October 3, 2018 / 11:38 AM / a month ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Kavanaugh debate tests Democratic wave in North Dakota, World Court orders U.S. to ensure Iran sanctions don’t hit humanitarian aid and Japan’s historic Tsukiji market closes. Catch up on the latest headlines.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives for a meeting with Senator Heidi Heitkamp on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., U.S., August 15, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Supreme Court

For Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic North Dakota senator, running for re-election in a largely rural, conservative state that strongly backed Trump for president in 2016, the partisan war over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court presents a seemingly intractable dilemma. Five weeks before the Nov. 6 elections, her decision on Trump’s pick could come at her peril - whether she votes yes or no.

Several people with information related to allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh say they have tried in vain to speak with the FBI, which is expected to wrap up its investigation this week.

United States

Four Californian men described by prosecutors as members of a militant white supremacist group were arrested on charges of instigating violence during a white nationalist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

The United States is expected to announce in the coming days that it will use offensive and defensive cyber capabilities on behalf of NATO if asked, a senior Pentagon official said, amid concerns about Russia’s increasingly assertive use of its cyber capabilities.

A Texas woman, claiming that she was raped, beaten and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform.

World

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is seen through a camera eyepiece as he addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The World Court ordered the United States to ensure that sanctions against Iran do not impact humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. Judges at the International Court Of Justice handed a victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of President Trump violate the terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries.

Scientists Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for research using directed evolution to produce enzymes for new chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the award-giving body said.

Commentary

Only a few weeks ago, Britain’s exit from the EU looked like it would be a relatively moderate affair, shaped by a series of compromises brokered by Prime Minister Theresa May. That deal has now been rejected both by much of May’s own party and European leaders, writes Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps. May and her party now appear to be moving towards a much harder break, and perhaps no deal at all. That scenario, with all its implications for disruption of borders, markets and supplies is already doing Britain serious economic harm.

Wider Image

The 83-year-old Tsukiji market, a popular tourist attraction, is a warren of shops and warehouses where small turret trucks zip around laden with ice-filled boxes of fish. But city officials say it has become dilapidated and unsanitary. Many fishmongers want to stay in the area where they also live. They worry about contaminated soil at the new site in Toyosu, and the difficult commute to the new market.

Business

Russia and Saudi Arabia struck a private deal in September to raise oil output to cool rising prices and informed the United States before a meeting in Algiers with other producers, four sources familiar with the plan said.

A federal judge has ruled that Tesla must defend itself at a trial over allegations it knew foreign workers at its California assembly plant were threatened with deportation if they reported an injury and worked long shifts that violated forced labor laws.

The Federal Reserve painted a picture of the U.S. economy that was almost too good to be true at its last meeting, with inflation seen contained in the near future despite the lowest unemployment rate in 20 years.

Reuters TV

China has ordered A-list movie star Fan Bingbing to pay nearly $130 million in overdue taxes and fines, months after she mysteriously disappeared and sparked wild speculation about her whereabouts.

China's missing movie star hit with big tax fines
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