Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. European Council President Donald Tusk noted promising progress in Brexit talks. He said he would propose to 27 EU leaders to open internal preparations for the second phase of negotiations about ties between London and the bloc after Britain leaves in March, 2019.
2. JPMorgan will acquire online payment provider WePay as the bank looks to integrate payments into software used by small businesses. WePay’s technology, popular among small businesses, helps online software service providers process payments without impacting the user experience designed by developers.
3. Luxury electric car maker Tesla and labour leaders at its German engineering unit have agreed a new pay structure that will raise workers’ salaries by about 30%. “We will now get to a competitive wage level,” a spokesman for the works council said.
4. Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia is exploring options for its gold business ScotiaMocatta, including a possible sale of the world’s oldest gold trader. The Financial Times reported that Scotiabank had made a decision to sell the business following a massive money laundering scandal centered on a US refinery that involved smuggled gold from South America.
5. President Donald Trump will announce his decision on who will be the chair of the Federal Reserve in the “coming days.” Trump has an interview scheduled on Thursday with current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February. She is one of five candidates Trump is considering for the job.
6. Venezuela’s state-run oil firm, PDVSA, is increasingly delivering poor quality crude oil to major refiners in the United States, India and China, causing repeated complaints, Reuters reported. The disputes involve cargoes soiled with high levels of water, salt or metals that can cause problems for refineries.
7. US President Donald Trump’s assertion that he had heard Ireland was going to cut its already low corporate tax rate is “fake news”, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said. “I can confirm that President Trump’s claim that we are proposing to reduce our corporation profit tax to 8% is indeed fake news. There is no such plan to do so,” Varadkar told parliament in answer to a question on Trump’s comments.
8. Portugal’s fires have burnt 520,000 hectares of forest this year, 52 times the size of Lisbon. That’s nearly 60% of the total area burnt in the entire European Union in 2017, data from the EU showed.
9. A Native American tribe sued Amazon and Microsoft in Virginia for infringing supercomputer patents it is holding for a technology firm. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe was assigned the patents by SRC Labs LLC in August, in a deal intended to use the tribe’s sovereign status to shield them from administrative review.
10. Japan’s transport ministry is considering convening a meeting to probe the safety of automobiles, trains and planes using products from scandal-hit Kobe Steel. With the data falsification scandal at Japan’s third biggest steelmaker affecting a wide range of manufacturers, the Ministry decided to consider countermeasures.