March 22, 2018 / 12:51 PM / in 4 months

Thursday Morning Briefing

Good morning. Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for Facebook mistakes with user data and China points to U.S. export restrictions for its record trade surplus with the United States.

FILE PHOTO: Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Highlights

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized for mistakes his company made in how it handled data belonging to 50 million of its users and promised tougher steps to restrict developers’ access to such information.

The serial bomber whose deadly attacks terrorized Austin, Texas, for weeks left a 25-minute video “confession” on a cell phone found after he blew himself up yesterday as officers closed in to make an arrest, police said.

China blamed U.S. export restrictions for its record trade surplus with the United States, but expressed hope that a solution can be found to settle trade issues between the world’s two biggest economies as U.S. tariffs loom. Beijing is bracing for an announcement from Trump today of tariffs of as much as $60 billion on Chinese imports.

World

Russian President and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with supporters at his campaign headquarters in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2018. Yuri Kadobnov/POOL via Reuters

The Kremlin says Russia’s elections are free and fair. The Kremlin’s opponents say fraud and ballot-rigging are widespread. Proving who is right is extraordinarily difficult, so to cut through the war of words, Reuters’ Moscow bureau set out to gather hard data to show what happened during Sunday’s presidential election that gave Vladimir Putin another term as Russia’s president. 

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy told magistrates that accusations of illicit Libyan funding for his 2007 election campaign were a web of lies that had made his life “hell” and lost him a re-election bid in 2012, Le Figaro newspaper said.

Commentary

“Roughly one in three international passengers in India are either heading to or arriving from the United Arab Emirates,” writes Afshin Molavi, a senior fellow at John Hopkins University’s Foreign Policy Institute. “Now that the UAE has become India’s gateway to the world, the two countries are also developing a strategic alliance that could reshape geopolitics across South Asia and the Middle East.”

Tech

Global tech giants including Facebook and Twitter on Thursday expressed concern about a possible Singapore plan to bring in a new law to tackle the threat of fake news, saying sufficient rules are already in place.

Fans will be glued to the “March Madness” college basketball tournament as the joint owner of rights for the games, Time Warner, goes before a judge to defend a proposed takeover by AT&T.

Police in Arizona released a short video of a fatal collision between an Uber self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian, as investigators probe the accident that has put new focus on the safety of autonomous vehicles.

Reuters TV

Chinese rights lawyers and activists say the promotion of a hard-fisted policeman to head of the country’s courts may mean a deeper freeze on a using the legal system to defend human rights.

Chinese activists fear a legal freeze under hardliner
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