Friday Morning Briefing: White House attempting gambit to slow House impeachment push






U.S.

Trump’s bitter fight against an impeachment inquiry has not slowed down the Democrats’ push to investigate whether he sought personal political gain by urging Ukraine to probe Democratic opponent Joe Biden. A top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine thought it was “crazy” to withhold military aid for the country as it confronted Russian aggression, according to evidence presented in an impeachment probe of U.S. president.

U.S. job growth increased moderately in September, with the unemployment rate dropping to near a 50-year low of 3.5%, which could assuage financial market concerns that the slowing economy was on the brink of a recession amid lingering trade tensions.

One of two white police officers who rode through the streets of Galveston, Texas, on horseback escorting a black man walking tethered to a rope is heard saying: “This is going to look really bad” in newly released police video footage of the incident.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam invoked colonial-era emergency powers for the first time in more than 50 years in a dramatic move intended to quell escalating violence in the Chinese-ruled city. Lam, speaking at a news conference, said a ban on face masks would take effect on Saturday under the emergency laws that allow authorities to “make any regulations whatsoever” in whatever they deem to be in the public interest.

The United Nations human rights office said that any new government measures to cope with protests in Hong Kong must be grounded in law and protect the right to freedom of assembly. Here is a look at what people are saying about the government invoking emergency laws.





World

Why the UK's Brexit proposal falls short for the EU. Britain’s latest proposal for an agreement on the terms of its divorce from the EU has been widely rebuffed in Brussels because it does not meet the objectives of the so-called Irish border backstop. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will send a letter to the European Union asking for a Brexit delay if no divorce deal has been agreed by Oct. 19.
Death toll surges to 46 as Iraq unrest accelerates. The death toll from days of violent demonstrations across Iraq surged to 46, most of them killed in the last 24 hours as unrest rapidly accelerated and the country’s most powerful cleric placed the blame squarely on politicians.
Exclusive: Iran not 'drawing back' militarily after Saudi attack-US admiral. Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence.


Business

'Sahm Rule' enters Fed lexicon as fast, real-time recession flag

Astronomers get to name comets and biologists get to name species, but come up with something cool in economics and you might be memorialized with a law or a rule or a “curve.” Introducing the latest: the Sahm Rule, whose architect, Federal Reserve economist and consumer section chief Claudia Sahm, came up with it to flag the onset of recession more quickly than the current process that formally dates business cycles.
5 min read

SoftBank's plans for second mega-fund hit by WeWork debacle

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is struggling to raise money for a second massive technology investment fund in the wake of the failed public offering of office-rental company WeWork and sliding valuations of other major investments, according to two people familiar with the situation.
8 Min Read

Behind the GM strike: Declining productivity at U.S. operations

General Motors' U.S. workforce productivity has declined since the automaker recovered from a 2009 bankruptcy, even as its profit per employee has risen, a Reuters analysis shows.
5 min read



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