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One day they’re conciliatory, the next cautious. Officials from Britain and the European Union wrapped up their fourth round of Brexit talks today with a sober assessment from chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier that it could take months before divorce talks can progress to trade. Meanwhile, London banks aren’t waiting for a promised transition period and are forging ahead on new trading hubs inside the EU. — Andy Reinhardt
Grounded. Airlines worldwide were forced to delay flights Thursday as a global bookings system operated by Spain’s Amadeus IT Group suffered what the company called a “network issue.” The outage lasted only a matter of minutes, but its ripple effects were still being felt hours later across Europe. Amadeus declined to comment on the extent of the disruption.
Catching up. Surging salaries from Prague to Budapest may not pose the threat to eastern Europe’s cheap labor model that some doomsayers predict. The reason? Productivity. While wage increases are currently outstripping efficiency gains, the opposite has held true during much of the region’s transition from Communism. So salaries can afford to go up without killing profits.
Where millionaires are minted. The rich are getting richer, of course. According to Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2017, the number of people with investable assets of at least $1 million is growing, and by 2025 the assets held by high-net-worth investors will exceed $100 trillion. Russia saw the biggest increase in the number of millionaires last year. Growth slowed slightly in Asia, though it’s still home to the most millionaires.
Corruption scandal. For Israelis, it’s not unusual to see a prominent political figure hauled in front of police investigators. It happened to three of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s predecessors. Now Netanyahu, his wife, and his allies can’t seem to shake his own corruption allegations. He calls it a witch hunt by the media and the left, but the widening scandal could leave him too tainted to govern.
Journey to the top. Three years ago Brendan Greene was on welfare in his hometown of Kildare, Ireland, where social workers kept warning him to stop wasting time developing free video games, and to look for a real job. Good thing he ignored them—his PlayerUnknown’s Battleground game has sold 13 million copies, shattering PC gaming records and surpassing best-sellers.
Unlikely hotspot. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was one of the greatest tragedies in modern memory, leaving a million dead. But in the almost quarter-century since, Rwanda has flourished, and it’s now one of the safest places in Africa. Tourism is booming, up 30 percent in two years and grossing $400 million in 2016. Come for the volcanoes and wildlife, and stay for the luxury lodges.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha