs and product innovation, such as electronic cigarettes, to generate stable returns. Shares in both companies climbed after the announcement. (FT)In the newsTrump fans the flames Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his refusal to

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Test your knowledge with the week in news quiz.

British American Tobacco is poised to create a new tobacco giant. It has made a $47bn offer to buy control of rival US company Reynolds American, bringing together the makers of cigarette brands Lucky Strike and Camel.

The move is the latest blockbuster consolidation effort in the tobacco industry, which has responded to years of litigation and the loss of consumer interest in developed markets with a combination of dealmaking to squeeze out costs and product innovation, such as electronic cigarettes, to generate stable returns.

Shares in both companies climbed after the announcement. (FT)

In the news

Trump fans the flames Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his refusal to accept the results of the US election on November 8, saying he would do so “if I win”, while reserving his right to legally challenge the outcome if he loses. His remarks came as a 10th woman came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, allegations he denies. (FT, NBC)

Are you following the US presidential campaign? Be a part of the FT's election coverage by filling out our election survey.

To Russia, from Renzi Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has forced a retreat from new sanctions on Russia as Germany, France and Britain pulled back their demand for fresh EU penalties against Moscow over the bombardment of Aleppo. (FT)

Isis fights back As Iraqi forces continue their campaign to retake the city of Iraq from Isis, the jihadis have hit back with a surprise attack on the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk. It is the group’s first incursion into an Iraqi city outside its control for months. (Reuters)

Theresa May’s EU debut Theresa May received a polite but cool welcome on her European summit debut on Thursday, with France and Germany warning of a rough ride for Britain as it makes its break from the EU. The UK prime minister made a short presentation on Brexit that ran for little more than five minutes and elicited no response.(FT)

Join the debate: What is the best deal for Britain’s economic and political relationship with the EU?

Duterte’s ‘separation from the US’ Rodrigo Duterte has announced his country’s “separation” from America, capping a remarkable month of diplomacy in which the Philippine leader has burnt bridge after bridge with the US and made overtures to Beijing. Washington has said it is seeking clarity on the declaration. (FT, BBC)

It’s a big day for

Nintendo Shares in the Kyoto-based company fell 5 per cent after it revealed its new Switch console. “Nintendo has not come out with any surprises to redefine gaming, as it did with the announcement of the Wii console,” said one analyst. (FT)

UN Human Rights Council Members will hold a special session on what to do about the worsening violence in Aleppo. (Reuters)

Food for thought

Hipsters drive exotic coffee boom A surge in the popularity of specialty coffee over the past few years has spurred the search for different tastes, taking coffee merchants and roasters to new frontiers, including former conflict areas where tensions still simmer as well as active war zones. (FT)

A harder sell for MBAs Would-be students are questioning the value of what was once a must-have business qualification. (FT)

The politics of sugar Egyptians have seen their political freedoms eroded and their currency drop in value without too much grumbling under the rule of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. But a shortage of sugar is proving a hardship too far and is a lightning rod for growing anger over the president’s policies. (NYT)

Raising bluefin Farming bluefin tuna is a difficult process but three Japanese companies have cracked the process of raising the fish from eggs and are poised to bring a stable, cheap supply of the beloved fish to Japanese consumers. (NAR)

How the cult of the expert collapsed Sebastian Mallaby on whether a populist backlash will shatter Alan Greenspan’s technocratic dream. (Guardian)

Video of the day

Frozen Dreams: Russia’s Arctic obsession President Vladimir Putin has revived Russia’s dreams of exploiting its Arctic territory — boosted by a warming climate that has opened up the Northern Sea Route. The FT travels to remote reaches of Siberia to see if Russia can make it work. (FT)


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Bryan Harris
Bryan Harris is a lead writer at Financial Times. He is a Hong Kong-based journalist with a penchant for international crime stories.

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