June 22, 2018 / 12:03 PM / a month ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Questions surround Trump’s plan to hold families in detention and U.N. calls on U.S. to find alternatives to detaining child migrants.

A view of inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facility shows detainees inside fenced areas at Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in Rio Grande City, Texas, U.S., June 17, 2018. Picture taken on June 17, 2018. Courtesy CBP/Handout via REUTERS

Immigration

One child stopped eating and fell into a depression. Another who could previously walk on his own now asks his mother to carry him everywhere. These are the experiences of children who have spent just three weeks at a temporary family immigration detention at the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas, attorneys and volunteers who work at the center told Reuters.

As Trump calls for family detention, existing facilities are already strained. The United States has just three centers and 3,326 beds available to house parents and families together behind bars.

U.N. human rights office called on the Trump administration to “overhaul” its migration polices and find alternatives to detention, saying that children should never be held in custody, even with their parents.

First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to a Texas shelter housing migrant children separated from their parents was overshadowed by a jacket she wore with the words: “I really don’t care, do u?” scrawled in white brush strokes on the back.

China

FILE PHOTO: China's President Xi Jinping waves after attending the inauguration ceremony of Chinese sponsored Vietnam-China Cultural Friendship Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kham/File Photo

 Armed with interactive online courses, generous funding and new dedicated research institutes, China’s universities are on the frontlines of an effort to promote the thinking of President Xi Jinping to China and the world.

U.S. protectionism is self-defeating and a “symptom of paranoid delusions” that must not distract China from its path to modernization, Chinese media said as Beijing kept up with its war of words with Washington while markets wilted.

World

Delegations from North and South Korea met for talks to arrange the first reunions in about three years for families separated by the Korean War, with the Red Cross paving the way.

Commentary: Trump’s unexpected announcement that he was suspending joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises as part of negotiations with the North has caused consternation in Seoul as well as at the Pentagon, writes Reuters columnist Peter Apps. The greatest alarm, however, will be amongst Washington’s major allies in Asia and Europe, already made nervous by the U.S. president’s rhetoric that Washington spends too much money on defending them.

Breakingviews: The U.S. president has many fans among the world’s great democracies. He has admirers in the parliaments of France, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. But no government of a developed country has mimicked Trump’s iconoclastic communications style, broken conventions and put forward radical economic, trade and immigration policies like the new Caesars ruling Italy.

Business

Electric car maker Tesla’s move last week to cut 9 percent of its workforce will sharply downsize the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6 billion deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees. 

OPEC moved closer toward boosting oil output as its leader Saudi Arabia appeared to have persuaded arch-rival Iran to cooperate, after major consumers warned of a supply shortage. 

Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the “safety” driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming the crash that rocked the nascent industry “entirely avoidable.”

Reuters TV

States may force online retailers to collect potentially billions of dollars in sales taxes, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a major ruling on Thursday that undercut an advantage many e-commerce companies have enjoyed over brick-and-mortar rivals.

Supreme Court favors state online sales tax
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