April 17, 2019 / 12:58 PM / a day ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Companies warn the Trump administration that a citizenship question on the Census could be costly, French President Macron hopes to rebuild Notre-Dame in five years and Apple is in talks with potential suppliers of sensors for self-driving cars. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Top News

An array of U.S. companies have told the Trump administration that a citizenship question on the 2020 Census would harm business if it leads to an undercount of immigrants, undermining the data they use to place stores, plan inventory and plot ad campaigns.

An eerie shot down one of Notre-Dame’s two naves, smoke rising from blackened debris on the stone flooring, silhouetted angel figurines against the wall and a raised golden cross on the altar, bathed in artificial light. This photo, taken by a Reuters photographer, gave the world its first view inside one of France's national symbols after a fire devastated it on Monday. President Emmanuel Macron has since pledged that France would rebuild the Parisian cathedral, saying he hoped the work would be done in five years. Some 24 hours after the fire started, more than 750 million euros ($845 million) had been pledged to the repair efforts.

Each morning for the last two decades, Frank DeAngelis has recited aloud the names of the 13 people killed at Columbine High School, where he served as principal during the 1999 massacre that marked a modern era of mass school shootings. On April 20, 1999, two heavily armed Columbine students stormed the school in suburban Denver, killing 12 classmates and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide. Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy, and DeAngelis, who retired as principal five years ago, will speak at some of the solemn events celebrating the victims whose lives were cut short.

Joko Widodo appeared to be heading for victory in Indonesia’s presidential election as “quick count” results from polling stations were posted, in line with opinion polls that had predicted a second five-year term for the low-key reformist. Data from six private pollsters - based on partial counts of vote samples - showed that Widodo was winning just over half of the vote and his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto, was between 5.5 and 11.4 percentage points behind him.

Wearing a disposable gown and gloves for protection, Jeanine Masika cradles a 2-year-old Ebola patient and offers the listless toddler teaspoons of brown soup. Most health care workers need a surgical mask, goggles, hooded coveralls, an apron, rubber boots and two pairs of gloves to avoid catching the virus that typically kills around half those it infects. But Masika has antibodies in her system after she won her own battle against Ebola last year, and she now has immunity.

Satellite images from last week show movement at North Korea’s main nuclear site that could be associated with the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel, a U.S. think tank said. Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a report that satellite imagery of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear site from April 12 showed five specialized railcars near its Uranium Enrichment Facility and Radiochemistry Laboratory. It said their movement could indicate the transfer of radioactive material.

Tech

Exclusive: Apple has held talks with at least four companies as possible suppliers for next-generation lidar sensors in self-driving cars, evaluating the companies’ technology while also still working on its own lidar unit, three people familiar with the discussions said.

Microsoft recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras due to human rights concerns, company President Brad Smith said.Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white and male pictures.

China plans to gamble on the bulk deployment of its untested “Hualong One” nuclear reactor, squeezing out foreign designs, as it resumes a long-delayed nuclear program aimed at meeting its clean energy goals, government and industry officials said. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, was once seen as a “shop window” for big nuclear developers to show off new technologies, with Beijing embarking on a program to build plants based on designs from France, the United States, Russia and Canada.

Business

Trucks are pictured at a truck stop along I-95 in Darien, Connecticut, U.S. January 16, 2019. Picture taken January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Resnick-Ault

Across the United States, drivers, regional operators and industry officials say the $700 billion U.S. trucking sector slipped in late 2018, with the fall continuing into this year. While the decline in freight rates and hauling does not suggest the United States is headed into a recession, that softness is consistent with slippage in the economy as a whole. Here is an illustration on the ups and downs of the American economy.

Handbags, tractors, shovels and fish are part of an 11-page list of U.S. imports worth $20 billion that the European Union said it could hit with tariffs in a transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute.

Some 83 percent of Commerzbank employees oppose a merger with Deutsche Bank, according to an internal survey seen by Reuters. The poll results are preliminary and come during the fifth week of merger talks between the two German lenders.

Reuters TV

President Donald Trump has vetoed a congressional resolution that sought to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the White House said.

Trump vetoes resolution on involvement in Yemen
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