February 14, 2018 / 12:42 PM / in 4 days

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Markets are jittery on inflation fears after the CPI posted its biggest gains in a year. Meanwhile, some of the Finnish Olympic team are soothing jitters of their own by turning to a crafty hobby.

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Highlights

U.S. stock reversed course to trade half a percent lower after data showed consumer prices rose more than expected in January, with a measure of underlying inflation posting its biggest gain in a year.

American Shaun White cemented his legacy as the most successful snowboarder of all time as he won his third Winter Olympic gold and a landmark 100th for his country. While White performed tricks and flips down the halfpipe, the Finnish team were instead focusing on yarns, stitches, loops and purls as they turned to the soothing effects of knitting in the face of Olympic pressure. Read more news, features and insights from the Winter Games here.

Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations, according to plans seen by Reuters.

The closures aren't the only change following President Donald Trump’s decision to dramatically reduce the number of refugees that will be allowed into the United States in 2018. A draft policy being considered by the government means immigrants who relied on the government to get through tough financial times could find it more difficult to stay in the United States permanently. See more on Trump's effect on immigration.

World

What is your love story? To mark Valentine's Day, Reuters photographers documented the stories of over 20 couples from around the globe. Their stories run the gamut from storybook high school romances to the more unconventional, such as finding love after an acid attack.

Big brother is watching. But in the future he may no longer be so all-knowing. Riding the wave of a global push to comply with new privacy standards, a small Israeli company believes it can help you, and your face, stay anonymous in a hyper-connected world. However Israel’s leadership has more on its mind than tech innovation. Police made public their recommendations that Netanyahu be indicted for bribery, prompting the prime minister to make a public statement that his coalition government remained stable and would continue to govern.

Heavily armed South African police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family as part of a probe into allegations the three brothers had corrupt links to President Jacob Zuma, who has been ordered by the ruling ANC to quit as head of state.

Business

One of Walmart’s best chances at taking on Amazon.com in e-commerce lies with six giant server farms, each larger than ten football fields. Walmart’s decision to build its own internal cloud network shows its determination to grab a bigger slice of online shopping, in part by imitating Amazon’s use of cloud-powered big data to drive digital sales.

Uber narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to $1.1 billion from a loss of $1.46 billion in the previous quarter, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Commentary

Despite President Trump's promises, coal jobs won’t be coming back, writes former Obama administration senior policy advisor Jason Walsh. To truly help the communities most impacted by the coal industry’s decline, the U.S. must invest in developing “the abundant assets of coal communities to the fullest, including the skills of workers and entrepreneurs, emerging industry clusters, critical institutions and infrastructure, and the region’s rich heritage and culture.”

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