June 5, 2018 / 11:49 AM / 17 days ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

North Korea

A grey mullet is shown next to microplastic found in Hong Kong waters during a Greenpeace news conference in Hong Kong, China, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Long before U.S. and North Korea started planning for a summit on June 12, a source told Reuters the Pentagon was secretly developing a North-Korea focused pilot project to identify mobile missiles using AI - an effort that has not been previously reported.

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When Trump and Kim Jong Un meet for their historic summit in Singapore later this month, they will be protected by men from one of the fiercest warrior tribes in the world - the Gurkhas of Nepal. here

No one can know what Kim Jong Un’s “real” intentions are, but his reported reshuffling of top generals ahead of his June 12 meeting with Donald Trump “gives us hints about possible power politics within North Korea,” writes Katharine H.S. Moon for Reuters Commentary. here

The United States is considering sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. officials say, in a move that could provoke a sharp reaction from Beijing at a time when Sino-U.S. ties are under pressure from trade disputes and the North Korean nuclear crisis. here

Legal

The heads of Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, who resigned in the wake of a sex abuse scandal involving a former doctor at their organizations, could face tough questions when they appear at a U.S. Senate hearing on how to protect athletes from similar behavior. here

A major legal fight similar to the blockbuster Christian baker case decided by the Supreme Court yesterday is already brewing in several U.S. states over laws allowing private agencies to block gay couples from adoptions or taking in foster children. here

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Environment

As World Environment Day takes place and the U.N. calls for the “biggest-ever worldwide cleanup” of plastic pollution, experts are focused on Southeast Asia - home to four of the world’s top marine plastic polluters. Five Asian countries - China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam and Thailand - accounted for up to 60 percent of the plastic waste leaking into the ocean, according to a 2015 report.

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Just south of the capital Hanoi, the once-peaceful and clean beach of Da Loc in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa province, has been slowly suffocating under the weight of plastic waste for decades. here

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Some 80 pieces of plastic rubbish weighing eight kg were found in the stomach of a whale that died in Thailand after a five-day effort to save it. here

But there are signs of action to limit plastic pollution, which harms life in the oceans, contaminates soils and releases toxic chemicals when burnt. here

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Business

Tech stocks on a tear as FAANGs and BATTS bite

World tech stocks hit a record high today, spurred on by a new all-time peak for Apple, a 17-year top for European tech firms and news that Twitter and Netflix were set to join Wall Street’s flagship S&P 500 index.

5 min read

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Britain to rule on Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Sky on Tuesday

Britain will give its verdict on Rupert Murdoch’s pursuit of Sky later today, potentially paving the way for the mogul’s Twenty-First Century Fox to go head-to-head with rival Comcast Corp for the European pay-TV group.

2 min read

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Employers help pay student loans to attract workers

For U.S. companies trying to lure and retain workers now that unemployment is near an 18-year low, student loan repayment programs offer a way to specifically target millennial workers who are saddled with student debt. Read more from the World at Work series.

5 min read

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Reuters TV

Israeli here

Mongola’s millenial monks

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