Business review from the Economist
China, U.S. restart trade talks
Officials from the United States and China began negotiations in the hope of reaching a trade deal before March 1 and thus avoiding another round of punishing tariffs. China reportedly agreed to reduce tariffs on imports of U.S. cars from 40 to 15 percent, though it was unclear when that might happen. U.S. exports of vehicles to China have fallen sharply since the imposition of retaliatory duties.
The chief financial officer of Huawei, a Chinese technology company suspected in the West of having deep ties to the Chinese army, was granted bail in Canada following her arrest at the request of the United States. Prosecutors seeking to extradite Meng Wanzhou to the United States allege that she misled financiers about using an affiliate to do business with Iran in violation of sanctions. President Donald Trump suggested that he may intervene in the case if it threatened to scupper a trade deal with Beijing. China, meanwhile, detained a former Canadian diplomat, which many observers think is a reprisal for Canada's actions. A second Canadian also was detained.
A court in China declared that Apple had violated two patents belonging to Qualcomm, and it slapped a temporary ban on selling older iPhone models in the country. Qualcomm hailed the decision as a victory in its sprawling global battle with Apple over intellectual property.
Prosecutors in Tokyo brought their first charges against Carlos Ghosn. The architect of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi carmaking alliance is accused of underreporting his pay at Nissan by half in the five years prior to March 2015 and is being investigated for doing the same in the three years leading to March 2018. Nissan has also been indicted. Ghosn, who has been sacked by Nissan, was refused bail and will probably remain in custody until at least the end of the year.
Urjit Patel resigned as the governor of India's central bank amid a spat with the government, which has put pressure on the bank to ease its curbs on lending ahead of a general election next year.
OPEC and Russia decided to reduce oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day. The vast bulk of the cuts will be made to output from Saudi Arabia, which wants to use the revenue from the resulting higher oil prices to balance its budget. That incentive overrode pleas from President Donald Trump to maintain current production levels to keep oil prices low.
Crossrail, Britain's groundbreaking infrastructure project, received another bailout, its third this year. The rail line connecting east to west London has been beset by delays and is now expected to miss its revised launch date in 2019.
Turkey's GDP grew by just 1.6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the slowest pace since the aftermath of an attempted army coup in 2016.
After lengthy legal proceedings, a court in London decided that Vijay Mallya could be extradited to India, where he faces criminal charges, which he denies, related to the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines.
Global politics from the Economist
May survives vote; Brexit deal eludes
Theresa May, Britain's prime minister, survived a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party. The vote, which she won 200 to 117, had been called by a group of Tory rebels opposed to her proposed deal to withdraw from the E.U., which does not deliver the hard Brexit that they want. To quell the uprising, May promised to step down as prime minister before the next election in 2022.
Emmanuel Macron again bowed to the gilets jaunes protesters who have been thronging French streets for the past month. Having already agreed to cancel a planned increase in fuel duty, the president promised an $11.4 billion package to help hard-up consumers.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was chosen as the new leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union. She is a protégé of Angela Merkel, who remains chancellor for now.
A court in Rwanda dismissed "baseless" charges of insurrection and forgery brought against Diane Rwigara, a dissident. The prosecution said it would appeal. In 2017, Rwigara was barred from running for election against President Paul Kagame.
Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, refused to rule out standing for election again in 2023. Kabila, who has ruled since 2001, was supposed to have stood down by the end of 2016.
Japan's parliament voted to allow more than 250,000 foreign workers into the country to help ease a labor shortage.