Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.
UK to announce new GDP estimates
The Government of the United Kingdom will today announce its estimates for the second quarter of 2018, as well as its latest monthly estimates.
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Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, GDP is expected to have increased in the second quarter, boosted by the recent warm weather and the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The warmer temperatures have been a blessing for the economy, which flatlined in March due to the cold spell known as the “Beast from the East”.
GDP growth in Q2 is expected at 0.4%, with annual economic growth rising to 1.3%, up from 1.2% last year.
The figures will be published at 9:30am London time on the GOV.UK statistics website.
Former Malaysian PM gets court date in corruption case
Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to be given a court date for his part in the long-running 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal today.
The former United Malays National Organisation President is accused of channelling almost to $700m from a government-run development company to his personal bank accounts in 2015. Some $370m in cash and goods has since been seized.
However, Razak has pleaded not guilty to all charges of money laundering, breach of trust and abuse of power. He claims that Malaysia’s new government is seeking political vengeance again him.
Money laundering charges carry a penalty of 15 years in prison. Abuse of power and breach of trust carry maximum penalties of 20 years for each charge.
A hearing will take place at Malaysia’s Attorney-General’s Chambers today, where a date will be set for the case to go to court.
Ryanair pilots walk out over workplace rights
Ryanair pilots have walked out today for a third consecutive month, following one-day strikes by Irish pilots in June and July.
Today they will be joined by pilots in Germany, Sweden and Belgium, who are striking as part of a long-running dispute over workplace rights. Pilots have previously expressed dissatisfaction at pay, as well as working conditions.
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Martin Locher, president of German pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit, said:
“Ryanair alone is responsible for the escalation that has now occurred. VC regrets the impact on affected passengers, cabin crew and ground crew.”
The strike began at 2am London time this morning. Ryanair was forced to cancel some 400 flights across Europe ahead of time and further disruption is to be expected throughout the day.
The strike is expected to ground 72,000 passengers across Europe.