January 2, 2018 / 12:54 PM / 10 months ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Iran’s Supreme Leader accuses enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring unrest, Pakistan summons the U.S. ambassador in protest against Trump’s tweet and a record-shattering freeze keeps its grip on much of the United States.

The numbers "2018" are written in the air with a sparkler on a roadside while cars drive along the R257 "Yenisei" federal highway in the Siberian Taiga district outside Krasnoyarsk, Russia January 1, 2018. Picture taken with long exposure. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Iran

Iran’s Supreme Leader accused enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring unrest across the country as a crackdown intensified against anti-government demonstrations that began last week.

Police have arrested more than 450 protesters in the Iranian capital Tehran over the past three days, the deputy provincial governor said, as a crackdown intensified against anti-government demonstrations that began last week.

Iran spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually to help allies fighting elsewhere in the Middle East and this outlay appears to be rising, Israel’s armed forces chief said.

United States

Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest against President Donald Trump’s angry tweet about Pakistan’s “lies and deceit”, while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt.

A record-shattering Arctic freeze kept its grip on much of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains but temperatures everywhere except the Northeast were expected to warm within 24 hours.

Immigration desk computers at various airports went down for about two hours, causing long lines for travelers entering the United States after year-end holidays, according to Customs and Border Protection and posts on social media.

Factbox: European winners and losers after U.S. tax overhaul.

Reuters TV: Ahead of U.S. budget battle, GOP flips 'fiscal' script.

World

The United States, Britain and Norway have called on parties in the South Sudan conflict and their field commanders to stop violating the ceasefire signed last month, their head of missions in Juba said.

After a year of threats and weapons advances, North Korea’s leader appears to be using the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in South Korea as a tool to blunt growing international pressure on his regime while leaving his nuclear arsenal untouched.

Israel’s parliament passed an amendment that would make it harder for it to cede control over parts of Jerusalem in any peace deal with the Palestinians, who condemned the move as undermining any chance to revive talks on statehood.

Palestinian militant chief, Bilal Badr, says he has moved to Syria, removing one of the main combatants in one of Lebanon’s most volatile settlements.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev vetoed anti-graft legislation passed by parliament in December, saying the bill would not allow the efficient investigation of corruption networks.

Australia’s transport safety investigation agency said it plans to raise a seaplane that crashed into a Sydney river on New Year’s Eve, killing six people, including the chief executive of British catering giant Compass Group Plc.

Students react as water from earthen pitchers is poured on them to take a holy bath during a ceremony organised to resemble the annual month-long Hindu religious festival of Magh Mela, held during the Hindu month of Magh, in Ahmedabad, India, January 1, 2018. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Business

Oil prices posted their strongest opening to a year since 2014, with crude rising to mid-2015 highs amid large anti-government rallies in Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia.

BP will take a one-off $1.5 billion charge in its 2017 fourth quarter earnings as a result of new U.S. corporate income tax rules, joining rival Royal Dutch Shell.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors flagged 4 percent sales growth in 2018, suggesting a slow recovery from a slump linked to their lack of SUVs in the United States and diplomatic tensions with China.

Hong Kong bankers are eyeing a slew of blockbuster IPOs from Chinese technology firms with a total market capitalization of some $500 billion over the next two years, in a sharp contrast to 2017 - the city’s worst year for raising equity in a decade.

Tie-up talks between Boeing and Embraer SA do not contemplate a change of control at the Brazilian planemaker and are focused on joint ventures and joint business agreements, a Brazilian newspaper reported.

After a year of double-digit returns, one of the key questions for emerging markets in 2018 is whether they will continue to be insulated from one another’s crises.

Euro zone factories ended 2017 growing at their fastest pace in more than two decades while performance in Asia was more uneven.

The founder of debt-laden tech conglomerate LeEco has defied orders from Chinese regulators to return to the country before end-2017.

Commentary

Most mainstream political parties were founded to promote, or oppose, issues that have nothing to do with today’s world, writes John Lloyd. Now the groups "are at the mercy of a series of vast movements, global rather than bounded by the nation state." Once centers of power, policy and hope, parties will be hard put to carry on, says Lloyd.

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