“Ukraine wants membership plan talks, says Poroshenko”
Ukraine’s president has asked for discussions to begin on an action plan that could eventually lead to membership of Nato. Petro Poroshenko said the will of the Ukrainian people was to eventually join the Western military alliance. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said any decision on future membership would be up to the 29 alliance members.
Russia has repeatedly criticized Nato’s expansion in eastern Europe and objects to Ukraine becoming a member. Ukraine faces many obstacles on the road to membership, including the conflict in the east of the country. Mr. Poroshenko was speaking after holding talks with Mr. Stoltenberg in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
“Trump defends decision to have daughter Ivanka sit in for him at G20”
Donald Trump has defended a decision to have his daughter briefly sit in for him at a table with world leaders at an international summit.
A Russian delegate tweeted a photo of Ivanka Trump in her father’s seat at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, sparking criticism from those who felt the move was inappropriate.
Trump tweeted Monday: “When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat. Very standard. Angela M agrees!”
Donald Trump Jr also came under fire this weekend, for agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-linked lawyer during the 2016 campaign after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
New York Times
“China’s Wanda Signals Retreat on Debt-Fueled Acquisition Binge”
The Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has epitomized the country’s high-flying deal makers, building a vast global empire of theme parks, real estate developments and movie theaters across the United States.
Now, Wanda is signaling a strategic retreat, as Chinese companies increasingly face pressure for their debt-fueled acquisition binges. Wanda said on Monday that it would sell 76 hotels and a major chunk of 13 tourism projects to the property developer Sunac China for $9.3 billion. The cash from the deal will be used to repay loans. It is an especially marked turnabout for Wanda and its billionaire owner, Wang Jianlin.
Wanda became one of China’s biggest global deal makers as it sought to expand its entertainment division. It owns the AMC Theaters chain in the United States and bought the struggling production company Legendary Entertainment. Shares of Wanda Film, a unit of Wanda listed in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, have fallen about 11 percent in the past month. Last week, shares of Sunac plunged amid investor fears that it would take a loss from its $2.2 billion investment in the beleaguered LeEco Group, which is struggling to repay creditors.
“Trump’s Massive Tax-Cut Plan Faces ‘Train Wreck’ of a Calendar”
Congress returns from its mid-summer break Monday for a crucial three-week stretch that will help determine whether President Donald Trump can deliver on his promise of a historic tax cut. Several obstacles await lawmakers, including an ongoing health-care fight, divisions among Republicans on the basic parameters of a tax bill, and a maelstrom of upcoming deadlines to keep the government running and avert a catastrophic default on U.S. debt.
House Republicans have been delaying consideration of a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, the vehicle they plan to use for tax legislation. Factions within the party disagree on whether tax rate cuts for individuals and businesses should be offset with new revenue or spending cuts, or just be allowed to add to the deficit. Debate among conservative and moderate Republicans has focused on how deeply they should cut “mandatory” safety-net spending.
His pessimism stands in contrast to House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose office sent emails to reporters last week proclaiming that “Tax reform is happening. Not next year or next Congress. It is happening now, in 2017.” The legislation will be “transformational,” Ryan’s email said, not “some rinky-dink, watered-down version of reform.”
By the middle of October, Congress will also have to raise the debt ceiling, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office. Past debt-ceiling votes have stirred opposition among many Republicans – a further division that may complicate the politics of a tax-overhaul vote.
“Samsung Electronics rebounds from debacle with record high profit”
South Korea’s largest consumer electronics maker, said July 7 it expects to report a record high operating profit for its second quarter, marking a comeback after a 2016 global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone hurt its earnings and its reputation.
The Suwon-based maker of smartphones and tablets said it expects operating profit for the three months ended June 30 to show a 72% jump to about 14.0 trillion Korean won from 8.14 trillion won a year earlier. It would be the highest quarterly operating profit in the company’s history. Samsung said it expects sales to show a 17.8% advance to about 60 trillion won from 50.94 trillion won. The company’s guidance exceeded the market consensus, which estimated 59.51 trillion won in sales and 13.80 trillion won in operating profit, according to S&P Capital IQ. Samsung did not provide guidance for net profit. Samsung is scheduled to hold an earnings conference call on July 27.