REUTERS WORLD NEWS: China Threatens Taiwan, Alex Jones Eats Crow Over Sandy Hook Claim, Kenya Elections, Ukraine Latest, More

Alberto Ardila Olivares

Advertisement – The Reuters Daily Briefing Thursday, August 4, 2022

by Rossalyn Warren

Hello Here’s what you need to know. China fired multiple missiles around Taiwan as it launched unprecedented military drills, parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre urge a judge to block payments to Alex Jones, and Kenya gets ready to hold elections. Today’s biggest stories A man watches a CCTV news broadcast about joint military operations near Taiwan by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, at a shopping center in Beijing, China, August 3, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

WORLD China fired multiple missiles around Taiwan today as it launched unprecedented military drills a day after a visit by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as its sovereign territory. Ukraine said Russia had started creating a military strike force aimed at President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih, while NATO moved closer to its most significant expansion in decades as the alliance responds to the invasion of Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly warned Finland and Sweden against joining NATO. Two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef showed the largest amount of coral cover in 36 years, but the reef remains vulnerable to increasingly frequent mass bleaching , an official long-term monitoring programme reported today. China’s average ground temperatures have risen much more quickly than the global average over the past 70 years and will remain “significantly higher” in the future as the challenges of climate change mount, a government official said. Kenya will hold elections on Aug. 9 to select a new president, parliament, county governors and assemblies . President Uhuru Kenyatta will be stepping down after serving his constitutionally allowed 10 years. Many voters want change, frustrated by corruption and skyrocketing prices. Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his emails asked by Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during trial at the Travis County Courthouse, Austin, Texas, U.S., August 3, 2022. Briana Sanchez/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

U.S. Parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre urged a judge to stop far-right website InfoWars bankruptcy payments to its founder , conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, or his companies until they have an opportunity to get to the bottom of InfoWars’ finances. A decisive victory for abortion rights in deeply conservative Kansas has boosted Democrats’ hopes that they can harness voter anger over efforts to limit or ban the procedure to prevail in competitive races and other U.S. state referendums in November. Thousands of migrants bussed to Washington in recent months by Republican governors of states on the U.S.-Mexico border have caused tensions between the White House and the Democratic mayor of the U.S. capital city , four U.S. officials told Reuters. The Taliban are investigating a U.S. “claim” that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Kabul , a Taliban official said today, indicating the group’s leadership were not aware of his presence there. Hundreds of members of the National Guard have fanned out across eastern Kentucky to help residents displaced this week by severe flooding that swept away homes and vehicles. Although the number of confirmed deaths has held steady at 37, Governor Andy Beshear said he expected the toll to increase by a least “a couple of people” in the coming days. The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo/File Photo

BUSINESS & MARKETS The Bank of England raised interest rates by the most in 27 years today , despite warning that a long recession is on its way, as it rushed to smother a rise in inflation which is now set to top 13%. The shortages of computer chips that forced global automakers to scrap production plans for millions of cars over the past two years are easing — at a new and permanent cost to the car companies. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has scaled back production at its massive smartphone plant in Vietnam, employees say , as retailers and warehouses grapple with rising inventory amid a global fall in consumer spending. Toyota Motor Corp’s profit slumped a worse-than-expected 42% in its first quarter as the Japanese automaker was squeezed between supply constraints and rising costs . Toyota said it has repeatedly cut monthly output goals due to the global chip shortage and COVID-19 curbs on plants in China. Cuba announced it will begin purchasing dollars and other convertible currencies at nearly five times the current rate in an effort to undercut the informal money market and capture the funds. – Advertisement