March 13, 2018 / 12:06 PM / a year ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Tillerson is given the boot, 7,000 pairs of shoes are arranged on the Capitol’s lawn and has EU’s Juncker shot himself in the foot?

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in central Moscow, Russia February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Vladimir Putin is expected to win a fourth term in office on Sunday with 69 percent of the vote, according to the latest survey by a state-run pollster. Reuters correspondents and photographers who travelled around the country talking to voters ahead of the March 18 election found nothing to contradict expectation of an emphatic Putin victory. 

Soon after Vladimir Putin is re-elected, his thoughts will turn to the question that is likely to dominate his next term as Russia’s president: what will he do when it ends?

However, with his political mandate lasting until 2024 a more pressing deadline lies on the horizon: he has until midnight to explain to Britain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to strike down a former Russian double agent who passed secrets to British intelligence.

Meanwhile , House Intelligence Committee Republicans said the panel had finished investigating Russia and the 2016 election, and found no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow’s efforts to influence the vote. The investigation is one of three main congressional probes, and has been marred for months by partisan wrangling.

United States

Trump said he had replaced U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, and had tapped Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.

A makeshift memorial made up of 7,000 pairs of shoes will take shape on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol today, as gun control activists dramatize the number of children killed in the United States by gunfire since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.

Two package bombs left outside homes in Austin, Texas, exploded yesterday, killing a teenager and injuring two women in attacks that police linked to a deadly blast earlier this month.


A boy looks through a bus window during evacuation from the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

Sick and injured civilians were shown on Syrian state television leaving a besieged rebel enclave in eastern Ghouta today in what insurgents and the United Nations said was a medical evacuation.

When temperatures rise and winds drop in the coming weeks, a band of explorers will hunt for copper riches in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. Rising global demand for a metal used in electric cars and renewable energy, at a time of increased costs and depleted deposits in the world’s biggest copper producer Chile, is driving miners to riskier locations.

The United States is picking up signs of interest from Taliban elements in exploring the possibility of talks with Kabul to end the more than 16-year-old war, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said as he made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

The European Parliament savaged EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for promoting his chief aide to the top of the EU civil service, saying it smacked of cronyism and would fuel mounting public distrust.


There are "viable steps" Europe can take to save the Iran nuclear deal, write Dalia Dassa Kaye and James Dobbins. These include side agreements on missile development, inspections and sunset clauses that would keep the accord alive even if the United States withdrew.

 "These measures are consistent with the strongly-stated European position that they will not renegotiate the agreement, only strengthen or supplement it."


Trump blocked microchip maker Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm on national security grounds, ending what would have been the technology industry’s biggest deal ever amid concerns that it would give China the upper hand in mobile communications.

Saudi Arabia is increasingly looking to just float oil giant Saudi Aramco locally as plans for an initial public offering on an international exchange such as London or New York hang in the balance, sources close to the process said.

Gordie Spater has been manufacturing dog harnesses for nearly 15 years on the northernmost reaches of the Massachusetts shoreline, but he is in high demand right now on Wall Street. His brand, Kurgo, occupies the sort of niche coveted by investors looking to profit from the U.S. pet economy, a range of outdoor gear and accessories for the traveling mutt.

Women at Microsoft working in U.S.-based technical jobs filed 238 internal complaints about gender discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016, according to court filings made public yesterday.

Reuters TV

 Reuters TV digs into the whirlwind of speculation surrounding the details of an upcoming potential summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

North Korea talks: what, when and where?
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