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Tuesday Morning Briefing
November 14, 2017 / 1:40 PM / 9 days ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. regulators approve a digital pill and a special report identifies  lead exposure hotspots in New York City.

A woman walks across a field on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

Special report

“Their words and speech are still a little slurred,” said Barbara Ellis, the mother of twin six-year-old girls who tested high for lead three years in a row. In the first examination of its kind, Reuters obtained New York childhood blood testing data down to census tract level to examine lead hotspots in the city. Here’s what we found.  

This data gives a hyper-local level look at where New York City has fallen short of its goal to eradicate lead poisoning.   

Read more in the series that explores the hidden hazards of lead poisoning across the United States.  

Asia

U.S. President Donald Trump skipped the plenary session of a summit of East and Southeast Asian leaders in Manila because of scheduling delays, but he said his marathon trip to the region had been a success.  

Mutual praise, warm handshakes and even an impromptu love song at a lavish dinner suggest Trump and Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte want a fresh start after the biggest breakdown in U.S.-Philippine ties in years. 

Trump said he sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the case of three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting last week, and said he hoped they could come home soon.  

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said it would not be easy for reclusive North Korea to destroy its nuclear arsenal quickly, even if it wanted to, given its weapons programs were so developed.  

A North Korean soldier is expected to survive critical wounds he received when his old comrades fired a hail of bullets at him as he made a defection dash to South Korea, the South’s government and military said.  

U.S.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked Justice Department prosecutors to decide if a special counsel should be appointed to investigate certain Republican concerns, including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the sale of a uranium company to Russia, according to media reports. 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led a chorus of establishment Republicans urging Roy Moore, the party’s Senate candidate in Alabama, to quit the race as a fifth woman came forward with allegations Moore had sexual contact with teenage girls decades ago.

Connecticut’s highest court is set to hear arguments in a closely watched case brought by the families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting against the maker of the assault rifle used by the killer.  

 

Visitors take pictures as Al Fursan aerobatic team of the United Arab Emirates Air Force performs during the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, UAE November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Visitors take pictures as Al Fursan aerobatic team of the United Arab Emirates Air Force performs during the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, UAE November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

 

Tech

U.S. regulators have approved the first digital pill with an embedded sensor to track if patients are taking their medication properly, marking a significant step forward in the convergence of healthcare and technology.  

Amazon.com is selling off the hardware from its public cloud business in China, amid tightening regulation over online data that is creating a hurdle for technology firms operating in the world’s second-largest economy.  

A proposal by the U.S. Senate to change the way shares in startup companies are taxed incited panic and dread in Silicon Valley, with startup founders and investors warning of nothing less than the demise of their industry should the proposal become law.  

Business 

Home Depot, the largest U.S. home improvement chain, beat analysts’ quarterly profit and sales estimates, as hurricanes Harvey and Irma boosted demand for emergency products and rebuilding materials.  

Mike Novogratz, the former macro hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group who has joined the mad dash for crypto-currencies, said that mainstream institutional investors are about six to eight months from adopting bitcoin.

Breakingviews - Vodafone is doing just fine without Liberty. 

Japan’s SoftBank Group said it was considering investing in Uber but there was no final agreement at this stage.

Energy

General Electric’s power generation unit is planning to build new wind farms in Finland and Sweden, a company executive said.

Global oil demand growth looks likely to increase more slowly over the coming months, as warmer temperatures cut consumption, which may tilt the market back into surplus in the first half of next year, the International Energy Agency said. 

African-Americans face a disproportionate risk of health problems from pollution caused by the oil and gas industry, and the situation could worsen as Trump dismantles environmental regulations, according to a report issued by a pair of advocacy groups. 

World

Saad al-Hariri, Lebanon’s Prime Minister who resigned from his post on Nov. 4th from Saudi Arabia, said he is fine and will return to Lebanon in the next two days. 

Iranian officials said there was little chance of finding more survivors from the earthquake that shook parts of western Iran on Sunday, killing at least 530 people, and rescue operations had now been called off, state television said. 

The Kremlin wants good news. The Russian leadership has told major companies to supply it with news stories that put its stewardship of the country in a positive light, according to documents seen by Reuters. Read the exclusive

Reuters TV: Massive borderline jam threatens Mongolia’s coal lifeline.

Commentary

As Donald Trump tours Asia, three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups are providing an awesome display of U.S. military power during exercises in the Pacific, writes Peter Apps. However, growing demands on American forces are stretching them thin and raising concerns among U.S. military planners about future deployments. "Washington’s military capabilities still dwarf anyone else’s," says Apps. "But it now faces a very real danger that its foes may be able to bleed it to death without ever confronting it in battle."

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