February 26, 2018 / 12:33 PM / 24 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Samsung targets young social users with its new flagship phone while crypto ‘noobs’ take investor baby steps into a brave new world.

Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after a bond hearing as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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The board of directors of The Weinstein Company said yesterday the New York film and TV studio planned to file for bankruptcy after talks to sell it collapsed, several media outlets reported. 

Federal prosecutors who have already indicted Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on charges of money laundering, bank fraud and covertly lobbying for pro-Russian interests may have additional leverage arising from a loan he received while engaged in the bankruptcies of properties in California, several former law enforcement officials say. Reuters has found new information about Manafort’s handling of the loan and its potential link to the bankruptcies. 

A Florida sheriff came under mounting criticism yesterday for his deputies’ response to this month’s deadly high school shooting and potential warning signs as dozens of state lawmakers called for his ouster and the governor ordered an independent inquiry.


Last year, human rights researchers documented an alarming rise in state-sponsored hate speech online, writes Sherif Elsayed-Ali, director of global issues at Amnesty International. “Donald Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos first circulated by an anti-immigrant, far-right British party were just the tip of the iceberg…. In 2017, politicians in many countries deployed social media to spread hate-filled agendas. 


Chinese speculators pounced on stocks with “emperor” in their name, after the ruling Communist Party set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely. China’s plan has sparked social media opposition, drawing comparisons to North Korea’s ruling dynasty and charges of creating a dictator by a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist.  

A family of nine was killed in Syrian government bombardment of the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta overnight, where air strikes and fighting have persisted despite a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire, a war monitor said today. 

Mexico’s securities regulator has imposed one of its biggest fines ever for market manipulation on steel company Industrias CH, owned by billionaire Rufino Vigil Gonzalez, government data showed.  

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the United States and North Korea should both give ground so they can sit down to talks to try to resolve a nuclear standoff, a day after Pyongyang expressed willingness for dialogue.  

Britain should stay in a customs union with the European Union even after it leaves the bloc, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said today setting up a possible parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May.


The drive for cost cuts and higher margins at U.S. trucking and railroad operators is pinching their biggest customers, forcing the likes of General Mills and Hormel Foods to spend more on deliveries and consider raising their own prices as a way to pass along the costs.

Qualcomm urged Broadcom to enter into direct negotiations on a price for merging the two companies and said they had made progress on regulatory and other deal certainty issues at a meeting last week. 

Samsung unveiled its flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone yesterday with an emphasis on visual applications for social media, hoping to attract tech savvy young consumers to weather a market slowdown. Read more tech news and coverage from the Mobile World Congress here.

Meet those who are dubbed by longtime crypto-investors as “the noobs”– online lingo for “newbies” – they are ordinary investors hopping onto the latest trend, often with little understanding of how cryptocurrencies work or why they exist.

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