Wednesday Morning Briefing: Inside the West’s failed fight against China’s ‘Cloud Hopper’ hackers

Special Report

A China-linked hacking campaign targeted at least eight technology service providers like HPE and IBM and spread to their clients. Reuters details how the service providers may have undermined the response by withholding information from their defenders.

Top News

The U.S. hopes to re-launch trade talks with China after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping meet in Japan on Saturday, but Washington will not accept any conditions around the U.S. use of tariffs in the dispute, a senior administration official. The two sides could agree not to impose new tariffs as a goodwill gesture to get negotiations going, the official said, but he said it was unclear if that would happen. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he hoped the United States and China would resolve their trade war through constructive dialogue when they meet at a gathering of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies.

Trump threatened to obliterate parts of Iran if it attacked “anything American,” in a new war of words with Iran which condemned fresh U.S. sanctions on Tehran as “mentally retarded.” But Trump later left the door open for talks, saying that Iran should speak to the United States “peaceably” to ease tensions and potentially lift U.S. economic sanctions. On the eve of the first Democratic presidential debate, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, rising in public opinion polls, slammed Trump’s posture toward Iran at a raucous town hall.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who issued a report in April on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, will testify in open session before the House of Representatives Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 17, the panels’ Democratic chairmen said. The report, which was partially redacted, also outlined instances in which Trump tried to interfere with Mueller’s investigation, but declined to make a judgment on whether that amounted to obstruction of justice. A representative for Mueller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said its acting commissioner is resigning as House Democrats passed a $4.5 billion funding package to ease a migrant surge that has subjected children detained at the U.S-Mexico border to overcrowded conditions. John Sanders, who led CBP since April, will leave his post on July 5, the agency said. Attorneys raised alarms last week after finding more than 300 migrant children in an overcrowded Texas border patrol station, where they said some had been held for weeks without adequate food and water.

The Trump administration launched a $50 billion economic formula for Israeli-Palestinian peace, saying an investment program for the Palestinians was a precondition for ending the decades-old conflict. Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner opened a two-day international meeting in Bahrain to rally support for the blueprint, which has met broad disdain from Palestinians and others in the Arab world although regional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia discreetly support it.


Philadelphia Energy Solutions is expected to seek to permanently shut its oil refinery in the city after a massive fire caused substantial damage to the complex, two sources familiar with the plans said. The refinery, which could still change its plans, is also expected to begin layoffs of the 700 union workers at the plant, the sources said. The layoffs could include about half of the union workforce, with the remaining staff staying at the site until the investigation into the blast concludes, the sources said. Oil prices hit their highest level in nearly a month, buoyed by an outage at a major refinery on the U.S. East Coast and industry data that showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected.
Japan’s markets watchdog will likely recommend that the financial regulator fine Nissan up to 4 billion yen ($37 million) over the alleged underreporting of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s compensation, a source said. A spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission declined to comment on specific cases, while Nissan was not immediately available for comment.
Bombardier exits commercial aviation with sale of regional jet business to Mitsubishi. Bombardier said it will sell its money-losing regional jet business to Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for $550 million in cash, in a deal marking the Canadian plane and train maker’s exit from commercial aviation.


Apple confirmed that it has acquired self-driving shuttle firm In Silicon Valley, it is common for larger companies to acquire struggling startups primarily to hire their engineers, a move known in the industry as an “acqui-hire.” Apple is vying against rivals such as Alphabet’s Waymo to develop self-driving vehicles. In the past year, Apple has revamped its efforts, bringing former Tesla engineering chief Doug Field to oversee the operation, which includes more than 5,000 workers.
Bitcoin jumped to its highest in eighteen months on safe-haven investment flows and growing expectations that Facebook’s Libra could turn cryptocurrency investments mainstream. So far this year, the cryptocurrency has nearly tripled in value after being in the doldrums last year.
Investors with $34 trillion demand urgent climate change action. Investors managing nearly half the world’s invested capital are demanding urgent action from governments on climate change, piling pressure on leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies meeting this week. In an open letter to the “governments of the world” seen by Reuters, groups representing 477 investors stressed “the urgency of decisive action” on climate change to achieve the Paris Agreement target.


Hong Kong activists call on G20 leaders to help 'liberate' city

More than one thousand protesters marched to major foreign consulates in Hong Kong, urging leaders at the upcoming G20 summit to support the full scrapping of a controversial extradition bill.
5 min read

Pro-China groups step up offensive to win over Taiwan

When Taiwanese businessman Jhang Yun-nan wanted to find buyers for his company’s new cleaning products in China, he turned to an unconventional channel: A Taiwanese party that advocates the unification of China with the self-ruled, democratic island.
9 Min Read

Kremlin says work continues on possible Putin-Trump meeting

Work continued on a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of a G20 meeting this week, a Kremlin spokesman told reporters.
1 min read

Nearly a year after currency crisis, unemployed Turks still 'can't dream'

Murat Abi found employment in construction after moving to Istanbul from eastern Turkey four years ago, including at the city’s new airport, which the government heralded as a pillar of the country’s economic might.
7 min read

Top Stories on Reuters TV

San Francisco bans e-cigarette sales in the city

Facebook to ID French hate speech suspects

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