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Thursday Morning Briefing: U.S. prisoners arrive home from North Korea

Highlights

President Donald Trump welcomed three former U.S. prisoners at a military base near Washington, thanking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their release and sounding upbeat on a planned summit between the two sides.

An attorney for Stormy Daniels said he has additional evidence linking a Russian businessman to Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as international and U.S. companies acknowledged large payments to Cohen’s consulting firm.

Trump’s pick for CIA director was grilled by lawmakers over her role in the agency’s past harsh interrogation system, pledging she would never restart the program or follow any morally objectionable order from Trump.

Iran

Commentary: Many regard the invasion of Iraq as the worst foreign policy move in the history of the American republic. Now we arguably have a competitor, writes former Assistant Secretary of State James Dobbins. The decision to abandon the nuclear agreement with Iran isolates the United States, reneges on an American commitment, adds to the risk of a trade war with the United States’ allies and a hot war with Iran, and diminishes the prospects of a durable and truly verifiable agreement to eliminate the North Korean nuclear and missile threat.

Immediately on returning from North Korea, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will embark on talks with allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to try to persuade them to press Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs, U.S. officials said.

The oil price rose and was set for its largest weekly increase in a month, as the market prepared for potential disruption to crude flows from major exporter Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.

 

Israel does not yet know the Iranian casualty count from its Syria strikes on Thursday, @LTCJonathan says: "We focused less on personnel and more on capabilities and hardware ... to inflict long-term damage on the Iranian military establishment in Syria." https://reut.rs/2KRFyOn

6:13 AM - May 10, 2018

World

Negotiations on forming a coalition government between the far-right League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement are going well and a deal could be wrapped up soon, the two parties said in a joint statement. “Significant steps forward have been made on the composition of the government and on the (nomination) of a prime minister,” the statement said following a meeting between League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star chief Luigi Di Maio.

A hostage crisis at a high-security jail in Indonesia ended after Islamist militant prisoners who killed five police surrendered and released an officer they were holding, authorities said.

A Myanmar policeman now serving a prison sentence gave more details to a court about how he says two Reuters reporters were framed by police, in what has become a landmark press freedom case for the Southeast Asian nation. Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained in Myanmar for 150 days.

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Tech

Apple scraps $1 billion Irish data center over planning delays

Apple ditched plans to build an 850 million euro ($1 billion) data center in Ireland because of delays in the approval process that have stalled the project for more than three years, the iPhone maker said.

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BT to cut 13,000 jobs in biggest cull in a decade

BT will cut 13,000 managerial and back-office jobs and move to a smaller London base in the latest attempt by the boss of Britain’s biggest telecoms group to rebuild from an accounting scandal and downturn in trading.

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De Beers tracks diamonds through supply chain using blockchain

Anglo American’s De Beers said it had tracked 100 high-value diamonds from miner to retailer using blockchain, in the first effort of its kind to clear the supply chain of imposters and conflict minerals.

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Autopilot was not engaged during Florida Model S crash: Tesla

Tesla’s autopilot system was unlikely to have been a factor in a Florida car crash this week which killed two teenagers, the electric carmaker said in a statement issued late.

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