Good morning. From the re-shaping of the Supreme Court to the latest in the investigation into Manafort’s ties with Russia, catch up with the Morning Briefing.
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With a second Supreme Court pick less than 18 months into his presidency, Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement will hand President Trump the reins to cement conservative control, fire up supporters eager for a rightward shift and shape U.S. justice for decades to come.
Kennedy left an indelible mark on American society in his three decades as a mild-mannered and professorial justice on the Supreme Court, in areas as varied as abortion, the death penalty and political spending.
Reuters Graphics looked at how Kennedy and other judges ruled on major cases in the 2017-2018 term.
“Kennedy is often the pivotal vote on a nine-member court that already is fundamentally hostile to the abortion rights guaranteed in the landmark case... His departure will enable Trump to nominate a conservative replacement, skewing the court to the right for decades as the remaining justices serve out their lifetime tenures.”
POLITICS AND IMMIGRATION
Before deporting him in shackles last week, U.S. immigration agents handed Honduran asylum-seeker Melvin Garcia his few possessions and a small blue wallet belonging to Daylin, the 12-year-old daughter they had taken from him.
Liberal Democrats said a string of victories in U.S. nominating contests, notably the surprise toppling of powerful congressman Joseph Crowley in New York, proved the party must embrace progressive priorities or face defeat.
A search warrant application unsealed yesterday revealed closer links than previously known between Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin.
Dubbed the “King of Haunted Flats” by Hong Kong’s media, Ng Goon-lau has made a name for himself for speculating on “hongza” – defined here as the places where tragedies, such as suicides and murders, took place. He has been able to buy some of the homes at as much as a 40 percent discount.
China has rejected U.S. requests for talks over how U.S. airlines and their websites refer to Chinese-claimed Taiwan, according to sources, including a U.S. official, adding to tensions in a bilateral relationship already frayed by a major trade dispute.
China’s commerce ministry said it would carefully monitor U.S. policies on inbound investments, stressing that the country opposes using national security as grounds to restrict foreign investments.
Syrian troops widened a major offensive against rebels in the southwest on Tuesday and Jordan said it would not open its border to tens of thousands of civilians fleeing the attack. Emily Wither reports.