Aug 27, 2018

EU floats independent payments system to avoid U.S. sanctions on Iran

French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire (L) and the German Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (R). Photo: Thierry Monasse/Corbis via Getty Images

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday that France and Germany are determined to work on an independent payments system that would allow the EU to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, backing a proposal made last week by German foreign minister Heiko Maas, reports Bloomberg.

The big picture: The EU's commitment to maintaining economic ties with Iran, among other things, is fueling calls for greater independence from the U.S. Earlier Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a review of EU defense cooperation, claiming the bloc can no longer rely on the U.S. for security.

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House Democrats lose appeal to force McGahn testimony

Photo: Alex Wong / Staff

Democrats in the House lost an appeal to force former White House Counsel Don McGhan to comply with a subpoena, Politico was the first to report.

Why it matters: McGahn was seen as a crucial witness in the House investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller inquiry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 on Friday that it court did not have the authority to resolve the dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

The Americans who can't hide from coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.

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Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat