April 6, 2017 / 11:25 AM / 3 months ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

6 Min Read

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Croatian newspaper Vecernji List in Damascus, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on April 6, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government of going "beyond a red line" with a poison gas attack on civilians. "And I will tell you, it’s already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much," Trump said. When asked at an earlier meeting whether he was formulating a new policy on Syria, Trump said: "You'll see," without providing specifics. Assad told a newspaper there is no "option except victory" in the country's civil war in an interview published today.  Technology

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos said he is selling about $1 billion worth of the internet retailer's stock annually to fund his Blue Origin rocket company, which aims to launch paying passengers on 11-minute space rides starting next year.

Australia's consumer watchdog has sued Apple, alleging it used a software update to disable iPhones which had cracked screens fixed by third parties.

Twitter is launching a faster version of its mobile service aimed at people with sporadic connections or little data on their smartphone plans, hoping to pick up users in harder-to-reach emerging markets. U.S.

President Trump removed his chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council on Wednesday, reversing his controversial decision early this year to give a political adviser an unprecedented role in security discussions. The overhaul elevated General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence who heads all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. The official said the change moves the NSC "back to its core function of what it’s supposed to do." For commentary on the NSC, check out this episode of Reuters’ War College podcast.

Ahead of the United States’s summit with China, is North Korea putting a nuclear-tipped bargaining chip on the table?

A U.S. government program designed to convert farmland to wildlife habitat has triggered the spread of a fast-growing weed that threatens to strangle crops in America's rural heartland.

A Republican-backed Senate rule change expected on Thursday could make it more likely that presidents will pick ideologically extreme Supreme Court nominees with little incentive to choose centrist justices, experts said.

 

Migrants rest on the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship Phoenix. More than 700 migrants were rescued from six rubber dinghies and a wooden boat in the Mediterranean, in international waters off the coast of the Libyan city of Sabratha, April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Migrants rest on the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship Phoenix. More than 700 migrants were rescued from six rubber dinghies and a wooden boat in the Mediterranean, in international waters off the coast of the Libyan city of Sabratha, April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Business

Stocks slipped and bonds rose on Thursday, with risk appetite soured by signs the Federal Reserve might start paring asset holdings later this year just as the chance of early U.S. fiscal stimulus seems to be evaporating. Investors were also wary before a potentially tense meeting between Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping,

Seven & i Holdings Co said it would buy convenience stores and petrol stations from Texas-based Sunoco LP for about $3.3 billion. The Japanese retailer hopes to reach 10,000 North American outlets.

Deutsche Bank, which is in the midst of an 8 billion euro ($8.5 billion) capital increase, is currently not thinking about mergers, Chief Executive John Cryan said. "We have other things to do," Cryan told a banking conference in Berlin.

BP slashed Chief Executive Bob Dudley's annual remuneration package by almost $8 million to $11.6 million, it said in its annual report on Thursday, after shareholders last year voted against his pay deal.

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