October 1, 2018 / 12:25 PM / 16 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Reuters looks at five metrics to gauge Democrats’ chances of regaining control of the House, Trump hails ‘historic’ Canada and Mexico trade pact and Indonesian survivors desperate to flee disaster zone as death toll climbs. Catch up on the latest headlines.

The U.S. Capitol building is seen in the rain as the U.S. House of Representatives prepare for a planned vote on the American Health Care Act, promoted by House Republicans and the Trump administration to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act act known as Obamacare, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Politics

More Republican than Democratic seats are at risk in this year’s midterms. As the November 6 U.S. congressional elections draw closer, Reuters looks at five metrics to gauge Democrats’ chances of regaining control of the House of Representatives.

Democrats believe they stand to benefit if Trump fires Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. Justice Department official who oversees the Russia probe, before November’s elections.

FBI probe is the next battle in war over Kavanaugh. Democratic senators expressed concern over reports the White House was working with Republicans to narrow the scope of an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

United States

The flags of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are seen on a lectern before a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

The United States and Canada forged a last-gasp deal to salvage NAFTA as a trilateral pact with Mexico, rescuing a three-country, $1.2 trillion open-trade zone that had been about to collapse after nearly a quarter century.

Breakingviews

Good intentions and realpolitik rarely mix. That may well be the case with proposals from a trio of international bodies that seek to address some of Trump’s gripes with the World Trade Organization while providing ways for other countries to liberalize commerce without his signoff, writes Swaha Pattanaik.

World

Local residents affected by the earthquake and tsunami walk onto a military plane at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Indonesian authorities scrambled to get help into quake-hit Sulawesi island as survivors streamed away from their ruined homes and accounts of devastation filtered out of remote areas, including the death of 34 children at a Christian camp.

Troops from North and South Korea began removing some landmines along their heavily fortified border, the South’s defense ministry said, in a pact to reduce tension and build trust on the divided peninsula.

Commentary

The British prime minister and the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition gave speeches on the same day this week, outlining their vision for their country’s economy – and by implication, its society. They had little in common, writes writes columnist John Lloyd. He reflects on the dramatically polarized politics of today’s Britain, which are increasingly mirrored across the globe. “The antagonistic visions of May and Corbyn indicate a great disruption in the politics of the world, where the forecasts of a convergence around free-market liberalism as history ends (Francis Fukuyama), and an end of ideology (Daniel Bell) have been exploded."

Business

General Electric Chief Executive Officer John Flannery stepped down after a year in charge as the company announced a $23 billion charge related to its power business.

Drugmaker Pfizer said Chief Executive Officer Ian Read would step down at the start of next year and would be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Albert Bourla.

Tesla’s settlement with U.S. regulators will help soothe investors calling for more oversight of Chief Executive Elon Musk, experts said, even as it gives ammunition to short-sellers pursing separate cases and to a probe by the Justice Department.

Reuters TV

President Donald Trump took his enthusiasm for his detente with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to new heights, declaring at a West Virginia rally that ‘we fell in love’ after exchanging letters.

Trump says he and North Korea’s Kim ‘fell in love’
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