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Sep 24, 2018

The Wall Street Journal I What's News

What’s News

Kavanaugh's accuser has agreed to testify at a Senate hearing. After days of back and forth, California college professor Christine Blasey Ford said she will speak with lawmakers about an alleged incident of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were teens.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked to postpone the hearing amid new allegations. A college classmate of Judge Kavanaugh told the New Yorker that she remembered that he had exposed himself to her at a drunken party when they were at Yale University.

What terms for the hearing have been settled? Dr. Ford will have a dedicated security team and two lawyers with her at the table while testifying. What remains unsettled is who will question her on the GOP side and how long Senators will get to ask questions.

​An adviser on the Kavanaugh nomination resigned. Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser temporarily hired to help Senate Republicans advance the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, resigned following allegations of sexual harassment in a previous job.

New tariffs are set to take effect today. While the latest broadside in the tariff feud between the U.S. and China—$200 billion in levies on Chinese imports by the U.S. and $60 billion in retaliatory tariffs by Beijing—is a demonstration of America’s buying power, items cut from the initial tariff hit-list point to weaknesses across a range of businesses.

Barrick and Randgold merge to create a gold-mining giant. Barrick Gold agreed to buy Randgold Resources in an all-share merger that will create the world’s largest gold company, worth $18 billion with a dominant position in Africa.

President Trump will square off with his European counterparts. At the United Nations this week, heads of state from the U.S., European nations and Iran will gather at the General Assembly for the first time since the president quit the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, putting U.S.-European divisions on global display.

Tiger Woods pulled off one of sports’ greatest revivals. The 42-year-old golfer, 17 months removed from his fourth back surgery and more than five years since his last win, beat the odds and won the Tour Championship.

What's Trending

A farmworker covered harvested wheat outside Belgorod, Russia, in July. ANDREY RUDAKOV/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Struggling U.S. farmers have a new worry. Russian agriculture is thriving, with the country exporting more than 40 million tons of wheat in the year ending in June—the highest level for any country in the past quarter-century. It is one more pressure point on U.S. agriculture, which is facing the biggest wave of farm closures since the 1980s.

Share buybacks are lifting corporate earnings. S&P 500 companies bought back a record $189 billion of their own shares in the first quarter—an additional effect of last December's tax overhaul that is boosting corporate profits in more ways than one.

Comcast's next step: convincing investors Sky was worth it. Wall Street had shown some jitters about Comcast’s pursuit of Sky. The $38.8 billion winning bid has been a dream for hedge funds, representing a 71% uptick in Sky's share price this year.

As new cars get too pricey for many, used-car sales are booming. Buyers are finding a growing selection of low-mileage vehicles that are only a few years old as the gap between the price of a new and preowned car has widened to one of its largest points in more than a decade.

Wall Street is experiencing marijuana madness. Entrepreneurs and investors are rushing into the legal-cannabis industry, fueling a stock craze reminiscent of the late 1990s dot-com bubble and the recent bitcoin mania.

Hope rises for the release of a U.S. pastor held in Turkey. Officials are sending signals that Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is facing terrorism charges, could be released next month—but only if the U.S. stops putting pressure on the country to send him back, Turkish officials said.

After a deadly attack, Iran seethes at Saudi Arabia and the West. The Middle Eastern nation has begun a diplomatic push against European and Arab countries it claims supported or harbored people linked to a terrorist attack that left 25 people dead Saturday.

A tight labor market is fueling labor strikes across the country. From unionized hotel housekeepers in Chicago to distillery workers in Kentucky, many industries are experiencing higher walk offs than previous years. Union officials say they have more leverage at the bargaining table.

Your browser is the most important app you have. The Journal's David Pierce says you should consider the variety of options to align with your personal browsing tastes, from Google's dominant Chrome browser to Firefox. 

Chart of the Day

Meet the bear-market stocks hiding in S&P 500's record run. Dozens of stocks remain stuck in bear-market territory even as the U.S. market has charged to records, reflecting a disconnect that shows a robust economy hasn’t offset trade jitters for many American congomerates. 

News From Other Sources

Theresa May faces more Brexit attacks. The British prime minister will convene her Cabinet hours after her former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former Brexit Secretary David Davis endorse an alternative plan for a much harder departure from the EU.
via Bloomberg
App-only banks rise in Europe and aim at traditional lenders. Fintech companies have sought to take on the world’s biggest banks for years, but only recently have begun to build a critical mass. Thanks to favorable regulations across Europe and an influx of venture capital, that shift is accelerating.
via the New York Times
Led by China, countries from Turkey to India are looking for opportunities in Africa. Non-western nations are sniffing out commercial opportunities and seeking to project themselves in a difficult but dynamic part of the world.
via Financial Times

This Day in History

Sept. 24, 1957
U.S. Troops Sent to Little Rock to Back Integration
"Under orders from President Eisenhower, the Army flew regular U.S. troops into Little Rock last evening and federalized Arkansas' National Guard units to enforce a court-approved integration plan at the city's Central High School," the Journal reported the following day.
Mr. Eisenhower explained in a nation-wide radio and television speech last night that he intervened in the strife-ridden situation to avoid "anarchy" brought about by defiance of Federal Court decisions. He called on Arkansas citizens to help bring "an immediate end" to mob interference with school integration in Little Rock.

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