Op-Ed Columnist: Trump and the Baby Snatchers

This was the lead paragraph of a New York Times report last week:

“The Trump administration said on Friday that it had separated 1,995 children from parents facing criminal prosecution for unlawfully crossing the border over a six-week period that ended last month, as President Trump sought to shift blame for the widely criticized practice that has become the signature policy of his aggressive immigration agenda.”

This may well be one of the most callous policies the Trump administration has instituted in its zeal to crack down on illegal immigration.

These are children!

On June 9, The Washington Post reported that “a Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell last month.”

According to The Post, when the man, 39-year-old Marco Antonio Muñoz, was told he would be separated from his wife and 3-year-old son, he “ ‘lost it,’ according to one agent.”

Marco Antonio MuñozCreditStarr County Sheriff’s Office

“ ‘The guy lost his s—-,’ the agent said. ‘They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.’ ”

The Post continued: “Muñoz was placed in a chain-link detention cell, but he began punching the metal and shaking it violently, agents said.”

At another point in the account, The Post reported:

“ ‘He yelled and kicked at the windows on the ride to the jail,’ an agent said. Shackled and handcuffed, Muñoz attempted to escape again upon arrival and once more had to be restrained. According to the sheriff’s department report, Muñoz was booked into the jail at 9:40 p.m. He remained combative and was placed in a padded isolation cell, it says.”

Muñoz would take his own life. A guard saw “ ‘a piece of clothing twisted around his neck which was tied to the drainage location in the center of the cell,’ according to the incident report filed by the sheriff’s department that morning.”

I can’t begin to imagine the incredible pain and anxiety parents like Muñoz and their children must feel. I can’t imagine being forcibly separated from my children for any reason.

And yet, this has become Trump’s policy of persecution. Attorney General Jeff Sessions even had the gall to invoke one of the same Bible verses used to justify slavery to justify the current policy.

Trump keeps lying about it, trying to distort reality and claim that the separations are a result of a “law” made by the Democrats.

As The Times reported on Saturday: “Mr. Trump has steadfastly tried to deflect blame for the separation of children from their parents, consistently dissembling about why it is occurring. His comments are the latest example of his asking the public to discount what it sees with its own eyes and instead believe his own self-serving version of reality. They also reflect how politically poisonous the issue has become, as photographs and news articles circulate about the effects of the practice.”

As The Times explained: “In fact, there is no law that requires families to be separated at the border. There is a law against ‘improper entry’ at the border, as well as a consent decree known as the Flores settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time that migrant children may be held in immigration detention, which a federal judge ruled in 2016 also applies to families. A 2008 antitrafficking statute — signed into law by a Republican president, George W. Bush — also requires that certain unaccompanied alien minors be transferred out of immigration detention in 72 hours. None of those laws or precedents mean that children must be taken away from their parents.

“It is the Trump administration’s decision this year to prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals that has forced the breakup of families; the children are removed when the parents are taken into federal custody. While previous administrations have made exceptions to such prosecutions for adults traveling with their minor children, the Trump administration has said it will not do so.”

FIFA Prepares for a Post-Trump World

The football association is looking toward a time when the dust has settled among North America’s three amigos.

Musa Okwonga

By Musa Okwonga

Mr. Okwonga is a writer, poet and football fanatic. He has published two books on the sport.

CreditIllustration by Leif Parsons/Photos by Alex Grimm, via Getty and Andres Stapff, via Reuters.

This is part of Offsides, a newsletter on the broader issues and hidden stories around the World Cup. You can sign up here to receive it in your inbox.

The games have begun. The World Cup kicked off on Thursday week with Russia facing Saudi Arabia, during which the host country pummeled the Saudis in a match ending 5-0. But some of the biggest drama was resolved a day earlier.

On Wednesday, FIFA announced who will host the games in 2026 — two World Cups from now. The United States, Canada and Mexico prevailed over the other top contender, Morocco. In some ways, I was a little disappointed. Part of me had hoped that a second African country would have a chance to host the tournament. And Morocco’s unique culture — the food, the music! — would have brought something special to this global event.

Still, there are a couple of nice touches to the United States-Mexico-Canada decision. For one thing, there’s something nostalgic in it: Mexico, which will be hosting the World Cup for the third time, was one of eight participants in the inaugural tournament in 1930. It also recognizes the hosting expertise of Canada, which held the immensely successful Women’s World Cup in 2015.

What’s going on? The golden rule in international football is that if something looks odd, it’s pretty likely that behind the scenes money is saying all the right things.

