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U.S. intelligence agencies long ago concluded Russia carried out a sophisticated operation in 2016 to damage former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ultimately help real estate developer Donald Trump win the presidential election. Now, they are assessing whether the Kremlin is trying to undermine former Vice President Joseph Biden, a current Democratic front-runner to unseat Trump, in the same way. Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Moscow is attempting to weaken the Democrat by fueling unsubstantiated Republican claims about his son and U.S. policy toward Ukraine. Trump was impeached and faces trial in the Senate over his effort to have Ukraine interfere in the 2020 campaign by investigating Biden.
Here are today’s top stories
Trump claimed Iran had been targeting four American embassies before he ordered the killing of a top Iranian general. The administration hasn’t made public any evidence of such plans or an imminent attack Trump’s aides claimed justified the U.S. assassination.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will prepare to send articles of impeachment to the Senate next week after failing to secure a pledge from Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the trial’s structure, including the inclusion of witnesses. Trump said he’d invoke executive privilege to prevent former National Security Adviser John Bolton from testifying if witnesses are allowed.
The Trump administration on Friday said it imposed new sanctions on Iran. The Islamic Republic, meanwhile, accused the West of “psychological warfare” for claiming a Boeing jet that crashed near Tehran was downed by Iranian missiles. If it was, there should be clear signs in the wreckage.
Boeing released a damaging new batch of internal messages in which company employees discussed deep unease with the 737 Max before the aircraft suffered two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. “This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” said one company pilot in a 2016 message.
The U.S. labor market ended the year with less momentum, as payroll gains cooled by more than forecast and wages rose at the weakest annual pace since 2018.
The economic cost of Brexit has already hit $170 billion, according to research conducted by Bloomberg Economics. And the bill is still rising.
What’s Luke Kawa thinking about? The Bloomberg cross-asset reporter says the window for junk issuers in the energy sector may have gotten a little wider thanks to the temporary jump in crude prices caused by the U.S.-Iran confrontation. It helps that producers are actively hedging, too.
What you’ll need to know tomorrow
Hollywood made 532 TV shows in 2019, and it’s making more. Women now make up the majority of the U.S. labor force. A cheaper alternative to Obamacare is a hit in Idaho. New vaping devices want to fix what went wrong at Juul. Life on the run is proving expensive for Carlos Ghosn. The Pentagon is auditing the troubled F-35 fighter program. A London mansion with 45 rooms may shatter price records.
What you’ll want to read in Bloomberg Pursuits
At its most extreme, a Tesla Model S can hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds. That’s faster than many supercars, electric or not. For some, however, it’s still not fast enough. Unplugged Performance, the tuning shop next door to Tesla headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., guarantees its modifications will shave seconds off your personal best lap times.
To contact the author of this story: Josh Petri in Portland at firstname.lastname@example.org
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