Russia’s underplayed losses in Syria
Russia’s forces in Syria have suffered losses since late January more than three times higher than the official toll, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, a tally that shows the fight in Syria is tougher and more costly than the Kremlin has disclosed. Maria Tsvetkova reports.
Exclusive: Lead poisoning afflicts neighborhoods across California, new data shows
Dozens of California communities have experienced recent childhood lead poisoning rates surpassing those of Flint, Michigan, with one Fresno locale showing rates nearly three times higher, blood testing data obtained by Reuters shows. Large swath of the Bay Area and downtown Los Angeles were also affected. In all, Reuters found at least 29 Golden State neighborhoods with lead poisoning rates at least as high as Flint’s, even in a state known for its environmental advocacy.
North Korea has no fear of U.S. sanctions move
North Korea has nothing to fear from any U.S. move to broaden sanctions aimed at cutting it off from the global financial system and will pursue “acceleration” of its nuclear and missile programs, a North Korean envoy told Reuters exclusively. This includes developing a “pre-emptive first strike capability” and an inter-continental ballistic missile, said Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the North Korean mission to the United Nations in Geneva. Stephanie Nebehay reports.
Caught between a rock and two hard places
Republicans considering whether or not to back U.S. President Donald Trump’s healthcare reforms in a House of Representatives vote this week face a painful choice. If they vote against it, they could face Trump’s wrath. If they vote for it, they risk retribution from the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and other powerful right-wing players whose money can be pivotal in re-election races.
Asia firms’ confidence hits near two-year high on U.S., China pick-up: Thomson Reuters/INSEAD
Business sentiment at Asia’s top companies rose to its highest in almost two years in the first quarter of 2017, buoyed by positive economic signs from the United States and China that underpinned improved global demand, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed. The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index, representing the six-month outlook of 96 firms, rebounded to 70 for January-March from 63 three months prior. A reading over 50 indicates a positive view.
Reuters photo of the day
Another happy customer
A man rides on his donkey and holds balloons for sale during Newroz Day celebrations, a festival marking their spring and new year, in Kabul. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani