May 15, 2018 / 11:58 AM / in 2 months

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Protests continue throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, Trump defends his ZTE proposal and a Reuters Special Report explores how tobacco giant Philip Morris could harvest data about users’ smoking habits.

A relative mourns during the funeral of 8-month-old Palestinian infant Laila al-Ghandour, who died after inhaling tear gas during a protest against U.S embassy move to Jerusalem at the Israel-Gaza border, in Gaza City May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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GAZA

Palestinians rallied in Gaza for the funerals of scores of people killed by Israeli troops a day earlier, while on the Gaza-Israel border, Israeli forces took up positions to deal with the expected final day of a Palestinian protest campaign.

The U.N. human rights office condemned Monday’s “appalling deadly violence” by Israeli security forces in Gaza and said it was extremely worried about what might happen later on Tuesday, while calling for an independent investigation.

When Reuters photographer Ibraheem Abu Mustafa set off to cover the protests in Gaza on Monday morning he came across a wheelchair-bound acquaintance. “Today, this morning, I said 'Hi' to a man," he recalls. "By the end of the day I was at his funeral.” See the Wider Image on his history of covering the Gaza Strip.

SPECIAL REPORT

Unlike a conventional cigarette, the iQOS is an electronic device with circuitry that enables it to collect user information. A teardown analysis shows this could give the tobacco giant remarkable insight into people's smoking habits. Philip Morris says it only uses the data to fix malfunctions.

UNITED STATES

Voters head to the polls in crucial party primaries in Pennsylvania, a state that has become central to Democrats’ hopes of retaking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Trump defended his decision to revisit penalties for Chinese company ZTE for flouting U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran, saying the telecom maker is a big buyer for U.S. suppliers.

 WORLD

Shutting down North Korea’s nuclear test site is trickier than it might seem. Pyongyang has publicly invited international media to witness the destruction, but not technical inspectors, leaving disarmament experts and nuclear scientists wondering how effective the plan is – and whether it will be safe.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission found evidence in late 2015 that 42 million ringgit ($10.6 million) was transferred from a former subsidiary of state fund 1MDB into an account of then Prime Minister Najib Razak, but its recommendation for further investigation was rejected by the attorney general, a member of a panel that reviewed the commission’s case files told Reuters.

Iran’s foreign minister said he had a constructive meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, and he was optimistic Iran’s interests in the nuclear deal could still be preserved despite the U.S. withdrawal from the pact.

COMMENTARY

China has become notably more repressive since the rise of President Xi Jinping. No group has felt this more than the country’s Muslim-majority Uighurs, who live in the northwest Xinjiang province. Within Xinjiang, Beijing has created what experts say appears the most comprehensive system of high-tech state surveillance anywhere on the planet. The scope of Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang sends a powerful signal to all China’s citizens – both Uighur and otherwise – of the strength of the state and the costs of straying out of line, writes Peter Apps.

BUSINESS

Twenty-First Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch is used to getting his way at the company he built into a media empire. But a challenge to a $52 billion deal he put together six months ago could test his sway with shareholders.

Seattle’s city council approved a new tax for the city’s biggest companies, including Amazon.com, to combat a housing crisis attributed in part to a local economic boom that has driven up real estate costs at the expense of the working class.

Two Chinese bitcoin mining equipment makers are set to test international investor appetite for cryptocurrencies with plans to raise as much as $1 billion each - in what are expected to be the world’s largest bitcoin-focused floats to date.

REUTERS TV

George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will close their office in Budapest and move to Berlin, leaving what it called an increasingly repressive political environment.

Soros NGO closing Hungary office amid crackdown
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