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Philip Hammond, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer.

Christopher Furlong | Gety Images News | Getty Images

Philip Hammond, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer.

U.K. Finance Minister Philip Hammond has been accused by his colleagues in the cabinet of failing to release the necessary funding required to prepare Britain for a no-deal Brexit, the Telegraph newspaper reported late on Sunday.

British Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has written to the Treasury saying his department was given 35 million pounds ($44.46 million) for helping councils prepare for Brexit, the amount being less than half of what had been requested, the newspaper reported.

At least another department had made a similar complaint about Hammond’s failure to release more money, the newspaper reported without mentioning further details.

Brokenshire said his department does not have enough to prepare for Brexit whether Britain leaves the European Union with or without a deal, the report added, citing the British Communities Secretary’s letter to the Treasury sent shortly before Christmas.

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China set to post slowest growth in 28 years in 2018

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China is expected to report on Monday that economic growth cooled to its slowest in 28 years in 2018 amid weakening domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown.

Growing signs of weakness in China — which has generated nearly a third of global growth in the past decade — are stoking worries about risks to the world economy and are weighing on profits for firms ranging from Apple to big carmakers.

Chinese policymakers have pledged more support for the economy this year to reduce the risk of massive job losses, but they have ruled out a “flood” of stimulus like that which Beijing has unleashed in the past, which quickly juiced growth rates but left a mountain of debt.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect the world’s second-largest economy to have grown 6.4 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, slowing from the previous quarter’s 6.5 percent pace and matching levels last seen in early 2009 during the global financial crisis.

That could pull 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 6.6 percent, the lowest since 1990 and down from a revised 6.8 percent in 2017.

With stimulus measures expected to take some time to kick in, most analysts believe conditions in China are likely to get worse before they get better, and see a further slowdown to 6.3 percent this year. Some analysts believe real growth levels are already much weaker than official data suggest.

Even if China and the United States agree on a trade deal in current talks, which is a tall order, analysts said it would be no panacea for the sputtering Chinese economy unless Beijing can galvanize weak investment and consumer demand.

Chen Xingdong, chief China economist at BNP Paribas, said investors should not expect the latest round of stimulus to produce similar results as during the 2008-09 global crisis, when Beijing’s huge spending package quickly boosted growth.

“What China can really do this year is to prevent deflation, prevent a recession and a hard landing in the economy,” Chen said.

On a quarterly basis, growth likely eased to 1.5 percent inOct-Dec from 1.6 percent in the preceding period.

China will release its fourth-quarter and 2018 GDP data onMonday (0200 GMT), along with December factory output, retailsales and fixed-asset investment.

Since China’s quarterly GDP readings tend to be unusually steady, most investors prefer to focus on recent trends.

Surprising contractions in December trade data and factory activity gauges in recent weeks have suggested the economy cooled more quickly than expected at the end of 2018, leaving it on shakier footing at the start of the new year.

Sources have told Reuters that Beijing was planning tolower its growth target to 6-6.5 percent this year from around 6.5 percent in 2018.

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Parliament cannot hijack Brexit, says British minister Fox

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Liam Fox, U.K. international trade secretary, speaks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 24, 2017.

Eric Thayer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Liam Fox, U.K. international trade secretary, speaks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 24, 2017.

Britain’s parliament has no right to try to “hijack the Brexit process”, Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Sunday, after several lawmakers indicated they were launching attempts to take more control over the departure from the European Union.

“Parliament has not got the right to hijack the Brexit process because parliament said to the people of this country: ‘we make a contract with you, you will make the decision and we will honor it’,” Fox told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“What we are now getting are some of those who were always absolutely opposed to the result of the referendum trying to hijack Brexit and in effect steal the result from the people.”

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Tshisekedi declared Congo’s president, but runner-up revolts

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Congo’s election crisis deepened early Sunday when the Constitutional Court confirmed the win of Felix Tshisekedi, rejecting claims of fraud, and runner-up Martin Fayulu promptly declared himself the country’s “only legitimate president.”

