Friday Morning Briefing: Trump prepares for 'productive' talks with Xi on trade war

G20 Summit

Trump talks trade at G20 as China's Xi and others warn of risks of protectionism. President Donald Trump said he had not promised Chinese President Xi Jinping a reprieve from escalating tariffs in a trade war that is casting a shadow on global growth, but felt their talks planned for the next day would be productive. Many leaders of the world’s top 20 economies voiced concern over trade tensions and the risk they pose to global growth, but were at loggerheads on key issues such as World Trade Organization reform, Japanese and Russian delegates said.

Trump to Putin: Please don't meddle in U.S. elections. A two-year investigation into a Moscow-run influence campaign during the election has hung over Trump’s presidency, frustrating the Republican president who has said he seeks better relations with Russia. Trump sardonically asked his Russian counterpart to please not meddle in U.S. elections, appearing to make light of a scandal that led to an investigation of his campaign’s contact with the Kremlin during 2016 elections.


Democratic debate highlights: The front-runners of the crowded Democratic presidential contest jostled on Thursday night over issues of race relations and whether the time had come for a new generation of leaders. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris dominated her Democratic rivals in the debate, confronting front-runner Joe Biden on race and calling his remarks about working with segregationist senators “hurtful.”

Trump knocks Democratic candidates over healthcare for immigrants. “All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!” the Republican president tweeted. During the televised debate in Miami, a moderator asked the presidential candidates if they would support covering healthcare for illegal immigrants if elected president. All 10 candidates on the stage raised their hands in the affirmative.

The U.S. Senate passed a $750-billion defense policy bill with provisions that target China on issues from technology transfers to the sale of synthetic opioids, pushing to counter growing Chinese influence around the world. The 973-page National Defense Authorization Act, passed by an 86-8 vote. However, in an unusual procedural move, the Senate will have a separate vote on an amendment that would ban Trump from attacking Iran without first obtaining congressional approval.

U.S. border facility gives tour after accusations of neglect. Immigration officials took reporters on a tour of a Texas migrant holding facility that was still overcrowded a week after lawyers raised concerns about conditions. The McAllen facility - known as Ursula for the street it is on - is one of two Texas migrant holding centers accused by immigration lawyers of violating a legal settlement governing the treatment of minors in immigration detention.


One of the central mysteries of Venezuela’s slow-motion collapse: Why does the military continue to support Nicolás Maduro, the president who has led the once-prosperous South American country into chaos? Despite unprecedented poverty, crime and mass migration, the armed forces remain the lynchpin of support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Reuters explains how a military overhaul blurred commands, politicized the ranks and drafted troops into partisan activities.
Impeach me, I'll jail you: Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte dares foes to test him. Duterte vented his anger late on Thursday amid intense media scrutiny and accusations that he is siding with China over a June 9 sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel, which happened inside Manila’s Exclusive Economic Zone. He has threatened opponents with prison if they try to impeach him, the latest in what a top U.N. official and an Asian lawmakers’ group this week called a pattern of persecution and assaults on free speech.
Exclusive: UAE scales down military presence in Yemen as Gulf tensions flare. The United Arab Emirates, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, is scaling back its military presence there as worsening U.S.-Iran tensions threaten security closer to home, four western diplomatic sources said.
With Iran nuclear deal on brink. World powers will warn Iran to stick to the terms of their nuclear deal when they meet for “last chance” talks, but with Tehran feeling the pressure from punishing U.S. sanctions expectations of saving the 2015 accord are low, diplomats say.
France’s oldest survivor of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz concentration camp, Henriette Cohen, has died. Cohen stayed silent about the horrors she lived through at the death camp in Poland for four decades before finding the strength to describe it to younger generations. She said it was necessary to speak out so “no one could deny the Holocaust”.


Apple design chief Jony Ive, Steve Jobs' confidant, to leave and start own firm

Jony Ive, a close creative collaborator with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs whose iPhone and other designs fueled Apple’s rise to a $1 trillion company, will leave later this year to form an independent design company.
5 min read

Deutsche lifted by Fed stress test pass in boost to Wall Street operation

Deutsche Bank’s shares rose as much as 4.8% after Germany’s biggest bank passed an annual health check by the U.S. Federal Reserve, in a boost to its Wall Street operations. But the Federal Reserve placed conditions on the U.S. operations of Credit Suisse, knocking its shares 1% lower after identifying weaknesses in its capital planning.
5 min read

Faces for cookware: data collection industry flourishes as China pursues AI ambitions

In a village in central China’s Henan province, amid barking dogs and wandering chickens, villagers gather along a dirt road to trade images of their faces for kettles, pots and tea cups. Villagers waiting their turn take a numbered ticket. Some of them say it’s the third or fourth time they’ve come to do this sort of work. The project, run out of a sleepy courtyard village house adorned with posters of former China leader Mao Zedong, is collecting material that could train AI software to distinguish between real facial features and still images.
6 Min Read

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