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The Guardian

François Fillon beats Alain Juppé in presidential candidacy debate: François Fillon, the socially conservative former French prime minister promising a pro-business “electric shock” for France, was seen as the winner of a TV debate against his more moderate rival, Alain Juppé, ahead of Sunday’s vote to nominate the French right’s presidential candidate. The two-hour live TV stand-off was surprisingly mild-mannered after days of savage attacks between the two candidates, in which Fillon complained of being called a “medieval reactionary” for his plans to roll back certain adoption rights for gay couples and his private beliefs on abortion, and Juppé complained he had been labelled an Islamist “Ali Juppé” for supporting the diversity of France.

The New York Times

Top Choices for Secretary of State Divide Republicans: Rival factions of Republicans are locked in an increasingly caustic and public battle to influence President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for secretary of state, leaving a prominent hole in an otherwise quickly formed national security team that is unlikely to be filled until next week at the earliest. The debate inside Mr. Trump’s wide circle of formal and informal advisers — pitting supporters of one leading contender, Mitt Romney, against those of another, Rudolph W. Giuliani — has led to the kind of dramatic airing of differences that characterized Mr. Trump’s unconventional and often squabbling campaign team.

The Economist

Britain’s Autumn Statement hints at how painful Brexit is going to be: THIS year’s Autumn Statement, the first big event on the fiscal calendar since the EU referendum in June, was always going to be a strange exercise. Britain is in a state of unprecedented uncertainty. The government is unclear about what sort of Brexit it wants. Economic forecasting is, as a result, as good as guesswork. The outlook for the public finances is similarly uncertain. Still, as he rose to deliver his statement in the House of Commons on November 23rd, Philip Hammond, the newish chancellor, had to achieve two big objectives. First, he had to show willingness to help the economy were it to be blown off course by Brexit, all the while keeping the public finances on an even keel.

Financial Times

Donald Trump expected to name Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary: Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, known on Wall Street as the “king of bankruptcy” for his record of buying failing companies, will be tapped as Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, putting an advocate of renegotiating US trade pacts in a key economic post. Mr Ross was a close adviser to Mr Trump during his campaign and helped develop the president-elect’s policies for corporate tax cuts, increased infrastructure spending and international trade. Mr Ross declined to comment when contacted by the Financial Times on Thursday, but his nomination would be the latest sign Mr Trump has no intention of backing off from some of his more controversial economic policies when he moves into the White House.




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