Evening Briefing Europe: Apple, Irma, Frankfurt, Forests, Wine

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The big day is finally here. At 6 p.m U.K. time, 7 p.m. in Western Europe, Apple will kick off its most important product launch in years, unveiling the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and a high-end model called the iPhone X. For all the details and background on these critical new products, read our special report. And to follow the event in real time, with live analysis and commentary from Bloomberg, jump onto our liveblog starting a few minutes before the event begins. — Andy Reinhardt

How did they get Irma so wrong? Never has a hurricane been so closely monitored and intensively modeled. But then an unpredictable factor—an atmospheric phenomenon called the Bermuda High—intervened and Irma veered 20 miles to the west of its expected path. The resulting damages may have been $150 billion less than feared. Bloomberg’s Brian K. Sullivan explains what happened.

Evening Briefing Europe: Apple, Irma, Frankfurt, Forests, Wine

The smell of diesel. The annual Frankfurt auto show is getting under way as German automakers go through a wrenching transition. Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are unveiling a raft of electric vehicles even as they struggle to let go of diesel, with sales plunging in recent years. For full coverage of the show, follow our special report.

Spiraling down. Air Berlin pilots took a collective sick day, threatening an immediate grounding of the insolvent airline. About 200 of the airline’s 1,500 pilots didn’t show up for work today, prompting Air Berlin to warn it may have to cease operations immediately. Some passengers may not be entitled to refunds due to the airline’s precarious financial condition.

Round the clock. Russia’s richest man, Alexey Mordashov, built his $18.5 billion fortune in the steel industry. Now he’s moving into online education and recruitment, setting up a unit that’s acquiring startups. His company, Severstal, is building a portfolio of online educational, human-resources consultancy and recruitment firms to provide training and career development services through a person’s life.

Green gold. Sweden’s forest prices are heading for a record year, with local investors looking for return amid record low yields. Forests are now on par with their record from 2010, as prices boom along with the Swedish economy. The development is being driven especially in southern Sweden, where prices per cubic meter are at a new high and already double those of northern areas.

Boring beats populism. When Germans vote on Sept. 24 they’re likely to back the same pair of centrist parties that have run the country since World War II. Neither side has bashed the European Union or made Trump-style appeals to restrict trade or pare back globalization. In fact, Angela Merkel has lasted three terms partly because most Germans recognize they’re globalization’s winners. Analysts say crusading populist leaders abroad scare Germans back to the political center.

Drinking in your vacation. Wine tourism isn’t just expanding—it’s getting more creative in every corner of the globe, with more vine estates than ever wooing oenophiles with luxurious digs and experiences to indulge their grape-driven passions. From Provence to Sicily to Australia, here are six lesser-known wine destinations that could make great escapes in 2018.

Evening Briefing Europe: Apple, Irma, Frankfurt, Forests, Wine

Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha

With assistance from Editorial Board