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It was a chaotic day for French presidential candidate François Fillon, who is under investigation for allegedly giving his wife a no-show job. In the morning, he canceled a campaign event, fueling speculation he might pull out of the race. Then a French news outlet erroneously reported — and quickly corrected — a story that his wife had been taken into custody. Finally, the candidate gave a news conference and insisted he would stay in the race, even though he may be charged. “I won’t give in,” he said, calling the investigation a “political assassination.” — Andy Reinhardt
Changing times in Scandinavia. When a European government raises the pension age and makes cuts to welfare programs, it’s usually because of dire finances. In Denmark’s case, it’s because of ideology. Driving the new government’s push is a desire to finance a major round of income tax cuts.
Who will feed all of the chickens after Brexit? Britain’s farmers rely on foreign workers to pick strawberries and raise chickens. Brexit puts that model at risk. Without employees from Poland, Lithuania and beyond, Norfolk farmer Mark Gorton says he would struggle to produce the more than 5 million chickens and turkeys he sells every year. You can read his story and those of three other British businesses in our continuing series, “On Brexit’s Front Lines.”
That sinking feeling. More London home sellers are cutting the asking prices of their homes, and they’re offering deeper discounts as political uncertainty and high values dampen demand. “Price cuts seen in prime central London in the immediate aftermath of Brexit are now filtering through to outer boroughs,” says Lucian Cook, residential research director at Savills. For more, check out our interactive map of London real estate prices.
Trying to rekindle cork. Portugal’s Corticeira Amorim, the world’s biggest producer of wine corks, is fighting back against the global encroachment of plastic stoppers and screw-off tops. Real cork is unmatched in ensuring “the quality and longevity of wines and champagne,” says the company’s 49-year-old CEO, Antonio Amorim. He’s also pushing technology that eliminates contaminants in corks that can taint the wine.
A sonic boom is coming. Backed by Jay Z and the Qatari wealth fund, a French inventor wants to squeeze the technology of his $15,000 audiophile amplifier into your mobile phone. By placing audiophile-grade technology in ubiquitous products, the idea is to improve sound quality while adding a frisson of luxury.
Markdown. Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid $85 million for a landscape by Paul Gauguin in a private transaction in June 2008. On Tuesday, he took a 74 percent loss on his investment when it sold for $25 million at an auction at Christie’s in London. Rybolovlev has sued a former art dealer, alleging that he was overcharged for a range of works.