December 7, 2017 / 1:08 PM / 6 days ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

With Vice Pence Mike Pence looking on, U.S. President Donald Trump gives a statement on Jerusalem, during which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

 

U.S. President Trump cuts a lone figure on the world stage after his Jerusalem announcement, General Electric announces a slate of job cuts and wildfires spread across southern California.

Jerusalem 

President Donald Trump announced that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that it will move its embassy to the holy city.  

The Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to the move. 

Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator

The United States is asking Israel to temper its response to the announcement because Washington expects a backlash and is weighing the potential threat to U.S. facilities and people, according to a State Department document seen by Reuters. 

United States

Trump will face off with Democratic leaders of Congress in a high-stakes White House meeting intended to bridge differences over a spending bill and prevent a government shutdown. 

Democratic Senator Al Franken will announce his decision to remain in or resign from the U.S. Senate after facing intense pressure from members of his own party to step down following allegations of sexual misconduct. 

Hot, dry Santa Ana winds are expected to fan several relentless wildfires in southern California, where hundreds of houses have burned and tens of thousands have fled their homes around Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city. 

Bobo, a British Bulldog, takes a shower at The Wagington luxury pet hotel in Singapore December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Bobo, a British Bulldog, takes a shower at The Wagington luxury pet hotel in Singapore December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

 Business

General Electric announced it was axing 12,000 jobs at its global power business as the struggling industrial conglomerate responds to dwindling demand for fossil fuel power plants. 

The U.S. Department of Justice and AT&T will meet in court for the first time as the antitrust regulator attempts to stop the U.S. No. 2 wireless company’s $85 billion purchase of media company Time Warner. 

Bitcoin fans are salivating over the potential of long-awaited legitimacy for the cryptocurrency when futures trading launches this weekend, but experts worry the risks associated with bitcoin’s Wild West-like nature could overshadow the debut. 

Alibaba has signed a deal with Ford to explore cooperation in areas such as cloud computing, connectivity and retail which could involve the sale of Ford cars on Alibaba’s online retail platform Tmall. 

The dollar rose to its highest level in two weeks over optimism the United States would successfully push through tax reforms, while world shares rebounded after two straight days of losses. 

A California state judge has dismissed class action claims accusing Alphabet’s Google of paying female employees less than men and giving them fewer opportunities for promotions. 

Big companies are stepping up their plans in case Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to get talks back on track after a major setback. 

Sinopec USA, a subsidiary of Chinese oil and gas conglomerate Sinopec, has sued Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA in a U.S. court, claiming it never received full payment for an order of steel rebar. 

A 20-year-old Florida man was responsible for the large data breach at Uber last year and was paid by Uber to destroy the data through a so-called “bug bounty” program normally used to identify small code vulnerabilities, three people familiar with the events have told Reuters.

Breakingviews: The Force could be with Disney-Fox deal  

World

Two American B-1B heavy bombers joined large-scale combat drills over South Korea amid warnings from North Korea that the exercises and U.S. threats have made the outbreak of war “an established fact”.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held his tough line on Russia during a visit to Europe, saying in front of his Russian counterpart that Washington would keep sanctions in place until Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine. 

A Western-backed Saudi-led coalition scored its first major gains in Yemen since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on Monday when local fighters captured an area on the Red Sea coast from Houthi rebels, residents said. 

Former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev, accused of taking a $2 million bribe from Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, told a court he was the victim of “a monstrous and cruel provocation.” 

The mediator of U.N.-led Syria talks in Geneva plans to assess next week whether either side is trying to sabotage the talks, he told reporters, after President Bashar al-Assad’s negotiators announced they would turn up five days late. 

Reuters TV: Australia votes to allow same-sex marriage

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