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Tuesday Morning Briefing
November 21, 2017 / 1:44 PM / 21 days ago

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Officials accuse U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law on child soldiers, Tencent surpasses Facebook to become the world’s fifth-most valuable company and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe faces the start of the impeachment process.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. on November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S.

A group of about a dozen U.S. State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters. A confidential State Department “dissent” memo not previously reported said Tillerson breached the Child Soldiers Prevention Act when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a U.S. list of offenders in the use of child soldiers. here">Read the exclusive. 

A federal court judge in California blocked an executive order from President Donald Trump to deny some federal grants to so-called sanctuary cities, undermining the administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. 

The United States in July 2019 will end a special status given to about 59,000 Haitian immigrants that protects them from deportation after a devastating 2010 earthquake, senior Trump administration officials said. 

CBS and other networks suspended Charlie Rose, one of the most prominent American interviewers, after eight women told the Washington Post he sexually harassed them and prompted Rose to apologize for his “inappropriate behavior.” 

Twenty-First Century Fox has reached a $90 million settlement of shareholder claims arising from the sexual harassment scandal at its Fox News Channel, which cost the jobs of longtime news chief Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O‘Reilly. 

Hospitals across the United States have been investing in programs ranging from yoga classes to personal coaches designed to help doctors become more resilient. But national burnout rates keep rising, with up to 54 percent of doctors affected. Some leading healthcare executives now say the way medicine is practiced in the United States is to blame, fueled in part by growing clerical demands that have doctors spending two hours on the computer for every one hour they spend seeing patients. 

Business

AT&T is likely to emerge victorious from a legal fight with the United States Department of Justice over its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, analysts said in a series of research notes. 

Tencent Holdings has racked up some impressive gains this week - becoming the first Chinese firm to be worth more than $500 billion and surpassing Facebook to be the world’s fifth-most valuable company

Toshiba-owned Westinghouse is in talks with other U.S-based companies to form a consortium to bid in a multi-billion-dollar tender for two nuclear power reactors in Saudi Arabia, three industry sources said. Read the exclusive. 

Breakingviews: Buffett-backed BYD could use a battery ram. 

SoftBank Group’s multi-billion dollar investment in Uber opens up the possibility of combining it with other ride-hailing assets the Japanese group owns in a consolidation of a rapidly growing business across Asia, industry sources say. 

Special report

As the world faces its most serious nuclear standoff in years, experts are raising alarms about a possible erroneous deadly launch of U.S. and Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles. Critics of the U.S.’s ICBM fleet are citing Trump’s temper as another reason to retire the country’s Minuteman III missiles, which he would have just minutes to decide on using in the event of an attack on the U.S. Read more

First Lady Melania Trump and her son Barron Trump welcome the official White House Christmas Tree, a Wisconsin-grown tree provided by the Chapman family of Silent Night Evergreens, to the White House in Washington DC, U.S. November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

First Lady Melania Trump and her son Barron Trump welcome the official White House Christmas Tree, a Wisconsin-grown tree provided by the Chapman family of Silent Night Evergreens, to the White House in Washington DC, U.S. November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

World

Zimbabwe’s parliament began an impeachment process against President Robert Mugabe that looks set to bring his domination of a country he has ruled since independence nearly four decades ago to an ignominious end. 

When Kim Jong Un sat down in September to order the sixth and largest of North Korea’s nuclear tests, Hwang Pyong So sat by his side. Now Hwang, once one of Kim’s most-trusted advisers, is facing unspecified punishment on the orders of another man who also sat at that exclusive table in September, Choe Ryong Hae, South Korean intelligence officials believe. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State while a senior military commander thanked the “thousands of martyrs” killed in operations organized by Iran to defeat the militant group in Syria and Iraq.  

Reuters TV: Germany’s Merkel prefers ‘new election’ option.  

A suicide bomber killed at least 50 people at a mosque in northeastern Nigeria, the biggest mass killing this year in a region facing an insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram.  

Commentary

Few British budgets have mattered as much as the one that Philip Hammond will deliver to the House of Commons on Nov. 22, writes Paul Wallace. The chancellor of the exchequer must shore up Theresa May’s perilously shaky government ahead of a vital Brexit summit of European leaders in mid-December while also keeping a grip on the public finances. "But the gravest challenge he faces is economic: Britain’s persistent productivity blight," says Wallace.  

In almost every country in Europe, parties of the center-left struggle to remain competitive in the political arena, writes columnist John Lloyd. Support for social democracy is falling under rising fears of terrorism, increasing rejection of immigrants and the declining power of labor unions. The movement "has lost its foundations and has not yet found its relevance to 21st-century politics," says Lloyd. 

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