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Koji Sasahara, Evan Vucci / AP

Japan's plan to woo Trump: The Japanese government has been asking firms for their U.S. investment plans so that Prime Minister "can deliver a "tweetable" figure to Donald Trump when they meet this week," the FT reports. Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. is large relative to its GDP, and the troubled economy can ill afford to see its close relationship with the United States weakened. Collecting fodder for Trump's PR purposes is a small price to pay towards avoiding that scenario.

Return of the SUV wars: The Wall Street Journal reports on Ford's regrettable retreat from the SUV market, which has rebounded as gas prices have fallen. Ford's decision has benefitted GM, which now sells 4 times as many SUVs its rival. Ford is hoping to turn things around, however, announcing the first redesign of the Ford Expedition in nearly 15 years.

The force is not with Disney: Shares of the iconic American brand fell in after-hours trading, as investors weren't pleased with revenue that came in below expectations. Not even Rogue One — the company's billion-dollar, Star-Wars smash — could cheer traders. Of particular concern were declining subscription figures for ESPN.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.