Friday Morning Briefing: They fled Venezuela's crisis by boat - then vanished


Special Report: An estimated 4 million people have fled Venezuela in the last five years – one of the largest human migrations in recent decades – and they are increasingly leaving on boats often in a state of disrepair, with jury-rigged motors and poorly patched hulls. Eight months pregnant, Maroly Bastardo tried to flee crisis-wrought country with her family. Her overcrowded migrant boat never arrived at its destination in Trinidad. Reuters reconstructs Bastardo’s ill-fated journey.

Gruelling Himalayan effort to retrieve bodies of avalanche-hit climbers. Two weeks after an avalanche swept up and probably killed a group of climbers in the Indian Himalayas, authorities this week mounted two efforts to pluck their bodies from an exposed mountain face, risking bad weather and treacherous terrain. This year alone, more than two dozen climbers have been killed on peaks in India, Nepal and Pakistan. The eight feared killed in the avalanche had targeted Nanda Devi East, a sister mountain of the Nanda Devi peak that is 7,816m (25,643 ft) tall. Both rank among the world's most challenging peaks, conquered by only a handful of people.

United States

Democrats name 20 presidential candidates for first debate. The decision deals a blow to the candidates who will be omitted: Montana Governor Steve Bullock, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, and Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida. The debates, held over two nights on June 26 and June 27, will offer a sprawling Democratic field its first close-up with Americans and allow candidates who have trailed in opinion polls the opportunity for a poll-boosting viral moment.

Why one U.S. can-maker avoids Trump's tariffs while rivals pay up. One of the largest U.S. producers of aerosol cans, Colorado-based Ball Metalpack, has laid off 91 of its 500 U.S. workers since Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel that abruptly hiked the firm’s raw materials costs. At a chief competitor, DS Containers, the story is different. The subsidiary of Japan’s Daiwa Can Co has added more than 80 workers over 18 months at its two Illinois plants, bringing employment to 232.

Citizens and activists hope for peace after clash with Memphis police. The Memphis community where a young black man was slain this week by federal agents as they tried to arrest him remained tense after a night of violent protests, but community activists and a mayoral candidate hoped the weekend would be calm.


The United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday that drove up oil prices and raised concerns about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation, but Tehran bluntly denied the allegation. Iran said it was responsible for maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, state radio reported, adding that blaming Tehran for attacks was alarming. Here is a look at the Strait of Hormuz - the world's most important oil artery.
Business and pleasure: How Russian oil giant Rosneft uses its corporate jets. Using publicly available data, Reuters tracked 290 Rosneft flights between January, 2015 and May, 2019. Of those round trips, 96 took place during Russian public holidays or between Friday lunchtime in Moscow and Monday morning. Since the start of 2015, Rosneft corporate jets traveled eight times to Sardinia’s Olbia airport, 15 times to the Maldives and seven times to Spain’s Palma de Mallorca, according to the flight tracking data.
IEA cuts 2019 estimate for oil demand growth on global trade worries. The outlook for oil demand growth in 2019 has dimmed due to worsening prospects for world trade, the International Energy Agency said, although stimulus packages and developing countries should boost growth going into 2020.
Europe’s oil and gas sector is building up a crowded pipeline for stock market flotations, but investor appetite is limited given painful experiences after the last oil price crash and a backlash against fossil fuels. Norway’s Okea, Britain’s Neptune, Chrysaor, Siccar Point and Spirit Energy are all either actively preparing or expected to plan an IPO in the short term, as are recently merged German-Russian Wintershall Dea and Israeli-owned Ithaca Energy.


Support wavers in Hong Kong for bill allowing extraditions to China after protests

Cracks appeared to emerge in the support base for a proposed Hong Kong law that would allow extraditions to China as opponents of the bill vowed further demonstrations after hundreds of thousands took to the streets this week. U.S. lawmakers on Thursday responded to the crisis in Hong Kong over a proposed extradition law with China by introducing legislation that would require the U.S. government to justify the continuation of special treatment for the territory.
8 Min Read

Sri Lanka police bring five Easter bomb suspects back from Saudi Arabia

Five Sri Lankans suspected of having links to Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people were brought home in police custody after being deported from Saudi Arabia, police said.
2 min read

Swiss women to strike in call for equal pay and rights

Ahead of a strike planned by women in Switzerland, Reuters spoke to nine women about their concerns, including the need for equal pay and pension rights and for action on discrimination and sexual harassment.
5 min read

EU calls for more data from online platforms in fight against fake news

The European Union said online platforms must do more to combat disinformation, including sharing data on their efforts, after it tracked suspected Russian and domestic attempts to disrupt last month’s European Parliament elections.
2 mins read

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders leaving job

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