FIFA and the Vatican have several things in common: They are both largely self-regulating, they’re both wealthy, they both enjoy remarkable tax breaks, and they are both exponents of religion to the masses. The two institutions are also alike in strategy: They take a very long view. FIFA is looking toward a time when Trump will have sent his last tweet and the dust has settled among North America’s three amigos. And in that distant future, North America is a glorious choice: It provides the vast area needed to host games among 48 countries — and thus to generate equally vast profits. Estimates say the 2026 games will rake in $11 billion. Even Mr. Trump, who doesn’t seem to be a fan of either football or international institutions, seems to get this. According to reporting in The Times, he sent FIFA letters assuring that the United States would grant visas to officials and visitors related to the tournament.

DealBook Briefing: China’s Ready for a Trade War. Your Move, Mr. Trump.

Elsewhere in media news

• Apple is close to buying the rights for its first animated movie.

• Related: Just because tech companies like Amazon and Apple are probably more free to buy media producers doesn’t mean they should.

• Why Comcast and Disney are fighting over 21st Century Fox.

• Spotify once tried to survive by cozying up to record labels. Now it competes with them.


Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank.

Ints Kalnins/Reuters

The European Central Bank has put a stop to easy money

In outlining an end to its $2.8 trillion bond-buying program, the E.C.B. is essentially declaring that Europe is healthy enough to wean itself off fiscal stimulus. The decision catches the bank up to the Federal Reserve, which ended its program years ago.

Analysts have largely praised the move as pulling off a tough balancing act. But is the E.C.B.’s timing right? More from Jack Ewing of the NYT:

A trade war with the United States looms. Populists have taken power in Italy, posing a new threat to the euro. Growth is sluggish, and there is even talk of another banking crisis. It would not seem the ideal time to put the brakes on Europe’s economy.

The political flyaround

• New York State’s attorney general has sued the Trump Foundation, and the I.R.S. could go after it, too.

• The F.B.I.’s inspector general rebuked James Comey’s stewardship of the organization during the 2016 presidential race, but found no evidence of political bias or interference. (NYT)

• Federal prosecutors are said to be investigating Michael Cohen for illegal lobbying. (WSJ)

• Goldman Sachs made millions in Malaysia. Now Malaysia wants some of it back. (NYT)


Mike Blake/Reuters

Qualcomm’s NXP deal may be approved by Chinese regulators. Maybe.

Bloomberg and the South China Morning Post, citing anonymous sources, reported that Beijing officials had decided to allow the U.S. semiconductor company Qualcomm to acquire the Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors for $43 billion. But not so fast, says Reuters, whose sources asserted that there was no such signoff.

The fate of that deal has been hanging in the balance for at least 18 months. Eight other nations have waved it through. But China has held out, using it as a bargaining chip in its trade standoff with the U.S., and particularly to help ensure that the White House relaxes penalties on the Chinese telecom company ZTE.

The Trump administration recently spared ZTE, and a bid by Washington lawmakers to reverse that move looks increasingly doomed. So approval of the Qualcomm deal could be just around the corner — maybe.

The deals flyaround

• Abraaj, the embattled Middle Eastern financial firm, has filed for the equivalent of bankruptcy protection in the Cayman Islands. (FT)

• Charter Communications’ takeover of Time Warner Cable might be revoked if the company doesn’t comply with new conditions from New York. (Ars Technica)

• Royal Caribbean agreed to buy a 67 percent stake in Silversea, a luxury cruise operator, for about $1 billion. (WSJ)

• UBS’s London headquarters were sold to the Hong Kong property developer founded by Li Ka-shing for about $1.3 billion, in the latest London real estate megadeal. (FT)


Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The S.E.C. says Ether and Bitcoin aren’t securities

But most initial coin offerings probably are, according to William Hinman, the director of the S.E.C.’s division of corporation finance. In a speech yesterday, he said that Ethereum’s “decentralized structure” means that “current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions.” That news will ease concerns among those who expected the S.E.C. to apply strict securities regulations to many cryptocurrencies.

But Mr. Hinman added that securities regulations are “important safeguards, and they are appropriate for most I.C.O.s.” What’s the difference? He elaborated:

Central to determining whether a security is being sold is how it is being sold and the reasonable expectations of purchasers … Under certain circumstances, the same asset can be offered and sold in a way that causes investors to have a reasonable expectation of profits based on the efforts of others.

More crypto news: Steve Bannon is buying into Bitcoin. And a new $4 billion crypto-democracy could be the future — or it could be riddled with issues.

The tech flyaround

• Booz Allen Hamilton’s C.E.O. says that America’s lead over China in A.I. is slim. (Bloomberg)

• Facebook’s relationship with academics? It’s complicated. (Bloomberg)

• Google’s diversity statistics are still surprisingly poor. (The Verge)

• SoftBank wants to invest in the future. Here are some more technologies it might want to bet on. (DealBook)

Don’t forget the start-ups!

Megamergers have been this week’s focus. But Tom Braithwaite of the FT points out that we’re in danger of forgetting about younger, smaller companies. In the first quarter of 2018, just 727 “seed stage” companies raised money in the U.S. Mr. Braithwaite parses that number:

That is the lowest number since 2011 and half the level of three years ago … With such a dramatic decline, the chances of challengers graduating to the next stage and eventually taking on the incumbents is inevitably reduced.

