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White House reaches deal for release of Andrew Brunson in Turkey: NBC

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The White House expects the Turkish government to release detained American pastor Andrew Brunson in the coming days after reaching a secret deal, NBC News reported Thursday, citing two senior administration officials and another person briefed on the situation.

The detention of the pastor has been an ongoing source of tension between the U.S. and Turkey, one of America’s most important allies in the region.

The news of Brunson’s potential release comes as Turkey and another U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, are engaged in a dispute over the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

A number of anonymous Turkish police sources have told domestic and international news outlets that the Turkish government believes that Khashoggi was murdered on the orders of the Saudi government.

NBC reported that while the details of the agreement weren’t immediately clear, it does include a U.S. commitment to scale back economic pressure on Turkey.

The Turkish lira rallied more than 2 percent on the news to trade at 5.97 per U.S. dollar. The iShares MSCI Turkey ETF, which tracks the performance of Turkish stocks, jumped more than 5 percent to its session high.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. There are some doubts within the administration about how conclusive the deal may be, NBC News reported. One senior official told the outlet that Turkey came close to a similar agreement several months ago.

The continued detention of the pastor, who was arrested in 2016 following a failed coup attempt in the country, compelled the U.S. to slap Turkey with sanctions over the summer.

Read the full story at NBC News.

— CNBC’s
Fred Imbert
contributed to this article.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.



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Tesla CEO Elon Musk: extreme micromanager

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Tesla’s future as a mass-market car company hinges on efficient, automated production of the Model 3. Tesla will lose $6,000 for every $35,000 Model 3 it sells, says UBS analyst Colin Langan. It only breaks even if the car sells for over $41,000. Tesla has yet to produce the $35,000 base model of the Model 3.

Tesla did meet the goal of producing more than 5,000 Model 3 vehicles in a week during the third quarter. It made 80,142 vehicles (including 53,239 Model 3’s), beating Wall Street analysts’ expectations. But the company is nowhere near the 500,000 mark Musk promised in 2016. As of the end of Q3, Tesla has produced 167,975 cars this year. To put that in context, Ford makes that many cars approximately every 10 days.

Tesla promised investors that it will achieve positive cash flow and profitability in the second half of 2018. But some investors and analysts are deeply skeptical this will happen. Tesla’s debts are quickly coming due: The company has to pay around $230 million in November, part of a larger $1.3 billion debt bill coming due in March 2019, according to AP.

Faith in the Tesla CEO is being tested like never before. Investors are wary of his social media and legal battles, attitude toward regulators and recreational drug use.

Many employees think Musk is essential to the company’s success. They praise his creativity, sense of humor and inspiring speeches. Some credit his hands-on management style with building a great company. A former Tesla and SpaceX employee, Spencer Gore, who is now the CEO of Impossible Aerospace, explained:

“Elon Musk is in a position most will never experience — trying to deliver an industry-defining product on a limited budget. He can’t afford to make decisions slowly, or even always compassionately. When he involves himself in low-level details it’s to enhance execution speed. For some engineers, this can be frustrating, at times heartbreaking — but Elon’s unconventional style is what built the Tesla we all chose to join.”

But other employees describe how Musk’s management style has increased costs and complexity in the factories.

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Saudi Arabia says journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed after a fight broke out in consulate

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A man holds a poster of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Chris McGrath | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A man holds a poster of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia’s consulate on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. 

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Top VC deals: Instacart hits a $7B valuation; Bill Gates raises an EU energy fund

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 A weekly recap of the most interesting venture capital deals, funds and start-ups.

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