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The British government has pushed back against lawmakers who, in a damning cross-party report, accused it of dithering over border controls as the COVID-19 pandemic gathered steam in March—dooming thousands of people to infection as a result.

The U.K. only instituted strict entry controls in early June, when it started requiring everyone arriving in the country to self-isolate for two weeks or face fines. This was nearly three months after many other countries introduced controls requiring quarantine or at least health screening on arrival.

The country had imposed some controls on people arriving from China, Iran and Italy quite early in the crisis, in February and early March, but then it abruptly lifted them on March 13. The U.K. went on to be hit harder than any other European country, with a death toll that currently stands above 46,000, and a confirmed infection count of 306,000.

Why did Boris Johnson’s government make that fateful mid-March decision? That’s what Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee wanted to know, and on Wednesday it delivered its verdict.

“The Committee was unable …


6 min read


In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Who are you and what’s your business? 

My name is Christopher Cargnoni and I’m the founder of Fresh Pawz, a pet dedicated to the streetwear culture. 

What inspired you to create this product?  

In 2017 I noticed younger and younger people walking around with dogs of their own. While I wasn’t yet ready to take on the responsibility of having my own dog back then, the family dogs I grew up with were a big part of my life. Being in the world my entire life, I’m super passionate about brand building and creating products that people can connect to, so I started to research the pet market. 

Related: The Couple Behind ‘Dogs of Instagram’ Started It as a Pet Project

Everywhere I searched there were articles about “ are redefining the pet industry!” or “Millennials are now the largest buyer of pets!”. Yet, when I searched for brands and products that would connect to

Microsoft plans to finish its acquisition talks with TikTok within the next three weeks, ahead of the Sept. 15 deadline,  CNBC’s David Faber reported Wednesday. The deal could be worth up to $30 billion.

If the deal goes through, Microsoft has already agreed with the U.S. government to bring TikTok’s code from China to the U.S. within one year. Faber also reported that the two sides haven’t landed on a price for TikTok yet, but it could be between $10 billion and $30 billion. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is “deeply involved” in process, according to Faber. President Donald Trump has said that the U.S. Treasury should get a cut of the acquisition, but it’s unclear how that would work or if it’s even legal.

Very few American companies have the bandwidth to transfer large amounts of data over to its own systems within a year, let alone afford the billions TikTok will cost. Microsoft checks both those boxes though. Microsoft could likely transfer TikTok’s software code, which could be up to 15 million lines of artificial intelligence, helping cement its position as the leading contender to acquire the company, Faber reported.

Microsoft confirmed in a blog post Sunday it has

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Good morning. David Meyer here in Berlin, filling in for Alan.

Like many people, I spent much of yesterday evening and this morning slack-jawed at footage of the devastation in Beirut, caused by a monumental explosion at the Lebanese capital’s port.

Early indications are that 2,750 metric tons of poorly-secured ammonium nitrate, which had been sitting in a warehouse for six years, somehow ignited.

At the time of writing, the death toll is at least 100–given how the blast flattened a wide area around the port (and carved a sizeable chunk out of the port’s landscape) it is hard to imagine the final count not being many times that. At least three hospitals were destroyed as the shockwave tore through neighborhoods; over 200,000 people are now homeless. Lebanon’s primary wheat stores and the country’s main entry point for imports are gone.

“For someone like me, who lived through 15 years of war, it’s incredible to see that yesterday’s explosion destroyed the city worse than the war. The effect of the explosion can be only compared to that of …

This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune’s no-BS daily newsletter on the markets. Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Good morning. Global equities are climbing, as are U.S. futures, on optimism Washington will cinch a deal on a new stimulus package.

Let’s see where investors are putting their money.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major Asia indexes are mixed with the Hang Seng leading the way, up 0.6%.
  • This won’t go over well in Washington: China so far is not living up to its end of the bargain on the Phase One trade deal. It’s committed to purchase $25.3 billion worth of U.S. energy this year, but has so far bought just 5%. The two sides will meet mid-month to assess progress so far.
  • The clock continues to tick on the Microsoft-TikTok courtship. The big obstacle Microsoft faces: how to value the video-sharing app.

Europe

  • The European bourses jumped out of the gates this morning with benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.5% at the open, before climbing.
  • The EU opened an antitrust probe into Google’s proposed $2 billion deal to acquire Fitbit. “The gist of the probe is that