Revolving door

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s head of communications and policy, is leaving after a decade. He had been the company’s point person on a series of scandals. (NYT)

• Activision Blizzard has hired Kristin Binns, Twitter’s head of corporate communications, as its chief communications officer. (Reuters)

• Amazon has added two veteran executives, Rosanna Godden and Heather Dystrup-Chiang, to the leadership of Whole Foods to help Amazon-ify the grocery chain. (CNBC)

The speed read

• Why does everyone seem so concerned about privacy now? (New Yorker)

• China’s push to curb its reliance on debt is slowing economic growth. (NYT)

• A recent change to the Volcker rule might be a problem for Wall Street. (Reuters)

• Trump’s prediction of 4 percent G.D.P. growth might come true. (CNBC)

• The E.U. is trying to become a global financial sheriff. (Bloomberg)

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to bizday@nytimes.com.

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The Donald J. Trump Foundation, Explained

Why has President Trump’s charity faced years of legal scrutiny? And what does the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against it mean?

During a campaign event in Sioux City, Iowa in January 2016, Mr. Trump presented a check to a veterans group.CreditPatrick Semansky/Associated Press

On Thursday, the New York State attorney general sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation, charging it with “improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.”

The lawsuit follows years of scrutiny of President Trump’s charitable activities and adds to the president’s extensive legal challenges, amid a continuing investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

What is the Trump Foundation?

Mr. Trump established the Donald J. Trump Foundation in 1987, when he was a New York City real estate mogul, with the stated mission of collecting and maintaining money “exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes,” either directly or by donating to other organizations. It is a private, nonprofit corporation. In its most recent I.R.S. filing, reporting as of Dec. 31, 2016, it had approximately $1 million in assets.

Mr. Trump served as the foundation’s president from its start until Jan. 23, 2017, three days after he was inaugurated as president. Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump also stepped down from her position on the foundation’s board of directors. His sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., are still members of the board.


What does this mean for Mr. Trump?

The suit seeks to bar Mr. Trump from serving on the leadership of any charitable organization operating in New York for 10 years, and to bar his eldest children, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, for one year.

If successful, it would force Mr. Trump and the three children to pay $2.8 million in restitution and damages. It would also force Mr. Trump to repay the foundation for up to double the amount of benefits he obtained after July 1, 2014 — a sum of millions. And it would dissolve the Trump foundation and require it to cooperate with the attorney general’s office in disbursing any remaining funds it possesses.

(Mr. Trump had already announced his intention to dissolve the foundation, and he has already paid more than $330,000 in reimbursements and penalty taxes since 2016.)

DealBook Briefing: How the Trump-Kim Summit Could Reshape the Economy

Singapore summit extra: Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim dined on Korean stuffed cucumber, beef short rib confit, Yangzhou fried rice and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.


Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York, and Michael J. de la Merced and Jamie Condliffe in London.



Logs at the Interfor sawmill in Grand Forks, British Columbia.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

A root of rising home prices: Trump’s lumber tariffs

As the Trump administration clashes with Canada over trade, Peter Eavis took a look at tariffs on Canadian lumber and how they affect American consumers. What he found: Canadian lumber producers are doing well, American counterparts haven’t stepped up production, and U.S. home builders are being squeezed.

More from Peter’s report:

“We’ve had conversations with the White House, Secretary Ross directly and the U.S. trade representative,” said Jerry Howard, chief executive of the National Association of Home Builders. “We are trying to sound the alarm here.”

Elsewhere in trade: Forget the usual ways of tracking trade deficits. Deutsche Bank economists have a new measure, and it shows a $1.4 billion U.S. trade “surplus.” (Bloomberg)


Paul Tudor Jones II

Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Goldman teams up with Paul Tudor Jones to track feel-good companies

The billionaire investor built an entire foundation around the idea of measuring corporate America on more than profits, before the concept became fashionable. But now he’s turned it into a financial product — an exchange-traded fund made of a selection of Russell 1000 companies, based on his metrics — with the help of the Wall Street bank.

More from Andrew’s latest column:

Only 6 percent of the calculation of the index relates to how well a company provides investor return. Whether the formula is a winning one for investors is a bit of an open question. The fund would have outperformed the Russell 1000 by 3.47 percent over the past two years. That’s the good news. The bad news is there is no way to test the formula any further back, and each year, the index changes based on shifts in the polling.

