February 7, 2018 / 2:01 PM / 6 months ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Good morning. A Reuters Special Report reveals the total count of people at higher risk of harm from Taser shocks covers nearly a third of the U.S. population and we take a close look at Amazon.com and it’s Prime economy.

Attorney Scott Rynecki (R) walks next to his client Dailene Rosario before a press conference at the Rubenstein & Rynecki office in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Highlights

Last winter, a New York City police officer fired his Taser into the rib cage of Dailene Rosario, 17, as she screamed she was pregnant. A viral video taken by a bystander showed Rosario crumple to the ground, wailing. What happened afterward has not been told - until now. Nearly a third of the U.S. population is at higher risk of death or injury from Taser shocks. Yet, as Reuters investigative series on Tasers revealed, police continue to fire their stun guns at the vulnerable.

The 4.5 percent drop in the benchmark S&P 500 over the last five days has not dented strategists’ expectations for mild to moderate gains in the U.S. stock market by the end of the year, with corporate earnings and interest rates not expected to derail equities.

U.S. casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned as CEO of his company Wynn Resorts following claims he subjected women who worked for him to unwanted advances, becoming one of the most prominent business leaders to quit over sexual misconduct allegations in recent months. 

Commentary: The SpaceX launch has opened a new frontier in space commerce, writes columnist Peter Apps. While private companies once primarily relied on existing government technology, they are now striking out on their own. "If the costs can be controlled, it’s easy to imagine firms going further in the decades to come, perhaps mining asteroids or being allocated rights to explore different planets in return for taking a much greater share of the financial risk ."

World

A damaged residential building is seen after an earthquake hit Hualien, Taiwan February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings, as they searched for about 60 people missing after a strong earthquake killed at least five near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien overnight.

Exclusive: The United States is renewing pressure on its European NATO allies to establish a long-term train-and-advise mission in Iraq, diplomats said, reviving a divisive issue for an alliance wary after a decade in Afghanistan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats agreed to a coalition deal, taking Europe’s economic powerhouse closer to a new government after months of uncertainty that unnerved partner countries and investors.

Business 

The world's largest online retailer Amazon.com reported its highest profit ever, almost $2 billion in the last quarter of 2017. Here's how Amazon's focus on fast shipping, customer loyalty and new technologies combined with aggressive expansion into other industries continues to pay off.

The U.S. solar industry lost nearly 10,000 jobs last year, led by steep losses in mature markets like California and Massachusetts where installation growth has slowed, according to a new report published.

Snapchat owner Snap Inc reported surging growth in users and revenue in its latest quarter, reviving hopes that it can survive competition with Facebook's Instagram and sending its shares up more than 20 percent.

Boeing said key issues remain in talks to forge a partnership with Brazil’s Embraer and stressed the price must make sense for all concerned.

Top stories on Reuters TV

Asian shares reverse gains as U.S. futures slip

High-end coffee growers reluctantly embrace bitter bean

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