Photographer: Kena Betancurt/AFP via Getty Images

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Here are today’s top stories for Europe.

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Another day, another nuclear provocation. Little more than 24 hours after North Korea conducted its sixth (and biggest) nuclear test, South Korea revealed it has evidence the North is preparing a missile launch. That led to renewed warnings from U.S. President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis. Theresa May’s spokeswoman said the U.K.’s “overwhelming view is that diplomatic means are best,” while EU Council President Donald Tusk said the United Nations should adopt further sanctions. The UN will meet in emergency session today. —  Adam Blenford

Coin clampdown. The central bank of China outlawed so-called initial coin offerings, or the sale of digital tokens in lieu of shares, and may require firms to refund buyers. Though the ruling made no mention of cryptocurrencies, the value of bitcoin fell 7.2 percent and ethereum fell 6 percent. Growing concerns about virtual money—and widening government crackdowns—may drive nervous investors back to gold, emerging markets guru Mark Mobius said.

Britons are stupid. Well, their 2016 decision to leave the European Union was, according to Martin Selmayr, chief of staff to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Selmayr, known for his plain-speaking approach and robust defense of EU interests, nevertheless expects the U.K. to leave the bloc. “I am not a dreamer, I am a realist,” he told a conference in Brussels, “Brexit will happen on March 29, 2019.” Lead EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attempted to walk back reports that he wants to “educate” Britons about the single market.

Merkel stands firm. The German election hasn’t quite caught fire like the recent French or British votes. Germany’s coalition politics is calm, orderly, even boring. That could be a sign of its real strength. Even so, Sunday’s TV debate was a test for Angela Merkel. The chancellor’s rival, Martin Schulz, prodded her over the diesel scandal and controversial decisions such as opening the borders for refugees and a willingness to make a deal with Turkey over migration.

Angela Merkel on Sept. 4.
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Not dead yet. The U.K.’s North Sea fields are on track for the biggest year of oil and gas starts in a decade, continuing the aging province’s surprising resilience to the crude-market slump. Fourteen projects with combined peak production of 230,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day will kick in this year, the most since 2007, thanks to investments made when oil still traded above $100.

Volatile temperatures. After a summer that saw scorching heat from Southern Europe to Britain, September is shaping up to offer an odd mix of warm weather—especially in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe—and below-normal temperatures in France and Spain. The cooler days could help replenish depleted energy stocks ahead of winter demand.

Look out, Uber. The parent company of Mercedes-Benz will launch a ride-sharing app in London within months using passenger vans. The plan involves a partnership with Via Transportation Inc., which has raised $200 million. Carmakers are increasing investments in transport partnerships as urban consumers show less interest in owning a car.

A Mercedes V-Class people carrier.
Source: Mercedes

Compiled by Andy Reinhardt, Adam Blenford and Pete Norman

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