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Frontrunning: March 14

  • U.S. East Coast Braces for Late-Winter Blizzard (WSJ)
  • U.S. Blizzard Grounds Flights, Raises Power as Trump Tweets (BBG)
  • Debt Ceiling Fight May Be Too Tempting for Trump to Pass Up (BBG)
  • Russia appears to deploy forces in Egypt, eyes on Libya role (Reuters)
  • EU headscarf ban ruling sparks faith group backlash (Reuters)
  • Pound Tumbles in Delayed Reaction as May Gets Brexit Go-Ahead (BBG)
  • The Most Important Player in the AIG CEO Resignation: Carl Icahn (WSJ)
  • Waning Sales Force Layoffs By Gun Maker in New York (WSJ)
  • German police raid flats, shut mosque visited by Berlin truck attacker (Reuters)
  • Musk's bold offer of Tesla batteries won't solve Australia's power problems  (Reuters)
  • Proof Wall Street Is Still a Boys’ Club (BBG)
  • Why Robert Shiller Is Worried About the Trump Rally (BBG)
  • Macquarie Loosens Trading-Research Link With a la Carte Service (BBG)
  • Somali pirates hijack first commercial ship since 2012 (Reuters)
  • Tillerson used email alias at Exxon to talk climate: New York attorney general (Reuters)
  • South Korean prosecutors to summon ousted president Park (Reuters)
  • The Monumentally Expensive Quest to Pull Off an Alaskan Oil Miracle (BBG)
  • Fall in Volkswagen brand profit shows long road to recovery (Reuters)
  • German investor morale improves less than expected in March (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Intel Corp agreed to buy Israeli car-camera pioneer Mobileye NV for $15.3 billion, one of the chip maker's biggest acquisitions ever and the latest bet on Silicon Valley's vision of cars as turbocharged computers on wheels. http://on.wsj.com/2nhZq4L

- Oil-field services company John Wood Group Plc said it would acquire rival Amec Foster Wheeler Plc in a 2.23 billion pounds ($2.72 billion) all-share deal, the latest sign of consolidation in an industry that has been upended by weak oil prices. http://on.wsj.com/2nhZIsz

- Facebook Inc said that data about its users cannot be used for surveillance, cracking down on a method police departments allegedly used to track protesters and activists. http://on.wsj.com/2nhWB3y

- Two software startups, Okta Inc and Yext Inc, are trying to pick up where Snap Inc left off, becoming the first tech companies to file for an initial public offering since the parent of Snapchat's blockbuster IPO earlier this month. http://on.wsj.com/2ni2Swd

- Yahoo Inc detailed a golden parachute of $23 million for Chief Executive Marissa Mayer as part of her planned departure from what's left of the company after it sells its core assets to Verizon Communications Inc. http://on.wsj.com/2ni1BWe

- The New York attorney general accused Exxon Mobil Corp of withholding documents from his office as it investigates whether the energy company misrepresented its understanding of climate change to investors and the public. http://on.wsj.com/2ni79jc

- Top executives at United Parcel Service Inc took home higher compensation in 2016 even as the parcel carrier missed many of its performance targets. http://on.wsj.com/2nhRgcK

- A SpaceX rocket scheduled to boost a commercial satellite into orbit from Florida before dawn on Tuesday carries five times as much liability coverage for prelaunch operations as launches in previous years. The higher limit, mandated by federal officials, reflects heightened U.S. concerns about the potential extent of damage to nearby government property in the event of an accident before blastoff. http://on.wsj.com/2nhWZ20

 

FT

British Prime Minister Theresa May is on track to start Brexit negotiations in the last week of March after parliament passed legislation on Monday that gives her the power to do so and the Lords balked at picking a fight over their own efforts to soften it.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday demanded a new independence referendum in late 2018 or early 2019, handing Theresa May the challenge of keeping the UK united just as she grapples with the country's plans to leave the European Union.

UK hiring is expected to slow down in the second quarter of this year according to Manpower's quarterly survey of about 2,000 employers that found corporate Britain in a slightly less bullish mood in the second quarter compared with the first.

