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Kasich outside the White House after a meeting with Trump. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A Thai chemical company, PTT, and its South Korean partner, Daelim, are in talks to build a multi-billion dollar petrochemical plant in eastern Ohio that "would create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions," reports the AP. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has said the project would be a "game changer."

Why it matters: The Appalachian region, where President Trump picked up scores of votes from working-class Americans, is now looking to two Asian companies to save its disappearing manufacturing jobs.

The details:

  • Trump has pledged to save the steel and aluminum plants of the Rust Belt, but PTT-Daelim project would support another industry. The plant would "crack" molecules of ethane to produce one of raw materials used to make plastic, per the AP.
  • Kasich said: “These hardscrabble areas would clearly be helped. I’m not saying if this comes, everyone’s problems will be solved. But these are great developments.”
  • Yes, but: Local trust in PTT is shaky because the company "reneged on a promise last year to announce a decision [on the plant] by the end of 2017."
  • Larry Merry, executive director of the Belmont County Port Authority, which has been working with the Asian companies, told AP: “It’s a big decision they’re making, and one that I understand is going to take time to make sure they’re making a wise decision." PTT says it has already spent $100 million on planning and land acquisition.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.