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All the hype around the launch of the iPhone X couldn’t make up for one basic problem: Apple was running short on supplies, and wouldn’t have enough new phones in time for the holidays. As Wall Street watched for signs the company might stumble, Apple quietly came up with a solution, making it easier to manufacture the phone: It told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of its facial-recognition feature. With the iPhone X set to debut on Nov. 3, we’re about to find out whether the move paid off. — Leila Taha
Uptick. A surprise acceleration in the U.K. economy has paved the way for the Bank of England to raise interest rates next week for the first time in a decade. The pound rose and investors increased bets on a tightening of monetary policy on Nov. 2. The GDP reading, a first estimate, showed 0.4 percent growth last quarter, more than forecast and the fastest pace of the year so far. German business confidence also rose to a record level in October.
New fissures. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s plan to crush Catalonia’s separatist movement has some of his allies alarmed. The Socialists have so far backed Madrid, but they’re balking at Rajoy’s drive to take control of the administration in Barcelona and cut off the Catalan leaders. The two sides will face off on Friday when Madrid is scheduled to officially take control – here are three scenarios for how things could play out.
Shortfall. Elon Musk was wrong about self-driving Teslas. He’s charging $8,000 for a feature that doesn’t exist yet, while owners grumble about a current version that’s flawed. How did an entrepreneur known for his Midas touch – and sometimes for setting overly-ambitious goals – get to this place? We’ve got the inside story.
Vaping inquiry. Parliament in the U.K. began looking into the health and economic impact of electronic cigarettes. The number of people using such products is approaching 3 million, with tobacco companies pouring billions of dollars into marketing as the popularity of traditional smoking dwindles across the developed world. Some countries, including Australia, Brazil and Japan, have banned the sale of e-cigarettes altogether.
Dealer ‘duped.’ Poker champion Phil Ivey’s luck ran out at the U.K. Supreme Court, which ruled that he cheated at a form of baccarat to win £7.7 million ($10.1 million) at a Genting casino in London. While the veteran gambler said he was just taking advantage of the dealer and marks on the cards, the top court unanimously ruled Ivey’s use of a technique called edge-sorting was dishonest. He will not be able to claim the winnings, which were withheld by the casino operator.
Youth quake. Gucci’s $2,600 dragon-embroidered handbags and $1,400 crystal-studded pink sunglasses are leading the luxury industry’s revival as young shoppers get a taste for the high life. Shares in Paris-based parent Kering rose to a record after Gucci reported third-quarter sales that jumped 49 percent. Gucci is paving the way as global demand for pricey fashion expands to a generation that until recently seemed more interested in leisure activities than designer footwear. Gucci loafers, anyone?
Riding in style. What costs $450,000, is six meters long, and weighs more than 2,600 kg? The Rolls-Royce Phantom, newly relaunched for the eighth time. The new Phantom is a complete update of the classic symbol of automotive opulence. Here’s a look at the latest take on the car preferred by John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and Queen Elizabeth – complete with a champagne chiller and a twinkling ceiling.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha