Reuters photo of the day
I believe we have a quorum
Swedish Member of the European Parliament Jytte Guteland holds her baby as she takes part in a voting session in Strasbourg. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
McDonald’s takes slow-cooking approach to fast-food mobile orders
McDonald’s this month will begin testing its long-awaited U.S. mobile ordering app with the goal of avoiding the kinds of service hiccups that have haunted digital debuts by companies such as Starbucks Corp. “We can’t impact the speed or the quality of our food,” Jim Sappington, McDonald’s executive vice president of operations, digital and technology, told Reuters’ Lisa Baertlein. “It’s better to be right than to be first to market.”
Bashar Assad: secure leader of a carved-up country
While few non-partisan observers think the conflict in Syria will end soon, fewer still believe Assad can retake the whole country. But since all outside players seem to have adjusted to his staying, no one expects a peace deal. Many foresee, at best, a ceasefire observed much of the time over much of a territory that will be effectively partitioned between competing forces. Reuters’ Samia Nakhoul reports.
Russia ‘disappears’ its state-run Ukrainian language library
First, armed police seized some of its books. Next, its director was put on trial accused of stirring up ethnic hatred. And now, quietly, its shelves have been emptied and its volumes packed up, ready to be merged into another library’s collection. A year and a half after Russia’s only state-run Ukrainian language library, Moscow’s Library of Ukrainian Literature, was dragged into a political dispute between the two countries, Reuters has learned that authorities are quietly winding it down. Andrew Osborn reports.
Taiwan’s existential threats report
China’s accelerated military development and recent activity by its military aircraft and ships around Taiwan pose an increased threat, according to a Taiwanese government defense report draft reviewed by Reuters. The document also highlights the uncertainty over the strategic direction of the United States in the region, the impact of Japan flexing its military capabilities and “conflict crisis” potential in the disputed South China Sea. Reuters’ J.R. Wu got the document exclusively.
Exclusive: Germany to press G20 to sign off on free trade amid worries about U.S. stance
The unusual move underscores Germany’s desire to rebuff any explicit U.S. demands to water down the group’s commitment to free trade, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares for her first meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday. Attaching a separate document also would allow Germany to clarify its priorities and avoid them from being overshadowed by what could be a more heated debate on protectionism and currency policy. Reuters’ Takashi Umekawa and Michael Nienaber report.
The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times: sort of together again
But this is not the news service they used to run (here). Jeff Bezos scored a double win this week as the Washington Post, the newspaper he bought in 2013, signed its biggest contract to date to sell web publishing tools mostly hosted by Amazon.com, the company he founded and runs. The deal, with Los Angeles Times parent tronc Inc, is a boost for the Post as it looks to branch out from its core news business against a backdrop of falling advertising revenue for traditional media. Reuters' Jeffrey Dastin reports.