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Friday Morning Briefing
March 17, 2017 / 11:47 AM / 7 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny (R) presents a traditional gift of a bowl of shamrocks to U.S. President Donald Trump during a St. Patrick's Day reception at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that military action with North Korea would be “on the table” if Pyongyang elevated the threat level.

What’s in U.S. President Donald Trump’s budget is making even some of his fellow Republicans balk.

The Trump Administration is seeking major cuts to economic development programs supporting coal country. Four hundred of the 420 counties one of the programs operates in voted for Trump in November.

President Trump welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday for a White House meeting that could help determine the future of the transatlantic alliance and shape the working relationship between two of the world's most powerful leaders. What to expect.

President Trump says he wants to build dozens of new warships in one of the biggest peace-time expansions of the U.S. Navy. But the initiative would cost nearly $700 billion in government funding, take 30 years to complete and require hiring tens of thousands of skilled shipyard workers - many of whom don't exist yet because they still need to be hired and trained.

Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency dismissed claims made on Fox News that it helped former President Barack Obama eavesdrop on Donald Trump after last year's U.S. presidential election.

An Oklahoma Republican state senator who campaigned as a champion of family values was booked on felony prostitution charges on Thursday after police found him in a motel room with a teenage boy and drugs, court documents showed.

Wider Image: Therapy on four legs 

Atila, a trained therapeutic greyhound used to treat patients with mental health issues and learning difficulties, falls asleep as it gets caressed by three patients at Benito Menni health facility in Elizondo, northern Spain, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Atila, a trained therapeutic greyhound used to treat patients with mental health issues and learning difficulties, falls asleep as it gets caressed by three patients at Benito Menni health facility in Elizondo, northern Spain, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

World

Sirens blared and loudspeakers broadcast warnings in Japan's first civilian missile evacuation drill on Friday, conducted in a fishing town by officials wary about the threat of North Korean missiles.

The Israeli military said it shot down one of numerous anti-aircraft missiles launched on Friday at its air force which was operating in Syria, a rare incident that spilled into neighboring countries.

At least ten North Korean ships arrived at a Chinese port after being stranded for the past three weeks following China's ban on imports of coal from its isolated neighbor, a report said.

Adversaries of Marine Le Pen expressed relief after her ally in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, won fewer seats than expected in a Dutch election, but analysts warned against reading too much into the result ahead of France's tight presidential race.

China will begin preparatory work this year for an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, an official said, as two U.S. senators introduced a bill to impose sanctions on its activities in the disputed waterway.

Business

The Japanese government said it was not considering steps to support embattled Toshiba and would share developments involving the firm and its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse with Washington.

In January the euro zone recorded a trade deficit for the first time in three years as a rise in exports from a year earlier was more than offset by a larger increase of imports, the European Union statistics office said on Friday.

China’s Ant Financial Services Group, the world's largest financial technology company, is confident of closing the acquisition of U.S. money-transfer firm MoneyGram International, but says it has other options if the deal falls through, its top executive told Reuters.

LeEco, China’s Tesla-wannabe technology conglomerate, is looking to sell a 49-acre U.S. Silicon Valley property less than a year after buying it from Yahoo Inc, sources said, in what is the latest effort by the firm to ride out a cash crunch.

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