March 21, 2017 / 11:22 AM / 9 months ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China's president and will go to Russia later in April, U.S. officials said on Monday. Skipping the NATO meeting and visiting Moscow could risk feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers over ones with less powerful allies. The Russian foreign ministry is neither confirming nor denying Tillerson’s visit.

European Union and British Union flags are seen blowing in the wind in London, Britain, March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Passengers on some U.S.-bound foreign airline flights will have to check-in, rather than carry-on, electronic devices larger than a cell phone once U.S. authorities formalize a new ban in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.

The euro climbed to six-week highs and French bonds and stocks rallied on Tuesday after centrist Emmanuel Macron's performance in a television debate raised expectations he would win France's presidential election over the far-right's Marine Le Pen.

The Trump administration is considering sweeping sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea off from the global financial system as part of a broad review of measures to counter Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threat, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

FBI Director James Comey on Monday confirmed for the first time that the bureau is investigating possible ties between Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia as Moscow sought to influence the 2016 U.S. election. Read the details of the hearing.

Business

Google has found itself at the center of a British storm in recent days after major companies from supermarkets to banks and consumer groups pulled their ads from its YouTube site after they appeared alongside videos carrying homophobic and anti-Semitic messages. The company has vowed to police its sites better.

Hyundai Motor Group may join Samsung Group and possibly other family-owned conglomerates to adopt a holding company structure as politicians call for reform following a graft scandal involving President Park Geun-hye, analysts said. Hyundai’s shares gained the most in over five-and-a-half years on the news.

Oil prices climbed on Tuesday, helped by expectations that an OPEC-led output cut would be extended beyond June but gains were pegged back by concerns about persistently high crude inventories.

Wal-Mart will launch its first investment arm to expand its e-commerce business in partnership with retail start-ups, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, the company said on Monday.

World

Sun dance

A dancer takes part in a ceremony to welcome the spring equinox in front the Pyramid of the Sun in the pre-hispanic city of Teotihuacan, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico, March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

A dancer takes part in a ceremony to welcome the spring equinox in front the Pyramid of the Sun in the pre-hispanic city of Teotihuacan, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico, March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Syrian rebels stormed a major road junction leading into the heart of Damascus on Tuesday as they launched an offensive to regain ground lost to the army over the weekend, rebels and state media said.

Turkish President Erdogan said Turkey may review relations with Europe, which he described as 'fascist and cruel,' after an April referendum that could give him greater powers. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s vice chairman Volker Bouffier said Erdogan and his government is not welcome in Germany.

Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is gaining ground over the ruling Democratic Party (PD) and center-right, an Ipsos poll showed.

U.S.Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch faces a grueling day of questioning from Democrats today. What to expect.

A proposal by the Trump administration to cut $190 million in funding for updating U.S. maps of flood-prone areas would trigger higher insurance rates or more homebuilding in risky locations, a consumer group said on Monday.

Maryland's House of Delegates on Monday approved legislation to bar police statewide from checking the immigration status of individuals they arrest or keeping them locked up longer than otherwise warranted at the request of federal agents seeking to deport them.

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