November 9, 2018 / 1:28 PM / 7 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

FBI hopes to learn what drove ex-Marine to kill 12, Russian state bank secretly financed Rosneft sale after foreign buyers balked and a special report on the mystery company named by murdered Maltese journalist. Catch up on the latest headlines.

The body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was shot and killed in a mass shooting at a bar, is transferred to a hearse for a procession from the Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, California, U.S., November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu


The FBI is hoping to build a clear profile of a former U.S. Marine combat veteran who killed 12 people in a crowded Los Angeles area bar to discover a motive for the latest shooting massacre in the United States.

A federal judge in Montana halted construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on the grounds that the U.S. government did not complete a full analysis of the environmental impact of the TransCanada project.

High-profile U.S. elections in Georgia, Florida and Arizona remained unresolved, two days after the vote, with the prospect of legal challenges, recounts and ballot reviews setting the stage for possible weeks of uncertainty.

Russia Exclusives

The Rosneft logo is pictured on a safety helmet in Vung Tau, Vietnam April 27, 2018. To match Exclusive ROSNEFT-PRIVATISATION/ REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

It was billed as the deal that proved Russia remained open for business. Igor Sechin had just announced the sale to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and giant commodity trader Glencore of a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft, the state oil giant that he runs. But now, nearly two years after the sale was first announced, nine sources with knowledge of the transaction have told Reuters that VTB, a Russian state-owned bank, itself financed a large share of the acquisition, undermining the deal’s stated aim to bring foreign money into the country.

Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions.

Reuters Special Reports

People hold up photos of assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and torches on mobile phones during a vigil to mark eleven months since her murder in a car bomb, in Valletta, Malta September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/File Photo

In February 2017, the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote in her blog about a mystery company in Dubai called 17 Black Limited. She alleged it was connected to Maltese politicians, but offered no evidence. Eight months later Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb, prompting an international outcry. No evidence has emerged that connects her death to any of her journalism. But her killing did renew interest in her many different claims, leading to media reports about such subjects as banking regulation and Malta’s sale of passports.


Policemen block members of the public from walking towards the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne, Australia, November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Sonali Paul

A Somali-born man set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in the center of the Australian city of Melbourne and stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police in a rampage they called an act of terrorism.

Reuters identified and spoke to more than 20 of the roughly 2,000 Rohingya refugees on a list of people Myanmar has agreed to take back. Though officials say no-one will be forced to return against their will, all say they have been terrified since learning this month their names were on the list prepared by Bangladeshi officials and vetted by Myanmar. Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been imprisoned in Myanmar since Dec. 12, 2017. Follows the latest updates on their case.


World leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will gather in Paris on Sunday to commemorate the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918. The centenary is a natural occasion to reflect upon lessons for today from the tragic and seemingly pointless carnage of the “Great War,” writes Paul Wallace, a London-based writer and former European economics editor of The Economist. The central question is why the peace that followed proved to be no more than a fragile and unstable intermission between two global conflicts – and what modern-day Europe can learn from the mistakes of those interwar years.


Global stocks were heading for their biggest drop in two weeks and emerging market currencies also slipped as a confident U.S. central bank and weak Chinese data hit demand for risky assets.

Oil prices fell to multi-month lows as global supply increased and investors worried about the impact on fuel demand of lower economic growth and trade disputes.

Volkswagen intends to sell electric cars for less than $22,836 and protect German jobs by converting three factories to make Tesla rivals, a source familiar with the plans said.

Reuters TV

Hundreds of homes go up in flames in Northern California as the fast-moving Camp Fire rips through the area. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee, some on foot and carrying children.

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