August 23, 2018 / 10:47 AM / 3 months ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

The White House pushes back against suggestions that Cohen implicated Trump in a crime, the U.S.-China trade war escalates as new tariffs kick in and sources say Saudi Arabia is calling off the plan to list Aramco.

Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) in the old quarters of Delhi, India, August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

HIGHLIGHTS

The White House pushed back forcefully against suggestions that a plea deal struck by President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen implicated the U.S. president in a crime.

Cohen testified that “at the direction of” the president, he arranged six-figure hush payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Read our piece explaining the protections from criminal prosecution that are afforded a U.S. president and how impeachment could be used to remove Trump from office.

The Manafort-Cohen judicial bombshells will scramble political calculations not just in the United States, but in cities around the world, writes David Eckels Wade, a former chief of staff at the U.S. State Department. “The ripples will be felt anywhere Trump engages in high-stakes negotiations, but especially in five capitals: Washington, Moscow, Kiev, Beijing and Pyongyang.”

As markets speculated about Trump’s position following the legal rulings, world stocks came under pressure after new tariffs took effect in the U.S./China trade war. U.S. economic growth will slow steadily over the coming quarters after touching a four-year high in April-June, according to a Reuters poll of economists who expect Trump’s trade war to inflict damage.

Meanwhile, the arrest of a man who U.S. authorities have said is an illegal immigrant on charges of murdering an Iowa college student has thrust the case into the debate on immigration policy, with Trump blaming Mollie Tibbetts’ death on weak laws.

Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African “land and farm seizures” and “killing of farmers”, prompting Pretoria to accuse Trump of stoking racial divisions. 

WORLD

Hurricane Lane, threatening a direct hit as Hawaii’s worst storm in a quarter century, churned toward the main island of Oahu yesterday as schools, government offices and business closed while residents stocked up on supplies and boarded up homes.

Though Myanmar says it is ready to take back the Rohingya, the continued outflow of refugees to Bangladesh underlines the lack of progress in addressing the crisis, a year on from the start of the offensive on Aug. 25, 2017.

Israel still hopes the U.S. will recognize its claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, after a top U.S. official said the issue is not currently under consideration by Washington.

BUSINESS

Saudi Arabia has called off plans for the domestic and international listing of state oil giant Aramco, billed as the biggest stock flotation in history, four senior industry sources said yesterday.

Europe’s new data privacy law has put a small army of tech firms that track people online in jeopardy and is strengthening the hand of giants such as Google and Facebook in the $200 billion global digital advertising industry.

Personal data has become widely available in China and can be scooped up for pennies by insurance companies, banks, loan sharks, and scammers alike, according to sellers and financiers interviewed by Reuters.

Annualized growth rates for robot production in China dropped from 35.1 percent in May to just 6.3 percent in July. Analysts say there is an obvious link to direct tariffs on industrial machinery and robot parts, as well as domestic manufacturers’ putting off production during trade talks.

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below