January 10, 2019 / 2:05 PM / 7 months ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

Trump storms out of talks on shutdown, tough-on-crime record trails U.S. attorney general nominee and Democratic Republic of Congo presidential loser rejects surprise result as ‘coup’. Catch up on the latest headlines.


“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter. The U.S. President stormed out of talks with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday over funding for a border wall with Mexico and reopening the government. In McAllen, Texas, several officials and residents interviewed by Reuters expressed skepticism over Trump’s claim that a wall is required to end what he described as a “crisis” in an Oval Office address on Tuesday.

President Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general is expected to tell a Senate panel next week that he supports a new law easing prison sentences for some criminals, even though he advocated for decades for just the opposite.

Wall Street’s recent volatility has optimists betting that buybacks could provide the market with an even better buffer in 2019. But many strategists see the lift from buybacks - a major factor behind the bull market - losing some force as earnings growth slows while tax policy bonanzas fizzle out.


What are U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton telling Middle East leaders as the two men travel through the region this week? What they want to hear, writes columnist David A. Andelman. "Each audience has sharply different priorities, with Trump appearing fully prepared to pander to each of them, leaving virtually everyone, quite dangerously, utterly bewildered."

Sino-U.S. Trade

“Our business was harshly hit in 2018. Sales fell steeply and we were forced to hold cars in bonded zones to wait for tariffs to be cut,” said Kevin Li, a dealer in the Chinese port city of Tianjin whose firm brings in U.S.-made luxury sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Market traders of American-made cars, badly stung by a scything trade war and punitive tit-for-tat tariffs, are scrambling to take advantage of an opportunity they fear may prove only temporary.

China and the United States made progress on “structural issues” such as forced technology transfers and intellectual property rights in talks this week and more consultations are being arranged, China’s commerce ministry said.


Provisional results of Dec 30 presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Furious supporters of the runner-up in Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election denounced Thursday’s results as a fix, while France said the outcome was at odds with what was seen on the ground. The electoral commission (CENI) announced that opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi had won the chaotic Dec. 30 vote, edging ahead of another opposition candidate, businessman Martin Fayulu.

The Spanish Civil Guard has arrested 83 people, including 28 professional players, following an investigation into match-fixing by an organised Armenian criminal gang, the European Union’s Europol agency said on Thursday. One of the 28 players took part in the last US Open, although their identity has not been revealed.

China’s ambassador to Ottawa has accused Canada of “double standards” and disregarding his country’s judicial sovereignty, in a diplomatic row sparked by the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.


Global automakers plan $300 billion surge in spending on electric vehicle technology, with nearly half of the money targeted at China. Follow our Charged auto industry coverage.

Ford said it will cut thousands of jobs, exit unprofitable markets and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at achieving a 6 percent operating margin in Europe.

“This is not science fiction!” announced the head of Byton, an electric vehicle startup, onstage earlier this week at the global technology conference in Las Vegas. CEO and Chairman Carsten Breitfeld was referring to the jaw-dropping, 48-inch (1.22 m) screen inside the Chinese-funded company’s M-Byte car.

Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover is set to cut thousands of jobs as the company faces lower demand in China and a slump in sales of diesel cars in Europe.

Reuters TV

Kim Jong Un has renewed his resolve to meet Trump again during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing this week. South Korea’s President says Kim’s latest trip to Beijing signals that a second Trump summit is imminent.

Second Trump-Kim summit 'imminent': South Korea
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