Business Review from the Economist
Trump comes to the rescue of China's ZTE
Taking many in his administration by surprise, Donald Trump tweeted that he was working to overturn a ban on U.S. chip companies from selling to ZTE, a Chinese maker of telecoms equipment, because of the job losses it entailed in China. The Commerce Department imposed the ban on ZTE for contravening a settlement over selling products to Iran and North Korea. Trump said his remarks were made in the context of negotiating with China to avoid a trade war.
The U.S. claimed victory after the World Trade Organization upheld a decision that the European Union wrongly provided subsidies to Airbus. Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, said that unless the E.U. stopped "breaking the rules" America would "have to move forward with countermeasures on E.U. products." Airbus retorted that 94 percent of Boeing's original claims had been dismissed by the WTO. A separate case brought by the E.U. against American support for Boeing will come up later this year.
Vodafone announced that Vittorio Colao is to step down as CEO after 10 years in the job. During Colao's tenure, the world's second-biggest wireless provider sold its minority stake in Verizon Wireless, a deal that fetched $130 billion, $84 billion of which was returned to shareholders. It recently struck an agreement to expand in Europe by buying some of Liberty Global's assets. Nick Read, the company's chief financial officer, steps up to the top job.
Xerox called off an agreement that would have seen it merge with Fujifilm, with which it has a long-standing joint venture in Asia selling photocopiers. The deal had been strongly opposed by Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, two investors who own more than 10 percent of shares in Xerox.
In an acquisition underlining the popularity of price-comparison services, Silver Lake, an American private-equity firm, agreed to buy ZPG, which owns several such websites in Britain, including Zoopla and uSwitch, for $3 billion.
The Turkish lira tumbled against the dollar after Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, said that he will seek greater influence over monetary policy if he wins next month's snap election. Erdogan's distaste for high interest rates, which he recently described as the "mother and father of all evil," has increased investors' concerns about the capacity of Turkey's central bank to rein in inflation and arrest the currency's fall.
Britain's financial-conduct regulators handed a $865,000 fine to Jes Staley, the chief executive of Barclays, for his attempt to unmask an internal whistleblower. The regulators said that Staley "failed to act with due skill, care and diligence" in his response to an anonymous letter that criticized a senior executive at the bank.
Saudi British Bank (SABB) and Alawwal Bank struck a preliminary agreement to merge. The combination of SABB, which is 40 percent owned by HSBC, and Alawwal, which is 40 percent owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, would create Saudi Arabia's third-biggest bank.
Global Politics from the Economist
Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian protesters
Tens of thousands of Palestinians protested along the border between Gaza and Israel to highlight their various grievances. Israeli soldiers shot and killed about 60, according to Gaza's health ministry. Some had attempted to breach the border fence; others threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli side. Most of the protesters, however, were unarmed. On the same day as the violence, the U.S. opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, recognizing the contested city as Israel's capital.
A coalition led by Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric who once urged attacks on American troops, won Iraq's parliamentary election, according to preliminary results.
An outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo spread to the city of Mbandaka, a transport hub, raising fears that the disease will advance rapidly. At least 26 people have died in the latest outbreak, according to the Associated Press.
Italy's populist Five Star Movement and far-right Northern League neared agreement on forming a governing coalition, more than two months after an election.
Venezuela's socialist regime took over a factory that food company Kellogg had closed because of the country's economic meltdown.
The windshield of a Chinese passenger jet blew out while it was cruising at 32,000 feet. The co-pilot was sucked halfway out but was saved by his safety belt. The pilot landed the aircraft safely, despite the sudden loss of cabin pressure and a plunge in temperature to 22 below.