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Sep 20, 2018

The Wall Street Journal I WHAT'S NEWS

The Wall Street Journal.
What’s News

Republicans push ahead on the Kavanaugh nomination. GOP leaders said they were continuing to seek the testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, California college professor Christine Blasey Ford, after rejecting calls for an investigation of the allegations.
EU leaders are meeting to move Brexit to the finish line. The remaining stumbling block is the U.K.'s border with Ireland. Some of the world's biggest companies are facing their own Brexit challenge—preparing for the unknown. Drugmakers are stockpiling medicine while BMW is planning for a shutdown as unanswered questions remain. 
A year after Maria, Puerto Rico is on a precipice. The worst storm to hit the island in nearly a century killed about 3,000 people and left $80 billion of damage, pushing Puerto Rico—already on fragile economic footing—closer to the edge. 
Comcast and Fox will battle for Sky over the weekend. In an auction starting Friday, Comcast and Fox will bring to a close a 21-month sale process for Sky, setting up a dramatic climax that has pitted some of the world’s biggest media and entertainment giants against each other.
Data on existing-home sales is on tap. The sales make up the bulk of the housing market, but tumbled in July for the longest slump in about five years. The slowdown in housing can be blamed on a number of factors, and the bad news is they are all likely to get worse.
Peter Kraus brings an AllianceBernstein concept to his new venture. At Aperture Investors, money managers will only be able to charge higher fees than exchange-traded funds when they beat the market. Employees will also be paid based on how they perform against the market.

What's Trending

The robots are now hiring. Some Fortune 500 companies are using digital hiring products that apply artificial intelligence to facial expressions, tone of voice and word clusters to help them weed out job candidates. The Journal's Jason Bellini investigates in this episode of Moving Upstream
A Korean deal is breathing new life into nuclear talks. But doubts persist that a stalemate will continue as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un said he would decommission a plant that makes fissile material for nuclear weapons—if the U.S. agrees to unspecified concessions.
"These life policies were quicksand." Universal life insurance, a 1980s sensation, has backfired as interest rates remain historically low, leading to a flood of unexpectedly steep life-insurance bills that is fraying a vital safety net.
A former Fed economist is nominated to the central bank's board. Nellie Liang, who first joined the Federal Reserve in 1986, was tapped by then-Fed chairman Ben Bernanke in 2010 to create the bank's first office of financial stability in the wake of the crisis.
Florence flooding hits North Carolina hog farms hard. More than 5,000 animals have died and several dozen waste lagoons have released pollutants into waterways. Separately, FEMA is taking a less-activist role in the recovery, allowing local and state officials to be the faces of relief. 
The Ohio State football probe didn't try to recover deleted texts. Coach Urban Meyer, who is set to return after a three-game suspension, asked a colleague how to delete text messages from his university phone, outside investigators said. But the legal team investigating Mr. Meyer's conduct decided not to send his phone to a forensics lab.
Bringing iPhone assembly to the U.S. would be a hollow victory. The Journal's Greg Ip says President Trump's position that Apple can avoid tariffs by bringing production to the U.S. is the least valuable link in the electronic supply chain with little U.S. benefit.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested. Mr. Najib, who lost office in a surprising election defeat in May, faces additional charges related to 1MDB, a state fund he created in 2009 that has become the focus of one of the world's biggest financial scandals.
The godfather of cryptocurrency says he's built a better bitcoin. David Chaum, who built his own digital currency more than a decade before bitcoin was introduced, is unveiling a new platform he claims would allow digital cash to be traded almost as quickly as physical cash.

Tax Watch

Highlights from our tax coverage
Cashing out, but not all at once. Companies are bringing foreign cash to the U.S., but not at the dramatic clip promised by some supporters of December’s tax overhaul, a Wall Street Journal analysis found. New Commerce Department figures show the pace slowed from first quarter.
Bonuses boom. U.S. employers are increasingly using bonuses—as well as improved benefits—to compensate employees, a practice boosted by payouts tied to the tax legislation passed in December.
Expire no more? A key U.S. House committee passed a measure, on partisan lines, that would make last year’s individual tax cuts permanent, but the Senate shows little interest.
Dog-days deficit. The U.S. budget deficit in August was nearly double the deficit a year earlier, and corporate tax receipts in particular have fallen.
Nutmeg State millionaires decline. The number of Connecticut residents reporting income of $1 million or more to the IRS fell in 2016, adding fuel to the state’s income-tax debate.
IRS keeps its gaze offshore. The Internal Revenue Service is ending its amnesty program for Americans holding secret offshore financial accounts—but still plans to pursue tax cheats, the Journal's tax columnist Laura Saunders writes.

Chart of the Day

Some firms are spending plenty to lure executives willing to relocate. Shelling out millions to move key players from miles away, more companies are offering rich relocation packages to lure reluctant top talent to another city that may disrupt their lives.

News From Other Sources

Amazon will consider opening thousands of cashierless stores. could open as many as 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores in the next few years, an expansion that could threaten everything from convenience chains to mom-and-pop restaurants.
via Bloomberg
Inside Facebook's election "War Room." More than 300 people across the company are working on safeguarding elections, but the War Room will house a team of about 20 focused on rooting out disinformation, monitoring false news and deleting fake accounts.
via New York Times
The U.K. trade secretary plans to to scrap EU food standards. Liam Fox wants to use controversial "Henry the 8th" powers in order to pave the way for a trade deal with the U.S. after Brexit.
via Business Insider

This Day in History

Sept. 20, 1995
AT&T to Split Into Three Companies
"Eleven years after AT&T was forcibly split into pieces by the federal government, it is breaking up again—without a shove from anyone," the Journal reported the following day. "AT&T Corp. yesterday stunned the business world with a plan to divide itself into three independent, publicly traded companies, in effect jettisoning an ailing computer unit and a potent equipment business to focus tightly on its communications mainstay."
Recently, the Journal sat down with AT&T's Chief Executive Randall Stephenson to talk about his plans for the newly acquired Time Warner businesses.
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Cicely K. Dyson in London.

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