Fayulu’s supporters have alleged an extraordinary backroom deal by outgoing President Joseph Kabila to rig the vote in favor of the opposition after the ruling party’s candidate did so poorly that a Plan B was needed. Neither side has acknowledged the accusations.

The court, however, said Fayulu offered no proof to back his assertions that he had won easily based on leaked data attributed to the electoral commission.

Fayulu urged Congolese to take to the streets to peacefully protest what he called “constitutional coup d’etat,” accusing the court of validating false results. “It’s no secret … that you have elected me president,” he said.

Neither Congolese nor the international community should recognize Tshisekedi, nor obey him, Fayulu added.

Tshisekedi said early Sunday that the Constitutional Court’s decision confirming him as the winner of the presidential election was a victory for the entire country.

“It is Congo that won,” said Tshisekedi, speaking to his supporters after the court decision. “It is not the victory of one camp against another. I am engaged in a campaign to reconcile all Congolese. … The Congo that we are going to form will not be a Congo of division, hatred or tribalism. It will be a reconciled Congo, a strong Congo that will be focused on development, peace and security.”

The largely untested Tshisekedi, son of the late, charismatic opposition leader Etienne, is set to be inaugurated on Tuesday. His supporters who had gathered outside the court cheered.

“It’s a shame that Mr. Fayulu wants to stay isolated,” Tshisekedi’s spokesman, Vidiye Tshimanga, told The Associated Press. He said the two men once had been part of an opposition coalition demanding that Kabila step down.

The new president will need everyone for the reconstruction of the country, Tshimanga said, as the Congolese people have “suffered a lot in recent years.”

The court’s declaration came shortly after the African Union in an unprecedented move asked Congo to delay announcing the final election results, citing “serious doubts” about the vote. It planned to send a high-level delegation on Monday to find a way out of the crisis, fearing unrest spilling across borders of the vast Central African nation.

Congo’s government replied it was up to the courts.

The court turned away Fayulu’s request for a recount in the Dec. 30 vote.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende quickly acknowledged the court’s decision, congratulating Tshisekedi as Congo’s fifth president.

The country of 80 million people, rich in the minerals key to smartphones around the world, is moving close to achieving its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960.

But observers have warned that the court’s upholding of the official results could lead to further unrest. At least 34 people have been killed since provisional results were released on Jan. 10, the United Nations has said.

The court could have ordered a recount or ordered a new election.

It called unfounded a challenge filed by another candidate, Theodore Ngoy, that objected to the electoral commission’s last-minute decision to bar some 1 million voters from the election over a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

The court said Tshisekedi won with more than 7 million votes, or 38 percent, and Fayulu received 34 percent. However, leaked data published by some media outlets, attributed to the electoral commission and representing 86 percent of the votes, show that Fayulu won 59 percent while Tshisekedi received 19 percent.

Fayulu, a lawmaker and businessman who is outspoken about cleaning up Congo’s sprawling corruption, is widely seen as posing more of a threat to Kabila, his allies and the vast wealth they have amassed.

All of the election results, not just the presidential ones, had been widely questioned after Kabila’s ruling coalition won a majority in legislative and provincial votes while its presidential candidate finished a distant third.

Congo’s election had been meant to take place in late 2016, and many Congolese worried that Kabila, in power since 2001, was seeking a way to stay in office. Barred from serving three consecutive terms, Kabila already has hinted he might run again in 2023.

After Tshisekedi was announced as the surprise winner in provisional results on Jan. 10, some Congolese weary of turmoil appeared to decide that replacing Kabila with an opposition figure was enough, despite questions about the vote.

Reflecting the yearning for stability, 33 Congolese non-governmental groups and civil society movements on Thursday called on people to comply with whatever the court rules to “preserve the peace.”

With that perhaps in mind, Tshisekedi’s party sharply rejected the AU’s attempted intervention.

The continental body’s stance is “the work of some mining lobbies seeking to destabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to perpetuate the looting of this country,” the party’s secretary-general, Jean-Marc Kabund, said in a statement.

Ahead of the court’s ruling, hundreds of Tshisekedi’s supporters were in the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, waving tree branches and banners reading “Congo for the Congolese.”

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