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Thursday Morning Briefing
March 9, 2017 / 12:39 PM / in 8 months

Thursday Morning Briefing

Republicans pushed ahead with their plan for a massive overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system backed by President Donald Trump, with debates lasting long into the evening. Republican lawmakers face resistance from conservatives who say the bill, which would create a system of tax credits to coax people to buy private insurance on the open market, is not radical enough. Democrats denounce it as a gift to the rich and say informed debate on the plan is impossible without knowing its cost. Trump vowed to expand the number of aircraft carriers as a means to project American power abroad. Trump's expansion plans come as evidence mounts that potential enemies have built new anti-ship weapons able to destroy much of the United States’ expensive fleet of carriers. And as they have been for decades, carriers remain vulnerable to submarines. Contractors likely breached security and handed over documents describing the Central Intelligence Agency's use of hacking tools to WikiLeaks, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials told Reuters. Two senior U.S. senators asked the FBI and Justice Department for any information they have on President Trump's unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Graham later told CNN that if the Justice Department does not cooperate with the senators' request, subpoenas would be issued.

Widows take part in Holi celebrations in the town of Vrindavan in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
New York Police Department officers arrest a woman who was taking part in a 'Day Without a Woman' march on International Women's Day in New York, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

New York Police Department officers arrest a woman who was taking part in a 'Day Without a Woman' march on International Women's Day in New York, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Turkey has lost momentum in the war for northern Syria as the United States draws on Kurdish allies in the assault on Islamic State-held Raqqa, but Ankara is still pressing Washington for a deal that allays its fears of Kurdish ascendancy. North Korea guaranteed the safety of Malaysians banned from leaving the country, Malaysia's prime minister said on Thursday, as two Malaysian U.N. employees left the isolated state in a possible sign that diplomatic tensions had begun to settle.

Business

China has granted preliminary approval for 38 trademarks linked to Donald Trump, documents on China's state trademark office show, giving the U.S. President and his family protection were they to develop the "Trump" brand in the market. The trademarks underline the complexities and potential concerns over conflicts of interest facing President Trump, who has a sprawling business empire using the Trump name around the world. President Trump will meet with chief executives of nine community banks with assets of around $1 billion or less on Thursday to learn more about their difficulties in complying with the tougher Dodd-Frank financial regulations enacted after the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel NV rejected a 21 billion euro ($22 billion) bid from larger U.S. rival PPG Industries Inc on Thursday, saying instead it wanted to "unlock value" by spinning off its chemicals business. U.S. nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric has hired bankruptcy attorneys, in a sign that owner Toshiba is more seriously weighing a Chapter 11 filing as an option to help it rein in a multibillion dollar financial maelstrom.
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