Trump weighs Syria options, Russia envoy says he 'cannot exclude' war President Donald Trump and his national security aides on Thursday discussed U.S. options on Syria, where he has threatened missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack, as a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict between Washington and Moscow. -Reuters

What Trump's Syria Decision Means for East Asia China, North Korea, and others will be watching to see how the United States responds. -The Diplomat 

Pompeo grilled about his closeness to Trump at confirmation hearing Secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo promised Thursday to restore the State Department to the center of U.S. foreign policy, work to stiffen sanctions against Russia and promote democratic values abroad. But his critics appeared unconvinced that as the nation’s top diplomat, he would stand up to President Trump. -The Washington Post

The Tragedy of Paul Ryan He began as a Jack Kemp conservative. He ended as Donald Trump’s man on Capitol Hill. -Politico

Is Trump Serious About Trade War? China’s Leaders Hunt for Answers The official, Wang Huning, a Communist Party strategist who has spent much of his career sizing up the United States as a geopolitical rival, wanted to know whether President Trump was serious about a trade war with China — and whether they could serve as a channel of communication to the White House. -NYT

TPP - HATE U LOVE U (HATE U AGAIN?) Trump flirts with re-entering massive trade pact A move to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be a stunning reversal for the protectionist-minded president. -Politico

Pence to meet Canada's Trudeau at Americas summit in Lima: White House -Reuters

Has Latin America’s Crusade Against Corruption Gone Too Far? Have recent events against corruption begun to threaten democracy and the rule of law, instead of strengthening them? There is a case to be made for these doubts, but it is a weak and, ultimately, flawed one. Whatever the drawbacks and dangers of the current anti-corruption drive in the region, they are preferable to the alternative: an intolerable status quo. -NYT Opinion



REGULATORY FEST? Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount -NYT

Mark Zuckerberg’s Wednesday congressional hearing testimony is now online -The Verge

“That was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” he says. “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

ONE WIN U.S. judge says Uber drivers are not company's employees A U.S. judge in Philadelphia has ruled that limousine drivers for Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] are independent contractors and not the company’s employees under federal law, the first ruling of its kind on a crucial issue for the ride-hailing company. -Reuters

ONE LOSS Uber expands privacy settlement with FTC Uber is expanding the proposed settlement it made with the Federal Trade Commission last August pertaining to data mishandling, privacy and security complaints that date back to 2014 and 2015. In August, Uber agreed to 20 years of privacy audits. -Tech Crunch

WHY KILL THE GEESE THAT LAY GOLDEN EGGS? In Trade Spat, China Has a Secret Weapon American companies could face a popular backlash. In the current dispute, China has so far kept this sword in its scabbard, possibly because it wants to present its response to Trump's tariffs as reciprocal. If (or when) the authorities choose to go after U.S. companies in China, they can whip up protests and boycotts at the drop of a Nike cap. -Bloomberg View  

Trump Company Lawyers Asked Panama President for Help in Hotel Dispute Lawyers representing the Trump Organization in a bitter dispute over management control of a luxury hotel in Panama City appealed directly to President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama to intercede. -NYT


The Dollar Is an Unexpected Casualty of Trade Spat With China As Trump ratchets up the rhetoric, the greenback isn't playing its usual role as a safe harbor.  -Bloomberg View

Economists Say U.S. Tariffs Are Wrong Move on a Valid Issue -NYT