The political flyaround

• Despite their senior White House roles, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner profited enormously from their private investments last year. (NYT)

• Senate leaders voted to add amendments to the annual military spending bill that are meant to restore penalties on the Chinese telecom company ZTE. (Politico)

• British lawmakers are “very seriously” examining the businessman Arron Banks’s Russian connections, over fears that his Brexit funding undermined democracy during the 2016 referendum. (Guardian)


Martin Sorrell

Eric Gaillard/Reuters

The inside view on Martin Sorrell’s downfall

In a lengthy investigation, the FT found that Mr. Sorrell had become vulnerable because of a combination of resentment over his spending habits and big pay packages, and concern that he wasn’t getting the advertising company WPP to respond quickly enough to a slowdown in digital campaigns.

Allegations of a visit to a brothel may have been the final straw. More from Madison Marriage and Matthew Garrahan:

Interviews with a range of WPP employees, past and present, have now allowed a picture of events to emerge, which centres on an alleged visit to a Mayfair brothel one year ago — said to have been witnessed by two employees, one of whom later reported it to the company. This alleged incident raised questions about the possible use of company funds and appeared to fit a pattern where personal and company expenses were hard to separate.

Meanwhile, management could face blowback from investors at WPP’s annual meeting tomorrow. Mark Kleinman of Sky News reported that a preliminary tally of shareholder votes shows anger over pay practices.

The deals flyaround

• Stryker is said to have made a takeover offer to a rival medical device maker, Boston Scientific. A deal could be worth more than $50 billion. (WSJ)

• USG, the construction materials company, finally agreed to sell itself to Knauf of Germany for $7 billion. (Bloomberg)

• Lola, a start-up that makes organic tampons and other feminine products, has raised $24 million to branch out into other products. The company told Michael it hoped to offer a suite of women’s products, as Harry’s does for men. (Lola)


Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in April.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Facebook’s written answers to Congress: an awful lot of very little

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress in April, he failed to answer a lot of questions. Instead, he promised to get back to lawmakers. Now his company’s responses have been made public — but if you were expecting in-depth details in the 454 pages of answers, you’re out of luck.

More from Sheera Frenkel of the NYT:

Much of the information that Facebook included was not new and the social network sidestepped providing detailed answers. In dozens of responses about how Facebook operates and how it deals with its online content, the company referred members of Congress back to its terms of service and community standards. In 224 instances, Facebook simply asked lawmakers to look back at previously answered questions.

More in Facebook news: Lawmakers are scrutinizing the company in the wake of reports about it sharing data with device makers. The company still can’t find evidence of Russian meddling in the Brexit vote. And is the company’s big problem a lack of innovation?


Aleksandar Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

The tech flyaround

• A brief history of Foxconn’s troubling work conditions. (NYT)

• Investments in the gene-editing technology Crispr are a big risk. (Bloomberg)

• Tesla says that its Autopilot system should be fully self-driving by August. Conveniently, there’s now a way to grade autonomous car systems.

• The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russians over involvement with cyberattacks. (Reuters)


Jerome Powell, the Fed chairman.

Ben Nelms/Reuters

The Fed has a big call to make. A misstep could be crippling.

America’s central bank is expected to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate to somewhere between 1.75 percent and 2 percent tomorrow. But it faces a tricky balancing act, and the wrong choice could lead to a recession.

More from Nick Timiraos of the WSJ:

Could a tighter labor market bring in people not already in the job market and raise workforce participation rates? If that happens, the economy will be in a position to draw on those unused resources and keep growing without overheating. That would allow the Fed to raise rates more slowly than it otherwise would. If there aren’t people outside of the labor market ready to enter, the Fed could raise rates more aggressively. Higher inflation requires tighter credit to keep price pressures in check.

Elsewhere in rates: How e-commerce could be to blame for low inflation — but could also help fix it.


Bozoma Saint John

Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Revolving door

Bozoma Saint John, Uber’s chief brand officer, has left to become chief marketing officer at Endeavor, the holding company for the WME talent agency. (Recode)

• Lazard has hired Mark Sooby and Harris Ghozali from Deutsche Bank, as managing directors focusing on oil and gas investment banking. (Lazard)

The speed read

• A Mexican judge has issued an arrest warrant for JPMorgan Chase’s top banker in the country over allegations of fraud. (FT)

• Justify, only the 13th Triple Crown winner in history, has broken records for breeding rights, fetching $75 million. (ESPN)

• Can Silicon Valley make bank accounts cool again? (Bloomberg)

• Why bringing back supersonic jetliners might be a bad idea. (NYT)

You can find live updates throughout the day at nytimes.com/dealbook.

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to bizday@nytimes.com.

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Atrocities Under Kim Jong-un: Indoctrination, Prison Gulags, Executions

With the meeting of President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea on Tuesday in Singapore, human rights groups are watching for Mr. Trump to bring up North Korea’s widespread crimes against humanity.

Mr. Kim rules with extreme brutality, making his nation among the worst human rights violators in the world.

In North Korea, these crimes “entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” concluded a 2014 United Nations report that examined North Korea.

Here are some of the atrocities that have happened there.

