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Dec 6, 2018

WSJ I What's News: OPEC Meets; Capitol Honors George H.W. Bush; Airlines Bump Fewer Passengers From Flights

The Wall Street Journal.
What’s News
Sun icon. Good Morning
Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:
Capitol unites to honor George H.W. Bush. With a bipartisan array of five presidents seated in the front pews, the 41st president of the U.S. was remembered for his lifelong commitment to public service, post-Cold War leadership and devotion to friends, families and a good joke.
  • George W. Bush eulogizes his father. The 43rd U.S. president paid tribute to the life of "the best father a son or daughter could have."
  • It's possible to unite as well as divide. The Journal's Gerald F. Seib writes that, in death, George H.W. Bush accomplished something perhaps no one alive could achieve: He brought together the Washington that was with the Washington that is.
Oil falls as OPEC meets. Prices dropped as the Saudi oil minister said major producers have yet to reach an agreement on output cuts. The cartel faces oil-market pressures, geopolitical upheaval and internal strife, undermining its traditional influence over crude prices.
  • Member concerns. Moscow’s increasing presence and its close ties with Saudi Arabia are worrying member nations.
  • Qatar to leave. Earlier this week, the nation announced it would leave OPEC—a move seen as an attempt to curry favor with the U.S. and spurn Saudi Arabia.
Huawei's CFO was arrested in Canada at the U.S.'s request. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou comes amid a year-long U.S. government campaign against a company it views as a national-security threat. Global tech stocks and U.S. equity futures fell as fears rose of another escalation of tensions between the world's two largest economies.
An appeals court will consider AT&T's deal for Time Warner. Six months after a district judge blessed the merger, the Justice Department remains undeterred, arguing that the judge ignored “fundamental principles of economics and common sense” and misunderstood how pay-TV operators and content providers bargain over contracts.

What's Trending

"I think I've been shot." Americans fighting in Afghanistan aren’t looking for a purely military victory anymore. Commanders see each battlefield win as a means of strengthening the allied position in peace negotiations. The escalation leads to greater risks to troops, especially in house-to-house raids occurring across the country.
Behind Boeing's omission of details on safety in manual. The aerospace company excluded nearly all mention of its new automated flight-control system from the 737 MAX flight manual—and investigators believe the system played a central role in the fatal crash of Lion Air Flight 610.
Vladimir Putin is threatening an arms race. As the U.S. prepares to exit a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, the Russian president said Moscow would “respond appropriately” if the U.S. withdrew, indicating that Russia would develop and construct shorter and intermediate-range weapons.
USA Gymnastics is filing for bankruptcy. The dramatic step will put an automatic stop to depositions and discovery related to USA Gymnastics in lawsuits filed by former doctor Larry Nassar's victims. It also could disrupt formal efforts to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the sport’s official governing body.
Wisconsin GOP bills restrict new Democratic governor. The state's Republican-led legislature moved to strip some powers from incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers with bills that reduce the governor's influence over the state body responsible for creating jobs.
The push to end bumping passengers from flights. Airlines have drastically reduced bumping people from flights since a United passenger was bloodied and dragged off an airplane, some have almost eliminated the practice entirely, Scott McCartney writes.
No Wi-Fi in the attic? Or basement? The Journal's Joanna Stern tested six mesh Wi-Fi routers to find the best system to blanket your house or apartment in Wi-Fi and kill those pesky dead zones.

Tax Watch

Highlights from our tax coverage
Many happy tax returns? Nearly a year after the 2017 tax overhaul was signed into law, some takeaways are becoming clear. Meantime, last year’s tax overhaul is likely here to stay, Steny Hoyer, poised to take over as House Majority Leader with the new Congress, told the WSJ CEO Council.
Little appetite for SALT strategy. Only 220 New York companies have adopted a state approach designed to mitigate the limits on tax deductions that individuals can take for state and local tax payments.
Deadline looms for next GOP tax bill. Republican plans for an end-of-year tax bill are facing a tight schedule in the House before Democrats take control of the chamber.
Liberty, equality, taxation. France is the most heavily taxed of the world’s wealthy countries, while the U.S. is fifth from the bottom, the OECD said.
Tax strategy for the rest of us. Multi-year tax planning, once the province of the ultra-wealthy, now makes sense for others as well, writes Wall Street Journal tax columnist Laura Saunders.

Chart of the Day

The bond that could be wiped out by wildfires. The utility giant PG&E sold a first-of-its-kind $200 million security in August to insure against liability from infernos. Now, California’s catastrophic Camp Fire could leave investors with nothing.

News From Other Sources

Tesla to start production from Shanghai in 2019. The electric-car maker will begin partial production at its first Chinese plant in the second half of next year, according to a post on a Shanghai municipal WeChat account.
via Financial Times
Mafia members arrested across Europe. Italian authorities arrested 46 members of the Sicilian mafia as part of a sweeping international operation spanning Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
via the New York Times
World's first honey bee vaccine seeks to save dying pollinators. Scientists in Finland have created an edible vaccine for bees to protect them from microbial infections. A growing number of the pollinators are dying each year due to pesticides and climate change, threatening the success of crops world-wide.
via Bloomberg

This Day in History

Dec. 6, 1998
Hugo Chávez Elected President of Venezuela
Six years after leading an unsuccessful coup, Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela, winning the election with 56% of the vote. He would serve as president for nearly fifteen years, enacting social reforms from record-high oil revenues in the 2000s and temporarily improving quality of life in the country. Those gains started to reverse in 2012, leading to Venezuela's current socioeconomic crisis.
Nicolas Maduro would replace Chávez after his death in 2013. Earlier this year, Mr. Maduro won reelection after the lowest turnout in an election in Venezuela's modern history. As the economic crisis in the country continues, Venezuelans are feeling the impact as multiple multinational corporations flee what was once the richest Latin American nation.
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Bryony Watson in London.

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