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Oct 5, 2018

What's News I The Wall Street Journal

What’s News

Good Morning

Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:

Republicans are upbeat in a confirmation for Brett Kavanaugh.
Senators are set for a procedural vote today on the Supreme Court nominee. The FBI investigation ended without new concerns from a handful of undecided senators.
A friend of Christine Blasey Ford felt pressure to revisit her statement. The statement to the FBI offers a glimpse into how Dr. Ford’s allies were working behind the scenes to lobby old classmates to bolster their versions, as were Judge Kavanaugh’s.

"I am an independent, impartial judge." In an Op-Ed published in the Journal, Judge Kavanaugh defended his "forceful and passionate" testimony.

Senate's bipartisanship has been obscured by Kavanaugh fight. The chamber has passed legislation in near-unison to reauthorize the FAA and to advance an opioid bill to the president's desk.

Facebook employees are angry over an executive's support.
Mark Zuckerberg sought to quell employee outrage after Joel Kaplan, Facebook's head of global policy and a friend of Judge Kavanaugh's, appeared at last week's hearing. 

The Labor Department’s jobs report is on tap today. Economists will look for any impact from Hurricane Florence on September data. Global stocks were broadly lower ahead of the report, as the rise in Treasury yields continued.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting India. Washington will be closely watching his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today as New Delhi's plans to purchase one of Russia's most advanced weapons systems could face U.S. sanctions.

Beto O'Rourke draws big crowds in Texas. But his supporters tend not to vote—a challenge facing the candidate as he remains dogged by questions that he can turn out legions of young and Hispanic voters any Democrat needs to win an election in Texas.

Trump is aiming to model new trade deals on the revised Nafta. The administration looks to make it a template to redefine rules on everything from labor to how U.S. partners do business with China. Separately, food banks are gearing up for an influx of goods when trucks begin delivering $1.2 billion of agricultural products the government agreed to buy from farmers to ease the pain of tariffs.

Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to anti-sexual violence campaigners. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad were honored for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

What's Trending

Retirement has never been this divisive. Americans are entering retirement with vastly differing financial circumstances. The wealth gap divides an idyllic retirement village in California, where tensions over pickleball led to a homeowners' association president being sent a dead rat.
Follow the story: The Unprepared series examines how Americans approaching retirement are the most unprepared in generations. Subscribe by email for the latest installments.
Western nations are joining forces to combat Russian hacking. U.S., British and Dutch authorities took a collective swing at Russian intelligence efforts after the Dutch government said its intelligence services had disrupted a Russian plot to hack into an agency in The Hague in April.
Elon Musk appeared to mock the SEC in a tweet. The Tesla CEO said, “Just want to [say] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work,” mere days after settling fraud charges with the agency. 

Bed Bath & Beyond struggles to clear the clutter. The retailer is lagging behind rivals such as HomeGoods and Wayfair after reporting its sixth consecutive quarter of declining same-store sales and a plunge in profit of 48%.

Hedge fund Criterion Capital is shutting down after 16 years. The San Francisco-based firm is shuttering after it said it wasn't satisfied with its performance, saying it would prefer to invest over a longer time period. The closing comes in the same week that $12 billion Highfields Capital also became one of the largest closures in recent history.

CEO tenure is getting shorter. Maybe that's a good thing, writes the Journal's John D. Stoll. After GE’s John Flannery became the latest chief executive to fall victim to a board’s impatience, Mr. Stoll argues there's evidence that shows corporate chiefs shouldn't stay in their roles too long.

Why you're buying products from companies you've never heard of. A combination of new technologies and techniques has made the explosion of "microbrands" possible thanks to social-media marketing establishing demand, writes Christopher Mims.

Goodbye "Tronc." Welcome back Tribune Publishing. The Chicago Tribune owner is changing its name back after ditching it two years ago for Tronc—short for Tribune Online Content—and underwent one of the most-maligned corporate rebrandings in recent memory.

Chart of the Day

You should worry more about Italy's bond market. It has a whiff of panic about it, while the rest of Europe has remained remarkably calm. This makes little sense, and is unlikely to last, writes James Mackintosh. As Italy’s populist government approaches a showdown with the EU, financial-market tremors are hurting the country’s banking system and threatening the economic growth Rome wants to stimulate. 

News From Other Sources

As Afghanistan frays, Blackwater founder Erik Prince is everywhere. More than a year after first laying out his plan to President Trump to privatize the American war in Afghanistan, Mr. Prince has been making his sales pitch directly to a host of influential Afghans and has frequently been introduced as an adviser to Mr. Trump himself.
via the New York Times
Hundreds were arrested, including comedian Amy Schumer, at an anti-Kavanaugh protest. More than 300 protesters were arrested at the U.S. Capitol in Washington as they made a final, desperate appeal to senators to reject embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
via the Guardian
How China used a tiny chip to infiltrate U.S. companies. The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to a Bloomberg report.
via Bloomberg

This Day in History

Oct. 5, 1947
Truman Delivers First Televised Presidential Address
President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised presidential address from the White House. Mr. Truman requested the American people "save a slice of bread every day" in order to help people in Europe.
The following day, the Journal reported on the president's address:
President Truman asked all Americans to pledge themselves not to eat meat on Tuesdays and to abstain from poultry or eggs on Thursdays in order to save food for needy Europe.
Mr. Truman, in a broadcast from the White House, said the government will "demand of the grain exchanges" that they increase their margin requirements on trading in grain futures to at least one-third. 
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Cicely K. Dyson in London

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