August 22, 2017 / 11:21 AM / 4 months ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

U.S. President Donald Trump announced his plan for Afghanistan, an earthquake hit a tourist-packed Italian holiday island and divers continue to search for 10 missing sailors in hull of USS John S. McCain.

Afghanistan

President Donald Trump has committed the United States to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan, reversing course from his campaign pledges and signaling he will send troops to America's longest war in "a fight to win." Trump offered few specifics in his speech but promised a stepped-up military campaign against Taliban insurgents who have gained ground against U.S.-backed Afghan government forces. 

Despite expected U.S. troop hike, no end in sight to Afghan war 

Trump’s announcement that he plans to send more troops to Afghanistan may be an early sign that the absence of ousted White House strategist Steve Bannon is already making itself felt. Bannon's hardline white nationalism may have been repugnant to many Americans, but he "added a much-needed voice favoring non-interventionism" and was correct about not wanting to send more troops to back up the Kabul government, writes columnist Josh Cohen. "With him gone, it’s more likely that Trump could steer Washington in the wrong direction in areas ranging from Afghanistan to China."

China defends ally Pakistan after Trump criticism 

U.S.

The U.S. Secret Service will not be able to pay an estimated 1,100 employees for required overtime work after September due to government-imposed pay caps, the agency's chief said. In a statement, Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles attributed the funding shortfall to the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family, and "an overall increase in operational tempo." 

A majority of Americans want to preserve Confederate monuments: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Charlottesville city council meeting briefly shut down by protesters 

Big protests expected as Trump plans Phoenix rally 

The U.S. navy's latest collision at sea, the fourth in its Pacific fleet this year, shows it is becoming an increasing risk to shipping in Asia despite its claims of helping to protect freedom of navigation, an official Chinese newspaper said. The USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC collided while the guided-missile vessel was nearing Singapore on Monday. The collision tore a hole in the warship's port side at the waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area. Ten sailors are missing. 

Cosby back in court with new legal team for sex assault trial 

North Korea

Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country's chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential United Nations report on North Korea sanctions violations. 

Japan urges pressure on North Korea as U.S. spells out choices 

Countering North Korean threat is Trump's 'top priority': envoy 

Middle school freshmen take part in a military training in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China August 18, 2017. Picture taken August 18, 2017.

Middle school freshmen take part in a military training in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China August 18, 2017. Picture taken August 18, 2017.

Auto

U.S. board to vote on likely cause of Tesla 'Autopilot' crash 

Ford Motor is exploring setting up a joint venture with Chinese firm Anhui Zotye Automobile Co to build electric passenger vehicles in China under a new brand, tapping into a boom for such vehicles in the world's top auto market. China, struggling with alarming pollution levels in major cities, is aggressively pushing plug-in vehicles and has poured in tens of billions in investment, research funding and subsidies, drawing many new automakers to launch projects. 

Ford becomes latest carmaker to launch UK scrappage scheme 

Business

Negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada are preparing for their next meeting about the North American Free Trade Agreement. "But while all say they are keen to see a new deal emerge, they still have to navigate the political risks attached to any commercial agreement," writes columnist Andrew Hammond. The biggest challenge may be to prevent uncertainty over Donald Trump's trade agenda opening a gap for China to exploit.  

Breakingviews: Murdoch’s Sky bid looks ever less rational

Sempra Energy to buy Oncor for $9.45 billion in blow to Berkshire 

J&J ordered to pay $417 million in trial over talc cancer risks 

Oil major Total's shares rise as analysts welcome Maersk Oil deal 

World

Less than a week after being jailed for unlawful assembly, Hong Kong democracy leader Joshua Wong was summoned again to court for an ongoing contempt of court charge related to the 2014 "Occupy" pro-democracy protests. Wong, 20, was jailed on Thursday for six months by Hong Kong's second highest court for a separate incident during the protests, dealing a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage in Hong Kong and prompting accusations of political interference. 

Four suspected Barcelona attack plotters appear in court 

Muslim divorce law 'unconstitutional', rules India's top court 

An earthquake hit the tourist-packed Italian holiday island of Ischia on Monday night, killing at least two people, injuring dozens of others and trapping three young brothers in the rubble. 

Reuters TV: Iraq’s Kurds weigh options for independence vote

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