February 1, 2018 / 2:05 PM / 8 months ago

Morning Briefing: What's the beef with U.S. pork?

Good morning. From pork export pains to the potential cash clash of Exxon and Shell, here are the headlines of the day.

Several-week-old pigs stand inside a barn at Paustian Enterprises in Walcott, Iowa, November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Acker

Highlights

U.S. pork demand is strong but trade disputes could hit exports American consumers are snapping up plentiful low-cost pork, but U.S. farmers are worried that trade spats with key export markets in China, Mexico and Canada could hurt a lucrative part of their pork business.

It’s unusual; it is stretching the boundaries.” In the last year, the Justice Department sought to bypass lower courts four times using varying legal procedures in several high-profile cases, most recently to defend the administration’s right to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

The FBI has said it had “grave concerns” about the accuracy of a top-secret House Intelligence Committee memo alleging anti-Trump bias within the Justice Department, challenging President Donald Trump’s pledge to release it.

Business

In business news, Royal Dutch Shell could be poised to dethrone Exxon Mobil as the energy sector’s biggest cash generator. Higher oil and gas prices combined and an improved performance lifted its 2017 revenue meaning we could see the titans enter a cash clash.

Could the G-suite conquer Office? Microsoft dominates the $15-billion market for business productivity tools with a longstanding product that is reliable and IT managers have little incentive to gamble on something new. Still, Google has made inroads by throwing more resources at this lucrative market and is finally listening to its business customers.

Global news

Reuters reporters arrested in Myanmar refused bail. A district court in Myanmar has rejected bail for two Reuters journalists accused of violating the country’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

Saudi Arabia's efforts to end $22-billion debt dispute. The resolution of Saudi Arabia's $22-billion debt dispute is being viewed by investors as a litmus test of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s commitment to reforms.

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