Your Evening Briefing
Prime Minister Boris Johnson got his Brexit deal. Three months after winning power in the U.K. on a pledge to depart the European Union by Oct. 31 “do or die,” he’s halfway there. But the biggest obstacle remains: a knife-edge weekend vote in Britain’s divided Parliament. The session will be just the fifth held on a Saturday in the history of the ancient house. And it will be exceptionally dramatic: In his haste to ink a pact with Europe, Johnson failed to win the backing of a crucial group of Northern Ireland politicians. The fate of Brexit, and of the embattled Johnson, could hinge on whether he can win enough support without them.
Here are today’s top stories
President Donald Trump’s acting chief-of-staff on Thursday contradicted his boss. Mick Mulvaney told reporters that aid to Ukraine was indeed delayed over a White House request that it investigate unsubstantiated theories about Democrats and Ukrainian (not Russian) meddling in the 2016 campaign. Republicans have repeatedly cited a lack of definitive evidence that there was a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine (for his request that it probe Joe Biden) as a reason to oppose impeachment.
Mulvaney’s statement came as he announced Trump’s decision to hold next year’s Group of Seven summit at one of his golf clubs. The choice set off howls on Capitol Hill, where Democrats called it an example of Trump unconstitutionally profiting from the presidency and another potential ground for impeachment. Mulvaney said Trump could invite Vladimir Putin to the resort, and that climate change won’t be on the agenda.
Vice President Mike Pence called it a cease fire. Turkey called it a pause. Either way, the bloody Turkish assault on Kurdish forces and civilians in Syria triggered by Trump’s widely condemned withdrawal of U.S. forces has stopped—for now.
U.S. stocks climbed toward all-time highs amid a spate of mostly positive earnings reports.
The Chinese foreign ministry said it arrested two American citizens who run an English-teaching business in China.
Despite the political crisis, the White House and Congressional Democrats are optimistic that a stalled update to the North America Free Trade Agreement can be accomplished.
What’s Joe Weisenthal thinking about? The Bloomberg news director says there are two types of Bitcoin users: speculators and transactors. A speculator is anyone who buys Bitcoin with fiat money in the expectation of future monetary benefit. A transactor is anyone who uses Bitcoin for commercial purchases. The key thing, Joe says, is that the two groups need each other.
What you’ll need to know tomorrow
- Impeachment inquiry leader Elijah Cummings dies at age of 68.
- Singapore says Hong Kong democracy protesters are unrealistic.
- Kenya just opened its Chinese-built railroad to nowhere.
- U.S. vaping deaths are on the rise and no one knows why.
- A hot online banking startup left customers unable to tap cash.
- A guy on Reddit turned $766 into $107,758 with two options trades.
- New York City’s biggest battery is coming to Queens.
What you’ll want to read in Bloomberg Pursuits
Qantas Airways is ditching the traditional in-flight service routine for this weekend’s marathon nonstop trip from New York to Sydney. At almost 20 hours, the unprecedented journey is a key test run as Qantas prepares to start direct commercial services connecting Sydney with New York and London as soon as 2022. This is what those aboard get for being on the world’s longest flight.
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