November 19, 2018 / 12:52 PM / 3 months ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Close to 1,000 still missing after deadliest California wildfire, Rouhani says Iran to continue oil exports and resist U.S. economic war and Nissan to fire Ghosn over financial misconduct allegations. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Highlights

Emergency services sifted through the charred wreckage of California’s deadliest ever wildfire, searching for signs of nearly 1,000 people believed still missing as crews made progress in bringing the blaze under control. Searchers looking for the remains of victims of the wildfire that destroyed the Northern California town of Paradise said some bodies may never be found because of the intensity of the blaze.

Rick Scott, Florida’s outgoing governor, was declared the winner of his hard-fought Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson following a hand recount of ballots, giving Republicans control of both of the state’s Senate seats for the first time since the 19th century.

Exclusive: More than a dozen top U.S. energy companies have pledged $100 million toward easing stresses on health care, education and civic infrastructure from the shale oil and gas boom in West Texas and New Mexico, the group said.

World

Women attend Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's public speech in the city of Khoy, West Azerbaijan province, Iran November 19, 2018. Official President website/Handout via REUTERS

Iran will continue to export oil despite U.S. sanctions, which are part of a psychological war doomed to failure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said. While Tamnoush, an Iranian company that makes fizzy drinks, has shut down its production line after 16 years and laid off dozens of workers. It was facing massive losses as sanctions pushed up the price of imported raw materials.

Germany and other European Union states told Britain their draft Brexit agreement could not be renegotiated. British Prime Minister Theresa May is battling at home to keep the last week’s deal alive and push it through the British parliament amid criticism from pro-Brexit politicians, Northern Ireland’s unionists and those who want to keep closer EU ties.

Three leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy “Occupy” movement, which paralyzed parts of the Chinese-ruled city for nearly three months, denied public nuisance charges as international criticism of the erosion of civil liberties grows.

Commentary

Britain is making a mistake in leaving the EU, writes columnist John Lloyd. “It might have taken the lead in pushing within the EU for a third way – between exit and integration. The EU cannot overcome national attachments and the desire of Europeans to have a government they can hold to account,” Lloyd argues. “However, much of what it does in facilitating trade among members, in drawing together the leading politicians on joint projects and problems – on the environment, on security, on education – is admirable and needed.”

Business

Nissan Motor said it was moving to terminate Carlos Ghosn from his chairman’s post after finding that he had used company money for personal use and committed several other serious acts of misconduct. In his 40 years in the auto industry, the praise Carlos Ghosn has won for turning around businesses has regularly been matched by criticism over the amount he has been paid to do it.

After world leaders jetted out of Papua New Guinea following the acrimonious end to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Pacific nation leaders gathered at Australia’s High Commission for kangaroo sausages and cold beer.

Eastern Europe’s chronic labor shortage is feeding into corporate takeover activity, with some companies making acquisitions to snap up skilled workers or obtain expertise needed to expand their businesses.

Bitcoin slumped to a new 13-month low, with the biggest cryptocurrency touching $5173.23 on the Bitstamp platform.

Reuters TV

Finland has been flummoxed by Donald Trump’s comments that the Nordic nation rakes its forests to prevent wildfires, with hashtags including #RakeAmericaGreatAgain going viral on social media.

Finland baffled by Trump's raking comments
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