A network of prison gulags

Many North Koreans live in fear. That is by design, and it is reinforced by the country’s ruthless police state.

People accused of political crimes are arrested and sentenced to prison camps without a trial, while their families are often kept in the dark about their whereabouts. Up to 120,000 inmates were in the country’s four major political prisons in 2014 and were subjected to gruesome conditions, according to the United Nations report.

Prisoners are starved, forced to work, tortured and raped. Reproductive rights are denied through forced abortion and infanticide. Some are executed — sometimes in public. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have died in the camps over the past 50 years, the United Nations report found.

In addition to the political camps, North Korea also operates prisons for those accused of ordinary crimes. Some prisons are short-term labor camps. Others hold prisoners who face long-term torture, starvation and suffering.

Mr. Kim’s enemies, and family, have been executed

Since Mr. Kim assumed power in 2011, taking over from his father, Kim Jong-il, he has consolidated his power through executions. In the first six years as leader, he has ordered the executions of at least 340 people, according to the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank arm of the National Intelligence Service.

In 2016, Kim Yong-jin, the deputy premier for education, was killed in front of a firing squad after showing “disrespectful posture” in a meeting. Hyon Yong-chol, a general over the armed forces, fell asleep in a meeting. He was executed with an antiaircraft gun.

Independent thought is bred out and propaganda glorifying the state is plentiful, the report said, as is propaganda intended to “incite nationalistic hatred toward official enemies” like Japan and the United States.

Christianity is deemed a ‘serious threat’

North Korea considers the spread of most religions dangerous, but Christianity is considered a “particularly serious threat” because it “provides a platform for social and political organization and interaction outside the realm of the State,” according to the United Nations report.

Christians are barred from practicing their religion, and those caught doing so are “subject to severe punishments,” the report found. North Korean leaders also conflate Christians with those detained in prison camps, those who try to flee and “others considered to introduce subversive influences,” the report stated.

In interviews with The New York Times in 2012, four North Koreans said that they had been warned that the gulag awaited those who spoke to journalists or Christian missionaries. “If the government finds out I am reading the Bible, I’m dead,” one woman said.

In its 2018 World Watch List, the Christian group Open Doors ranked North Korea the worst nation in the world for Christians, and in a statement last week, the group called on Christians to take part in 24 hours of prayer and fasting on Monday ahead of the meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim.

‘Deliberate starvation’ as a play for power

Two million to three million people were believed to have died during an extended famine in North Korea in the 1990s, The New York Times reported in 1999, around when the country began to recover.

At the time, North Korea used food as a tool to enforce political loyalty, prioritizing its distribution based on who was most useful to the nation’s political system, the United Nations report stated.

More recently, the inmate population in North Korea’s political prison camps has been culled through “deliberate starvation,” the report found, adding that suspects are also starved “to increase the pressure on them to confess and to incriminate other persons.”

When the 2014 report was conducted, it found that hunger and malnutrition were still widespread problems among the general population, and deaths from starvation continued to be reported.

That prompted the United Nations commission to raise concerns that another mass starvation could occur. “Laws and policies that violate the right to adequate food and freedom from hunger remain in place,” the report said.

Live Briefing: Live Updates: President Trump to Meet Kim Jong-un of North Korea

“The president and the entire U.S. team are looking forward to tomorrow’s summit,” Mr. Pompeo said in a statement on Monday.

That team includes, among others, Mr. Pompeo; John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Matthew Pottinger, the National Security Council’s top Asia hand.

The administration also recruited Sung Y. Kim, a seasoned North Korea negotiator currently serving as the American ambassador to the Philippines.

Among the North Koreans attending the summit meeting is Kim Yong-chol, a former leader of North Korea’s main spy agency, who now serves as a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party. He had visited Mr. Trump at the White House on June 1, delivering a personal letter from Mr. Kim.

Ri Yong-ho, the foreign minister, and Choe Son-hui, a vice foreign minister, have haggled with the United States for decades over their country’s nuclear weapons program. Ms. Choe called Vice President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” last month, briefly jeopardizing the summit meeting. No Kwang-chol became minister of the People’s Armed Forces during a recent reshuffle of the top military leadership.

Kim Yo-jong, Mr. Kim’s only sister, has been an important face of North Korea’s recent diplomatic overtures. Mr. Kim sent her to South Korea in February to invite Mr. Moon to a summit meeting. She is in charge of the party’s Department of Propaganda and Agitation, one of the most powerful agencies in North Korea.

The summit meeting: Breaking it down.

The summit meeting in Singapore is on track after some fraught on-again, off-again moments.

Where will the leaders meet? Who will be there? What’s on the agenda?

We’ve put together a primer to the high-stakes talks that breaks down the key players and the key issues.

The Biggest Reality Show on the Planet


Journalists outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Singapore on Monday. About 2,500 journalists from around the world have registered to cover the event.

