Hello! Here’s what you need to know on Monday.
1. South Korean prosecutors are seeking a warrant to arrest Samsung Group’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong on charges that include bribery and embezzlement. Lee is accused of participating in payments that Samsung made to a close friend of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in exchange for government support in the company’s succession planning. The electronics giant denies any wrongdoing; its stock was down 3% on the news.
2. An unverified dossier provided to US intelligence officials alleges that President-elect Donald Trump “agreed to sideline” the issue of Russian intervention in Ukraine during his campaign after Russia promised to feed the emails it stole from prominent Democrats’ inboxes to WikiLeaks. The dossier was part of an opposition-research project conducted by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, at the behest of anti-Trump Republicans, and later Democrats.
3. The British pound crashed in early Asian trade on Monday following reports that Theresa May will likely push for a “hard Brexit.” May is expected to make a speech on Thursday.
4. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will close forever this May. The circus has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s, but was plagued by declining attendance, high operating costs, changing public tastes, and prolonged battles with animal rights groups.
5. China’s state-run newspaper, China Daily, says Beijing will “take off the gloves” if US President-elect Donald Trump continues to cast doubt on America’s commitment to the “One China Policy” after he assumes office. Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
6. The World Economic Forum in Davos kicks off this week. CEOs, top bankers, and political leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May, will converge for the annual meeting in the Swiss Alps.
7. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he may impose martial law if the nation’s drug problem worsens. This comes just a month after dismissing any suggestion he might do so as “nonsense.”
8. Peter Thiel may run for governor of California in 2018. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist entered the political arena in 2016 with his outspoken support for Trump and has since professed his support for California seceding from the union.
9. Turkey’s parliament has voted in favour in a first round ballot on a constitutional bill that will extend President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers. If parliament gives final approval to the constitutional package, which opposition politicians say could put the country at risk of growing authoritarianism, it will be put to a referendum expected in the spring.
10. Europe is bracing for the next wave of record levels of migrants and economic refugees. In preparation, the 28-nation EU wants to adapt a deal it has with Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to the African nations.
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