May 16, 2018 / 12:51 PM / 5 months ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

North Korea may reconsider next month’s summit with Trump, Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices for Prime members and a Reuters special report on how investors are growing uneasy as Egypt’s military expands its economic influence.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk together at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters

Highlights

North Korea threw next month’s summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump into doubt, threatening weeks of diplomatic progress by saying it may reconsider if Washington insists it unilaterally gives up its nuclear weapons.

There are plenty of problems lurking on America’s career ladder, but here is a big one: the healthcare systems are designed for the workforce of 1950. If you have a lifetime corporate 9-to-5 gig, then you probably have group health insurance. But what if that is not the kind of job you have? Well, good luck with that. More Americans than ever are falling into that second category, a mix of the self-employed, solo entrepreneurs, freelancers and contract workers.

Democrats’ quest to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and stymie Trump’s agenda began in earnest after voters in Pennsylvania chose a slate of nominees to compete in a pivotal battleground state.

Special Report:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a military ceremony in the courtyard of the Hotel des Invalides in Paris, France, November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The biggest armed forces in the Arab world comes with its perks. While Sisi's government says there is an even playing field, Egyptian businesses complain that tax breaks are giving military firms an advantage.

World

Exclusive: A senior official at Iran’s state-owned oil supplier met Chinese buyers this week to ask them to maintain imports after U.S. sanctions kick in, three people familiar with the matter said, but failed to secure guarantees from the world’s biggest consumer of Iranian oil.

Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site in the contested city in a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation.

Commentary:

There's no quick fix for the political conflict in Gaza. But "nothing’s wrong there that, on a humanitarian level, can’t be significantly improved in a few months," writes Galen Guengerich, a senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City, after a recent visit to the territory. "A fundamental tenet of civilized behavior in the modern world is that human beings shouldn’t die of disease, starvation, or other forms of neglect while political conflicts are addressed."

Tech

Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market are making a surgical strike in the already brutal grocery price war. Whole Foods debuted a much-anticipated loyalty program that offers special discounts to Prime customers, including 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and rotating weekly specials such as $10 per pound off wild-caught halibut steaks

U.S. lawmakers rejected any plan by Trump to ease restrictions on China’s ZTE, calling the telecommunications firm a security threat and vowing not to abandon legislation clamping down on the company.

The investment firm founded and chaired by billionaire George Soros took a stake in Tesla bonds during the first three months of the year, giving the electric carmaker run by Elon Musk a prominent supporter.

As Hollywood studios unleash their summer blockbusters into theaters, Netflix is trying to give film buffs a reason to stay home. The streaming service is on track to release at least 86 Netflix original films in 2018, the company told Reuters. That exceeds the scheduled output of the top four traditional studios combined, as well as Netflix’s previous record of 61 films last year.

Reuters TV

James Harrison, nicknamed ‘the man with the golden arm,’ makes his last blood donation after donating blood 1,173 times and saving the lives of over 2.4 million babies over several decades.

Blood donor who saved millions gives his last pint
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