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Another all-out battle in Washington will soon unfold when Donald Trump announces his Supreme Court pick on Tuesday night. Mr Trump has promised to pick a staunch conservative for the vacancy, but Democrats are still fuming over Republicans’ refusal to consider Barack Obama’s choice for the vacant seat last year.
In further fallout from the US president’s travel ban, Mr Trump fired his acting US attorney-general on Monday night for defying his ban, even as it faced the threat of a legal challenge from Amazon and warnings that it may violate the Geneva Conventions. The move transformed the confirmation of Mr Trump’s attorney-general nominee, Jeff Sessions, into a referendum on the immigration order. Between the travel ban and talk of protectionist policies, investors and strategists have begun to question the ‘Trumpflation trade’. US equities stayed low for a second day.
Donald Tusk, European Council head, said Mr Trump’s words have put Europe in a “difficult situation”. Germany is reeling from accusations by Mr Trump’s top trade advisor, who told the FT that Germany is using a “grossly undervalued” euro to “exploit” the US. In Britain, Theresa May, prime minister, was forced to defend her invitation to Mr Trump for a state visit as thousands of protesters took to the streets and more than 1.5m people signed a petition to try to stop the trip.
Behind closed doors, some Republicans are voicing growing doubts about the Trump administration’s competence. “Chaos is not sustainable,” said one veteran GOP strategist. (FT, the Guardian)
In the news
Deutsche Bank settles The German lender has agreed to pay $425m to settle a US investigation into alleged mirror trades used to launder $10bn out of Russia, in a move that would reduce one of the biggest remaining legal uncertainties hanging over the bank. (FT)
Chinese billionaire seized Xiao Jianhua, a billionaire financier with links to the family of China’s President Xi Jinping, has been abducted from his residence in the Hong Kong Four Seasons Hotel and taken to mainland China. It is unclear why he was taken, but in 2014 the famed ‘bagman’ denied media reports that he had fled to Hong Kong to avoid the president’s corruption crackdown. (FT)
Trump trade While the S&P 500 cooled for the second day, two industries are looking up. Pharma shares rallied on Mr Trump’s pledge to cut regulatory approval time for new medicines, and telecoms industry executives are predicting a frenzied period of telecoms mergers under Mr Trump’s more deal-friendly regulatory regime. (FT)
Indian growth After the growing pains of the disruption caused by India’s sudden ban on most banknotes, a senior economic advisor has said the government expects India’s economy to grow between 6.75 and 7.5 per cent in the coming year. (FT)
France’s Socialists in crisis At least two Socialist party MPs announced they were deserting their party after it chose radical Benoît Hamon as candidate for the presidential election. A number of party members have refused to back the nominee and are instead offering support to independent candidate Emmanuel Macron. (Politico.eu, FT)
Quebec mosque suspect charged Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old student, has been charged with six counts of murder and five of attempted murder with a restricted weapon in the shooting at a mosque in Quebec City which Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, described as a terrorist attack. (Reuters)
PacMan’s father passes Masaya Nakamura, known as the father of Pac Man, has died at the age of 91. With a character based on partially eaten pizza that gobbled obstacles rather than fighting, he aimed to attract women and children in an era when games were predominantly played “by adult men with a cigarette in their mouths”. (NAR)
Steady shale ExxonMobil, the world’s largest listed oil company, has said it can double its output in the Permian Basin and maintain it at that level for decades. Exxon’s prediction is a vote of confidence in the outlook for North American shale production. (FT)
It’s a big day for
The Fed The Open Market Committee is expected to hold its policy steady when it meets this week, but investors will be watching for today’s statement for its view on the economy and inflation.
Food for thought
Crushed dreams After more than two years of interviews, paperwork and background checks, some refugees were finally about to depart to their new home in the US. Now, their hopes are dashed as they find themselves stranded and running out of options. Other immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority nations that President Trump banned have found themselves stranded at airports around the globe. (FT)
Mercedes and Uber Mercedes-Benz plans to run a network of self-driving cars that customers can book through Uber’s app, in a partnership that marks a departure from the intense competition between the two companies in their race to be pioneers in the autonomous car industry. (FT)
Damage to Poland Many Poles fear that the ruling party’s conservative social agenda is permanently damaging the nation. Divisions have heightened as it has become clear that the ruling Law and Justice party seeks to roll back the social liberalism that has flourished since communism’s fall. In its quest to do so, critics say it has been eroding democratic checks and balances. (FT)
Charting refugees The FT has put together four charts looking at the US refugee programme that Donald Trump plans to temporarily halt for security reasons. However, since the US refugee programme began in 1975, more than 3.2m refugees have entered the US and only three have carried out a deadly terrorist attack. They were Cubans. (FT)
Do online petitions work? More than a million people in the UK have signed a petition calling for a state visit by Donald Trump to be cancelled. The government has rejected the request. Do online petitions ever work? Or are they just “slacktivism”. The answers: rarely, and that depends. (New Statesman)
The neurological benefits of profanity Swear words help us bear pain, forestall violence and foster relationships. Though research has not done much for profanity, the opposite is not true. (NYRoB)
Video of the day
Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown After a weekend of chaos that saw some US permanent residents and refugees from some Muslim nations detained at US airports, Donald Trump defended his order to clamp down on people entering the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries. (FT)
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