November 28, 2018 / 2:24 PM / 11 days ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Republican wins racially charged Senate race in Mississippi, stingy trade-war aid hits U.S. corn farmers and Putin accuses Ukraine leader of plotting naval clash to boost ratings. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Republican U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith takes to the stage during an election night party in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S., November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

United States

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith won a U.S. Senate special election runoff in conservative Mississippi, defeating a black challenger after a campaign that recalled the history of racist violence in the deep South state.

Energy Transfer and its Sunoco pipeline subsidiary have racked up more than 800 state and federal permit violations while racing to build two of the nation’s largest natural gas pipelines, according to a Reuters analysis of government data and regulatory records.

“You have to wonder why Washington even bothered” said Rob Sharkey, 43, a fifth-generation Illinois farmer. Rob hopes his corn trade aid check will be big enough for that margarita machine he and his wife have been eyeing, but they doubt they’ll be any left over for the booze. Federal economists have calculated that the nation’s losses in corn - its largest crop by harvest and export volume - amount to just a penny per bushel, a pittance farmers call absurd.

China

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)'s Dalian Petrochemical Corp refinery is seen near the downtown of Dalian in Liaoning province, China July 17, 2018. Picture taken July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Chen Aizhu

Saudi Arabia is set to expand its market share in China this year for the first time since 2012, with demand stirred up by new Chinese refiners pushing the kingdom back into contention with Russia as top supplier to the world’s largest oil buyer.

Argentina and China are aiming to close a deal within days for the construction of the South American nation’s fourth nuclear power plant, a multi-billion dollar project that would cement Beijing’s deepening influence in a key regional U.S. ally. China is forging closer economic ties with Argentina, posing a challenge to President Donald Trump, who views Argentine President Mauricio Macri as a key regional ally.

World

FILE PHOTO: Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels were stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko of orchestrating a naval “provocation” in the Black Sea at the weekend in order to boost his flagging popularity ratings before an election next year. European Union leaders meeting for a summit in Brussels in December are expected to extend for another year the bloc’s main economic sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

A Chinese scientist at the center of an ethical storm over what he claims are the world’s first genetically edited babies said he is proud of his work and revealed there was a second “potential” pregnancy as part of the research.

Exclusive: Brazil has more than doubled the number of risky ship-to-ship oil transfers this year, but its monitoring of such offshore maneuvers is lax, to a point where a July 2017 collision between two tankers was not reported, according to a Reuters review of government and shipping records.

Fintech

Breakingviews: “Do you have a state ID?” That’s the first question you hear when picking up credentials to enter Consensus: Invest, a cryptocurrency conference where the sector’s libertarian, anti-establishment ethos used to reign. After an 80 percent collapse in the price of bitcoin over the past year, digital currency enthusiasts are rethinking old assumptions and looking for support wherever they can find it, writes Tom Buerkle.

Bitcoin bounced more than 6 percent, climbing above $4,000 and heading for its biggest daily jump since July as it clawed back ground after recent heavy selling. Follow the latest updates on the future of money.

Special Report: Investors looking for new and exciting opportunities in the cryptocurrency market are scouring websites in search of reviews of sought-after coins. But cryptocurrency issuers may have paid for those five-star reviews.

Reuters TV

IKEA profits slumped by a quarter over the past year as the furniture retailer spends big to adapt its model to changing shopping habits.

IKEA is having a rethink, and it's proving costly
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