The daily briefing “FirstFT” from the Financial Times.
This article is published in collaboration with FirstFT.
France launched air strikes against Isis targets in Syria on Sunday night, with jets bombing the Islamist terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.
The strikes came hours after France and the US pledged to step up the campaign against Isis in response to the co-ordinated terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and wounded more than 350.
US and French officials said the attackers — which included Omar Ismael Mostefai, a 29-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin described by a former neighbour as a “really great guy” — communicated at some point beforehand with known members of Isis, which has claimed credit for the assault.#
The attacks have spurred fresh calls for new EU border controls from Poland, Slovakia and UK home secretary Theresa May. But Philip Stephens argues against throwing up the barricades and advocates instead for “ending the Syrian civil war , and thus depriving Isis of its organising mission”. (FT)
In the news
Calling all would-be spies The UK looks set to bolster its intelligence and security services amid concerns about potential Isis attacks on British soil. Prime Minister David Cameron is due to announce plans to recruit nearly 2,000 more staff for spy agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in what is thought to be the biggest increase in British security operations since the July 7 London terrorist attacks in 2005. (FT)
Caterpillar’s China concerns The world’s largest mining and construction equipment manufacturer — and global economic bellwether — said it does not expect Chinese demand for excavators to recover to the peaks of 2010-12. (FT)
Rivals pummel Clinton at debate Senator Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley took Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton to task at a debate she had planned to use to showcase herself as the strongest potential commander-in-chief. She took heat for her 2002 vote to authorise the use of force in Iraq as well as her part in the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. (NYT)
Iran cracks down on messaging app Tehran has arrested administrators of more than 20 groups on the app Telegram for spreading “immoral content”. The detentions are the latest in a clampdown on freedom of expression that has seen artists, journalists and US citizens rounded up. (Reuters)
Allergan warns US on tax rules The chief executive of the pharma company warned the Obama administration against any moves to block its purchase by Pfizer in what would be the biggest ever “tax inversion”. (FT)
It’s a big day for
Japan , which is back in recession after its economy shrank at a worse than expected annualised rate of 0.8 per cent in the third quarter. The figure, which came in well below expectations of a 0.3 per cent fall, is a fresh blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to end deflation and revitalise economic growth. (FT)
The G20 Leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies continue their annual summit, with Syria high on the agenda. Speaking at the forum in Turkey, European Council President Donald Tusk said Russian military action in Syria was increasing the number of refugees trying to reach Europe. (BBC)
Food for thought
Germany and Britain now at risk Isis wants to provoke division across Europe, and the UK and Germany are now looking vulnerable, argues former MI6 chief John Sawers. “The wars in Europe’s neighbourhood are now washing on to our shores and governments in Europe — especially France, Germany and Britain — will have to lead the response. We cannot expect the US to ride to our rescue.” (FT)
The yuan’s next steps The renminbi is set to join the IMF’s exclusive club of reserve currencies after months of lobbying by China. But what comes next as the IMF prepares to meet? (Bloomberg)
Number of women in top UK posts rises New research has found a sharp increase in the number of women at the top of the UK’s largest public companies, demonstrating the impact of government-mandated targets for more even gender ratios. The study found there are now seven females chairing FTSE 150 companies, compared with two in 2013. (FT)
Put your phone to bed A leading London doctor has called on smartphone manufacturers to show more “responsibility” and install an automatic “bedtime mode” on devices to prevent them from disrupting people’s sleep. Smartphones are increasingly emitting blue light, which can affect the body’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin, according to a new study. (BBC)
Why men are ditching dress shoes Once the sort of thing a respectable man wouldn’t be caught dead in, designer sneakers are now at the forefront of fashion fads. The trainers, which combine the looks of a shoe but the comfort of a sneaker, are dominating footwear sales in the US – but they don’t come cheap. (WSJ)
Video of the day
France enters new era of mass terrorism A series of co-ordinated attacks across Paris has left more than 120 people dead, with Isis claiming responsibility. The FT’s Anne-Sylvaine Chassany reports from Paris on the aftermath. (FT)
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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 man kneels as he pays tribute to victims at Place de la Republique near the deadly attack sites in Paris, November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann.