December 6, 2018 / 2:47 PM / 4 days ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

Former President George H.W. Bush to be remembered at Houston funeral, top Huawei executive arrested on U.S. request and French authorities fear ‘great violence’ as yellow vest anger endures. Catch up on the latest headlines.

People pay their respects as the flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush lies in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Houston. David J. Phillip/Pool via REUTERS

Politics

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush will be mourned today at the Houston church where he worshipped for many years, a final public farewell before his remains are taken by train to their resting place at his Texas presidential library. President Donald Trump joined the group of living ex-U.S. presidents on Wednesday to commemorate the life of former the president , but in a service characterized by emotion and good feeling, warmth between the current and former occupants of the White House was decidedly absent.

The Trump administration is expected to roll back an Obama-era rule that requires new coal plants to capture their carbon emissions, a move that could crack open the door in coming years for new plants fired by the fossil fuel.

Special Report

Special report: When Reuters health editor Michele Gershberg's little boy was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening brain tumor, professional interest in new treatments turned personal. Read her account.

Tech

The daughter of Huawei’s founder, a top executive at the Chinese technology giant, was arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States, roiling global stock markets. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou jolted the global business community and raised fears that a truce in the U.S.-China trade war could come to a swift end.

Facebook’s losses are becoming other companies’ gains. Concerns about the social media giant’s declining profit margins and battered reputation have prompted 93 U.S. mutual funds to completely sell out of their positions in the company so far this year, exacerbating a roughly 35 percent decline in Facebook’s share price from its highs, according to Refinitiv’s Lipper research service.

Exclusive: Tesla has opened a tender process to build its Shanghai Gigafactory and at least one contractor has started buying materials, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters, the clearest indication that construction is imminent.

World

A French riot policeman stands next to a burning car as youth and high school students protest against the French government's reform plan, in Nantes, France, December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

French authorities are worried that another wave of “great violence” and rioting will be unleashed in Paris this weekend by a hard core of several thousand ‘yellow vest’ protesters, an official in the French presidency said.

As the world was focused on abortive efforts to begin repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar last month, hundreds of their fellow Muslims still in Myanmar were boarding boats seeking to escape the country. Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been imprisoned in Myanmar for 360 days. Follow updates on the case.

Yemen’s warring sides agreed to free thousands of prisoners, in what a U.N. mediator called a hopeful start to the first peace talks in years to end a war that has pushed millions of people on the verge of starvation.

Breakingviews: South African blackouts mask $30 billion power problem.

As rolling power blackouts hit South Africa this week, an old gag resurfaced. “What did South Africans use for lighting before candles?” Answer: “Electricity.” The problems at state-owned Eskom are no laughing matter, though. Energy rationing is not even the most serious issue: the utility is broke and its debt pile is too much for the government to handle, writes former Reuters Africa bureau chief Ed Cropley.

Business

JPMorgan Chase's trading desk was not buying what U.S. President Donald Trump was selling this week. On Tuesday, major stock indexes plummeted more than 3 percent on renewed fears of a trade war with China — just days after Trump tweeted, following a steak dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping, that “Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward!”

Part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve “inverted” this week, setting off debate over whether it is delivering a classic signal of oncoming recession or it has just developed a short-term kink that can be explained away by technical reasons.

Volkswagen announced another 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of cost cuts on Thursday in an effort to speed up an improvement in profit margins at its core VW brand.

OPEC and its allies are working towards cutting oil output by up to 1.5 million barrels per day but could fail to reach a deal if no compromise is found with non-OPEC Russia, the Saudi energy minister said.

Reuters TV

Several times a week, Chinese bullfighter Ren Ruzhi puts himself in a ring to spar with an opponent around five times his weight and capable of killing him.

China puts a kung fu twist on bullfighting
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