June 16, 2017 / 11:26 AM / 3 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

People comfort each other after a prayer vigil outside Notting Hill Methodist Church close to the tower block severely damaged by a serious fire, in north Kensington, West London, Britain June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Paul Hackett TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

UK

British armed police detained a man on suspicion of having a knife near parliament, police said.

Unlike opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, British Prime Minister Theresa May did not meet with survivors of a deadly apartment building fire, drawing increasing criticism from locals, commentators and fellow Conservative party members as insensitive. May promised a public inquiry into the fire, which killed at least 17 people. 

Deadly building blaze highlights London’s rich-poor divide

Islamic State

Russia's Defense Ministry said it was checking information that a Russian airstrike near the Syrian city of Raqqa may have killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May. The airstrike was launched after Russian forces in Syria received intelligence that a meeting of Islamic State leaders was being planned, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The offensive to retake Marawi, in the southern Philippines, is now in its fourth week. The protracted battle is reinforcing fears in nearby Indonesia and Malaysia, both of which have Muslim majorities, that Islamic State could seek to set up a regional caliphate as it holds onto territory in Southeast Asia for the first time. 

North Korea

The United States has accused a Chinese-based company of acting as a front for laundering money on behalf of a sanctioned North Korean bank and has filed a complaint seeking $1.9 million from it, U.S. prosecutors said.

Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was returned to the United States this week after being held in North Korea for 17 months, has a severe brain injury and is in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness," doctors said. "He has not spoken," Dr. Daniel Kanter, medical director of the neuroscience intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said at a news conference. "He has not engaged in any purposeful movements or behaviors." He said Warmbier was breathing on his own.

U.N. rights envoy urges North Korea to clarify U.S. student case

In Soseong-ri, a small farming village of about 80 residents in southern South Korea, a band of elderly women is at the forefront of protests against the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system next to their neighborhood. 

Trapeze artist Erendira Wallenda performs as she hangs from a helicopter flying over the American side of Niagara Falls, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Trapeze artist Erendira Wallenda performs as she hangs from a helicopter flying over the American side of Niagara Falls, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Washington

President Donald Trump will announce a plan to tighten rules on Americans traveling to Cuba and significantly restrict U.S. companies from doing business with Cuban enterprises controlled by the military, senior White House officials said.

Pence hires his own lawyer for Russia probes

Democrats look for new path to power

Gallery: Congressional Baseball Game

The United States will tell dozens of refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention center whether they will be offered resettlement in America within six weeks, two detainees told Reuters. The deadline marks the first concrete timetable for a U.S.-Australia refugee swap arrangement that sparked tensions between the strong allies after President Donald Trump described it as "a dumb deal" for America. 

Business

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to U.S. investigators probing alleged money laundering by a state-owned Malaysian investment fund, his representatives said.

Takata Corp, the Japanese company facing billions in liabilities stemming from its defective airbag inflators, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as next week as it works toward a deal for financial backing from U.S. auto parts maker Key Safety Systems Inc, sources said.

Is the Fed ready to consider lifting its inflation target?

Cash, people and equipment are pouring into the prolific Permian shale basin in Texas as business booms in the largest U.S. oilfield. But one group of investors is heading the other way - concerned that shale may become a victim of its own success.

The five largest U.S. technology companies may have lost enough market capitalization over the past week to buy Boeing, but the benchmark S&P 500 stock index has managed to remain within a stone's throw of its record high.

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