November 14, 2018 / 1:54 PM / 3 months ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

White House hit with staff upheavals, House Democrat to probe census citizenship question and Reuters reports how ZTE is helping Venezuela create China-style social control.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he walks on South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, U.S., from France, November 11, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas


Another round of upheaval engulfed Trump’s White House on Tuesday, with the future of several senior aides in doubt just a week after U.S. congressional elections. The president was also under pressure from his wife, Melania, to fire his deputy national security adviser over what two sources close to the White House said was the way Mrs Trump’s trip to Africa was handled.

The lawmaker expected to head the powerful House Oversight Committee in the new U.S. Congress says one of his first priorities will be investigating why President Donald Trump’s administration decided to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census questionnaire.

Reuters Breakingviews

Wall Street can help fight wildfires. California is being ravaged by the most deadly and destructive conflagration in its history. Last year such fires caused $18 billion in damage and consumed up to $180 billion of economic output, or 6.5 percent of GDP, in the Golden State, according to AccuWeather. A new financing tool can reduce fire risk and its impact on water, air and livelihoods, writes Antony Currie.

Reuters Special Report

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping walks next to Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro during his welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China September 14, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Venezuela’s ‘fatherland card’ is troubling citizens and human-rights groups who believe the ID card is a tool for Maduro to monitor the populace and allocate scarce resources to people his government deems most loyal.


Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain November 14, 2018.REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Prime Minister Theresa May will try to convince senior ministers to accept a draft European Union divorce deal that opponents say threatens both her government and the unity of the United Kingdom.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation in protest at a Gaza ceasefire that he called a “capitulation to terror”, weakening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition government.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he wants to discuss a peace treaty with Russia and the North Korean issue with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

China’s prestigious Peking University, historically a bastion of student activism, has moved to quash dissent and strengthen Communist Party control after a spate of protests across China on issues ranging from labor rights to #MeToo.


Oil rose, recouping some of the previous session’s slide, on the growing prospect of OPEC and allied producers cutting output at a meeting next month to prop up the market.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk and Mexico’s tequila producers could be headed for a collision after the agave-based drink’s industry group opposed the flamboyant billionaire’s efforts to trademark an alcoholic drink dubbed “Teslaquila.”

Clouds crowded the Illinois sky as Nick Harre walked away from his combine at the peak of harvest to join four fellow farmers in greeting some unlikely visitors. Inside a nearby seed barn, they made their pitch to eight Sri Lankan government officials: Please buy our soybeans. The wooing of such a tiny market underscores the depth of U.S. farmers’ problems after losing their biggest customer, China, to a global trade war.

Reuters TV - U.S. sees spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes: FBI. According to FBI data released on Tuesday, hate crimes in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017, with a huge 37 percent spike in anti-Semitic attacks, marking the third year in a row that such attacks have increased.

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