Wednesday morning UK news briefing: Sterling falls as Bank pulls plug on pension help – The Telegraph

Also from this morning's Front Page newsletter: Elon Musk at centre of claims Putin told him he would use nuclear weapons. Sign up below
Andrew Bailey prompted a sharp fall in the pound after insisting that the Bank of England would end emergency support for pension funds on Friday. 
Sterling dropped 1.3pc to below $1.10 as the Governor insisted a £65bn bond-buying programme that has protected retirement schemes from collapse will be withdrawn at the end of the week. 
Speaking in Washington during a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Governor also hit back at suggestions from the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, that a bonfire of red tape could boost growth. 
Markets remain jittery this morning as new data show Britain’s economy shrank unexpectedly in August for the first time in two months, raising the prospect that the country is now in recession.
Concerns over spiralling government borrowing have caused market turmoil in the UK but debt levels in Britain are actually lower than in many comparable economies. 
Tom Rees analyses why the Bank of England pressed the panic button and read why markets are punishing Britain more than Europe
Jeremy Warner, who is in the US for the IMF meeting, says a palpable gloom hangs over the West as Europe heads for a brutal winter.
It comes as Liz Truss is set to formally designate China a "threat" to the UK for the first time, in a major shift of Britain’s diplomatic stance. 
A formal update to Boris Johnson’s 2021 Integrated Review will upgrade the country from a "systemic competitor", in a move welcomed by Conservative China hawks. 
The Telegraph View is that the West is at last taking the threat from China seriously
Yet the Prime Minister was challenged in the Cabinet over benefits, with four ministers understood to be backing a rise in line with inflation. 
Sir Keir Starmer has brought in a Blair-era campaign boss to put Labour on an "election footing".
Elon Musk is at the centre of claims that Vladimir Putin told him he would use nuclear weapons if Ukraine tried to reclaim Crimea. The billionaire SpaceX founder denied reports that he had spoken with the Russian president before publishing a "peace plan" on Twitter that heavily favoured Russian demands. It came as Nato’s secretary-general warned that Russian sabotage on Western targets could be grounds for triggering the alliance’s Article 5, amid suspicions that Moscow planted explosives on underwater gas pipelines. In a further sign of Putin’s weakening war machine, scores of Iranian-made "kamikaze" drones launched into Ukraine by Russia have been gunned down by the country’s air defence systems. Jade McGlynn says desperate Putin is out of time as rival elites begin to circle. Meanwhile, British businessman Graham Bonham-Carter was arrested on US charges of conspiring to violate sanctions placed on a Russian oligarch, prosecutors said.
Dame Angela Lansbury has been hailed as "one of the last of the Golden Age of Hollywood stars" and a "Broadway and West End icon" following her death on Tuesday at the age of 96. Heavyweights across the film, television and live theatre industries paid tribute online to the star, after news of her death was announced. The British-American actress, who enjoyed one of the longest careers in the entertainment industry, passed away at home in her sleep, according to a statement from her family. She became the toast of the West End and Broadway for her starring roles in extravagant musicals, but was best known as Jessica Fletcher, the late-flowering crime writer and sleuth in the popular television series Murder, She Wrote. Look back at her career in her Telegraph obituary.
The rate of the crises faced by Liz Truss and her new government inspired Matt’s latest cartoon.
Coronation date | The King’s coronation will be held on Saturday, May 6, it has been confirmed, putting plans for an extra bank holiday into doubt. The coronation will see King Charles III crowned alongside the Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey at the weekend, Buckingham Palace has announced. Read everything you need to know about the coronation as it also emerged the King is to send antiques from his Dumfries House collection, including crockery from Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, for restoration on television show The Repair Shop.
France’s striking oil refinery employees earn €60-70,000 (£53-£62,000) on average for 32-hour working weeks, it has emerged, as the prime minister ordered authorities to forcibly end blockades by hardline unionists demanding higher wages. "A salary disagreement does not justify blocking the country," Elisabeth Borne, the prime minister, told parliament. But stoppages continued at several refineries, including at France’s biggest near Le Havre. Two weeks of blockages have led to shortages in a third of France’s petrol stations, causing travel misery.
Emma Raducanu’s turbulent year has continued after the former US Open champion split with her Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov and signed up the fitness coach who transformed Andy Murray. Tursunov has left Raducanu’s camp in order to take a role with a rival player after just two-and-a-half months together. In the Champions League, Fikayo Tomori will not want to see his old Chelsea team-mates – or referee Daniel Siebert – again in a hurry after conceding a penalty and being sent-off just 18 minutes into what had been billed as a chance for redemption for him and AC Milan. Ten-man Manchester City drew a blank against Copenhagen after Sergio Gomez was shown the red card.
Petrol prices have started to rise again after more than three months of falls, dealing a fresh blow to household budgets. Average pump prices increased by almost half a penny in recent days, according to figures from the AA, adding to the cost of filling up. The increase comes after the Opec+ cartel of oil producing nations announced plans to cut output in a bid to prop up prices, adding almost $10 (£9) to the cost of a barrel of oil.
With its lofty peaks, lush pastures, wooden chalets and clanging cattle, the Pindus Mountains could be mistaken for Switzerland. Yet it costs a fraction of the price. It is also one of the last strongholds of the nomadic Vlachs whose members speak Aromanian, a language with Latin roots that is similar to Romanian. Heidi Fuller-Love describes her stay, where warm sunlight sparkled from a typically Greek blue sky over the jagged line of pines and pigeons flitted back and forth across the valley.
Vietnamese herb omelette with herbs and chilli | A classic dish that delivers bold flavours, put together for you by Diana Henry.
So hot right now | Damien Hirst was in his element as – for a new show – he started incinerating thousands of his works. Alastair Sooke reviews how art’s great showman-cum-entrepreneur enjoyed a brief blaze of excitement as he burned his own paintings.
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