September 25, 2018 / 12:11 PM / 25 days ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

China says Washington is putting a ‘knife to its neck’, Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook executive exit and Iran top aide dismisses U.S. meeting offer as ‘Trump’s dream’. Catch up on the latest headlines.

FILE PHOTO: The Marine One hleicopter carrying U.S. President Donald Trump lands in lower Manhattan behind the president's brand new Cadillac presidential limousine on its debut drive with the president in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Highlights

A senior Chinese official said it is difficult to proceed with trade talks with the United States while Washington is putting “a knife to China’s neck”, a day after both sides heaped fresh tariffs on each other’s goods.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he would not step aside after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct decades ago, with Trump and fellow Republicans showing no signs of relenting in their push for his Senate confirmation.

Commentary

Christine Blasey Ford’s now-public allegations that she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have had a striking and immediate political impact, writes Scott Lemieux, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Ford’s charges present a very close analogy with the allegations made by Anita Hill against her former employer Clarence Thomas during the latter’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991. In the era of #MeToo, a great deal has changed since then. But a great deal hasn’t, and it seems likely that the result will be the same as 1991 – that is, the confirmation of Kavanaugh after a desultory and incomplete investigation.

World

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani departs after speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal agreed to keep working to maintain trade with Tehran despite skepticism, this is possible as U.S. sanctions to choke off Iranian oil sales resume in November. The top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader rejected a U.S. offer for top-level meetings, as both countries’ presidents were due to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale to Taiwan of spare parts for F-16 fighter planes and other military aircraft worth up to $330 million, prompting China to warn that the move jeopardized Sino-U.S. cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lost a no-confidence vote in parliament and will step down after four years in power, but with neither major political bloc holding a majority it remained unclear who will form the next government.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party will vote against any deal Prime Minister Theresa May clinches with the European Union and is open to a second referendum with the option of staying in the bloc, Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said.

Business

Instagram said co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned as chief executive officer and chief technical officer of the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, giving scant explanation for the move.

Comcast, the victor in the $40 billion auction for Sky, said it had bought more than 30 percent of the European pay-TV group’s shares in the market.

The world’s wealthiest families plan to allocate more money to private equity after the asset class helped drive an average 15.5 percent rise in the value of their investments in 2017, according to a survey.

Reuters TV

A decree by Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, would slash the number of people granted asylum and double the time irregular migrants can be detained. Salvini’s crackdown on migrants has been popular in Italy since the government took power this year.

Italy's Salvini moves to tighten asylum laws
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