A parliamentary committee preparing a report about Charlotte Hogg's suitability for the post of the Bank of England's new deputy governor is waiting to see whether Hogg will tough it out or abandon her candidature, according to those involved in the discussions.

British oilfield services company John Wood Group Plc agreed to buy its struggling rival Amec Foster Wheeler Plc in a 2.2 billion pounds ($2.68 billion) all-share deal that highlights the pressure on the UK North Sea oil industry from weak crude prices.

British homebuilder Redrow Plc said on Monday it will continue its pursuit of rival Bovis Homes Plc, despite discussions having been "terminated" while its target is in separate talks with another suitor, Galliford Try Plc

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Tim Hortons franchisees are banding together to push back against the cost-cutting campaign run by its parent company, Restaurant Brands International Inc, saying that it is causing product shortages, declining quality and even safety concerns that are harming the brand. https://tgam.ca/2mmMEgp

** After issuing an apology earlier this month saying that it "did not live up to" its relationship with members, Air Miles is making changes to its loyalty program in an effort to hold on to customers. https://tgam.ca/2mmDXTy

** The British Columbia Liberal government has opened the door to limits on political donations for the first time, promising to establish an independent panel to shape reform of what has been described as the "wild west" of campaign finance in Canada. https://tgam.ca/2mmFRDz

** British Columbia's highest court has ruled drug dealers pushing fentanyl should receive sentences of up to 36 months - three times longer than other street-level dealers – to recognize the "scourge" of the deadly synthetic opioid. https://tgam.ca/2mmUB5k

NATIONAL POST

** Canadians don't trust U.S. President Donald Trump to treat Canada gently in upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement re-negotiations, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute. http://bit.ly/2mn2He1

** Western Canadian natural gas producers could get a $25 billion boost in revenue with a pipeline shipping deal struck with TransCanada Corp on Monday, analysts said. http://bit.ly/2mmYfvR

** Canadian financial technology provider DH Corp has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Texas-based Vista Equity Partners for roughly C$2.7 billion ($2.01 billion), the companies announced Monday. http://bit.ly/2mn0aAD

 

Britain

The Times

* Nicola Sturgeon shocked her political opponents and Westminster in equal measure when the Scottish First Minister said on Monday that she intends to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. Sturgeon added she would hold a fresh poll within the next two years to prevent Scotland from being taken out of the European Union "against its will". http://bit.ly/2mDcOz5

* Thousands of employees are facing an uncertain future as a result of oil services company Wood Group's all-share takeover of rival Amec Foster Wheeler. The deal values Amec Foster Wheeler at about 2.3 billion pounds ($2.7 billion). http://bit.ly/2n1BYs6

The Guardian

* The Southern franchise has been hit by a series of strikes in recent months, but Monday's industrial action also involved the Merseyrail and Northern networks. The RMT union is protesting against plans to introduce new trains with doors that can be operated by the driver, and change the role of guard to on-board supervisors. http://bit.ly/2nhhNXE

The Telegraph

* British Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out Nicola Sturgeon's plans for a new Scottish independence referendum before Brexit, but postponed triggering Article 50 after the First Minister's demands caught her by surprise. http://bit.ly/2nw1YIq

* Hutchison China MediTech's chief executive said 2017 would be a "very important year" for the pharmaceuticals company, paving the way for it to launch the first China-made oncology drug onto the market. http://bit.ly/2mG4bUo

Sky News

* Two-thirds of Britons oppose a second Scottish independence referendum, a Sky Data poll reveals. The UK public would strongly oppose such a move, with 65 percent saying there should not be a second independence referendum, while 30 percent say there should. http://bit.ly/2mlgL8H

* British energy supplier SSE has followed a majority of its rivals in announcing inflation-busting hikes to its standard tariffs. The company said it was raising its standard electricity tariff by 14.9 percent from April 28 but would not hike gas prices. http://bit.ly/2lUP3U4

The Independent

* The British Chambers of Commerce has upgraded its GDP growth forecast for this year from 1.1 percent to 1.4 percent, though this rate of growth would still be considerably lower than what is expected by the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility. http://ind.pn/2nne3Ay

* The EU has said an independent Scotland would have to join a queue of nations seeking membership of the bloc, after Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a second independence referendum. http://ind.pn/2n0P9JH