October 4, 2018 / 11:49 AM / 18 days ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

White House receives FBI report on Kavanaugh, U.S. warns of new hacking spree from group linked to China and Lights back on in Indonesian quake city but fate of thousands unknown. Catch up on the latest headlines.

The Supreme Court is seen ahead of the start of it's new term in Washington, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

United States

The White House received the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report on sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and is “fully confident” the Senate will approve his nomination, a spokesman said.

In the most influential position of his long career, John Bolton has softened some of his bellicose positions, at least in public, and says he is happy to follow the president’s lead. That has kept him in good graces with Trump and it allows Bolton the room to shape and execute a hardline strategy on Iran.

A U.S. federal judge in California barred the Trump administration from implementing a plan to end temporary protections for more than 300,000 immigrants in the United States from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

Cyber Risk

The U.S. government warned that a hacking group widely known as cloudhopper, which Western cybersecurity firms have linked to the Chinese government, has launched attacks on technology service providers in a campaign to steal data from their clients.

Britain accused Russian military intelligence of directing a host of cyber attacks aimed at undermining Western democracies by sowing confusion in everything from sport to transport and the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

World

A ship is seen stranded on the shore after the earthquake and tsunami hit an area in Wani, Donggala, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Some services began returning to normal in Indonesia’s quake and tsunami stricken city of Palu, but the fate of many thousands of people in outlying districts remained unknown nearly a week after the disaster struck. The small city of 370,000 people has been the focus of the aid effort launched after last Friday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on the west coast of Sulawesi island.

Exclusive: The European Union is considering trade sanctions on Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis, potentially stripping the country of tariff-free access to the world’s largest trading bloc, three EU officials said.

Commentary

Palestinians had high hopes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would deliver a historic speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week. "Yet, once again, Abbas failed to deliver. His 'historic' speech turned out to be more of the same: a call for the world to salvage a two-state solution that died years ago," writes Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Charged: The future of autos

General Motors' Cadillac outscored Tesla in a new ranking of partially automated driving systems tested by Consumer Reports.

Honda Motor will invest $2.75 billion and take a 5.7 percent stake in General Motors’ Cruise self-driving vehicle unit, to jointly develop autonomous vehicles for deployment in ride services fleets around the world.

Toyota Motor and SoftBank Group are teaming up to develop self-driving car services, signaling deepening alliances between top automaker and tech firms as the global race to develop autonomous cars intensifies.

Reuters TV

Vice President Mike Pence, sharpening U.S. criticism of Chinese policies around the globe, will give China a blunt warning that the U.S. will not back down from what Washington sees as Chinese intimidation in the South China Sea.

Pence to ramp up U.S. criticism of China
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