December 31, 2018 / 3:29 PM / 5 months ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Trump is ‘receptive to making a deal’ to end shutdown, says Senator Lindsey Graham, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has won a third straight term, and crude oil prices look likely to trade below $70 per barrel in 2019. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Capitol Hill is seen as a partial U.S. government shutdown continues in Washington, U.S., December 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Young

 “The president was upbeat, he was in a very good mood, and I think he’s receptive to making a deal”. These were the words of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham after meeting with Donald Trump on Sunday to outline a plan to end the partial government shutdown. Graham told reporters that Trump was receptive to the idea of a deal that might provide work permits to so-called Dreamers, people brought illegally to the United States as children, in exchange for money for border barriers.

The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection has defended his agents’ handling of two sick children who died in their custody. “Our agents did everything they could, as soon as these children manifested symptoms of illness, to save their lives,” McAleenan said. Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died on Christmas Day. In early December, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal died after being detained along with her father by U.S. border agents in a remote part of New Mexico.


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has won a third straight term. Her win in Sunday’s general election follows a decade in power in which she has been credited with improving the economy and promoting development. But she has also been accused of rights abuses, a crackdown on media and suppressing dissent. The opposition rejected the result as rigged and called for a fresh vote.

A presiding officer counts votes at a voting center after the session has ended in Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports rose by 22 percent in 2018. This more than doubles the total of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union. There are three months left until the UK is due to leave the EU on March 29.

Commentary: Expect 2019 to test global stability. Expect 2019 to be a crucial testing ground for global stability, writes columnist John Lloyd. The EU parliamentary elections in May are likely to see a large influx of populists; India is becoming more authoritarian; Vladimir Putin is trying to create a new Slav empire and "as the United States under Trump retreats to Fortress America, China under Xi Jinping retreats behind that version of Marxism which brooks no competitor on the political or ideological levels."


Russia’s domestic security service says it has detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow. The FSB said the American had been detained on December 28 and that a criminal case had been opened against him. It did not provide any detail about the nature of the alleged espionage. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow could not immediately be reached for comment.

Russian apartment block blast kills three, and dozens missing. Rescuers in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city some 1,050 miles east of Moscow are searching for people trapped under the rubble of a city apartment block that partly collapsed in a suspected gas blast, killing at least three.

Wolrd Economy

World share and commodity prices rose today as hints of progress on the Sino-U.S. trade standoff provided a rare glimmer of optimism in what has been a punishing end of year for markets globally. Survey data out of China, however, proved mixed with manufacturing activity contracting for the first time in two years even as the service sector improved.

FILE PHOTO: An oil well pump jack is seen at an oil field supply yard near Denver, Colorado, U.S., February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Crude oil prices look likely to trade below $70 per barrel in 2019, a Reuters poll has shown. Surplus production, much of it from the United States, and slowing economic growth look set to undermine OPEC-led efforts to shore up the market. The poll forecast U.S. light crude would average $61.05 per barrel in 2019, versus $67.45 projected in a previous poll. It has averaged $64.98 in 2018.

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