August 3, 2018 / 11:32 AM / 15 days ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Good morning. From Bezos’ Blue Origin shifting into overdrive to Apple’s $1 trillion rise, catch up on the latest headlines. 

Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

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 HIGHLIGHTS

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is racing to pull his private space company out of start-up mode and move into production amid signals that his firm's heavy rocket may slip behind schedule.

A threat to impose sanctions on Russian sovereign debt transactions is one of the biggest financial weapons that the U.S. can deploy against the Kremlin, but Moscow’s slide down the investment league table in recent years means the move will not pack the punch it once would have.

The U.S. government told a federal court judge that volunteers and non-profit groups, rather than government officials, should take the lead in locating more than 400 immigrant parents who were separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Apple became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company yesterday, crowning a decade-long rise that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications. Reuters Graphics explored the major milestone in a decade of stock gains fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone.

WORLD

President Emmerson Mnangagwa called for Zimbabwe to unite behind him after he was declared winner of national elections, but the opposition leader questioned the outcome and demanded “proper and verified” results be released. The violence-marred triumph of the ruling ZANU-PF has dashed any optimism that this week's election would unambiguously mark the end of Zimbabwe's long, painful slide towards totalitarianism and economic implosion under Robert Mugabe, writes South African columnist William Saunderson-Meyer.

Less than two months after a landmark U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew back to the city state and said North Korea’s continued work on weapons programs was inconsistent with its leader’s commitment to denuclearize. 

Meanwhile, Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed to try to resolve a series of disputes, following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the case of Andrew Brunson, a U.S. pastor on trial in Turkey. 

COMMENTARY

The Trump administration's proposal to freeze federal rules requiring automakers to design more efficient, cleaner-running cars is a giant step backward, writes Kate Gordon, a fellow at the Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy and the author of “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States. "By reversing course on fuel-efficiency regulations, the United States is encouraging automakers to build outdated vehicles in a globally-evolving market – ceding market leadership to China in the process."

BUSINESS

Since December 2014, DingTalk has grown exponentially to become the world’s largest chat service designed for companies, with over 100 million individual users and 7 million employers across China. But its rapid rise has sparked a backlash from Chinese workers who say the app fuels an unhealthy work culture.

The likelihood of a Democratic party takeover of at least one house of the U.S. Congress in the midterm elections in November is prompting some portfolio managers to move more money to cash and rotate away from sectors like financials and technology that could see greater regulatory scrutiny.

Deutsche Bank has uncovered shortcomings in its ability to fully identify clients and the source of their wealth, internal documents seen by Reuters show, more than a year after it was fined nearly $700 million for allowing money laundering.

REUTERS TV

Less than two weeks after the World Health Organization declared the Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola-free again, another outbreak has been reported in a new area for which security risks will complicate containment efforts. Matthew Larotonda reports.

Congo's new Ebola outbreak is in a conflict zone
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