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Wednesday Morning Briefing
September 27, 2017 / 11:10 AM / 20 days ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

The U.S. imposed steep duties on Bombardier jets, Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare again and Defense Secretary James Mattis avoided a rocket explosion after touching down at Kabul airport.

Washington

U.S. Republicans fell short yet again in their seven-year drive to repeal Obamacare, in a bitter defeat that raises more questions about their ability to enact President Donald Trump’s agenda. The party was unable to win enough support from its own senators for a bill to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act and decided not to put it to a vote, several Republicans said. The bill’s sponsors vowed to try again, but face steeper odds after Sunday, when special rules expire that allow them to pass healthcare legislation without Democratic support. 

U.S. healthcare bill's collapse escalates Republican infighting

Trump shows interest in bipartisan tax reform as Obamacare repeal collapses

Alabama voters elected conservative firebrand Roy Moore as the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat, dealing a blow to Trump and other party leaders who had argued that rival Luther Strange was a better bet to advance their priorities in Washington.

Republican U.S. Senator Corker will not seek re-election next year

World

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital on an unannounced visit hours after several small rockets exploded in and around Kabul airport, police said. There were no reports of casualties or damage in the attack which for which Islamic State claimed responsibility. 

After spate of suicides, China targets predatory student lending

Thai former PM Yingluck gets five-year jail term for negligence

Saudi king decrees women be allowed to drive

Reuters TV: Macron unveils radical reform plan for EU

Commentary

While the Sept. 25 Kurdish referendum is non-binding and the final tally may not be known for several days, the expected vote for independence "means that 'Iraq' no longer in practice exists," writes Peter Van Buren, a Reuters columnist who served for 24 years in the U.S. State Department. While the division of Iraq into three separate states might have been good for the Middle East back in 2006, "events of the last decade mean the chance of Kurdish independence adding to regional stability is near zero," says Van Buren.

Puerto Rico

Trump praised his administration for “a really good job” helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, discounting complaints of a slow response, and the U.S. island territory’s governor joined in defending the relief efforts. 

Power blackout leaves darkened Puerto Rico isolated and paralyzed  

Gallery: Puerto Rico in the dark

An Afghan man prepares to burn a pile of illegal narcotics on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Parwiz

An Afghan man prepares to burn a pile of illegal narcotics on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Parwiz

Business

Rising expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the third time this year lifted the dollar and share prices rose as Trump’s administration prepared to outline a new tax plan.  

The U.S. Commerce Department slapped preliminary anti-subsidy duties on Bombardier Inc’s CSeries jets after rival Boeing Co accused Canada of unfairly subsidizing the aircraft, a move likely to strain trade relations between the neighbors. 

Uber defends business model at UK tribunal on worker rights

U.S. Commerce Secretary says market access, protectionism top China issues

Cyber risk

The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission told a congressional committee he did not believe his predecessor Mary Jo White knew of a 2016 cyber breach to the regulator’s corporate disclosure system, the exact timing of which could not be known “for sure.”

Breakingviews - Equifax can't even oust its failed CEO effectively

Greek central bank dismisses Anonymous hacking claim

Tech

In a rare public feud between large technology companies, Amazon said its Echo Show devices could no longer play videos from YouTube because the site’s parent, Google, stopped supporting the service

Ford and Lyft will partner to deploy self-driving cars

Twitter to test 280-character tweets, busting old limit

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