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FirstFT – Transatlantic tax tensions, how Facebook labels you and Japan’s ‘handsome weeping boys’

Sign up to receive FirstFT by email hereThe US has launched a stinging attack on the European Commission in a last-ditch bid to dissuade Brussels from hitting Apple with a demand for billions of euros in underpaid taxes.In a sharp escalation of the transatlantic feud, the US Treasury issued a rare warning on Wednesday that Brussels was becoming a “supranational tax authority” that threatened international agreements on tax reform. (FT)In the newsEarth finds a neighbour just four light years away For decades, astronomers have searched the skies for planets in our galaxy similar to Earth that could be home to extraterrestrial life. On Wednesday, a team of European scientists revealed they were closer to this goal, as they announced the discovery of a new Earth-like body orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun. This makes it the closest planet outside the solar system that could theoretically harbour life. (FT)Peace in Colombia The Colombian government and the Farc rebel group have signed a historic peace accord, putting an end to more than five decades of conflict. The fighting has killed an estimated 220,000 people and displaced millions. (BBC)Fears over US market plumbing remain The combination of the US stock market at record highs and expectations of volatility languishing near the lowest level in two years should be cause to celebrate on Wall Street.

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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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