Afternoon Coffee: Ghosn jumps bail, flees Japan; initial U.S.-China trade deal to be signed Jan. 15; self-driving truck hauls butter across U.S.

AdobeStock/Ivan Kruk

Carlos Ghosn, the ex-Nissan leader charged with fiscal impropriety and was out of custody on bail in Japan, fled the country and issued a statement that he’s now in Lebanon, where he is a citizen, according to The Associated Press.

Other media reports indicate that Ghosn may have slipped out by hiding in a case for a musical instrument after a band played at his home in Japan. The reports also say he took a private jet to Turkey, then into Lebanon. His passports had been seized in Japan, but reports indicate that he used his passport from France, where he is also a citizen.

Phase 1 of U.S.-China trade deal to be signed

The first step in the U.S.-China trade deal will be signed Jan. 15 in the White House, reports The Associated Press, citing a tweet from President Donald Trump.

Phase 1 of the deal includes a moratorium on tariffs and adds plans on agriculture sales. Many issues remain unresolved, the AP reports.

Ford says high-end version of electric Mustang Mach-E gets massive response

Ford Motor Co has announced that reservations were full for the high-end Mustang Mach-E First Edition electric sport utility vehicle. The electric Mustang crossover was unveiled on Nov. 17, after which Ford had started taking reservations, Reuters reports.

Taiwan to buy more anti-tank missiles from U.S.

Taiwan's military is procuring anti-tank missiles and launching platforms worth $373 million from the United States. The news report by FocusTaiwan quoted from a government notice of award posted online. According to the notice, the deal involves the purchase of additional TOW 2Bs worth, following a procurement of 460 such missiles in March 2018.

Self-driving truck makes cross-country haul

An autonomous truck completed a cross-country autonomous freight run carrying 40,000 pounds of butter, according to ZDNet.

It took three days for the L4 autonomous truck to complete the journey from Tulare, California, to Quakertown, Pennsylvania. According to Plus.ai, the company behind the autonomous technology stack that powered the truck, this is "the first L4 U.S. cross-country commercial pilot hauling a fully-loaded refrigerated trailer of perishable cargo."

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