Edgar Su/Reuters

About 2,500 journalists from around the world have registered for official credentials to cover the Trump-Kim summit meeting, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Communications. That might be an understatement — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said closer to 5,000 were in Singapore to document the meeting.

Foreign journalists are working out of a large building usually reserved for Formula One racers and their pit crews. At a Marriott hotel where the White House press corps is stationed, television crews line up along an outside patio, as correspondents give their on-camera reports.

All three of the major American cable news networks are anchoring their nightly news programs from Singapore. North Korean experts are in high demand, with many of them signing contracts to appear as exclusive commentators on the talks.

Camera crews have staked out the St. Regis Hotel, where Mr. Kim is staying, although he eluded the media for most of Monday. In the evening, his entourage left the hotel and the news media frantically tried to figure out where he was going, before catching up to him at another hotel.

As if teasing the world’s jouranlists, Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, tweeted a selfie with the North Korean leader with the hashtag #guesswhere?

The White House press corps — more than 350 reporters — filed dispatches from two floors of a glitzy ballroom at the Marriott Singapore South Beach, with hundreds of curved metal cylinders hanging from the ceiling. “This is the most dramatic WH press file I’ve been in,” David Nakamura, a reporter for The Washington Post, wrote on Twitter.

Reporters chased anyone they hoped could give them a shred of information. At one point on Sunday, journalists even swarmed one of their own, albeit a reporter from North Korea, who fled to his hotel.

The View from North Korea


Residents of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, watched footage of Mr. Kim in Singapore on Monday.

Jon Chol Jin/Associated Press

While most foreign news outlets began wall-to-wall coverage on Sunday, the North Korean media waited until Monday to report that Mr. Kim had arrived in Singapore a day earlier and met with Singapore’s prime minister.

On social media, analysts reading the tea leaves noted that the Korean Central News Agency, KCNA, had mentioned that Mr. Kim flew to Singapore on a “Chinese plane.”

“By reporting that he landed in Singapore on ‘Chinese plane’ highlights not only historic nature of his journey beyond Korea & #China but also signals to his people that DPRK-Chinese relations have been restored,” tweeted Jean H. Lee, a former Associated Press bureau chief in Pyongyang and now a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

Perhaps more significantly, KCNA also reported that North Korea’s leader hoped to be “building a permanent and durable peacekeeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.” as well as “the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.”

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The Week That Could Rattle the World Economy: DealBook Briefing

For now, investors appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach. Major global indexes are up, as are U.S. futures. But between the North Korea talks, the Fed’s expected interest rate increase and British lawmakers’ high-profile vote on a “Brexit” bill, there’s a lot that can happen this week.


Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

The court decision that could reshape M.&.A.

Deal makers across all industries are waiting for tomorrow, when Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court in Washington is to rule on the government’s effort to block AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner. If he rules in favor of the $85.4 billion deal, expect M.&A. to continue its relentless pace. If not, acquisitions could take a hit.

At stake are deals like CVS’s $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion bid for Sprint and, of course, the impending battle over 21st Century Fox. Expect Comcast to decide quickly whether it wants to challenge Disney’s $52.4 billion offer.

Michael de la Merced’s take: If Judge Leon rules against AT&T’s deal, expect a hit to M.&A. — but not necessarily a huge one. Why? Because companies need to grow, and borrowing money to finance deals is still cheap. And it will be hard to stop a deal train that posted more than $816 billion worth of transactions through May this year.

M.&A. extra: The Justice Department said that it had no known contact with Michael Cohen, whom AT&T had paid $600,000 for “insights” into the Trump administration’s thinking on its Time Warner deal.


Ajit Pai, the F.C.C. chairman.

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Net neutrality dies today. Can it be brought back to life?

The Obama-era rules that ordered broadband providers to treat all web traffic equally are scheduled to end today. It’s a major milestone for Ajit Pai, the Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who called for a deregulated internet from his first day in the position.

The argument for: In a column for CNET, Mr. Pai asserts that the new rules “will protect consumers and promote better, faster internet access and more competition.”

And against: Critics argue that the change will allow telecoms to block access to some sites or charge more for fast connections.

The last-minute appeals: Congressional Democrats are still trying to save net neutrality. And many states are seeking to introduce their own net neutrality rules, though those efforts may be quashed by the F.C.C.

The political flyaround

• The Republican tax overhaul isn’t likely to create more investment in the U.S., because companies have put money in tax havens. Meanwhile, blue states are still trying to find ways to shield their residents from the new rules.

• President Trump may be feeling emboldened these days, but White House aides feel burned out — and are looking for the exits. (NYT)

• The Trump administration still doesn’t have a science adviser. (NYT)

• Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain is trying to hold her party together as Parliament holds a series of crucial votes on her government’s Brexit efforts. (FT)


Henry Kravis, right, the co-founder of KKR, with the retired general David Petraeus.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

KKR is set to buy a health care company that comes with problems

The private equity giant is expected to announce as soon as this morning that it will buy Envision Healthcare, one of the country’s biggest doctor-staffing companies, for about $46 a share. It would be one of the biggest leveraged buyouts in recent years — but would give KKR ownership of a company facing lots of scrutiny.

