Wednesday, January 9

ByKevin Sheekey

From Bloomberg Politics today:

The outlook for a U.S.-China trade deal suddenly appears much better, though not necessarily due to any breakthrough in talks that wrapped up today in Beijing.

Rather, both sides are getting serious as the trade war is starting to inflict real pain. Bloomberg first reported that President Trump wants an agreement to perk up the stock market, which has fallen about 8 percent since he struck a temporary truce with counterpart Xi Jinping on Dec. 1. Discussions in Beijing this week, which featured mid-level officials and were mostly technical in nature, weren’t expected to bring about a result. Chinese representatives said they went well, and the two sides are now particularly close on energy and agriculture.

Still, if they’re to reach a lasting accord by March 1, when threatened tariff increases are set to take effect, they’ll have to make some tough choices. The next few weeks will determine who wants a deal more.

Read more: Economic Pain Builds Pressure for Trade Deal – Balance of Power (Bloomberg)

The Grand Speech That Wasn’t: Trump’s Prime-Time Bid to End Border Wall Impasse Falls Flat (Bloomberg)
Read the full text of Trump’s speech here and the Washington Post’s fact check version here. Read the response by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer here.

Meanwhile, Significant Russia Update: Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Gave Poll Data to Russian Associate – Court Filing (New York Times)

Brexit Update: Theresa May’s Deal Returns as Parliament Flexes Muscles (Bloomberg)

Gun Safety in America: Democratic Drive for Gun Control Reflects Rapidly Changing Political Dynamic (Washington Post)
Editorial: A Long-Overdue Push for Gun Background Checks (Bloomberg Opinion)

Analyst: Bloomberg’s Revenue Hit a Record $10 Billion in 2018, According to Burton-Taylor (Talking Biz News)

Book Section: Tell Your Children (Axios AM – #8)
Former NY Times reporter Alex Berenson, in a new book called “Tell Your Children,” “takes a sledgehammer to the promised benefits of marijuana legalization, and cannabis enthusiasts are not going to like it one bit.” According to Berenson:
-People who used cannabis at 15, one study found, were more than four times as likely to develop schizophrenia or a related syndrome
-Given that marijuana use is up 50 percent over the past decade, if the studies are accurate, we should be experiencing a big increase in psychotic diseases. And we are, Berenson argues.
-He suspects legalization is to the left what climate change is to the right — an issue around which even the most solid facts may not change minds.

Food Section: There Is a Free Lunch, After All. It’s at the Office (New York Times)
Free food has been a formidable presence in the American workplace since the 1990s, when Bloomberg and tech start-ups like Google began to put out snacks in hopes of making employees happier or healthier, and more productive.

Arts Section: The Shed, a Rare New Arts Center on the Hudson, Is Set to Open in April (New York Times)
One of the most significant additions to New York City’s cultural landscape in decades will open on April 5 – joining a rare lineage of new institutions on a large scale, like Lincoln Center in the 1960s, or the Museum of Modern Art in the late ’20s. The Shed’s aggressive fund-raising and hefty gifts have covered the projected $475 million cost of the building. Mike Bloomberg alone gave $75 million to support the project.

Best of late night.

On the U.S. government shutdown, which means that Transportation Security Administration agents at airports are not getting paid:

“That’s right 170 TSA agents at JFK airport called in sick, but thankfully at LaGuardia their one TSA agent showed up to work.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“This week the White House was caught several times making up statistics about the border situation. In response, Trump said, ‘That is a lie and 150 percent of people agree with me.’”
— Jimmy Fallon

“A group of Phoenix area residents recently attacked a self-driving car prototype using rocks and knives. Meanwhile in New York, that’s just how you hail a cab.”
— Seth Meyers

For more best of late night, click here.

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