March 22, 2017 / 11:37 AM / 4 months ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

7 Min Read

Jockeys, most of whom are children, compete on their mounts during the opening of the International Camel Racing festival at the Sarabium desert in Ismailia, Egypt, March 21, 2017. Picture taken March 21, 2017.Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Donald Trump is trying to win the first major legislative battle of his presidency – an overhaul of his predecessor’s healthcare plan. Pressure is growing on the businessman-turned politician to deliver as investors become worried that a failed healthcare push could also portend trouble for promised tax cuts and relaxed regulation that have propelled the market to record highs in recent months. U.S. stock markets showed their worst one-day performance since the November election Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers considering whether or not to back U.S. President Donald Trump's healthcare reforms face a painful choice: If they vote against it, they could face the wrath of a vengeful and combative president. If they vote for it, they risk retribution from the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and other powerful right-wing players whose money can be pivotal in re-election races.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is coasting through his judiciary committee confirmation session, but the story might be different once he reaches the Senate, where Democrats could reach for a “nuclear option.” Lead poisoning across California

Joy Ashe holds her son Zion Ashe, 1, outside their home in Emeryville, California, United States March 20, 2017. Ashe, who has spoken before the city's planning commission and city council, is concerned about lead and other pollutants from a property renovation across the street from her home. REUTERS/Noah Berger

Joy Ashe holds her son Zion Ashe, 1, outside their home in Emeryville, California, United States March 20, 2017. Ashe, who has spoken before the city's planning commission and city council, is concerned about lead and other pollutants from a property renovation across the street from her home. REUTERS/Noah Berger

Business

British lawmakers have written to Volkswagen seeking more answers from the German carmaker over the diesel emissions scandal, after criticizing the firm for failing to adequately respond to their queries so far.

Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel rejected a second takeover proposal from U.S. rival PPG Industries on Wednesday, saying an improved 22.4 billion euro ($24.1 billion) offer was still too low and too risky.

Mexico is warning firms against participating in the building of a border wall.

Uber plans to keep co-founder Travis Kalanick as chief executive following a series of damaging events at the ride services company, a member of its board said on Tuesday in a rare call with reporters.

Some of China's largest food suppliers have pulled Brazilian beef and poultry from their shelves in the first concrete sign that a deepening scandal over Brazil's meat processing industry is hitting business in its top export market.

Protectionist trade policies may increase, rather than reduce, a country's trade deficit, the European Central Bank said in a study on Wednesday, just days after finance chiefs of the world's top 20 economies dropped their pledge for open trade.

 
World

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Europeans across the world would not be able to “walk safely on the streets” if they kept up their current attitude.

Russia's forces in Syria have suffered losses since late January more than three times higher than the official toll, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, a tally that shows the fight in Syria is tougher and more costly than the Kremlin has disclosed.

A North Korean missile appeared to have exploded on Wednesday just after it was launched. The increasing frequency of the missile tests has fueled a growing sense of urgency over how to respond to the isolated, unpredictable state.

Vietnam has detained two bloggers for posting anti-state comments, which the Communist-ruled country said should serve as a warning to others spreading dissent. South China Sea

China's Foreign Ministry denied reports that China will begin preparatory work this year for an environmental monitoring station on disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

Japan's second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, entered service on Wednesday, giving the nation's military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back against China's growing influence in Asia.

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