Donald Trump testifies in New York civil fraud trial

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Good morning. Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial took a tumultuous turn yesterday as the former US president used the witness stand to lash out at his adversaries and discredit the process.

Trump played down the importance of the financial statements at the centre of the lawsuit in a heated testimony that provoked several rebukes from the judge and turned a New York courtroom into a rambunctious political theatre.

At one point, an irritated Judge Arthur Engoron threatened to remove him, telling his attorney: “I beseech you to control him, if you can. If you can’t, I will.” Here’s more on Trump’s day in court — and what’s at stake in his testimony.

And here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • Economic data: China releases trade data for October. Exports are expected to have fallen more slowly for a third consecutive month, according to a Reuters poll.

  • Monetary policy: Australia’s central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in five months. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • G7 meeting: Japan’s foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa hosts her G7 counterparts in Tokyo.

  • Companies: UBS, KKR, Mazda Motor Corp, Uber, Nintendo, Singapore Airlines and Yamaha Motor Company are among those reporting results.

Join more than 100 leaders from business, policy and finance at the FT’s Global Boardroom event for three days of in-depth analysis and discussion, covering all key sectors and regions. It starts tomorrow and you can register here.

Five more top stories

1. Joe Biden has pressed Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to “tactical pauses” in Israel’s war with Hamas as Israeli forces encircled Gaza’s main city and carried out an intense bombardment of the besieged strip. The two leaders spoke as Palestinian health officials said the death toll in Gaza had exceeded 10,000, and as international pressure mounts on Israel to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire. Here’s the latest.

2. OpenAI is launching custom versions of ChatGPT that can be adapted and tailored for specific applications, turning the chatbot interface into a digital platform like iOS or Android. The Microsoft-backed artificial intelligence company said it planned to launch a store in the coming weeks, to collate the best apps, which will be known as GPTs.

3. US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen is set to meet her Chinese counterpart He Lifeng in San Francisco this week as the countries prepare for a summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Here’s what’s expected to be on the agenda.

4. The company behind the Bored Ape crypto art craze has said it is looking into reports that some attendees suffered “eye burn” from bright light displays at an event it hosted over the weekend in Hong Kong. One attendee told the FT that she started feeling like her eyes were “being burnt with spicy chilli”.

5. Shares in South Korea surged yesterday after the country’s financial regulator issued a blanket ban on short selling to appease retail investors ahead of parliamentary elections next year. The Kospi stock index rose as much as 4 per cent after the Financial Services Commission said it would conduct an investigation into “naked” short selling by global institutional investors.

News in-depth

Departing Afghanis reach the last bus stop in Pakistan before crossing the border into Afghanistan © Farhan Bokhari/FT

More than 200,000 undocumented Afghans have left Pakistan for Afghanistan since Islamabad announced an expulsion order just over a month ago. The Pakistani government said the decision was in response to a surge in the number of terrorist attacks this year, which it largely blames on Afghanistan-based groups. But aid agencies have said that many Afghans without papers were born in Pakistan and are going to a country in crisis

We’re also reading . . . 

  • Hong Kong: Many of the biggest names in global finance are gathering in the territory this week, despite US-China tensions. Kaye Wiggins explains why that’s highly revealing.

  • Susan Neiman: Instead of tribalist labels such as pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian, the Jewish-American moral philosopher tells Henry Mance: “I’m pro-peace.”

  • Aerial intercepts: Western flights tracking illicit oil shipments to North Korea have angered China. The FT was on board during a recent mission when a Chinese fighter jet pulled alongside. Here’s what happened.

Graphic of the day

Toyota’s battle to catch up with Tesla in a new era of electric vehicles is playing out in one of the oldest parts of the carmaking business: the assembly line. The Elon Musk-led company is pioneering a fundamental change to the way cars are made, while the Japanese carmaker has signalled it will rely on its decades of experience to find its own approach.

How Tesla is changing assembly lines. Graphic comparing traditional car assembly with Tesla's ‘unboxed’ approach.  Giga press castings allow floor assemblies to become part of the structure of the car, making modular units that more people (or robots) can work on at the same time in parallel sub-assemblies

Take a break from the news

When it comes to creating successful businesses, it pays to have a few grey hairs. The FT’s Jonathan Moules explores why more older people are founding start-ups, despite the prejudices of investors.

Kay Miller, a former primary school head, set up a business selling outdoor activity kits for children
Kay Miller, a former primary school head, set up a business selling outdoor activity kits for children © Andrew Fox/FT

Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and Gordon Smith

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Mike Ibanoz

Mike Ibanoz is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has spent the better part of two decades covering gadgets and apps, and helping people make smarter tech decisions.

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