December 7, 2018 / 2:18 PM / 6 days ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Huawei arrest stokes fears of China reprisals, Macron to address ‘yellow vest’ anger and as Brexit nears, the campaign for new referendum gathers pace. Catch up on the lastest headlines.

A figure with a yellow vest and a French flag is seen on a roundabout occupied by "yellow vests" protesters in Cissac-Medoc, France, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

France

France braces for another wave of potentially violent protests on Saturday. Under-fire President Emmanuel Macron is set to address the nation next week over public anger at the cost of living, senior allies said.

Commentary: Can French president Emmanuel Macron survive the "yellow vest" revolution, asks David A. Andelman, a former foreign correspondent and a visiting scholar at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. Protests against planned fuel price rises have become more of a political movement for utter social change than an economic issue of taxation, and Macron is facing an uprising.

Highlights

The Huawei logo is pictured outside their research facility in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

At a closed-door security meeting of U.S. companies in Singapore, one topic was high on the agenda: the arrest of a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei and the potential backlash on American firms operating in China.

U.S. job growth slowed in November and monthly wages increased less than expected, suggesting some moderation in economic activity that could support expectations of fewer interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve in 2019.

With bond and equity markets from the United States to emerging markets all on pace to lose money this year, investors have not seen this much red on their screens since 1972, the last time no asset class returned at least 5 percent.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller will provide new details on how two of President Donald Trump’s closest former aides have helped or hindered his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

World

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts during Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party congress in Hamburg, Germany, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

“It has been a great pleasure for me, it has been an honour,” said Angela Merkel to a standing ovation lasting nearly 10 minutes, and fighting to hold back tears. She bowed out as leader of her Christian Democrats with an emotional speech to her conservative party as it met to pick her successor who will move into pole position to become Germany’s next chancellor. Here are key facts on the candidates seeking to succeed Merkel as leader of the CDU and details of the party’s voting process.

“The odds are getting shorter every day that we get another referendum. All the momentum is with our campaign.” said James McGrory, the campaign director of the People’s Vote campaign. The idea of a second Brexit referendum has been gathering support from some senior British politicians and seems to have traction with sections of public opinion, but the political situation is so uncertain that it is hard to say whether this will actually translate into another vote, and when or how that might done, or what question might be put. Follow our latest Brexit coverage.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow would only be ready to discuss the fate of a group of Ukrainian sailors it captured last month after their trial was finished.

Iran gave OPEC the green light to cut oil output by around 0.8 million barrels per day from 2019, an OPEC source said. OPEC will later ask non-OPEC producers to contribute an additional 0.4 million bpd to the cuts, the source added.

Amazon.com is looking at bringing its futuristic checkout-free store format to airports in an effort to win business from hungry, time-pressed travelers, according to public records and a person familiar with the strategy.

Utilities are shutting down at least 18 of General Electric’s newest gas turbines for repairs at power plants from Taiwan to France, according to more than a dozen interviews with plant operators and industry experts.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to pass a law this week that would allow in more foreign blue-collar workers for limited periods. But Akitakata’s mayor, Kazuyoshi Hamada, says his shrinking community, like others in Japan, needs foreigners of all backgrounds to stay.

Reuters TV

Amazon.com is looking at bringing its futuristic checkout-free store format to airports in an effort to win business from hungry, time-pressed travelers, according to public records and a person familiar with the strategy.

Amazon looks to airports for expansion
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