The Reuters Daily Briefing Wednesday, April 27, 2022

 


Reuters
The Reuters Daily Briefing

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

by Linda Noakes

Russia reports blasts in south that Ukraine calls payback, Myanmar's Suu Kyi is handed a five-year jail term, and Shanghai's lockdown nightmare drags on

Today's biggest stories

A Soviet monument to friendship between Ukraine and Russia is seen during its demolition in central Kyiv, April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

RUSSIA AND UKRAINE AT WAR

Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for rejecting its demand to pay in roubles, taking direct aim at European economies in its toughest retaliation so far against international sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

The step was denounced by European leaders as "blackmail", and comes as European countries have joined the United States in ramping up arms shipments to help Ukraine fend off a new Russian assault in the east. Kyiv reported that Russian troops had made gains in several villages there.

Russia reported a series of blasts in the south of the country and a fire at an ammunition depot, the latest in a spate of incidents that a top Ukrainian official described as payback and "karma".

Moldova's pro-Russian breakaway region of Transdniestria said that shots were fired from Ukraine towards a village that houses an ammunition depot, the latest report to raise concern that Russia's war in Ukraine might expand.

Drone giant DJI Technology said it will temporarily suspend business in Russia and Ukraine to ensure its products are not used in combat, making it the first major Chinese firm to cite the conflict in halting sales in Russia.

As Russian forces tightened their siege of Mariupol and missiles rained down, Mykhailo Puryshev drove into the city six times last month to evacuate its citizens, somehow surviving despite his red van being all but destroyed. The 36-year-old Ukrainian, who once ran a nightclub in the city, said he evacuated more than 200 people.

Here's what you need to know about the conflict right now

A medical worker collects a swab from a man at a makeshift COVID testing site in Beijing, April 27, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang


WORLD


Millions of people in Beijing took their second COVID-19 tests of the week as the Chinese capital tried to keep an outbreak numbering in the dozens from spiraling into a crisis like the one the locked-down city of Shanghai is enduring. Evidence that Shanghai's month-long isolation has become almost unbearable for many of the city's 25 million people is emerging on an almost daily basis.

Singapore executed a Malaysian man convicted of drug trafficking despite appeals for clemency on the grounds that he had an intellectual disability, his family said, in a case that has drawn international attention. Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, 34, had been on death row for more than a decade for trafficking 44 grams of heroin.

A court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to five years in jail after finding her guilty in the first of 11 corruption cases against her, a source with knowledge of the proceedings said. The Nobel laureate and figurehead of Myanmar's opposition to military rule is charged with at least 18 offences.

As South Korea’s new conservative president prepares to take office, North Korea is outlining an expansive, ambiguous, and potentially destabilizing doctrine for using its nuclear weapons, analysts said.

India is getting too hot too early, raising the risk of fires, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned, as New Delhi sweltered in extreme heat and a burning landfill on the outskirts of the capital spewed toxic smoke into the air.


U.S.


Following the record surge in COVID-19 cases during the Omicron-driven wave, some 58% of the U.S. population overall and more than 75% of younger children have been infected with the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to a U.S. nationwide blood survey.

The U.S. Congress's official probe into the assault on the Capitol by Donald Trump's supporters plans to hold public hearings in June before issuing a final report in early autumn, its chairman said.

A bipartisan bill that would subject U.S. Supreme Court justices and federal judges to tougher disclosure requirements for their financial holdings and stock trades is expected to win final congressional approval today.

Citizens decrying censorship have filed a lawsuit against county officials in central Texas they say have trampled on their First Amendment rights by banning books from the local public library.

President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead tributes today to Madeleine Albright, the first woman to helm the U.S. State Department, at a memorial service in Washington.

BUSINESS

The euro dropped to its weakest since 2017 as investors increasingly concerned about the global growth and inflation outlook snapped up dollars, while a mixed bag of corporate earnings sent stock markets lower again.

Google parent Alphabet reported its first quarterly revenue miss of the pandemic after the war in Ukraine hurt YouTube ad sales, leaving investors rattled as the global economy sputters.

Credit Suisse reported a $284 million first-quarter loss that worsened its financial pain and prompted a fresh management reshuffle at the lender. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank posted a better-than-expected 17% rise in first-quarter profit as investment banking revenues climbed.

Mercedes-Benz expects strong demand for high-end cars to allow it to offset rising raw material and transport costs with higher prices, forecasting a pick-up in deliveries once chip shortages ease.

British pharmaceuticals giant GSK beat analyst expectations for its first-quarter results and stood by its 2022 forecasts, after buoyant sales of its COVID-19 treatment which has now been withdrawn from the U.S. market.

The world's largest advertising group WPP raised its full-year sales outlook, saying strong client demand had helped it to buck the gloomy mood gripping the global economy.

Quote of the day

"There's a lot of anxiety ahead of the earnings ... because if they don't hold up, then there's nothing left to hold up the market."

Thomas Hayes

Chairman at Great Hill Capital

Mixed earnings from U.S. tech giants may do little to assuage worried investors

Video of the day

Grass becomes rare luxury amid drought in Chile

A decade-long drought has forced Santiago to roll out emergency measures to limit water use and replace lush green plants with desert flora.

And finally…

SpaceX launches 'Crew 4' on flight to space station

Elon Musk's rocket company launched four more astronauts to orbit, including a medical doctor turned spacewalker and a geologist specializing in Martian landslides.

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