Library picture: Donald Trump speaks with a staff member in the White House just prior to the arrival of Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the Egyptian president, 3 April 2017. Washington, D.C. Photo credit: White House/Benjamin Applebaum
US sanctions starting to hit Russia, and German flights to be disrupted. Today’s breakfast briefing.
Trump: “Forceful” reply to Syria attack
Donald Trump said the US, backed by France and the UK, would respond “forcefully” to last weekend’s chemical attacks in Syria, even without international support, reported the BBC, DW and France 24. The US and Russia clashed at the UN Security Council over rival plans to investigate the attacks; the council could vote on a resolution as early as Tuesday. A former US State Department official told PRI that options are limited.
Korea nuclear talks
Donald Trump said he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May or June to discuss North Korea’s nuclear programme, reported Reuters.
Trump lawyer’s office searched
FBI agents have raided the home and office of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as part of the inquiry into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, reported the AP and Reuters. Cohen has said he paid a porn actress $130,000 in hush money. Trump called the searches a “disgrace”.
Russian markets hit by US sanctions
Russian stocks and its currency fell notably on Monday, following US economic sanctions, reported the Financial Times, Guardian and Telegraph. The aluminium producers Rusal and EN+, listed in Hong Kong and London, respectively, fell by more than 40%.
The accounting and advisory firm KPMG is removing disposable plastic cups from its UK offices to reduce its environmental impact, reported the Financial Times. Staff will be issued reusable water bottles.
Household debt as a percentage of GDP has hit all-time highs in Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, according to a report by the Institute of International Finance, according to Bloomberg.
German airports strikes
Lufthansa said more than half of its flights would be cancelled on Tuesday, impacting around 90,000 passengers, due to an airport workers strike, reported DW.