In her first speech as the new Speaker, Nancy Pelosi referred to the November mid-terms that gave Democrats control of the House as "the American people demanding a new dawn". Photo: YouTube screengrab
House passes spending bills, Thailand prepares for worst, Italian bank troubles, Canadians held in China and more Seaborne farce. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Pelosi returns as speaker
78-year old Nancy Pelosi was confirmed as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington DC on Thursday. Pelosi, who previously became the first woman to hold the post in 2007, received 220 votes. The Guardian reports that just 15 Democrats joined a rebellion against Pelosi, who is seen as belonging to the old guard of the party. The BBC has an interesting profile of Pelosi, citing her toughness and hard work.
House passes spending packages
One of Nancy Pelosi’s first tasks as Speaker was to preside over votes on a series of bills aimed at breaking the impasse that has shut down the US government for the last two weeks. Not that it will help the situation as the Republican-led Senate and the White House both refuse to budge unless the bills include funding for the president’s border wall project, CNBC reports.
Markets continue to tumble
Stock markets in the US and Asia have continued their downward trend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell be 2.8% on Thursday as Apple’s bad news was followed by weaker-than-expected forecasts for the U.S. manufacturing sector, CNBC and Bloomberg report. On Friday in Japan the Nikkei dropped 2.7% amid fears of a slowdown in the global economy, says CNBC.
Thailand braces for storm
Tropical Storm Pabuk, which is expected to and in southern provinces on Friday, threatens to be the worst storm to hit Thailand for close to 30 years The Guardian reports. The storm could carry winds of 65 km/h and create waves of up to 5 metres high, ABC says.
Italian government faces dilemma over bank crisis
The decision by the ECB to place Italian bank Banca Carige in temporary administration has left the populist Italian government in an awkward position Bloomberg reports. A spokeswoman for the government said that prime minister Giuseppe Conte “is following personally” developments at the troubled bank. But both government coalition partners, the League and 5Star, have been among the staunchest critics of Italian banks’ costly rescue plans, Reuters says.
13 Canadians detained in China
The Canadian government has confirmed that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China since Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the United States in December. At least 8 have been discharged, says Reuters in a report taken up by several media. The Canadian government has said several times “it sees no explicit link” between the arrest of Meng and the detentions, but Reuters sources reckon they are a “tit-for-tat” reprisal.
Seaborne farce continues
Criticism of the UK government’s decision to award “startup” Seaborne a contract to operate extra ferries as part of no-deal Brexit deepened on Thursday after it emerged the company’s terms and conditions had apparently been copy-pasted from a food delivery website. The company, which has no experience in operating a ferry service and has no ships of its own, was given £13.8m to ease cross-Channel freight transport problems if the UK crashes out of the EU at the end of March. The Guardian has details.
City win top-of-table clash
Manchester City narrowed the gap at the top of England Premier League to just 4 points after beating leaders Liverpool 2-1 on Thursday. It was Liverpool’s first defeat in the EPL this season. Sergio Aguerro and Leroy Sané scored for City either side of a Robert Firmino goal for the reds. But Liverpool came within millimetres of opening the scoring and manager Jürgen Klopp argued that City’s Vincent Kompany should have been sent off, The Guardian reports.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts