April 4, 2018 / 12:49 PM / 21 days ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

China responds to U.S. tariffs and slaps duties on some U.S. imports, leaders from Turkey and Iran  meet ahead of Syria summit with Russia and Democrats vow not to be baited by Trump’s name-calling.

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China, September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song

Highlights

China quickly hit back at the Trump administration's plans to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, retaliating with a list of similar duties on key U.S. imports including soybeans, planes, cars, whiskey and chemicals. The speed with which the trade struggle between Washington and Beijing is ratcheting up – the Chinese government took less than 11 hours to respond with its own measures – led to a sharp selloff in global stock markets and commodities. 

A woman who had voiced complaints online about YouTube opened fire with a handgun at the tech company’s headquarters near San Francisco, wounding three people before shooting herself dead, authorities and media said.

On April 4, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel by an avowed segregationist. A half century after his assassination, Memphis residents remember the man and his legacy, while U.S. civil rights leaders say they are fearful Trump could reverse progress made since King’s death.

World

Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia pose before their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. Tolga Bozoglu/Pool

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a three-way summit with Russia on the Syrian conflict. The three countries are working together to try to reduce the violence in Syria despite supporting opposing sides in the war.

Millions of French commuters suffered a second consecutive day of travel chaos as striking rail workers locked horns with President Emmanuel Macron’s government in a dispute over reforming the state-owned SNCF railways.

Commentary

At the end of his first Baltic Summit yesterday, Donald Trump praised the "terrific jobs" done by the leaders of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Now he need to learn from their hard-earned expertise on the frontline of Russia’s energy, cyber and propaganda war -- and craft U.S. policy accordingly, writes Agnia Grigas

Tech

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that he agreed “in spirit” with a strict new European Union law on data privacy but stopped short of committing to it as the standard for the social network across the world.

Shares of Spotify ended up 12.9 percent on their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange, a smooth debut that could pave the way for other companies looking to go public without the aid of Wall Street underwriters.

Amazon may make a rival offer to buy Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, which is in tie-up talks with Walmart, local media reported, as the two U.S. retail giants jostle for dominance in India’s booming online industry.

The Philippines’ anti-trust agency started a review of Uber's proposed sale of its money-losing Southeast Asian business to ride-hailing rival Grab, saying the deal could hurt competition.

Reuters TV

They worked to some effect with ‘Liddle Marco’ and ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ less so with ‘Lamb the Sham’ and ‘Liberal Puppet Jones.’ Still, Democratic candidates in the upcoming mid-term elections are braced for a fresh round of name-calling from the U.S. Commander in Chief.

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