August 20, 2018 / 11:31 AM / 4 months ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Trump says he has ‘nothing to hide’ from Mueller, U.S. firms warn next China tariffs could cost Americans and Venezuela’s monetary overhaul in response to its hyperinflation. 

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his departure from the White House in Washington, U.S., August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Politics

Trump said he had “nothing to hide” from the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and denied that his top lawyer had turned on him by cooperating with the probe.

The jury in the trial of Paul Manafort will deliberate for a third day about whether to convict the former Trump campaign chairman of up to 18 criminal charges related to bank and tax fraud and his failure to disclose overseas bank accounts.

Trade War

A broad cross-section of U.S. businesses have a message for the Trump administration: new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports will force Americans to pay more for items they use throughout their daily lives, from cradles to coffins.

Larry Sloven arrived in southern China three decades ago, just as the region was taking off as the low-cost manufacturing center of the world. Since then, he has exported millions of dollars of goods, ranging from power tools to LED lights, to some of America’s biggest retailers. That era may now be coming to an end.

World

A man selected as a participant for a reunion shows pictures of his deceased mother and little brothers living in North Korea, at a hotel used as a waiting place in Sokcho, South Korea, August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Some 90 families from the two Koreas were reunited in the North, weeping and embracing each after being torn apart for more than six decades by the 1950-53 Korean War. The brief reunions, which will last only 11 hours, are the first in three years, and took place in the North’s tourist resort on Mount Kumgang after the two Koreas renewed exchanges this year following a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

Indian health authorities prepared defenses against the spread of disease in flood-hit Kerala state as water receded and a huge clean-up gathered pace after the worst floods in a century killed more than 200 people.

The judge in the trial of two Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar on accusations of obtaining secret state documents said he will deliver his verdict on Aug. 27, in a case seen as a test of press freedom in the fledgling democracy.

Commentary

Trump's "get tough" policy with Turkey, a NATO ally and traditional bulwark of American policy in the Middle East, was long overdue, writes Howard Eissenstat, an associate professor of Middle East History at St. Lawrence University. "Unfortunately, the Trump administration has botched the job... The White House took an unhappy marriage and steered it towards an angry – and equally unhappy – divorce."

On Monday, more than eight years after its first euro zone bailout, Greece left its third financial rescue program. This is a welcome Grexit, writes columnist Paul Wallace, but before popping open the champagne it’s important to remember that Athens remains in thrall to its European creditors, who have failed to put the Greek economy on a sustainable footing.

Venezuela

Wider Image: Inflation hit 82,700 percent in July as the Venezuela's socialist economic model continues to unravel, meaning purchases of basic items such as a bar of soap or a kilo of tomatoes require piles of cash that is often difficult to obtain.

Business

Chinese buyers of Iranian oil are starting to shift their cargoes to vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker for nearly all of their imports to keep supply flowing amid the re-imposition of economic sanctions by the United States.

PIF, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said could help him fund a $72 billion deal to take his electric car maker private, is in talks to invest in aspiring Tesla rival Lucid Motors, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. 

Reuters TV

Many churchgoers said they were sickened and saddened by a grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania but they would not let the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up dissuade them from their faith.

Catholics stand by their faith after sex abuse report
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