March 12, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 8 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Dropbox files its IPO, a toolbox war rages across the United States and a box of food could provide the key for a Maduro election win in Venezuela.

Balloons are released as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican March 11, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

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The battle over steel and aluminum tariffs underscores the complexity of trade disputes, which often pit America’s love of cheap imports against its desire to protect blue-collar jobs. Metal Box International should be reaping the benefits of a little-known trade war over toolboxes - but, as the latest story in the Trump Effect series reveals, the winners and losers aren’t always clear.

A temporary exemption from U.S. tariffs is little comfort to the Canadian steel city of Hamilton, coping with months of uncertainty as Trump has threatened a potentially devastating 25 percent duty unless the North American Free Trade Agreement is renegotiated.

Trump will support a modest set of fixes to gun laws, stepping back from some of the more sweeping changes he had considered after the country’s latest mass school shooting, senior officials told reporters yesterday.


Critics of Trump's decision to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un are wrong, writes State Department veteran Peter Van Buren. Claims that the State Department has no Korea experts, that Pyongyang isn't serious and that Trump is giving away "the big prize" by starting with a summit "are easily dispelled." Diplomacy "means the messy business of meeting with your adversaries, not ignoring them."


A man gestures as he sits in a shelter in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 11, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

As the Syrian army pushes deeper into eastern Ghouta under cover of a hammering bombardment, the 400,000 civilians the United Nations says live in the enclave have crowded into dark basements to cower from the ceaseless bombs.

A Bangladeshi aircraft carrying 67 passengers and four crew crashed today while coming in to land at the airport in the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, an airport official said, adding that 17 people on board had been rescued.  

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his close ally, Finance Minister Taro Aso, faced growing pressure today over a suspected cover-up of a cronyism scandal that has dogged the premier for more than a year. Copies of documents seen by Reuters showed that references to Abe, his wife and Aso were removed from finance ministry records of the discounted sale of state-owned land to a school operator with ties to Abe’s wife, Akie. 

A bag of rice on a hungry family’s kitchen table could be the key to Nicolas Maduro retaining the support of poor Venezuelans in May’s presidential election. For millions of Venezuelans suffering an unprecedented economic crisis, a monthly handout of a box of heavily-subsidized basic food supplies by Maduro’s unpopular government has offered a tenuous lifeline in their once-prosperous OPEC nation.

The smell of dung and dust filled the air as nearly 800 sheep rushed through the green, sleepy village of Kugti in Himachal Pradesh. The Gaddi shepherds staying there were all set to take their flock over the frozen Kugti pass, 16,600 feet above sea level. Read our latest travel story following the Gaddi, who are are mainly migrant shepherds living in Kugti village and other parts of Chambadistrict in Himachal Pradesh, a state in India’s far north.


Taking a page from its aggressive growth strategy in the United States, cash-rich Canadian fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd plans to plow investment into Brazil in a bid to reap up to 30 percent of farm supply sales in fertile pockets of the country. 

U.S. chemicals producer DowDuPont said its Executive Chairman Andrew Liveris will step down on April 1 and named Jim Fitterling as the chief executive of Dow upon the completion of the spinoff of its materials science unit.

Data-sharing business Dropbox filed for an initial public offering of 36 million shares, giving the company a value of more than $7 billion at the higher end of the range.

Reuters TV

British officials have been informed by their Saudi counterparts that oil giant Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering is likely to be delayed until 2019, according to the Financial Times.

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