Envision has been under pressure for reportedly charging hospitals where it runs emergency rooms an unusually high number of out-of-network billings. While the company has questioned the validity of the research behind that claim, it has faced sharp questions from Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, over the matter, and investors have sued over the reports.

It’s not clear whether those issues would go away if KKR bought control. But Envision’s growing hold on hospital E.R.s may be tempting enough to go through with the deal anyway.

The deals flyaround

• A year after Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods, the food and grocery industries are racing to Amazon-ify. (WSJ)

• Big bank mergers in Europe are a distant prospect. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad idea. (Heard on the Street)

• The London Stock Exchange could still win the race to host Saudi Aramco’s I.P.O. — if it makes further concessions. (Lex)

• Blackstone is said to be offering discounts to attract more investors to its $40 billion infrastructure fund. (FT)


The Fed’s headquarters in Washington.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

How automation could make the Fed’s job impossible

The Federal Reserve has two core mandates: maintain a stable economy and maximize employment. But Martin Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan and a professor at Harvard, argues in a WSJ op-ed that the coming erosion of jobs by A.I. and robotics could make it impossible to achieve both at once:

Job losses will be caused not by low demand, but by supply shocks as artificial intelligence allows machines to replace labor… Policies that increase aggregate demand will not succeed in replacing the jobs that technology makes obsolete.

Technological disruption will make the unemployment rate a very noisy signal of the demand level. The Fed’s policy goal should therefore be shifted so that it focuses solely on price stability


Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

The tech flyaround

• China’s technological prowess is being called into question in the wake of the ZTE debacle. (NYT)

• A new hacking episode helped exacerbate a $46 billion rout in cryptocurrencies. (Bloomberg)

• Amazon is under scrutiny for unethical working practices at a Foxconn factory in China that makes devices for the American tech giant. (Guardian)

• The U.S. is once again home to the world’s fastest supercomputer. (NYT)


Lowell McAdam

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Revolving door

• Lowell McAdam will retire as Verizon’s C.E.O. in August. His legacy includes building on his company’s network dominance and avoiding the deal making that defined his rivals. (NYT)

• John Lasseter won’t return to Disney after a leave of absence, following reports of unwanted hugs in the workplace and other misconduct. (NYT)

The speed read

• The world’s largest investment banks are now more profitable than they were before the financial crisis. (FT)

• Italy’s finance minister says the country will stay inside the eurozone. (FT)

• Meet the White House staff members who tape back together documents that President Trump has ripped up, in order to comply with the law. (Politico)

Correction: Friday’s newsletter misstated the name of a horse race over the weekend : It was the Belmont Stakes, not the Preakness Stakes. (Justify, the favorite, won.)

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DealBook Briefing: Justice Dept. Hints at the Fate of the Fox Deal



Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Trump will play the G-7 on his terms

The president won’t attend all this weekend’s Group of 7 talks in Quebec — he’ll leave midmorning tomorrow, before sessions on clean energy and the climate. That sums up his approach to the summit, where other world leaders are likely to attack his aggressive trade policies.

Michael D. Shear of the NYT likens the weekend to a Thanksgiving from hell:

Mr. Trump is the black sheep of this family, the estranged sibling who decided to pick fights with his relatives just before arriving to dinner. The dispute, Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, acknowledges, is “much like a family quarrel.”

On the agenda: Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will urge Europe to tackle President Trump’s policies more assertively, while Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain will counsel restraint. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada may do whatever it takes to salvage his image.

It’s unclear how — or if — any of that will affect America’s trade policies. But diplomatic tensions look set to rise, and economic uncertainty would rise with them.

Elsewhere in trade:

• Senate Republican leaders look set to quash Senator Bob Corker’s bid to rein in the president’s tariffs.

• An inside look at how Mr. Trump turned up the heat on trade with China.

• And the people who might make him turn it down again: Iowan soybean farmers.


Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

Did the White House strike a good deal over ZTE?

The Trump administration removed crippling penalties on the ailing Chinese telecom company in exchange for $1.4 billion in fines and other measures. But did some other big gain drive the deal?

Getting Beijing to approve Qualcomm’s takeover of another chip maker, NXP Semiconductors? Maybe. China’s latest trade concessions, which were linked to the Trump administration not imposing certain tariffs? Unlikely.

The answer might be simpler, according to the NYT. Killing ZTE would have left President Xi Jinping of China with a huge political problem, damaging the overall Washington-Beijing trade talks.

The reaction: Critics said the penalties weren’t tough enough. And lawmakers were predictably up in arms:


A bipartisan group of senators, including Mr. Rubio and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, introduced legislation to strictly limit ZTE’s operations.

