Friday US briefing: Huawei executive's arrest sparks fury in China

Trump to name former Fox host as UN ambassador … North Carolina Democrat withdraws concession … Bolsonaro taps conservative preacher to run families ministry

Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou is facing extradition from Canada to the US. Photograph: Reuters

Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

Top story: Bolton says he knew of arrest in advance

The fallout from the arrest of the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou continues to rock the political and financial worlds, with the Chinese media accusing the US of a “despicable” effort to curb the growth of the telecoms giant. Meng is due in court in Vancouver on Friday; she faces extradition to the US on charges of cyber-espionage and sanctions-busting, which Huawei has firmly denied. The US national security adviser, John Bolton, said on Thursday he had advance knowledge of Meng’s arrest.

Trump to name former Fox host as UN ambassador

Heather Nauert
Nauert, pictured here with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is presently the state department spokesperson. Photograph: Reuters

Donald Trump plans to name the former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert as the next US ambassador to the United Nations, according to reports. She will replace Nikki Haley, who announced her resignation in October. Nauert, currently the spokesperson for the state department, has no prior political or policy-making experience. The president is expected to tweet about her appointment on Friday morning.

North Carolina Democrat withdraws concession

Dan McCready
Democrat Dan McCready is fewer than 1,000 votes behind his Republican opponent Mark Harris. Photograph: Chuck Burton/AP

The Democrat and Iraq war veteran who lost a tight midterm race for North Carolina’s ninth congressional district has withdrawn his concession in light of credible accusations of absentee ballot fraud. Dan McCready remains 905 votes behind Republican Mark Harris, but state GOP leaders have said they would back a fresh election if an investigation shows that alleged “irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities” swayed the result.

  • Person of interest. The man at the centre of the state elections board’s investigation is Leslie McCrae Dowless, a contractor who was hired to collect absentee ballot request forms on behalf of the Harris campaign. Dowless has a criminal record for insurance fraud.

Bolsonaro taps conservative preacher to run women’s ministry

Damares Alves
Damares Alves: ‘It is time for the church to govern.’ Photograph: Sergio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president-elect, has said he will abolish the country’s human rights ministry and appoint a conservative evangelical pastor to oversee a new ministry responsible for women, families and human rights, as well as Brazil’s indigenous population of 900,000. The announcement on Thursday drew an outraged response from feminist groups, indigenous activists and LGBT campaigners.

  • Abortion opponent. The new minister, Damares Alves, opposes abortion and co-founded a Christian group that evangelises in indigenous areas. In 2016 she told a congregation it was “time for the church to govern”.

Crib sheet

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Must-reads

Bruce Springsteen performing on Broadway.
Bruce Springsteen performing on Broadway. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The Boss takes his final bow on Broadway

Next weekend, Bruce Springsteen will close out the last set of his long run at New York’s Walter Kerr Theater, where he will have played a total of 236 shows over 14 months, grossing more than $113m. His intimate, stripped-down “monologue with music” has reinvented what a Broadway show can be, writes David Taylor.

On the barricades with France’s gilets jaunes

A grassroots revolt against the French government’s planned fuel tax hikes has turned into weeks of unrest and the biggest crisis of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. Angelique Chrisafis hears the grievances of the gilets jaunes protesters.

Why Courtney Love is selling her favourite clothes

Courtney Love’s alternative style defined the fashion of the grunge era. Now she is selling some of her best-known outfits for charity. “The way I let my crazy out these days is standing in my wardrobe asking my clothes how they are,” she tells Sam Wolfson.

Will video games join the resistance to Trump?

While TV and film have been busy churning out content inspired by the Trump era, the less centralised – and less instinctively liberal – video games industry has lagged behind. But you’ll find flickers of resistance if you know where to look, as Brian O’Flynn reports.

Opinion

Dark money is one of the greatest threats to modern democracy, writes George Monbiot. So he was alarmed to find that the Koch brothers have been funding the US arm of Spiked, a British magazine.

Spiked magazine appears to hate leftwing politics. It inveighs against the welfare state, against regulation, the Occupy movement, anti-capitalists, Jeremy Corbyn, George Soros, #MeToo, “black privilege” and Black Lives Matter.

Sport

They might be at the foot of the table, but could Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham earn a point at Old Trafford against Jose Mourinho’s mediocre Man Utd? That’s one of 10 things to look out for in the weekend’s Premier League action.

Derrick Henry has tied the NFL’s touchdown run record with a 99-yard dash that helped Tennessee to a 30-9 trouncing of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. Henry equalled the record set by Tony Dorsett of the Dallas Cowboys in January 1983.

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