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Friday Morning Briefing
October 20, 2017 / 10:49 AM / a month ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Major U.S. tech companies launch a lobby group to allow ‘Dreamers’ to remain in the country, the Senate passed a budget blueprint critical to Trump’s tax reform efforts and the Spanish government said it plans to force January elections upon Catalonia. 

Police officers stand guard during a fire at Kandawgyi Palace hotel in Yangon, Myanmar October 19, 2017 . REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Healthcare

As a shortage crisis hits the U.S., hospitals nationwide face tough choices when it comes to filling nursing jobs. They are paying billions of dollars collectively to recruit and retain nurses rather than risk patient safety or closing down departments, according to Reuters interviews with more than 20 hospitals, including some of the largest U.S. chains.  

U.S. President Donald Trump’s reversals in the past week on maintaining Obamacare subsidies to insurers are sowing new confusion over what kind of health insurance will be available to consumers, and at what price, when enrollment for 2018 begins in two weeks.  

When the International Agency for Research on Cancer assessed the best-selling weedkiller glyphosate, significant changes were made between a draft of its report and the published version. The agency won't say who made the changes or why. Read the special report.  

Immigration

Nearly two dozen major companies in technology and other industries are planning to launch a coalition to demand legislation that would allow young, illegal immigrants a path to permanent residency, according to documents seen by Reuters. Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Uber, IBM, Marriott and other top U.S. companies are all listed as members of The Coalition for the American Dream

The Trump administration is considering tightening the vetting process for women and children seeking to enter the United States as refugees, a proposal that if adopted would bring security checks closer to those for adult men, three sources with knowledge of the plan told Reuters.  

Business

European stocks, the dollar and bond yields climbed as investors speculated on the return of the “Trumpflation trade”, after the U.S. Senate approved a budget blueprint that paves the way for tax cuts. 

Trump’s drive to overhaul the U.S. tax code cleared a critical hurdle when the Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support. 

Breakingviews - PayPal’s future rests on striking quadruple whammy  

For decades, economists have tried to guess central bank policy direction by studying subtle changes in official language -- now, researchers are finding new clues on policy, not in the words of central banker but in their faces. In Japan, two artificial intelligence researchers, one from Nomura Securities and the other from Microsoft, are using software to analyze split-second changes in the facial expressions of Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting press conferences.  

Inappropriate inspection practices at Nissan had been going for at least 20 years, Japanese national broadcaster NHK reported, in a new revelation that could further roil Japan’s second-biggest automaker.  

One of Kobe Steel’s copper plants was being inspected for a possible breach of industrial standards, the government said, while the company said it was investigating reports it continued shipping products after discovering widespread tampering of product data. 

 

Wrestlers fight during an amateur match inside a makeshift ring installed on a road organised by local residents as part of Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrations in Kolkata, India, October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Wrestlers fight during an amateur match inside a makeshift ring installed on a road organised by local residents as part of Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrations in Kolkata, India, October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Tech

Big cash infusions for startups from an ever-expanding group of financiers, led by SoftBank and Middle East sovereign wealth funds, have extinguished hopes that the technology IPO market would bounce back this year.  

Since two massive earthquakes hit Mexico in September, claiming more than 460 lives, an early warning start-up called SkyAlert has doubled its users to 5.8 million, making it one of the country’s most downloaded apps.  

The European Commission launched an investigation into the import of electronic bikes (e-bikes) from China after European producers complained that they are being sold at excessively low prices with the help of unfair subsidies.  

Google is offering security experts a bounty to identify Android app flaws as the Alphabet unit seeks to wipe out bugs from its Google Play store.  

Aero

British Business Secretary Greg Clark will hold talks in Canada to discuss Airbus SE’s plans to buy a majority stake in Bombardier’s C-Series jetliner program aimed at helping it avoid high U.S. import tariffs. Clark will meet with Canadian government officials and executives from the two manufacturers, according to a spokeswoman for the ministry for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.  

Singapore Airlines said it will finalize an order for 39 Boeing aircraft worth $13.8 billion at list prices when Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Washington D.C. next week.  

World

The Spanish government has secured opposition support to dissolve Catalonia’s parliament and hold new elections there in January in an effort to defuse the regional government’s push for independence.  

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged world powers to get behind a joint Russian-Chinese roadmap for settling the crisis over North Korea’s weapons program.  

Russia’s biggest oil company, Rosneft, has agreed to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion despite Baghdad’s military action sparked by a Kurdish vote for independence. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a markedly positive response to an EU summit appeal by Prime Minister Theresa May for help with Brexit, said talks with Britain were moving forward and were unlikely to break down.

One person was killed in a massive fire that destroyed one of Yangon’s best-known hotels, sending dark smoke billowing over the center of Myanmar’s largest city and triggering an hours-long battle to put out the flames. 

Commentary

Donald Trump’s undermining of the Iran nuclear deal only shrinks U.S. options for dealing with North Korea, writes Andray Abrahamian. "The U.S. president’s de-certification of Tehran’s compliance will be well noted in Pyongyang, giving Kim Jong Un a credible excuse for refusing to negotiate with Washington," says Abrahamian. 

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