July 30, 2018 / 10:58 AM / 15 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Catch up with the latest headlines as wildfires continue to rage in northern California, Paul Manafort prepares to go on trial and Zimbabweans head to the polls.

A blackened landscape is shown from wildfire damage near Keswick, California, U.S., July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandria Sage

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HIGHLIGHTS

Standing before an audience of 14,000 people last year, Walmart executives described a radical plan to help it fend off Amazon and other competitors from stealing its customers. But months later, Walmart quietly retreated and ended its pilot program altogether in January, according to company documents obtained by Reuters and interviews with more than two dozen Walmart employees. 

Paul Manafort will become the first of President Trump’s former aides to go on trial, accused of bank and tax fraud by federal investigators probing Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  

A 70-year-old woman and her two great-grandchildren were among six people killed when a wildfire engulfed entire communities in northern California, officials and family members said. The Carr Fire, which has destroyed more than 650 homes, is the deadliest and most destructive of nearly 90 wildfires burning from Texas to Oregon. 

POLITICS

Trump said he would allow the federal government to shut down if Democrats do not fund his border wall and back immigration law changes, betting that maintaining a hard line will work in Republicans’ favor in November congressional elections.  

A Reuters analysis shows Aftab Pureval, a Democrat seeking to unseat a Republican congressman in Ohio, is among Democrats in the most competitive U.S. congressional races who have embraced gun control in far greater numbers than in 2016, defying the conventional wisdom that doing so is a losing proposition in close contests. 

WORLD

Nearly 700 trekkers headed down Mount Rinjani on Indonesia’s tourist island of Lombok, a day after a powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.4 terrified the climbers as boulders tumbled down the slopes of the volcano. 

Zimbabweans voted today in the first election since the removal of former president Robert Mugabe, a watershed moment they hope will rid the country of its pariah status and spark a recovery in its failed economy

BUSINESS

In the pine forests of eastern Texas, oilfield workers equipped with virtual-reality goggles are helping BP’s shale business turn a profit for the first time.

China offered Britain talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal, reaching out to London as Beijing remains mired in an increasingly bitter trade war with Washington, even as a senior Chinese diplomat reiterated its door remained open for dialogue.

REUTERS TV

Cambodia wakes to another chapter of rule by strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen, a day after his party declared victory in a general election that rights groups said was neither free nor fair. 

Cambodia hits back at criticism of 'flawed' election
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