10 July

@lyle_h_hill

10 July

Good morning,

The fight against ISIS rages on in Iraq and Syria, but yesterday the eight-month battle for Mosul was won by Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister of Iraq, travelled to Mosul to greet his commanders and declare the "full liberation" of the city.

The siege began on the 17th October last year and has slowly pushed back ISIS forces, until a small number remained in the city's Old Town. The offensive was aided by US air strikes on key strategic areas.

While this key battle has been won, the war in the region continues. ISIS is weakened, but fights on in the large but diminishing territory it still holds across Iraq and Syria.

This brutal fact is highlighted by John Ray, the ITV News correspondent, who writes that while the group's dreams of a caliphate are slipping, it still holds Raqqa and will fight until the bitter end to keep it.

Not only this, but the defeat of the group may not bring even a glimmer of respite to the region. Ray argues that the war has not just been long, but that ISIS's ideology pervades a large following of young people who have been "hardened by barbarity".

Despite Haider al-Abadi's triumphant message in Mosul yesterday, we will have to wait much longer to find out whether it is ultimately a hollow victory or not.

NEWS

Theresa May is set to offer opposition parties the chance to contribute policy to her faltering government, rather than “just criticise”. The call, laid out in a speech to be given on the first anniversary of her premiership tomorrow, is a sign of May’s weakness as murmurs about her future continue to grow. Over the weekend, it was suggested that a leadership push would be launched as soon as the autumn conference season.
 
More than 70 firefighters are tackling a large blaze at the Camden Lock Market in north London. In the early hours of the morning more than 10 fire engines were dispatched to the scene and were said to have brought the fire under control by 3.20am. There are thought to be no casualties at this stage.
 
Donald Trump Jr admitted yesterday that he had met with a Russian lawyerlast year, after she had promised damaging information on Donald Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton. According to Trump Jr, “no meaningful information” was provided. The admission is the first confirmation that a Russian national met a member of Trump’s inner circle during the presidential election campaign.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

The government review led by Matthew Taylor into the changing world of work and the ‘gig economy’ is set to advocate a wholesale change to employment law and increased guarantees around the minimum wage. The changes should help clear up the grey area in employment law between a fully employed and self employed worker.
 
Ofcom will launch a multibillion pound mobile airwave auction this week, in what is widely considered the first step towards 5G internet access in the UK. Rules for the auction will be outlined later this week, as O2 and Three demand tighter bidding restrictions on the two largest operators EE and Vodafone.
 
BT has brought in external consultants McKinsey to aide the stalling firm’s cost cutting measures, in what has widely been viewed as an attempt to rebuild the company’s reputation with the City. This year BT has faced an accounting scandal in its Italian division, the forced separation of its Openreach business, and a large pension deficit.

MARKETS

Finals
Accrol Group Holdings, Falanx Group Ltd

EGMs
SerVision

AGMs
Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust, Capital Gearing Trust

Int. Economic Announcements
(07:00) Current Account (GER)
(20:00) Consumer Credit (US)

COLUMNS

Writing in The Sunday Times, Kevin Pringle calls for an end to the polarised politics that means the Scottish Government and opposition parties struggle to have meaningful debates around the strength of the economy and the health of the NHS.

Euan McColm, writing in The Scotsman, speaks fondly of the success of his friends Paul Stokes and Neil Rafferty, who founded the satirical news site The Daily Mash and will soon have a comedy TV show on BBC Two.

DID YOU KNOW?

The only Pope to have visited a mosque was John Paul II. He visited the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria in 2001.