The daily briefing “FirstFT” from the Financial Times.

George Osborne could relax his target for a GBP10bn budget surplus by 2020, after the House of Lords blocked plans by the UK chancellor to make more than GBP4bn of cuts to tax credits as he tries to find savings ahead of the spending review next month.

Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Osborne said tax credit reform would continue but that he would use his Autumn Statement on November 25 to soften the blow on families from any cuts to the income supplements, leaving open the possibility that the size of the cuts could be reduced. The FT view is that the chancellor should carefully examine whether this flagship policy will reduce the incomes of the working poor. (FT)

In the news

Chinese hackers in health check-up Hackers in China targeted health insurer Anthem to learn how medical coverage is set up in the US as Beijing grapples with providing healthcare for an ageing population, US investigators have concluded. (FT)

Help needed Slovenia, the tiny Balkan state struggling to cope with the migration crisis, has raised the idea of invoking a never-before-used solidarity clause in the EU treaties to formally request European aid and military support. Article 222 enables military aid to EU nations overwhelmed by disasters, according to two officials familiar with the talks. (FT)

Strike force Northrop Grumman secured its future as an independent military contractor as it pulled off a surprise win over a consortium of Boeing and Lockheed Martin for an $80bn contract to supply the stealth bomber designed to ensure the US can win a future war with China or Russia. (FT)

China firms vie for Starwood Hotels At least three big Chinese companies are competing for approval from Beijing to bid for the hospitality chain, setting up what could be the largest ever Chinese takeover of a US company. Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels, HNA Group and China Investment Corp have each presented proposals to the government in recent months. (WSJ)

First Russian casualty in Syria A 19-year-old Russian soldier died in Syria on Saturday, the first confirmed casualty among the estimated 2,000 Russian military personnel who have been conducting and supporting air strikes on Syrian rebels and terrorist groups since September 30. The death is bound to test how Moscow explains losses to the public. (FT)

No loss of Chinese appetite Apple chief executive Tim Cook sought to dispel doubts on Wall Street by promising continued growth, after the group announced on Tuesday that iPhone sales jumped 87 per cent in the country during the third quarter, compared with the same period a year ago. (FT)

It’s a big day for

The Fed In a closely watched meeting that ends on Wednesday, the central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates near zero. (WSJ)

Republican candidates, who will take part in a presidential debate in Colorado.

Read more about upcoming events this week.

Food for thought

The five-year plan, man For decades, Xinhua has been China’s po-faced purveyor of heavily filtered state news and propaganda. Now it has broken the mould with a retro cartoon about the fifth plenum of the 18th Communist party Central Committee. (FT)

Auf Wiedersehen The chancellor’s response to the migrant crisis may hasten her political demise, with up to 10,000 asylum seekers arriving each day. (FT)

The upside of addressing climate change Martin Wolf discusses the economic case for making a serious effort to counter emissions and examines new approaches – probably worth it given that the Gulf may be uninhabitably hot by the year 2100. (FT, NYT)

Running a business without a bank Photo essay, based on winning entries in a prestigious competition, depicting life for those who earn a living outside conventional financial systems. (The Atlantic)

Greenland is melting away Scientists have known that the melting of the ice-bound nation is accelerating. But this summer a group of scientists set up camp on the ice, where they hoped to capture the first comprehensive measurements of the rate of melting. This multimedia report takes a look inside the perilous expedition. (NYT)

Video of the day

John Authers reports on a calm initial response to further remarkable results from Apple – and a new fall in the oil price.

This article is published in collaboration with FirstFT. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: FirstFT is the Financial Times’ editors curated free daily email of the top global stories from the FT and the best of the rest of the web.

Image: A detail from the front of the United States Federal Reserve Board building is shown. REUTERS/Gary Cameron.