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They were the bitterest of rivals for decades but now, faced with a common threat, Alstom (of France) and Siemens (of Germany) have fallen into each others’ arms. They’ll merge their railroad units to form a European transport champion, and their joint heft should help repel competition from Japan’s Hitachi and China’s CRRC. Left out, at least for now, is Canada’s Bombardier, which had been in discussions with Siemens about a train deal. — Andy Reinhardt
Dog fight. There was more bad news for Bombardier when a punitive Commerce Department ruling on import duties threatened to make the manufacturer’s C Series jet all but unsellable in the U.S. That was also bad news for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May: a Bombardier plant in Belfast employs more than 4,000 people, and May needs the support of 10 lawmakers from Northern Ireland. She spent political capital trying to sway President Trump on the trade spat, to no avail. Bombardier bonds tumbled.
“Robocalypse.” For countries to survive the coming wave of automation and artificial intelligence, they should be more like Scandinavia, according to the region’s largest bank. Nordea Bank says the best way to future-proof an economy is to have a highly educated workforce and low inequality—two features that abound in the Nordics.
Euphoric. The U.K. Labour Party conference that wrapped up today in Brighton was marked by a decidedly upbeat and unified tone. Jeremy Corbyn cemented his position as the leader of a socialist revival, telling cheering activists that Labour is ready for government and calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to step aside. He’s supreme for now, but eventually someone will follow in the footsteps of the politician-cum-pop-icon. Signs suggest it might be a woman.
Keys to the kingdom. Saudi Arabia will finally allow women to drive cars, ending its status as the only country in the world to forbid female drivers. It’s the most dramatic move so far in the government’s attempt to open up Saudi society as it tries to diversify away from oil. The move should boost the economy and unlock productive potential for half the country’s population, but services like Uber could see a drop in demand.
Expat life. An HSBC report ranking the best countries for expatriates gave Singapore the highest rating overall, while the U.K. dropped to 35th as Brexit drains confidence in the country’s prospects. When it comes to pay, expats moving to Switzerland win big, earning an average of more than $193,000. By moving to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, expats enjoy an average pay boost of 58 percent—the highest increase in the world.
Perfect burger. You might expect to find the best burgers in restaurants where chefs toil for years to create the perfect patty. But now U.K. supermarkets, too, are employing leading chefs and sourcing great beef to create enticing, ready-to-cook patties. Shake Shack Culinary Director Mark Rosati put store-bought patties to the test, and found one that’s really good.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha