Mar 13, 2017

Scoop: Trump to host Xi at Mar-a-Lago

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Luis Hidalgo / AP

President Trump plans to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gold-plated Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida next month for a lowering-the-temperature summit with vast economic and security implications, Axios has learned.

No golf is planned during the meeting of the globe's two superpowers — this will mostly be a working session, according to officials familiar with the planning. The tentative dates are Thursday afternoon, April 6, through Friday, April 7.

  • Why it matters: For a White House that views China as threat #1, Trump's willingness to meet with Xi — and give him the Mar-a-Lago treatment, no less — will be seen as a reassuring sign by establishment powers in the U.S. and around the world.
  • The optics: Trump is an exuberant host. While a White House session could look formal and cold, pictures out of Mar-a-Lago are likely to capture the rivals in relaxed, friendly settings.
  • What's in it for China: Xi saw that by talking on the phone with Trump, he got the reassurance on the One China policy he was seeking. Xi is worried about Trump's threats on trade, and he thinks that by engaging the transactional leader, he can head off punitive measures.
  • What's in it for the U.S.: Lots. The U.S. wants Chinese cooperation on North Korea (the most important), the South China Sea, currency, trade, intellectual property and more. Administration officials are looking for multiple gives.
  • Important to watch: Will Trump raise human rights?
  • Fun to watch: Each of the these leaders, in agreeing to the summit, thinks he'll outsmart the other.

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its celebrated Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand after 160 years and winding down operations by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

The big picture: GM also intends to "sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China's Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year," AP reports. "The downsizing is part of a long-running strategy at GM since the Detroit-based company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009," per Bloomberg.

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

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