April 19, 2018 / 11:57 AM / a year ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Facebook tries to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of a new EU privacy law, Cuba is set to swear in a new president to replace Castro and scientists in Singapore build a robot that conquers a task most people dread - assembling IKEA flatpack furniture. 

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Tammie Jo Shults, who is currently a Southwest Airlines pilot, poses in front of a Navy F/A-18A in this 1992 photo released in Washington, DC, U.S., April 18, 2018. Thomas P. Milne/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

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North Korea has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said today, as the United States vowed to maintain “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang.  

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it would order inspection of some 220 jet engines after investigators said a broken fan blade touched off an engine explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight, shattering a window and killing a passenger. Many social media users attacked passenger Marty Martinez in expletive-laced postings after he live streamed what he feared might be his last minutes of life after the engine exploded. It was possibly the first time someone who thought he was going to die in a plane crash live-streamed the experience. 

An era will end in Communist-run Cuba today when President Raul Castro retires, likely handing over the reins to his right hand man Miguel Diaz-Canel, born the year after brothers Fidel and Raul led their 1959 leftist revolution.


The strikes on Syria "were little more than highly ritualized theater," writes Peter Apps. But while they demonstrated U.S. military dominance in the Mediterranean, they have left a murky, risky aftermath. Increased Russian and Chinese activity in other regions "means U.S. power is increasingly spread thin."


If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people’s online data went into effect tomorrow, almost 1.9 billion Facebook users around the world would be protected by it. The online social network is making changes that ensure the number will be much smaller. 

A U.S. ban on sales of American components to ZTE has unleashed a patriotic backlash in China’s cyberspace, highlighting the growing tension between the world’s two largest economies.

Robots in Singapore have completed a task many humans dread - assembling flat-packed IKEA furniture. Scientists spent three years programming the robot - made of arms, grippers, sensors and 3D cameras - which assembled the frame of an IKEA dining chair in around 20 minutes. 


Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t just for soldiers. After years of covering war and tragedy in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for Reuters, it happened to Reuters reporter Dean Yates. In 2016, Yates was treated in a psychiatric unit for PTSD after a career spent covering conflict and tragedy. Last July, he was back in Ward 17. It was time to face up to my moral injury and the event that drove him into mental hell. Read our latest special report


SpaceX have launched a launched a NASA satellite into space. NASA hopes the telescope will detect world’s potentially capable of harboring life.

SpaceX rocket launches NASA planet-hunting probe
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