Morning papers: Financial transaction tax hits legal wall

Europe’s plan for an expansive financial transaction tax hit a wall after the top legal adviser to finance ministers concluded it exceeds national jurisdiction, “infringes” on EU treaties and “is discriminatory” to non-participating states, reports the Financial Times.

The unusually blunt paper from the EU Council legal service, obtained by the Financial Times, deals a heavy blow to a European Commission proposal to introduce a €35bn (£29.4bn) eurozone levy with global reach.

Osborne ‘complacent’ about the recovery, warns Cable

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Vince Cable has criticised a growing “complacency” towards the economy, in a calculated swipe at George Osborne before the Liberal Democrat conference, reports The Times.

The Liberal Democrat Business Secretary will suggest today that Britain is not seeing “the kind of growth we want” in spite of the chancellor claiming on Monday that the economy is “turning a corner”.

Obama holds fire on Syria, waits on Russia plan

President Barack Obama told Americans on Tuesday he would pursue a newly energized diplomatic course to try to resolve the standoff with Syria, but he insisted that the US must conduct military strikes, if needed, in response to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Mr Obama said in a televised address that he asked Congress to postpone a vote on a resolution to authorise military force, which he looked likely to lose. Instead he said he would reserve the option of military strikes while pursuing a Russian proposal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons under an international agreement.

Tesco pays out to rid itself of US chain Fresh & Easy

Tesco has finally negotiated an exit from its failed expansion into the US by lending US billionaire Ron Burkle £80m to take away its loss-making Fresh & Easy chain, reports The Guardian.

After more than nine months searching for a buyer, Burkle’s Yucaipa investment vehicle has agreed to take on 150 Fresh & Easy stores as well as 4,000 staff and a vast distribution centre and production facility east of Los Angeles.

Apple unveils two iPhones — and a password at your fingertip

Apple unveiled two new iPhones yesterday — a top-of-the-range model that recognises its owner’s fingerprint and a “budget” alternative for price-conscious consumers — as the company seeks to rise to the challenge set down by rivals such as Samsung, reports The Times.

The premium device, the iPhone 5S, was described by Apple as “the world’s most forward thinking smartphone”: a faster, more powerful machine with an improved camera. Its key feature is a fingerprint sensor that can authenticate the owner’s identity, removing the need to remember passwords to use the phone or to make purchases.

FCA chief confirms formal ISDAfix probe

The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed for the first time it has joined an international probe into the alleged rigging of the multi-trillion dollar trade in interest rate derivatives, reports The Daily Telegraph.