September 8, 2017 / 11:12 AM / 2 months ago

Friday Morning Briefing

An earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico, the U.N. said the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh has surged and Equifax revealed what could be one of the largest data breaches in the United States.

Rohingya refugees carry their child as they walk through water after crossing border by boat through the Naf River in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, drove toward Florida as it lashed the Caribbean with devastating winds and torrential rain, leaving 14 dead and a swathe of catastrophic destruction. Irma was about 495 miles (795 km) southeast of Miami, Florida, early on Friday, after soaking the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti and pummeling the Turks and Caicos Islands. Follow our live coverage here. 

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World

An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 struck off the southern coast of Mexico late on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, killing at least six people and triggering small tsunami waves but no major destruction. The quake was apparently stronger than a devastating 1985 tremor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands, but this time damage to the city was limited. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said his cash-strapped country would seek to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, using the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes and a basket of currencies. 

Israel’s attorney-general is considering indicting the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara, on suspicion of using state funds for personal dining and catering services amounting to some $100,000, the justice ministry said on Friday.  

Breakingviews: Insurance giants may get another chance in China

Reuters TV: Syria schools in Raqqa erase Assad

Stop fighting over Brexit and get real, former Goldman Sachs Jim O’Neill economist tells the UK

Rohingya crisis

Malaysia’s coast guard will not turn away Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar and is willing to provide them temporary shelter, the maritime agency’s chief said. Rohingya insurgents attacked several police posts and an army base in Myanmar on Aug. 25. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people and triggered an exodus of more than 160,000 to neighboring Bangladesh.

Number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh surges: UNHCR

Children and teenagers are among the wounded Rohingya in a crammed Bangladesh hospital

U.S.

A newly fraying relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and top economic adviser Gary Cohn has raised questions about how long Cohn will stay in his job, say two people with close ties to the White House. 

U.S. appeals court rejects Trump's bid to bar most refugees

Trump embraces Democrats again on debt ceiling and immigration

Trump's son met Russian lawyer for damaging information on Clinton

Texas is facing $180 bln in hurricane cleanup costs, the most of any U.S. natural disaster. The Lone Star State has the wherewithal and chutzpah to cover a large chunk, yet expects Washington to pick up most of the tab. Global water risks, meanwhile, may require $12 trln to fix. Listen to the podcast on Harvey’s path of financial destruction.

Models present creations from the Desigual Spring/Summer 2018 collection at New York Fashion Week in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Models present creations from the Desigual Spring/Summer 2018 collection at New York Fashion Week in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Business

Equifax, a provider of consumer credit scores, said that personal details of as many as 143 million U.S. consumers were accessed by hackers between mid-May and July, in what could be one of the largest data breaches in the United States. The company’s shares fell nearly 19 percent in after-market trading as investors reacted to possible consequences of the exposure of sensitive data of nearly half of the U.S. population. 

Monsanto fights to sell Arkansas farmers herbicide linked to crop damage

Exclusive: ECB policymakers agreed on stimulus cut at meeting - sources

Oil steady as Irma heads for Florida and Saudi Arabia cuts supply

Will Saudi Aramco deliver world record profit for next year's IPO?

North Korea

Most South Koreans doubt that North Korea will start a war, a survey showed, just days after the North’s largest nuclear test, as Trump again highlighted the possibility of a U.S. military response. Experts believe the isolated regime is close to its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something Trump has vowed to prevent. 

‘Lips and teeth' no more as China's ties with North Korea fray

Commentary

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wants the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with “defensive weapons” to combat Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. But that strategy risks dangerous Russian retaliation, writes columnist Josh Cohen. Instead, Washington should use its diplomatic heft to help Kiev. "That will require creative diplomacy along with some unpleasant compromises by both sides, but it can be done." 

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