April 18, 2018 / 12:25 PM / 3 months ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Trump’s Secretary of State nominee made a secret visit to North Korea to meet Kim Jong Un and Reuters investigates the murder of Malta’s anti-corruption campaigner and journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows CIA Director Mike Pompeo (L) in Washington, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) in Pyongyang, North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump (R), in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., respectively from Reuters files. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (L) & KCNA handout via Reuters & Kevin Lamarque (R)

Highlights

U.S. Secretary of State nominee and CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea over the Easter weekend and met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss a planned summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. officials said. Pompeo’s trip made him the most senior U.S. official ever known to have met with Kim and provided the strongest sign yet to Trump’s willingness to become the first serving U.S. president ever to meet a North Korean leader.

Some major customers of Boeing’s popular 737 jets including Korean Air Lines said they were inspecting engines of the type that blew apart mid-air on a fatal Southwest Airlines flight.

Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress are moving forward with a plan to vote before the 2018 midterm elections on a bill to make permanent the temporary individual tax cuts in their recent tax overhaul.

World

Candles and flowers are seen at an impromptu memorial during a protest by journalists following the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bomb attack, in Valletta, Malta, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Family pets killed, online vitriol and her house set on fire, Daphne Caruana Galizia describes her experience of working in Malta. A Reuters special report investigates the murder of Malta’s anti-corruption campaigner and journalist.

Britain’s media regulator said it had opened seven investigations into whether Russian news channel RT had broken impartiality rules in broadcasts made since a Russian double-agent was poisoned in the English city of Salisbury last month.

President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would make or buy any weapons it needed to defend itself in a region beset by “invading powers”, as the military paraded missiles and soldiers in front of him on National Army Day.

Commentary

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting U.S. President Donald Trump this week, their seventh meeting since Trump’s 2016 election victory. While Abe’s latest visit was prompted by the possibility of Trump meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the leaders have at least two other important issues to discuss: trade and China’s growing military activity around the region. “China” is almost always in the room when the United States and Japan meet, and never more so than since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013.

Business

Exclusive: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia would be happy to see crude rise to $80 or even $100 a barrel, three industry sources said, a sign Riyadh will seek no changes to an OPEC supply-cutting deal even though the agreement’s original target is within sight.

China has various contingency plans and policy reserves to deal with trade frictions started by the United States, the country’s top economic planner said.

German prosecutors are investigating current and former employees of Volkswagen-owned sports car maker Porsche, including a management board member, as part of their inquiries into emissions manipulations, they said.

Ant Financial’s rapid climb to become the world’s biggest super unicorn valued by some investors at around $150 billion showcases investor enthusiasm for the biggest Chinese tech companies and also how quickly valuations can shift. Just two months ago, bankers and investors were tentatively talking of a figure closer to $100 billion.

Reuters TV

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, the only woman to see her husband and son sworn in as U.S. president died Tuesday at the age of 92.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies at 92
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