October 17, 2018 / 11:19 AM / a month ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Turkish President Erdogan, Zika on the rise in Angola and Russia moves into Central Africa. Catch up on the latest headlines.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday following talks with Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey hopes to enter the Saudi consul’s residence in Istanbul in connection with the disappearance of the Saudi journalist. 

Breaking Views: Japan’s big banks may be hoping to benefit from the retreat of global rivals from Riyadh. The accusation that Saudi Arabia engaged in state-sponsored murder has led top U.S. and European bank bosses to pull out of attending next week’s Future Investment Initiative, writes Una Galani. For Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group, though, the fallout could present an opportunity to snag more of Saudi’s fee wallet. 

Exclusive: OPEC has urged its members not to mention oil prices when discussing policy in a break from the past, as the oil producing group seeks to avoid the risk of U.S. legal action for manipulating the market, sources close to OPEC say.

World

An internal World Health Organization report reviewed by Reuters concluded in April that two cases of a potentially dangerous strain of Zika confirmed in early 2017, along with the microcephaly cases identified since then, provided “strong evidences” of a Zika-linked microcephaly cluster in Angola. When a Zika epidemic was at its height in the Americas two years ago, diagnostics makers began working feverishly to create diagnostic tests for a virus that few in the U.S. had heard of. Why is Zika so hard to diagnose?

When Central African Republic (CAR) pleaded for help last year to fight marauding militias, former colonial ruler France offered guns it had seized off Somalia. But Russia objected and donated its own weapons instead.Russia has signed at least 19 military cooperation deals with governments in sub-Saharan Africa since 2014, when it came under Western sanctions for annexing Crimea and stepped up efforts to diversify its economic and diplomatic partnerships.

It would not hurt Europe if Britain was allowed to remain in the European Union customs union and internal market beyond an agreed transitional arrangement, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said. Read the latest on the Brexit negotiations. 

The chair of a United Nations inquiry that accused Myanmar’s military of genocide is likely to brief the Security Council this month after Britain, France, the United States and six other members requested the meeting, diplomats said on Tuesday.

U.S. Politics

Beto O’Rourke has been hesitant to attack Cruz while portraying himself as a figure who could bring Texans together. But with polls showing him slipping farther behind just three weeks before the Nov. 6 election, and six days before early voting starts in Texas, O’Rourke switched his approach. 

U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who has tied herself tightly to President Donald Trump as she aims to succeed one of his most vocal Republican critics in the U.S. Senate, has a modest lead in her election bid, a Reuters opinion poll found

Business

Tesla has signed an agreement with the Shanghai government for an 860,000 square meter plot of land to build its first overseas Gigafactory, the electric carmaker said in a Chinese social media post on Wednesday. 

Danske Bank, reeling from a money laundering scandal, suffered another setback on Wednesday when the Danish financial regulator rejected its candidate for chief executive on the grounds that he lacked sufficient experience. Take a look at the people who might be candidates to become the next CEO.

Chinese search engine Baidu has become the first Chinese company to join an artificial intelligence ethics group led by top U.S. tech firms, amid wider political clashes over AI competition between China and the United States. 

Netflix hooked 7 million new streaming subscribers from July to September, a third more than Wall Street had expected, reassuring investors who had worried the company was facing a slowdown in its fast-paced growth. 

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