April 25, 2018 / 11:24 AM / a month ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Gmail’s new design, why nearly 3 million Venezuelan children are missing school and how diplomatic desserts get political during North-South Korea summit preparations.

A man stands near binoculars as he tries to see North Korea's propaganda village of Gijungdong at the Dora observatory near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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HIGHLIGHTS

The U.S. government is conducting an intensive examination of alleged atrocities against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, documenting accusations of murder, rape, beatings and other possible offenses in an investigation that could be used to prosecute Myanmar’s military for crimes against humanity, U.S. officials told Reuters. Meanwhile, a judge in Myanmar will rule next week on whether a police captain was credible when he testified that two Reuters reporters were framed, after prosecutors argued that the officer should be declared an unreliable witness. Read more on their case.

The Kremlin says it has nothing to do with Russian civilians fighting in Syria but on three recent occasions groups of men flying in from Damascus headed straight to a defense ministry base in Molkino, Reuters reporters witnessed.

Nearly 3 million children are missing some or all classes in Venezuela, according to a study by universities, in a depressing knock-on from a deepening economic crisis that could cause long-lasting damage to the South American country.

INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT

The recent detente between North and South Korea has given new life to talk of unification for the two countries divided since the 1950s. But on a peninsula locked in conflict for 70 years, unification is a concept that has become increasingly convoluted and viewed as unrealistic, at least in the South. Reuters Graphics explore the differences between the two countries, which are deeply divided by more than just the heavily fortified border.

For much of the last few decades, powerful speakers on the South Korean border have blasted propaganda to nearby North Koreans, everything from Korean pop songs to news about the number of cars in the affluent South. On Monday, they stopped – the latest step in a high-stakes diplomatic dance. “Coming before Friday’s North-South summit ... the move was more than just symbolic,” writes Peter Apps for Reuters Commentary.

Japan has demanded that South Korea rethink a mango mousse dessert it plans to serve at a North-South summit dinner on Friday which features a map of the Korean peninsula, including islands disputed with Japan, a recurring irritant for Tokyo. 

TECH, MEDIA AND MARKETS

World shares were on their longest losing streak of the year, as a rise in U.S. bond yields above 3 percent and warnings from top global firms about rising costs fed fears a boom in earnings may have peaked.

U.S. cable company Comcast submitted a 22 billion pound ($31 billion) offer for pay-TV group Sky, challenging an already agreed but lower takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox.

A reassuring physical presence and fast-growing online sales have vaulted Magazine Luiza into the upper echelons of Brazilian e-commerce, lifting shares over 500 percent last year and 20 percent so far in 2018. The company is relying on deep roots in its home turf to survive an assault by Amazon.com, which is revving up operations in Latin America’s largest economy six years after entering the market.

Google unveiled its first Gmail redesign since 2013, capping what the company says was an expensive overhaul two years in the making to adopt security and offline functionality and better resemble Microsoft Outlook.

Twitter reported its second profitable quarter and topped Wall Street estimates for revenue and monthly active users, as advertisers in Asia and other markets outside the United States embraced Twitter’s video ads. 

REUTERS TV

Suspect Alek Minassian, accused of plowing a rental van into pedestrians on a crowded Toronto sidewalk, left a ‘cryptic message’ on social media before his attack which may provide clues to a motive.

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