November 16, 2018 / 1:28 PM / in 3 months

Friday Morning Briefing

Tally of missing in California’s deadliest blaze surpasses 600, Hand recount ordered in Florida’s divisive Senate race and UK Prime Minister battles to sell Brexit deal amid rumors of no-confidence vote. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Pictures of people missing in the aftermath of the Camp Fire are posted at an evacuation center in Chico, California, U.S., November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Highlights 

Rescue workers searched for 630 people reported missing in a northern California town reduced to ashes by the deadliest wildfire in state history.

Florida election officials ordered a hand recount of ballots in the closely fought Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger, Governor Rick Scott, after a machine recount showed them divided by a razor-thin margin.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and mutiny in her party. Some lawmakers in prime minister’s Conservative Party have said they have submitted letters of no confidence in the British leader. A leadership challenge is triggered if 48 Conservatives write such letters to the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee. Follow the latest updates.

Asia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides the construction of Sinuiju City, in this undated photo released on November 16, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

North Korea’s leader publicly inspected a new weapon for the first time in nearly a year, state media reported, while it also decided to release a U.S. prisoner, sending conflicting signals at a time of sensitive negotiations.

President Trump didn’t make it to this week’s summit of Asian nations in Singapore, but his influence was still keenly felt among the leaders who gathered in the city. One prime minister warned that the trade war between Washington and Beijing could trigger a “domino effect” of protectionist steps by other countries.

The South China Sea does not belong to any one nation and the United States will continue to sail and fly wherever international law allows, Vice President Mike Pence said, in a challenge to China which claims the waterway.

World

An Israeli soldier stands near the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights on the border line between Israel and Syria, October 15, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The United States said it would oppose for the first time an annual resolution at the United Nations calling on Israel to rescind its authority in the occupied Golan Heights, drawing praise from Israeli officials.

Myanmar immigration authorities detained 106 Rohingya Muslims aboard a boat off Yangon, officials said, raising fears of a fresh wave of dangerous voyages after a 2015 crackdown on people smugglers. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists, have been imprisoned in Myanmar since Dec. 12, 2017. Follow the case.

Commentary

The Trump administration is trying to contain the furor over Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen and the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by limiting some elements of U.S. military assistance to Riyadh, writes New York University journalism professor Mohamad Bazzi. But the decision to stop refueling Saudi warplanes is not enough to end the conflict. "If Trump continues to avoid tough actions against the [Saudi] crown prince, Congress will have to take the lead instead."

Business

European stocks recovered but sterling and the euro remained fragile, after some of the most dramatic 24 hours yet in the Brexit process and another turbulent week for world markets.

The sugar rush that Trump's tax cuts and fiscal stimulus injected into the U.S. economy poses a quandary for the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, in their campaign to raise interest rates: where and when to stop?

The stock market bull has been running more or less since early-2009, with nearly 200 percent in gains on world stocks at the start of 2018. As the year progressed, that run has been undermined by a cocktail of rising interest rates, trade tensions, and currency crises in emerging markets.

Reuters TV

Ford unveils its self-driving operation in Miami

Ford Motor Chief Executive Jim Hackett told Reuters the automaker is open to investment by automakers and others in its autonomous vehicle business, but cautioned that expanding partnerships with German automaker Volkswagen AG is a “delicate dance.”

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