Thursday Morning Briefing

Good morning. From China’s warnings to the United States over trade to the latest nerve agent poisoning case in Britain, catch up on the latest headlines.

A bee collects nectar from a sunflower on a field near Schneisingen, Switzerland July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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The United States is “opening fire” on the world with its threatened tariffs, China warned today, saying no one wants a trade war but it will respond the instant U.S. measures go into effect as Beijing ramped up the rhetoric in the heated dispute.

A model by economists at Pictet Asset Management in London reckons a 10 percent tariff on U.S. trade fully passed on to the consumer could tip the global economy into a state of stagflation and knock 2 and a half percent off corporate earnings.

U.S. President Donald Trump again accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving gasoline prices higher and urged the oil producer group to do more. Trump has been complaining about OPEC at the same time that Washington is piling pressure on its European allies to stop buying Iranian oil. Iran could reduce its co-operation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, President Hassan Rouhani told the body’s head, after he warned Trump of “consequences” of fresh sanctions against Iranian oil sales.

Singapore’s anti-trust body proposed fines on Grab and Uber and warned it may have to unwind the two ride-hailing firms’ merger as the deal substantially lessened competition. 


When Trump visits Britain next week, Prime Minister Theresa May will have to face a harsh reality: Brexit makes Britain more dependent than ever on an alliance with the most unpredictable U.S. president in living memory.

Britain’s so-called ‘special relationship’ with the United States was one of the most enduring alliances of the 20th Century, though Brexit and Trump have raised questions about its future. Read our Factbox on how the United States and Britain compare on key measures.  

Britain called on Russia to give details about the Novichok nerve agent attack on a former double agent and his daughter after two British citizens were struck down with the same poison.


Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co-Chairman Wang Jian died during a business trip in France on July 3 in what local police said appeared to be an accidental fall from a wall while posing for a photograph. 

 Led by Peru, more than 50 countries urged Venezuela to restore the rule of law and open its doors to humanitarian assistance, as an economic crisis causes shortages of medicine and growing malnutrition.

Rescuers in Thailand were no closer to deciding when and how to extract 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave complex, where they were found this week, hungry and frail but otherwise in good health, after nine days lost underground.


Megaupload entrepreneur Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the United States, a New Zealand court has ruled. He’s accused of racketeering and criminal copyright charges. Lucy Fielder reports.