August 1, 2018 / 11:30 AM / 18 days ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

From a Special Report on America’s hostage crisis with Iran to Huawei overtaking Apple in smartphone sales, catch up with the latest headlines. 

A lone tree stands near a water trough in a drought-effected paddock on Jimmie and May McKeown's property located on the outskirts of town of Walgett, in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray SEARCH "AUSTRALIA DROUGHT" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1B0A72D220

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SPECIAL REPORT

For nearly four decades, Iran has imprisoned American citizens and Washington has strived to free them through diplomacy, force or persuasion. Our latest Special Report looks inside America’s unending hostage crisis with Iran and examines the path President Trump is following.

TRADE

China promised to retaliate if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Trump defended his trade policies yesterday in a speech in Florida and said American farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs from China were bearing up, in a sign he is feeling some political heat on the issue.

UNITED STATES

Facebook said it had identified a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead its users and sow dissension among voters ahead of November’s U.S. congressional elections.  

The political consultancy work undertaken by Trump’s former aide Paul Manafort in Ukraine will be under the spotlight today as his criminal trial continues. The trial is not about tax evasion or money laundering to hide the resources required for the lavish lifestyle to which Manafort became accustomed, writes David Eckels Wade for Reuters Commentary. “This trial is about how Russia moves money and buys influence.”

WORLD 

The candidate for Zimbabwe’s main opposition party accused the ruling ZANU-PF of trying to steal a presidential and parliamentary election after official figures gave President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party a majority in parliament.

 Reuters photographer David Gray used drones to capture the worst drought in living memory that is sweeping parts of eastern Australia, leaving farmers struggling to cope and many asking questions about the future.

Thieves have stolen two crowns and an orb from the Swedish royal family’s collection, making off in a motorboat after the heist. 

More than 50 boxes handed over by North Korea to the United States last week appear to hold human remains from the 1950-1953 Korean War and are likely American.

BUSINESS

China’s Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s second-biggest smartphone seller in the June quarter, data from market research firms showed, as it gained ground in Europe and expanded its lead back home.

Apple sales led by the pricey iPhone X pushed quarterly results far beyond Wall Street targets, with subscriptions from App Store, Apple Music and iCloud services bolstering business.

REUTERS TV

Vladimir Putin has created a new directorate inside the Russian army to promote patriotism, evoking memories of a Soviet practice that once saw soldiers taught the precepts of Marxism and Leninism by political commissars. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

Putin gives Russian army a political wing
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