September 7, 2018 / 12:38 PM / 2 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

Top Trump aides rush to disavow NYTimes article, Obama to urge big Democratic turnout in November elections and far-right front runner in Brazil presidential election stabbed.

FILE PHOTO: Newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump (in red tie), first lady Melania (L), Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) preside over a military parade during Trump's swearing ceremony in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Highlights

Top aides to Trump scrambled to deny authorship of an anonymous New York Times opinion column that slammed the U.S. president’s leadership style and described “a quiet resistance” to him within his own administration.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama will warn Democratic voters in a speech that the stakes are too high to sit out November’s elections when the party is seeking to wrest control of Congress from President Donald Trump’s Republicans.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stressed that he believes the judiciary has broad authority to check the power of the White House, but refused to criticize the man who selected him, President Donald Trump.

World

A woman lights a candle for presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro after he was stabbed by a man in Juiz de Fora at Paulista avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

The run-up to a presidential election in Brazil was plunged into chaos after a knife attack on far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro put the frontrunner in intensive care just a month before the vote.

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey - the main outside players in Syria’s long war - were meeting in Tehran to discuss the fate of the rebel-held province of Idlib as rival factions there prepared for what could be the conflict’s last great battle.

Facebook has removed a feature that allowed users to translate Burmese posts and comments after a Reuters report showed the tool was producing bizarre results. A Reuters investigation published on August 15 documented how Facebook was failing in its efforts to combat vitriolic Burmese language posts about Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.

Commentary

The U.S. prison strike that began on August 21 and is scheduled to last until September 9 may be the biggest prison work stoppage in history. Debates over prison labor usually hover around wages and invite comparisons to slavery because an inmate worker makes an average of 86 cents per hour. But wages aren’t at the top of the list of 10 demands issued by the organizers of the strike. Writers Chandra Bozelko and Ryan Lo – both formerly incarcerated – look at the dangerous work conditions that inmates are now trying to change.

Business

Free Wi-Fi, discounted cappuccinos, artwork, and a dancing robot are among the features banks across the United States are touting to convince customers that even in an era of smartphones it is still worth it to visit a bank branch.

Volkswagen faces a trial next week as investors seek $10.7 billion in compensation arguing that the carmaker should have informed shareholders about a diesel pollution scandal before regulators did in September 2015.

Tesla’s Elon Musk provoked another twitter storm by briefly smoking marijuana on a live web show with comedian Joe Rogan. Taking a puff from a joint - which Rogan said was a blend of tobacco and marijuana and legal in California - Musk said he “almost never” smoked. Tesla was not immediately available for comment.

Reuters TV

Financial and personal data has been stolen from potentially hundreds of thousands of British Airways customers who booked online in recent weeks, extending a run of embarrassing technological mishaps suffered by the UK flag carrier.

British Airways website suffers data breach
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