January 9, 2018 / 12:00 PM / 7 months ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Winter Olympics agreement in rare inter-Korea talks, U.S. spy satellite destroyed and iPhone addiction could be a virtue to some.

Dakar Rally - 2018 Peru-Bolivia-Argentina Dakar rally - 40th Dakar Edition Stage two, Pisco to Pisco- January 7, 2018. Janus Van Kasteren and copilot Wouter De Graaff, both of them of the Netherlands drive their Renault. REUTERS/Andres Stapff TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

North Korea

North Korea said during rare talks with the South it would send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea next month and Seoul said it was prepared to lift some sanctions temporarily so the visit could take place. 

The visit - part of the first official talks between the two Koreas in two years - was in stark contrast to the past year of spiraling tensions, punctuated by the dramatic defection of a North Korean soldier in November. It was just meters away from where the diplomatic delegations sipped cups of red ginseng tea.

U.S. News

U.S. President Donald Trump is to meet with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in an uphill search for an election-year compromise on protecting thousands of young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Thousands of Southern Californians fled their homes as a powerful rainstorm that could cause flash floods and trigger mudslides soaked steep slopes where a series of intense wildfires burned off vegetation last month. 

A U.S. spy satellite that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two U.S. officials briefed on the mission says.

Reuters TV: Could ‘U.S. President Oprah Winfrey’ become a reality in 2020? 

A Buddy robot by Blue Frog roams the floor during the opening event at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Business

Alibaba Group will “seriously consider” listing in Hong Kong, founder Jack Ma has said, potentially providing a powerful boost to the financial hub which is preparing to allow dual-class share listings.

Apple investors are shrugging off concerns raised by two shareholders about kids getting hooked on iPhones, saying that for now a little addiction might not be a bad thing for profits.

Breakingviews: The tech backlash has caught up to Apple

A tweak to the Bank of Japan’s bond-buying program caused the yen to rise, while gains from commodity stocks as oil hit its highest since 2015 helped world shares maintain their flying start to the year.

Samsung Electronics said it would likely rake in a record fourth-quarter profit but the guidance fell short of consensus estimate, spooking investors already worried that a memory chip boom could be ending sooner rather than later.

Autos

General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra has made a bold promise to investors that the Detroit automaker will make money selling electric cars by 2021

Intel’s Chief Executive Brian Krzanich says that 2 million vehicles from BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen are to use its unit Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology to crowdsource data for building maps that enable autonomous driving.

Toyota  announced a self-driving electric concept vehicle that it will tailor for companies to use for tasks like ride hailing and package delivery, underscoring how automakers are no longer simply building cars but also providing services to go with them.

Nvidia will partner with Uber and Volkswagen as the graphics chipmaker’s artificial intelligence platforms make further gains in the autonomous vehicle industry.

Commentary: Cracks in Russia-Iran alliance open options for Trump

The Russian-Iranian relationship is less a strategic alliance than a marriage of convenience, writes Josh Cohen. And with cracks starting to show in their goals in the Middle East, there are new opportunities for Washington to exploit their divisions over Israel, Saudi Arabia and Syria's Bashar al-Assad. "The Trump administration should seek to use the various Russian-Iranian differences to undermine the two sides’ partnership," says Cohen.

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