Friday Morning Briefing

Good morning. China blames U.S. for ‘largest-scale trade war’, new opinion poll shows immigration as top issue for U.S. voters and Pompeo meets North Korean officials in Pyongyang.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks departs after speaking at a Make America Great Again rally in Great Falls, Montana, U.S., July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Trade Tariffs

U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed, with Beijing saying it had no choice but to respond in kind, as the two trading giants escalated a bitter row.

China’s Foreign Ministry said that Beijing has already begun implementing tariffs on some U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. duties on $34 billion in Chinese imports, which took effect the same day.

United States

Immigration tops the economy and healthcare as the most important issue determining Americans’ vote ahead of the midterm elections in November, a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows.

Commentary: When America goes to war, its soldiers, sailors and pilots typically have long been used to having a spectacular technological edge. Those days are ending fast, writes Peter Apps. “From the South China Sea to Eastern Europe – and even the Korean Peninsula – U.S. commanders are now considering the prospect of war against enemies who may be capable of deploying overwhelming firepower and sophisticated new technology.”


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol meet at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 6, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met North Korean officials in Pyongyang, hoping to “fill in” details on how to dismantle the North’s nuclear program and recover the remains of U.S. troops missing from the Korean War.

A former Thai navy diver died working to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, highlighting the risks for rescue teams trying to find a safe way to bring the group out after 13 days underground. For more on this story.

Japan executed the former leader of a doomsday cult and six other members of the group that carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 13 people and shattering the country’s myth of public safety.

Wider Image

A Rohingya refugee girl named Shamima, aged 10, poses for a photograph as she wears thanaka paste at Jamtoli camp in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh, April 1, 2018. "I wear this makeup because it is our tradition," said Shamima. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Swirls of yellow paste made from ground tree bark decorate the cheeks of Rohingya Muslim women and girls in the refugee camps of southern Bangladesh. Thanaka, a type of sun protection that dates back centuries, is a common sight on the faces of the women, who say the use of the traditional cooling paste helps bring a sense of normality to their difficult lives in the camps.


Trump’s threat to block Chinese investment in U.S. companies could be trouble for a number of American automotive and technology companies using Chinese funds to develop electric and self-driving cars and related services, from Tesla to dozens of Silicon Valley startups.

U.S. employers likely maintained a brisk pace of hiring in June while increasing wages for workers, which would reinforce expectations of robust economic growth in the second quarter and allow the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates. 

China’s HNA Group said it has made co-founder Chen Feng its sole chairman after fellow chairman Wang Jian died this week, moving to calm concerns about leadership amidst the conglomerate’s efforts to slash its massive debt burden.

Reuters TV

Trump announced on Twitter that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of scrutiny around his spending habits and conduct.