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The European project got a reprieve from the Dutch election. Far from the populist uprising hoped for by anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders, voters held to the center and backed Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Markets and the euro climbed as investors saw the populist setback as a buy signal. Now the Dutch must form a government as Wilders, once again left out in the cold, plots his future. — Andy Reinhardt
Winds of change? The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low 0.25 percent in an 8-1 vote and unanimously decided to leave the bond-purchase programs unchanged. It was policy maker Kristin Forbes who voted for an interest-rate increase—and some others indicated they may not be far behind her. The pound rallied on Forbes’s unexpected dissent.
Emmanuel Macron could hold the key to Angela Merkel’s heart. The 39-year-old French independent centrist now looks to be in position to defeat the far-right National Front’s Marine Le Pen, whose anti-Europe views are anathema to Merkel. A Macron victory could buttress the Franco-German relationship that lies at the EU’s historic core.
A political blow-up neither can afford. Politicians in Turkey and the European Union who have stoked tensions for short-term electoral gain may have done lasting damage to vital economic and security ties. The escalating rhetoric has likely ended any remaining possibility that Turkey would join the EU.
Swiss privacy for your wrist. Swatch Group said it’s developing an alternative to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems for smartwatches, as Switzerland’s largest maker of timepieces vies with Silicon Valley. CEO Nick Hayek says Swatch’s technology will need less battery power and will protect data better.
How Russian agents hacked into Yahoo. Indictments handed down in San Francisco late yesterday paint an extraordinary tale of conspiracy reaching to the heart of Russia’s state cyber-spying regime. One of the men charged is a Canadian born in Kazakhstan who appears to have made a lot of money from his alleged cyber escapades.
Europeans’ taste for sugar transformed the world. Now, more than 300 years after the rise of West Indies sugar plantations and Atlantic shipping routes, the EU is set to deliver a crippling blow to an industry that once made up almost a fifth of its imports.