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Monday Morning Briefing
November 27, 2017 / 11:45 AM / 14 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Meredith is set to buy Time in a $1.84 billion deal, Indonesia raises the warning level for Bali’s Mount Agung volcano and Britain’s Prince Harry is engaged to actress Meghan Markle.

Mount Agung volcano is seen spewing smoke and ash in Bali, Indonesia, November 26, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media. EMILIO KUZMA-FLOYD/via REUTERS

Business

U.S. media company Meredith said it will buy Time, the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines, in a $1.84 billion all-cash deal backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. The deal is a coup for Meredith, which held unsuccessful talks to buy Time earlier this year and in 2013. 

Breakingviews: Time beats the clock in $2.8 billion deal

Wal-Mart Stores is within striking distance of matching Amazon’s online prices for the first time, a key milestone in its effort to regain the “low price leader” title. 

World stocks edged lower, led by a fall in Chinese share prices and a sell-off in South Korean tech stocks that kept risk appetite muted, while the euro hit a two-month high against the dollar on optimism around German coalition talks. 

Central bankers say the success of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is just a bubble. But it keeps them awake at night because these private currencies threaten their control of the banking system and money supply, which could undermine the monetary policies they use to manage inflation. 

Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Darren Woods is reorganizing the company’s refining and chemical operations, part of a push to boost profits amid volatile oil and natural gas prices, a spokeswoman said. 

Uber executives are traveling the globe to reassure regulators that the company is changing the way it does business, after a string of controversies hurt the ride-hailing firm’s reputation, its Asian head told Reuters. 

World

Indonesia raised its warning for Bali’s Mount Agung volcano to the top level four alert, closed the holiday island’s airport and told residents around the mountain to immediately evacuate, warning of an “imminent” risk of a larger eruption. 

Britain’s Prince Harry is engaged to his U.S. actress girlfriend Meghan Markle with the marriage due to take place in the spring of 2018, his father Prince Charles announced in a statement. 

North Korea violated an armistice agreement with South Korea this month when soldiers shot and wounded a soldier as he defected across their border and it must not do so again, South Korea’s defense minister said. 

Barely a quarter of Catalans want to continue with a plan to claim independence from Spain in the wake of Dec. 21 regional elections, according to a poll published in El Pais newspaper. 

Pope Francis arrived in Myanmar on a delicate visit for the leader of the Roman Catholic church to a majority-Buddhist country that the United States has accused of “ethnic cleansing” against its Muslim Rohingya people. 

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s Chechnya, said he was ready to die for Vladimir Putin and stand down, if ordered, ahead of a federal presidential election next year which has triggered personnel reshuffles that have put some politicians on edge. 

Reuters TV: Gunmen in Egypt mosque attack carried an Islamic State flag.

The Toronto Argonauts run on the field before the start of the Canadian Football League's 105th Grey Cup championship game against the Calgary Stampeders in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

The Toronto Argonauts run on the field before the start of the Canadian Football League's 105th Grey Cup championship game against the Calgary Stampeders in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Special report

Intelligence reports show that Robert Mugabe was worried about a coup and he had been told the military would not accept the appointment of his wife Grace as leader. Find out what happened with the inside story of his downfall. 

Operation kill: On October 11, Philippine police entered a Manila neighborhood and shot dead three men in what they said was self-defense. Chilling security camera footage and eyewitness testimony suggest the men were executed. Read the report.

U.S.

Senator Al Franken, trying to salvage his political career amid accusations of groping or inappropriately touching women, said he does not plan to resign but called himself “embarrassed and ashamed.” 

A battle over who should run the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the coming months is set for court as Obama-era holdovers sought to maintain their control over a powerful watchdog which President Donald Trump is seeking to curb. 

Dozens of police departments in the United States have been granted new powers, or are seeking them, to check the immigration status of people they arrest, aiding Trump’s broad crackdown on people living in the country illegally. Read the latest piece in the “Trump Effect” series.

Commentary

Germany has descended from being the undisputed leader of Europe to being its basket case, writes John Lloyd. Chancellor Angela Merkel's problems in forming a coalition government after losing support in September's federal elections are another sign that Europe must agree on a new framework rather than "a presently impossible dream." "The present decline of Germany may be brief," says Lloyd, "but the latest developments should prompt reflection and action." 

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