The political flyaround

• The Justice Department said that it won’t defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act. (NYT)

• The I.M.F. has agreed to give Argentina a $50 billion financial lifeline as the country tries to reduce its fiscal deficits. (WSJ)

• Federal prosecutors seized years’ worth of an NYT reporter’s phone and email records as part of an investigation into classified information leaks by a Senate Intelligence Committee aide. (NYT)

• The E.P.A. has changed the way it calculates risks of chemicals — in a way that benefits the chemical industry. (NYT)


Charles Koch

Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle, via Associated Press

Charles Koch may have forced his brother out

When David Koch announced on Tuesday that he was retiring from his family’s industrial conglomerate and political network, he cited his health as the reason. But according to The New Yorker, it was a move by his older brother, Charles, who has long been the dominant partner.

More from Jane Mayer:

A business associate who declined to be identified, in order not to jeopardize his ties to the family, told me, “Charles pushed David out. It was done with a wink, and a nod, and a nudge.”


Jonathan Bush, departing C.E.O. of Athenahealth.

Michele McDonald for The New York Times

The deals flyaround

• Jonathan Bush’s resignation from Athenahealth is yet another C.E.O. ouster to come after Elliott Management, known for hardball shareholder activism, invested in a company. (Fortune)

• Ant Financial has officially closed its latest fund-raising round at $14 billion, with a valuation of $150 billion — more than the market capitalization of Goldman Sachs. (FT)

• Deutsche Bank’s chairman, Paul Achleitner, has reportedly revived the idea of merging it with a fellow German lender, Commerzbank. (Bloomberg)

• Bayer of Germany has closed its takeover of Monsanto and dropped the U.S. company’s name. (Bloomberg)


Sundar Pichai, Google’s C.E.O.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google won’t work on A.I. weapons, but will work with the military

After a an employee backlash over its work with the Pentagon, the tech company has created a set of principles to guide its artificial intelligence projects. The seven rules, published by Google’s C.E.O, Sundar Pichai, rule out projects that could cause injury or violate human rights — but not all forms of defense work.

Jamie Condliffe’s take: Defense contracts are too lucrative for Google to give up on entirely, and there’s certainly scope for building military A.I. that doesn’t cause death and destruction. But the rules’ language is vague in places — it might not rule out the development of A.I. for use in cyberattacks, for instance — and employees may push back.

The tech flyaround

• A Facebook bug made the status updates of 14 million users public. Meanwhile, the company is hiring “news credibility specialists.”

• A National Transportation Safety Board report suggests that an Autopilot mistake contributed to a fatal Tesla crash in Mountain View, Calif., in March. (The Verge)

• During the Bitcoin boom, many long-term holders sold out to new speculators. (FT)

• Sucking carbon dioxide out of the air to fix climate change might be cheaper than we thought. (Ars Technica)


George Soros

Francois Mori/Associated Press

Kentucky Derby winner Justify has a secret co-owner: George Soros

SF Bloodstock and SF Racing Group, a company controlled by top executives at the billionaire’s investment firm, has a 15 percent stake in the horse, which is the heavy favorite to win tomorrow’s Preakness Stakes.

More from Melissa Hoppert and Matthew Goldstein of the NYT:

SF Bloodstock, which according to court filings is owned by SF Agricultural Holdings L.L.C., employs a for-profit model and focuses on the breeding side of the industry, purchasing stallions, or shares in them, and broodmares while selling yearlings at auction. In 2015, it entered into a three-year partnership with WinStar Farm and China Horse Club that allowed them to spend big while spreading risk at yearling and 2-year-old sales. That is how the group partly acquired Justify.

Elsewhere in business and sports:

• Amazon has won exclusive U.K. rights to broadcast 20 Premier League matches.

• Are sports teams now too expensive for the average billionaire?

Revolving door

Harold Ford Jr., the former congressman who was fired by Morgan Stanley amid allegations of improper behavior, is said to be planning a return to Wall Street. (Fox Business)

• BlackRock has lost David Horowitz and Benjamin Brodsky, the deputy chief investment officers of its biggest hedge fund, Fixed Income GlobalAlpha. (Bloomberg)

• Gavin Patterson will step down as the chief executive of BT, after the British telecom company said it needed new leadership. (BBC)

• The law firm Kirkland & Ellis has poached Kristin Mendoza from Latham & Watkins as a partner focusing on private equity deals. (Kirkland & Ellis)

The speed read

• How the gig economy is reshaping work: not much. (NYT)

• Economists think the Fed will raise interest rates four times this year. (WSJ)

• Inside a factory that aims to solve housing shortages. (NYT)

• A $3.3 million steak with Warren Buffett? Call it a smart tax move. (Forbes)

You can find live updates throughout the day at nytimes.com/dealbook.

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