While we obsess over Trump, China is making history While news and analysis in the United States continue to be obsessed with President Trump’s daily antics and insults, halfway around the world, something truly historic just happened. China signaled that it now sees itself as the world’s other superpower, positioning itself as the alternative, if not rival, to the United States. -The Washington Post


A WITHERING STATE>> Leaked document shows Tillerson power play A leaked document shows how the secretary of state is trying to centralize foreign policy decision making, alarming veteran diplomats. -Politico

How Rex Tillerson Is Remaking the State Department The former CEO is bent on a full private-sector-style redesign even as trouble brews abroad. -Bloomberg

Mattis visits Seoul for defense talks as tensions climb -Reuters

Corker: Trump administration moving ahead on delayed Russia sanctions Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle began clamoring for action after the Trump administration missed the Oct. 1 deadline. -Politico

House narrowly passes budget — setting up mammoth tax fight It was a dramatic vote, as Speaker Paul Ryan faced resistance from a number of Republicans concerned with the budget and tax plans. -Politico

Instead of Cutting Corporate Taxes, Solve Actual Problems Republicans in Washington are stuck in the 1980s. The economy has new challenges: a shortage of housing and workers. -Bloomberg View

SAVOIR FAIRE>> Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Russia probe, thinks Americans are too ‘savvy’ for Russian ads to work -The Washington Post


Behind Quebec’s Ban on Face Coverings, a Debate Over Identity -NYT

U.S. appoints new top official at Havana embassy as tensions flare The United States said on Thursday it had designated career diplomat Lawrence Gumbiner as the new chief of its Cuba embassy that has been at the center of a diplomatic crisis due to allegations of mysterious health attacks on its personnel. -Reuters

China, Cuba sign agreements to expand economic, trade ties -Xinhua

Brazil's President Temer avoids corruption trial Brazil's President Michel Temer has secured enough votes in the lower house of Congress to avoid facing trial on corruption charges. -BBC

Deep Cracks Appear in Venezuela’s Weakened Opposition One of Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leaders threatened to break from the broad alliance of opposition parties on Tuesday, pushing the coalition to the brink of fracture and further deepening the nation’s political crisis. -NYT




How Facebook, Google and Twitter 'embeds' helped Trump in 2016 A study reveals employees the companies placed in the Trump campaign played a surprisingly active role in shaping its message and targeting voters. -Politico

Twitter pulls RT, Sputnik ads Twitter said Thursday it's dropping all ads from Kremlin-funded English-language media outlets RT and Sputnik, as the company prepares to face lawmakers next week over Russian use of social media to interfere with the 2016 election. -Politico

Consumer groups join conservatives against AT&T deal for Time Warner Seven groups ranging from the Tea Party Patriots to liberal consumer groups warned against AT&T’s (T.N) plan to buy Time Warner (TWX.N) in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying the deal could give one company too much power over what Americans see on television. -Reuters

America Movil's network fees may cost rivals millions: AT&T -Reuters

KYC RISK>> SEC Reviews Guggenheim Ties With Argentine Businessman U.S. regulators are looking at a web of companies linked to an Argentine man who has done almost $1 billion of deals with Guggenheim Partners as part of a wider review of the massive investment firm, according to a person familiar with the matter. -


STAR LIGHT START BRIGHT>> Morningstar's Star System Was Always a Bright Shiny Object The ratings look backward and give a false sense of comfort. -Bloomberg View

Nasdaq sues operators of cyber security ETF, alleging theft -Reuters

Peabody's Late Recovery Peabody's U.S. operations, despite comprising some of the world's biggest and highest-quality thermal coal mines, remain under long-term threat from the growth of natural gas and renewables. -Bloomberg View

Venezuela's Cash Crunch Means Waiting Five Months to Get Paid -Bloomberg

“The sanctions are hurting Venezuela much worse than initially expected” “U.S. refiners pay in cash for the crude, and if Venezuela is losing access to that kind of money, it means PDVSA is in for big financial trouble down the road.”