Saudis block Al Jazeera; China grants Trump another trademark; London shuts down changing of the guard

Profitable Moment

G7: Do something about terror

When the G7 meets this weekend, economics will take a backseat to security issues, in light of the Manchester concert bomb. This heinous attack, leaving 22 dead, including children, will remind the 7 of the dangers they face. 
The UK, France, Germany, and the US have all faced serious ISIS-related violence in the past year. Some attacks are more audacious and deadly than others, but all increasing the level of threat. 
President Trump promised retribution against ISIS but always refused to say what he would do, scoffing that he wouldn’t reveal his plans. Now it’s time for the G7 to be more definitive in how they will attack back. Proclamations that the terrorists won’t win, are not sufficient for a public that is increasingly concerned. Voters want policies not promises. 
The G7 is a more useful body than the G8 ever was, and a heck of a lot better than the G20. Now it’s time to do something. 

What’s new… what’s next

By Matt Egan, Patrick Gillespie and Paul R. La Monica of CNNMoney

1. Al Jazeera blocked by Saudi Arabia, UAE

The two nations blocked the news organization, alleging it published fake news. Although the Qatar-based Al Jazeera wouldn’t offer details, Saudi state-run TV said Al Jazeera had been barred after the ruler of Qatar was reported to have described Iran as an “Islamic power” and criticized President Trump’s policy towards Tehran. Saudi Arabia and Iran are fierce long term rivals. The two sides broke off diplomatic relations last year. 

2. Terror threat shuts down London tourist spots

The House of Parliament. The Bank of England. The Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace. All of those London tourist attractions were shut down on Wednesday after the UK warned another terror attack could be imminent. The country deployed soldiers to guard key locations in the city just days after the explosion in Manchester that killed at least 22 people. 

3. China’s debt rating cut by Moody’s

1989 was the year China violently cracked down on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. It was also the last time Moody’s downgraded China’s sovereign debt — until Wednesday. Moody’s cut its rating one notch, citing worries about a slowing economy. But China’s Finance Ministry shrugged off the downgrade. State news agency Xinhua said Moody’s was underestimating the government’s ability to respond to changes in the economy.

4. China grants Trump another trademark

President Trump is poised to add to his collection of trademarks in China. This time it’s for apparel. Trump holds 77 officially registered trademarks in China. Another 39 have preliminary approval. Ethics experts say China could be seeking to influence Trump by awarding him with trademarks. Trump administration officials and Chinese officials have dismissed those concerns. 

5. Quick Takes:

British sports car company Lotus has a new Chinese owner

Tiffany’s problems no longer due to Trump Tower. Sales also down in Japan

Nintendo shares up 30% YTD thanks to Switch. Other gamer stocks surge too

Alphabet’s Waymo driverless car biz really worth more than Uber, Tesla & GM?

Federal Reserve prepares the markets for another rate hike in June

Forget coal and oil. US solar jobs growing 17 times faster than economy

Trump’s budget proposes 40% cut to job training programs

Vacation — all I never wanted? Americans don’t take advantage of their time off

TurboTax owner Intuit thrives thanks to Uber, Lyft and growth in gig economy

6. What’s next:

More retail wreckage? Sears, which just two months ago warned there’s doubt it can survive, is scheduled to post earnings on Thursday morning. Results are also due out from Abercrombie & Fitch, which is in the midst of selling itself, and Signet Jewelers. Signet shares slumped on Wednesday after Tiffany tanked on a sales slump. The news could be more upbeat from Best Buy, whose stock jumped 19% this year despite the retail gloom-and-doom.

OPEC set to extend cut – for how long? Everyone’s favorite oil cartel is meeting in Vienna on Thursday to try to figure out  how to ease the lingering oil glut. Many OPEC members have already publicly backed an extension of the production cuts before they expire. Look for the OPEC decision, expected around 11 a.m. ET, to reveal how long the cuts will last for.

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