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Friday Morning Briefing
March 10, 2017 / 12:09 PM / 8 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

South Korea's Constitutional Court removed President Park Geun-hye from office on Friday over a graft scandal involving the country's conglomerates, including Samsung. Park, 65, no longer has immunity as president, and could now face criminal charges over bribery, extortion and abuse of power in connection with allegations of conspiring with her friend, Choi Soon-sil. Two supporters died in clashes with police during protests. Others celebrated with chicken.

People celebrate after hearing that President Park Geun-hye's impeachment was accepted, in front of the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

As Iraqi forces fight Islamic State militants deeper into western Mosul, they face increasingly stiff resistance, with the jihadists using mortar and sniper fire to try to hold off a U.S.-backed offensive to drive them out of their last major stronghold in the country.

China’s urging all of the parties involved in the dispute over North Korea's nuclear and missile program to think "out of the box.”

Meanwhile, travel firms, feeling pressure from China, forced airlines and cruise operators to cut routes to South Korea, as the fallout spread on Friday from a diplomatic disputes over Seoul's plans to deploy a U.S. missile defense system against Beijing's objections.

U.S. President Donald Trump was granted initial approval on dozens of new trademarks in China because they met legal standards, but Trump’s ties between politics and business have prompted concern from politicians and rights groups who say the president could face potential conflicts of interest related to the extensive business affairs of his family.

Trump’s disputes with local governments could create more conflicts of interest. An official in a town in a tax dispute involving one of Trump’s golf courses worried that taking a tough negotiating stance against a business owned by the president of the United States puts her town of 25,000 residents at risk of retribution. "Are we, the puny town of Ossining, going to choose to go up against the president's company?" said Dana Levenberg, the town supervisor. "I wouldn't want to do anything that has negative repercussions for the town of Ossining."

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recused himself from issues related to TransCanada Corp's application for a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department said in a letter on Thursday to the environmental group Greenpeace. Greenpeace argued in its letter that Exxon Mobil would "directly and predictably" benefit from the approval of Keystone XL because the firm has investments in Canadian oil sands.

A man eats in front of his Basset Hounds during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, Britain March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples

A man eats in front of his Basset Hounds during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, Britain March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples

The majority of respondents to a new U.S. poll opposed laws barring transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identities and indicated growing acceptance for gay rights, a nonpartisan research group said on Friday.

Hungary will arm “border hunters” - trained police and army units - to keep out migrants, a new strategy of a security clamp down that has raised human rights concerns.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari returned home on Friday after nearly two months of medical leave in Britain during which his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, stamped his authority on economic policy in Africa's top oil producer.

Business

U.S. employers likely maintained a brisk pace of hiring in February and boosted wages for workers, which is expected to give the Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates next week despite slowing economic growth.

A Hong Kong court on Friday found five Uber drivers guilty of illegally offering ride-hailing services, the latest clamp down against Uber’s operations in Asia and a rare case where drivers have been found criminally liable.

When will British Prime Minister Theresa May trigger Brexit? Later this month. Key dates and what to expect afterward

Japan rejected U.S. demands for more access to Japan's car market on Friday, casting doubt over whether it can avoid friction over autos and agriculture imports at high level bilateral talks on economic relations next month.

Volkswagen said it would explore a partnership with India's Tata Motors to jointly develop auto components and vehicles for the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

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