Frontrunning: April 20

  • Trump says will not accept high oil prices, crude dips (Reuters)
  • OPEC, Russia Oil Officials Hint at Extending Production Cuts (WSJ)
  • Comey Memos Reveal Trump’s Early Doubts About Flynn (WSJ)
  • Global stocks set for second week of gains, commodities ease (Reuters)
  • U.S. Prosecutors to Weigh a Criminal Case for McCabe (WSJ)
  • Hedge Fund Titans Pull Money From Funds to Pay Massive Tax Bills (BBG)
  • Audit Cleared Facebook’s Privacy Practices Despite Cambridge Analytica Leak (WSJ)
  • Corporate crooks set to face tougher penalties under new rules to be revealed by Government (ABC)
  • China's ZTE slams U.S. ban, says company's survival at risk (Reuters)
  • America's nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go (Reuters)
  • Wanted: New Home for a Lot of Russian Aluminum (WSJ)
  • U.S. sorghum armada U-turns at sea after China tariffs (Reuters)
  • GE Takes Hit From Old Mortgage Unit, Cites Other Progress (WSJ)
  • GE Surges After Brushing Off Wall Street’s Worries (BBG)
  • Kudlow’s Candid Style Marks Transition to White House (WSJ)
  • The U.K. Just Went 55 Hours Without Using Coal for the First Time in History (BBG)
  • Barclays chief Staley survives whistleblowing inquiry with only a fine (Reuters)
  • Japanese Official Says Font Size on Sexual Harassment Complaint Was Too Small (BBG)
  • Trade Policies Are Puncturing America’s Economic Optimism (BBG)
  • Mattel Taps Its Fourth CEO in as Many Years (WSJ)
  • Soros body mulls future in Hungary as Orban vows migration fight (Reuters)
  • What If Tesla’s Time Is Running Out? (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


- The Justice Department's internal watchdog referred its finding that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had misled investigators to federal prosecutors to determine whether he should be charged with a crime, according to people familiar with the matter. (

- Former FBI Director James Comey revealed in a series of private memos that President Donald Trump and his then-chief of staff had doubts within days of taking office about national security adviser Mike Flynn, who would subsequently leave the administration after misleading officials about his contacts with Russia and later plead guilty to lying to law enforcement. (

- Drugmaker Shire PLC has become the subject of topsy-turvy takeover interest, drawing suitors to one of the few remaining biotechs with rapidly rising sales and a stock price that hasn't soared in recent months. (

- Kushner Cos, the real-estate company run by the family of White House adviser Jared Kushner, in mid-March received a federal grand-jury subpoena for information related to paperwork the company filed in New York City concerning its rent-regulated tenants, according to people familiar with the matter. (

- Blunt-impact trauma caused the death of a passenger on the Southwest Airlines Co flight that made an emergency landing Tuesday in Philadelphia after an engine blew apart in midair, officials said Thursday. (

- Wells Fargo & Co is close to settling claims by federal regulators related to its risk management, involving a fine of as much as $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said. (



- Alan Parker resigns as chair of Save the Children charity

- Shire rejects £42.4bn Takeda offer as Allergan rules itself out

- Qualcomm to cut 1,500 jobs across California

- HSBC to promise an end to its financing of coal power stations



- At least 53 people have been sickened by tainted, chopped romaine lettuce in an expanding E. coli outbreak that now spans 16 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. (

- Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion fine on Wells Fargo & Co for years of selling unnecessary products to customers, the toughest action by the Trump administration against a major bank.(

- The number of new monthly prescriptions for medications that treat opioid addiction nearly doubled over the past two years, according to new data, while prescriptions for opioid painkillers continued to decline. (

- PricewaterhouseCoopers, an auditing firm responsible for monitoring Facebook Inc for federal regulators, told them last year that the company had sufficient privacy protections in place, even after the social media giant lost control of a huge trove of user data that was improperly obtained by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. (

- A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of an epilepsy medication made with an ingredient found in marijuana. The drug, called Epidiolex, is made by GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company. (



** The Canadian unit of Toys "R" Us Inc entered into a confidentiality agreement with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd on Thursday that could result in a C$300 ($237.12) million deal that allows the business to exit bankruptcy protection and separate from its struggling U.S. parent company. (

** Internet users with Rogers Communications Inc e-mail addresses are raising concerns about new terms of service that allow their communications to be monitored for advertising purposes. (

** Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is urging Canadian corporations to fully disclose the risk that climate change poses to their businesses, but refuses to commit Ottawa to such a disclosure if it provides financial backing to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (

** In the wrong hands, Alberta's new law to cut off oil shipments to British Columbia could be "very dangerous" even if the powers help in the fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the short term, Canadian oil and gas executives said on Thursday. (

** Hiku Brands Co Ltd on Thursday said it is acquiring medical marijuana company WeedMD Inc in a shares-only transaction worth roughly C$240 million. (



The Times

Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc has become the latest defence company to be subjected to a corruption investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

A bidding war threatened to break out for Shire Plc after the drugs company rejected a 44 billion pound ($61.95 billion) offer from a Japanese predator and an Irish rival initially said it was weighing up an approach.

The Guardian

The financial services watchdog has contacted WPP Plc to check if it is in breach of laws relating to insider information regarding the amount of company money that Sir Martin Sorrell is alleged to have misused.

Tesla Inc is facing an investigation by Californian safety regulators into reports of serious injuries at its factory in Fremont, California, where it is struggling to scale up production of its Model 3 mass-market electric car.

The Telegraph

Consumer goods giant Unilever Plc said it was confident of rallying investors behind plans to shift its headquarters to Rotterdam, as it hiked its dividend and unveiled a share buyback scheme.

Gold miner Acacia Mining Plc has said it is "optimistic" about a resolution later this year to an ongoing row with Tanzania over taxes.

Sky News

The British operations of Pizza Hut will be sold in the next‎ few days to a buyout team led by its chief executive, even as rival casual dining chains face painful restructurings or bankruptcy.

The struggling department store chain House of Fraser has drafted in advisers to examine options for accelerating its restructuring, raising the prospect of further shop closures at a dire time for the British high street.