November 23, 2017 / 12:09 PM / 21 days ago

Thursday Morning Briefing

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions orders a review of the country’s gun background check system, Uber’s data breach collides with the launch of a SoftBank deal and Roy Moore’s communications director resigns.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Ronald McDonald balloon sits during inflation preparations in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Business

A newspaper advertisement for an Uber stock sale was juxtaposed with a report that the ride-service provider had covered up a data hack - something of a metaphor for Uber, a company with boundless investor interest, but whose penchant for rule-breaking has led to a series of scandals.

Breakingviews: Uber cover-up makes new boss's job even harder  

Amazon’s Australian arm began an order-taking trial, giving life to the hype which has preceded its arrival in the world’s No. 12 economy and weighed on the shares of the brick-and-mortar retail sector.  

Chipmaker Broadcom is considering raising its offer to buy rival Qualcomm by offering more of its own stock, following consultation with several of Qualcomm’s top shareholders, according to people familiar with the matter. 

The dollar was on the defensive after suffering its worst drubbing in five months, as the biggest slump in Chinese stocks in almost two years took the shine off another record high in the global bull run.  

U.S. fund investors pumped millions into bond funds for a 50th straight week, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) said, showing that caution in recent weeks may not portend a flight from debt generally. 

Many Federal Reserve policymakers expect that interest rates will have to be raised in the “near term,” according to the minutes of the U.S. central bank’s last policy meeting. 

United States

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of a government database used for background checks on gun buyers, after a man who killed 26 people in a Texas church was left off the system despite having a criminal record.  

The communications director for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has resigned amid the Alabama Republican’s efforts to combat allegations of sexual misconduct that have roiled his campaign.  

A U.S. district judge struck down parts of a Texas law that would ban the most common type of second-trimester abortions in the state, after plaintiffs argued the procedure was safe, legal and necessary for women’s health.  

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is poised to vote on Dec. 14 to rescind the so-called net neutrality rules championed by former President Barack Obama. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal would repeal rules that bar internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. Here are some questions and answers about net neutrality and the FCC’s plans.  

Lightning strikes behind commercial tower near a financial city in Colombo, Sri Lanka November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Lightning strikes behind commercial tower near a financial city in Colombo, Sri Lanka November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

 

Technology

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) start-up SenseTime Group, valued at more than $2 billion, is planning an IPO and aims to open a U.S. research and development center as early as next year, its founder told Reuters. Read the exclusive.  

Thailand is famous for its traditional street stalls that offer everything from stir-fried noodles to clothes and for many Thais eating out at a pavement stall is part of their daily routine. Now, some vendors in the capital Bangkok are offering digital transactions after the Bank of Thailand (BOT) last week gave the green light for five banks including Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank to implement electronic payment systems using QR codes. 

Uber rival Lyft is raising an additional $500 million in funding, according to a U.S. share authorization document filed in Delaware news website Axios said. 

World

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations said.  

Iraqi forces launched an operation to clear the desert bordering Syria of Islamic State in a final push to rid Iraq of the militant group, the military said. 

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an accord over terms for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh, a government official said, amid concern that Myanmar’s powerful army could prove obstructive.  

Some northern Chinese cities failed to improve air quality by much last month, hitting the smog-prone region’s overall results in a drive against pollution, the government said as it warned provincial officials to comply with stringent steps to clear the skies.  

Brexit

Will Britain's decision to leave the European Union in 2019 damage one of its most successful industries? Some politicians and economists predict London will lose its pre-eminence as a financial centre after Brexit, although supporters of leaving the EU say Britain will benefit over the long term by being able to set its own rules. Reuters assesses the fortunes of the City through a series of indicators that suggest signs of a slowdown, but no transformative decline. 

Cut through the noise with our Brexit newsletter

Lebanon

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said that the political crisis in Lebanon this month was “a wake up call” for Lebanese with different loyalties to put their country ahead of regional issues.  

Hariri’s sudden and mysterious re-emergence ended weeks of high-stakes political drama. To tell the story, a team of Reuters journalists, including Laila Bassam, Tom Perry and Samia Nakhoul, leveraged extensive regional sources in politics and government developed over many years. Read the Backstory.  

Reuters TV: Fears of Saudi sanctions on Lebanese businesses

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