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Jan 9, 2019

What's News: Trump Makes Case for Border Wall; Shutdown Paralyzes IPO Market; Sears Isn't Dead Yet

The Wall Street Journal.
Newspaper.
What’s News
Sun icon. Good Morning
Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:

Trump made his case for the border wall. In a prime-time address from the Oval Office, Mr. Trump said a barrier is necessary to prevent the movement of illegal drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, and shared stories of human trafficking.
  • After the president's address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer issued an immediate televised response to the president, rejecting the idea of a wall as unnecessary.
     
  • Facts behind the immigration debate. The president says illegal immigration is an important contributor to crime and a big cost to the federal government, while Democrats say he overstates the problem. Here is a look at some of the key numbers.
     
  • Shutdown paralyzes the IPO market. The partial closure of the SEC is forcing companies that were seeking to list shares in January to push back their plans, according to bankers and lawyers. 
 
The Fed will release minutes from its mid-December meeting. Officials ended their meeting confident that short-term interest rates would move higher in 2019 but less sure than earlier in the year how fast or far to raise them. In an interview with the Journal, the St. Louis Fed chief James Bullard warns that further rate rises could push the economy into recession. 
Trump's Syria withdrawal plans were thrown into disarray. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declined to meet with Mr. Trump’s visiting national security adviser, John Bolton, who had called on the country not to target a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia that Turkey calls a terrorist organization.
Zuckerberg's 2019 challenge: talk more about tech's problems. The Facebook CEO plans to host a series of public discussions on the role of technology in society this year, setting a more modest goal after last year's bold pledge to fix the social-media giant.


Sears isn't dead yet. Former CEO Edward Lampert’s $4.4 billion bid, conditioned on a $121 million deposit due later today, would keep 425 Sears stores open and the retailer alive.

What's Trending

Facebook and Twitter turn to right-leaning groups to help referee political speech. Advisers on touchy issues include Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Their involvement behind the scenes, designed to tamp down a furor over social media’s policing of content, has instead kicked up a new range of disputes.
 
U.S. and China narrow differences on trade. In two intense days of talks in Beijing, U.S. and Chinese midlevel negotiators addressed a number of difficult issues and tried to specify how to ensure China will carry out the pledges it made. The U.S. team isn’t expected to leave Beijing until late Wednesday afternoon.
The next revolution in TV technology. MicroLED is better looking, more efficient and more versatile than any previous display tech. Now all manufacturers have to do is figure out how to make it affordably, writes David Pierce.
Carbon emissions rose as the U.S. economy surged in 2018. The 3.4% increase was the biggest jump since 2010, when the economy was rebounding from the Great Recession, and the second-largest increase in two decades, signaling that the reductions in carbon emissions are leveling off and potentially are in reverse.
Apple's answer to slowing iPhone sales? The trade-in. The tech giant, which rarely discounts its products, is using a trade-in program to incentivize purchases, sweetening offers late last year with an additional $100 credit.
What's the rush? The power of a slow morning. In reaction to hectic, over-scheduled lives burdened by 24-7 technology, a counter movement is emerging: the slow morning. Proponents spend time—sometimes hours—doing very little in the morning.

Tech Watch

Highlights from our technology coverage
Virtual assistants have hit a wall. Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant desperately want to help with your routine—but it takes too much programming and there are still too many holes. It will be years before they reach their full potential, David Pierce writes.
The Marriott data breach is a potential foreign-intelligence gold mine. The hotel chain said fewer customers were affected than initially feared, but confirmed hackers compromised the passport numbers of millions.
Ice cream will ride in a self-driving car before you do. Delivering a few pounds of dessert turns out to be much easier than getting large, impatient and litigious humans to their destinations, Christopher Mims writes.
People in rural America don’t know why their phone calls are failing. Small-town carriers blame internet middlemen for calls that don’t reach their customers.
Netflix’s new finance chief is joining at a critical time. Spencer Neumann, who spent time at Walt Disney and videogame company Activision Blizzard, will have to wrestle with the immense amounts of money that the video-streaming giant spends on content.
Want more tech? Get the WSJ Technology newsletter delivered to your inbox every Sunday and listen to your favorite tech columnists in our new podcast, Instant Message.
 

Chart of the Day

Cancer deaths are declining. Deaths from the disease dropped 27% over a quarter century, resulting in an estimated 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths during that period, according to a new report. Although cancer deaths rose for most of the 20th century, the death rate has steadily dropped since its 1991 peak, mainly because of long-running efforts to reduce smoking as well as advances in detection and treatment of cancer at earlier stages, when prognosis for recovery is generally better.
 

News From Other Sources

Deutsche Bank to cut bonus pool by 10%. In a bid to balance cost pressures with retaining key employees, the German lender's management board plans to pay bonuses more selectively this year.
via Bloomberg
Journalist seeks $1 billion in damages from Iran. A Washington Post journalist has asked a U.S. federal judge to impose damages against the government of Iran to deter the future taking of American hostages.
via the Washington Post
Brussels casts doubt on IAG's no-deal Brexit flight plan. The owner of British Airways and Spain's Iberia airlines has suffered a setback over its plans for flying freely in Europe in the event of the U.K. leaving the bloc without a deal.
via Financial Times
 

This Day in History

Jan. 9, 2007
Steve Jobs Introduces First iPhone
Entering the competitive cellphone market, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the first-generation iPhone, designed in secrecy over two years and scheduled for release in June 2007. The design, ditching physical hardware buttons and stylus in favor of touch-based control, revolutionized the cellphone market, paving the way for the design of smartphones today. By 2012, more than 200 million iPhones had been sold.
Recently, Apple's iPhone XR has fallen far short of expectations, forcing the company to reduce production of the device drastically and cutting into overall revenue projections.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Bryony Watson in London.