April 16, 2019 / 11:27 AM / in 10 days

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Fire guts Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, thousands to ‘crowd-source’ Indonesian election results and Taliban team at Afghan peace talks in Qatar to include women. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Top News

Firefighters doused the smoldering ruins of Notre-Dame with water, the morning after a raging inferno swept through the gothic cathedral in the heart of Paris as investigators tried to establish what started the fire. President Macron said France would launch a campaign to rebuild the cathedral, which is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture, including fundraising efforts and by appealing to “talents” from overseas to contribute.

Two U.S. House of Representatives committees have issued subpoenas to multiple financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank AG, for information on President Donald Trump’s finances, the panels’ Democratic leaders said on Monday. “The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern. The Financial Services Committee is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible,” the committee’s chair, Maxine Waters, said in a statement.

In the crowded field of Democrats jockeying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has raised more money than his rivals, with more of it coming from small-dollar donors and more from outside his home state. A Reuters analysis of first quarter fundraising reports filed on Monday found that while Democratic White House hopefuls talk about building their campaigns on “grassroots” or small donor support, only six of 15 amassed half their hauls from small-dollar donations.

More than 192 million Indonesians are eligible to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on Wednesday after campaigns focused on the economy, but with political Islam looming large over the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation. President Joko Widodo, a former furniture salesman who launched his political career as a small-city mayor, is standing for re-election in a contest with ex-general Prabowo Subianto, whom he narrowly defeated in 2014.

President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brushed aside North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s demand for Washington to show more flexibility in nuclear talks by year-end, with Pompeo saying Kim should keep his promise to give up his nuclear weapons before then.

Women will be included for the first time in the Taliban delegation to peace talks in Qatar this month, the movement’s main spokesman said, ahead of the latest round of meetings aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan. The April 19-21 meeting in Doha will be between the Taliban and a delegation comprising prominent Afghans, including opposition politicians and civil society activists. It follows similar talks between the two sides in Moscow in February.

Reuters won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, one for revealing the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces, and another for photographs of Central American migrantsseeking refuge in the United States. Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been imprisoned in Myanmar since Dec. 12, 2017. For the latest updates on their case.

Business

Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou said he is considering whether to run for Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election, a day after Reuters reported the tycoon planned to step down from the world’s largest contract manufacturer.

Brent oil slipped to around $71 a barrel, pressured by expectations of higher U.S. inventories and concern about Russia’s willingness to stick with OPEC-led supply cuts. “We have already seen these inventories going higher in the last week’s print,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at TF Global Markets in London.

Italy’s top bank UniCredit SpA and two subsidiaries have agreed to pay $1.3 billion to U.S. authorities to settle probes of violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran and other countries, U.S. authorities said. In addition, UniCredit Bank, the bank’s German unit, agreed to plead guilty to federal and New York state criminal charges for illegally moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on behalf of sanctioned entities, the U.S. Department of Justice and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.

Tech

China’s Huawei said it has not held talks with Apple about supplying 5G chipsets, a day after its founder said it was open to selling such chips to the U.S. firm which has yet to unveil dates for a next-gen iPhone.

Hulu has bought back wireless carrier AT&T’s stake in the U.S. entertainment streaming service for $1.43 billion, in a deal that values Hulu at $15 billion, the two companies said.

In real world conditions, all-electric cars can sometimes fall far short of advertised ranges, car engineers say. That’s particularly so when driving at length on freeways or hilly terrain and in hot or cold weather. The problem adds to drawbacks which have hindered wider acceptance - EVs have shorter driving ranges than gasoline vehicles anyway, are more expensive and take a long time to recharge.

Reuters TV

The 123rd running of the Boston Marathon on Monday saw the race’s closest finish since 1988, with no security issues marring the event six years after the deadly Boston marathon bombing.

Closest Boston Marathon finish in over two decades
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