February 21, 2018 / 1:33 PM / in 4 months

Wednesday Morning Briefing

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, emerge as the new faces of the gun-control movement.

High school students observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, during a demonstration calling for safer gun laws outside the North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Highlights

“We’re here to make sure this never happens again,” Diego Pfeiffer, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told a crowd that included hundreds of students from a Tallahassee high school. Student and parent activists from the Florida high school where 17 teens and staff members were slain last week in a shooting rampage will hold a rally today at the state capital, calling for a ban on assault-style rifles. 

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller stepped up pressure on two former Trump campaign aides to cooperate in his probe into possible collusion with Russia, unsealing a criminal charge against a lawyer for lying to Mueller’s investigators.

World

Civil defence members and civilians are seen running after an air raid in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/ Bassam Khabieh

Residents of Syria’s eastern Ghouta district said they were waiting their “turn to die”, amid one of the most intense bombardments of the war by pro-government forces on the besieged, rebel-held enclave near Damascus.

More than 90 Nigerian schoolgirls are feared missing after Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram attacked a village in the northeastern state of Yobe, two sources told Reuters.

A senior U.S. diplomat met Lebanon’s foreign minister in Beirut as part of a U.S. shuttle diplomacy effort to resolve a worsening dispute between Israel and Lebanon over a border wall and energy drilling in disputed waters.

Business 

The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of the Asia-Pacific’s fastest-growing economies was released, signaling the pact was a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States. 

General Motors has proposed an investment of $2.8 billion into its loss-making South Korean operations over the next 10 years and has asked Seoul to provide its share of the funds, a South Korean government official said.

Chipmaker Intel plans to invest $5 billion to expand production at its Kiryat Gat plant in Israel in the next three years, Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said.

The dollar rose to its highest level in a week and world stocks fell for the third day as investors braced for minutes from the Fed’s last policy meeting to see if they would herald more rises in interest rates and global bond yields.

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