August 9, 2018 / 12:34 PM / in 3 months

Thursday Morning Briefing

Big donors battle for Democrats’ future in Florida, Russia denounces new U.S. sanctions as illegal and the death toll on the Indonesian island of Lombok rises.

Tallahassee, Florida Mayor, Andrew D. Gillum addresses the audience at the Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

Highlights

“Who are we?” said Andrew Gillum, the son of a bus driver who became the mayor of Florida’s capital, in an interview. Key Democratic megadonors and liberal leaders have backed the 39-year-old Gillum over a crowded field of viable candidates, convinced his voice represents the party’s future in America’s largest swing state in presidential elections.

Chris Collins, a Republican U.S. congressman from New York who was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, was criminally charged with taking part in an insider trading scheme involving an Australian biotechnology company on whose board he served.

Commentary

Under President Xi Jinping, China has evolved into a country that is "simultaneously more self-confident yet paranoid, and no longer nearly so bothered what the rest of the world thinks," writes Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps. If anything, "domestic problems and international criticism only seem to intensify China’s conviction – and enthusiasm – for pushing ahead with its plans to reshape the world."

Russia

The sun sets behind the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower and St. Basil's Cathedral during the soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Russia condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions as draconian after news of the measures sent the rouble tumbling to two-year lows and sparked a wider asset sell-off over fears that Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions.

Wider Image: Their slogan is Orthodoxy or Death. They are convinced Russia should be ruled by an autocratic monarch. They believe the coming of a new tsar may be imminent. The Union of Orthodox Banner Bearers is a small fringe group of Russian nationalists with no political power that stages processions, rallies and even burns books to promote their views.

World

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told North Korea’s foreign minister that the United States cannot be trusted, Tehran’s state media said, as the United States seeks a deal to rein in the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

Saudi-led coalition air strikes killed dozens of people, including children traveling on a bus, in Yemen’s Saada province, Yemeni medical sources and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

The number of confirmed deaths from a strong earthquake that hit the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday has risen to 259 and will continue to rise as more victims are found in the rubble, the disaster mitigation agency said.

Business

A leveraged buyout of electric carmaker Tesla could be an ominous sign of market exuberance, but investors may need more justification to run for the exits.

Tribune Media has terminated its $3.9 billion deal to be bought by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the company said, after regulators objected to the acquisition that had received support from U.S. President Donald Trump.

The redesign of the Ford F-series trucks, launched in 2014, set a new standard for fuel economy and lightweight vehicle construction. But armed with stopwatches and trained eyes, the GM engineers believed they saw problems.

Reuters TV

Beijing’s giant state-owned enterprises are playing an increasing role in China’s build-up in the South China Sea and could seek to cement their dominant position in coming years, according to new research as Reuters’ Greg Torode explains.

China's state firms cash in on South China Sea
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