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Wednesday Morning Briefing
August 23, 2017 / 2:04 PM / in 2 months

Wednesday Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump defended his comments following violence in Virginia, Typhoon Hato has slammed into Hong Kong and south China and Wal-Mart is teaming up with Google to enter the voice-shopping market.

Police wearing riot gear guard a statue of a Confederate soldier nicknamed Silent Sam on the campus of the University of North Carolina during a demonstration for its removal in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S. August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

U.S.

President Donald Trump revved up supporters on Tuesday with a defense of his response to a white supremacist-organized rally in Virginia and a promise to shut down the U.S. government if necessary to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Under fire for saying "both sides" were to blame for the violence between white supremacists and left-wing counter protesters in Virginia on Aug. 12, Trump accused television networks of ignoring his calls for unity in the aftermath. 

Charlottesville to cover Confederate statues after chaotic meeting 

Trump hints at pardon for former Arizona Sheriff Arpaio 

Egypt cancels Kushner meeting with minister after denial of aid

Special Report

Part 1: In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths across America. Behind the fatalities is a sobering reality: Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help.

Part 2: Reuters, examining hundreds of wrongful death lawsuits, finds the public pays most of the liability bill as police describe difficulty keeping up with the manufacturer’s increasingly detailed safety alerts.

How Reuters tracked fatalities and taser incidents

Asia

Typhoon Hato, a maximum category 10 storm, slammed into Hong Kong lashing the Asian financial hub with wind and rain that uprooted trees and forced most businesses to close, while in some places big waves flooded seaside streets. There were reports of 34 people injured in Hong Kong while in the city of Macau, across the Pearl River estuary, three people were killed, authorities there said. 

Pakistan says U.S. must not make it a 'scapegoat' for Afghan failures

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered more solid-fuel rocket engines, state media reported, as he pursues nuclear and missile programs amid a standoff with Washington, but there were signs of tension easing. 

Philippine leader tells police to kill only if necessary in war on drugs

The U.S. Navy said it had removed Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin after a series of collisions involving its warships in Asia as the search goes on for 10 sailors missing since the latest mishap. 

Europe

Regional police in Spain may have missed an opportunity to uncover a militant plot ahead of last week's deadly Barcelona attack due to procedural errors and a lack of communication among investigators, two police sources and two individuals close to the investigation said. The errors and miscommunication centered around a major blast on Aug 16, the eve of the attack, at a house where suspected Islamist militants were making explosives, the sources said. 

Merkel assuming leadership role in world of erratic strongmen 

Cologne cathedral walled off in post-Barcelona security rethink 

Reuters TV: Danish police confirm torso is missing journalist 

Firefighters take a rest after an earthquake hits the island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, Italy August 22, 2017.

Commentary

The Department of Justice has taken a page from the playbook of authoritarian governments by making an "overly broad request" for information about everyone who visited a website that helped organize anti-Trump inauguration protests, writes columnist Emily Parker. The web hosting company says that means handing over 1.3 million IP addresses, as well as contact information, content of emails, and photographs of thousands of people. "The DOJ request is not limited to rioters. It could also affect people who casually visited a protest website," says Parker. "How many Americans would think twice about visiting a protest site if they knew that the hosting company might have to hand over information about them?"

Business

What is the true cost of an Uber ride? That simple question is often lost among the many controversies facing the ride-services company as it tries to hire a new chief executive and resolve a bitter dispute with the old one, Travis Kalanick. 

Ferrari unveils its new entry-level model: the Portofino

North American exodus at PetroChina sparks speculation of company shift 

Massive California verdict expands J&J's talc battlefield 

Breakingviews: WPP underestimates pinch from corporate austerity

Technology

Wal-Mart is teaming up with Alphabet's Google to enter the nascent voice-shopping market, currently dominated by Amazon, adding another front to Wal-Mart's battle with the online megastore. Google, which makes the Android software used to run most of the world's smartphones, will offer hundreds of thousands of Walmart items on its voice-controlled Google Assistant platform from late September, Walmart's head of e-commerce, Marc Lore, wrote in a blog post. 

Robot makers slow to address danger risk: researchers 

In Japan, robot-for-hire programed to perform Buddhist funeral rites 

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