• U.S. consumer prices edge up. Retail sales unexpectedly increase. Low inflation is, however, helping to underpin consumer spending. Other data on Wednesday showed an unexpected increase in retail sales last month as massive price discounting by automobile manufacturers lifted purchases of motor vehicles. Rising retail sales and steadily firming underlying price pressures likely will keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates next month.
• The security guards at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow will be provided by a company closely linked to a former top KGB figure named Vladimir Putin.
AZ R-Sen. Jeff Flake
• Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Monday, “If I were in Alabama, I would run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat.” The ballot could give Republicans three choices. 1. Doug Jones (D) wins, 2. Roy Moore wins and keeps the seat, and 3. Roy Moore wins, and the Senate expels him.
• North Korea’s state media is portraying Kim Jong Un as a leader who has temporarily traded weapons for workshops. It is designed to build domestic support by delivering on promises to develop the economy alongside the nuclear program and to reassure citizens amid tightening international sanctions.