November 21, 2018 / 12:24 PM / 20 days ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Trump weighs authorizing U.S. troops to medically screen migrants, Californians left homeless by wildfire now face heavy rain and a humanitarian body says more than 80,000 Yemeni children may have died from hunger. Catch up on the latest headlines. 

Highlights

Exclusive: President Donald Trump’s administration is considering giving U.S. troops on the border with Mexico the authority to carry out medical screening of migrants, officials told Reuters. The proposal, which is still in draft form and circulating within the administration, would involve the military in screenings for things like illness and injury only if U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency personnel were overwhelmed and unable to do so on their own, the officials said.

Democrats made dramatic gains in this month’s U.S. congressional elections despite getting little love from white, rural, working-class voters who two years ago backed Trump. But the party is convinced it made important inroads in rural America - an argument supported by a Reuters analysis of election results.

Northern California residents left homeless by the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in state history braced for a new bout of misery from showers expected to plunge encampments of evacuees into rain-soaked fields of mud.

Commentary

Two weeks before a landmark meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 in Argentina – and just days after Trump said a list of 140 trade concessions offered by Beijing was “not acceptable to me yet” – the world’s two largest economies are now more at loggerheads than ever, writes Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps.

World

A malnourished boy lies on a weighing scale at the malnutrition ward of al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen September 11, 2018. Picture taken September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

An estimated 85,000 children under five may have died from extreme hunger in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the civil war in 2015, Save the Children said. It said that according to a conservative estimate based on U.N. data, approximately 84,700 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition may have died between April 2015 and October 2018 in the impoverished country, where a Western-backed Arab alliance is battling the Houthi movement that holds the capital.

International police body Interpol elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as president, beating a Russian national whose candidacy had raised concerns in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin interference.

Turkey accused the United States of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and dismissed comments from President Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”.

Myanmar’s High Court has allowed an appeal to proceed in the case of two Reuters reporters jailed for seven years on charges of breaking the country’s Official Secrets Act, defense lawyers said. Follow updates on the case.

Business

U.S. farmers finishing their harvests are facing a big problem - where to put the mountain of grain they cannot sell to Chinese buyers. For Louisiana farmer Richard Fontenot and his neighbors, the solution was a costly one: Let the crops rot.

Japan said it is ready to work for the stability of the Nissan-Renault global alliance following the stunning arrest of common Chairman Carlos Ghosn, but a Nissan executive said the Japanese automaker is seeking ways to weaken the influence of its French partner.

Illinois, the U.S. state with the lowest credit rating on Wall Street, has often been chastised for using gimmicks to balance its budget. Take, for instance, its overly optimistic assumptions about savings, such as a voluntary pension benefit buyout that retirement systems have yet to actually start. For fiscal 2019, which began July 1, Illinois is counting on an additional $150 million from expanding the state’s sales tax to all internet purchases made by its residents.

British company structures which hide the identity of their beneficiaries are a “disgrace”, the whistleblower who brought to light an alleged 200 billion euro ($228 billion) money laundering scandal involving Danske Bank said.

Reuters TV

A U.S. federal judge has struck down a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, ruling that it “unequivocally” violates women’s constitutional rights.

U.S. judge strikes down Mississippi abortion law
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