Putin gets personal
Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised his intelligence agencies' hacking of the U.S. presidential election and turned it from a general attempt to discredit American democracy to an effort to help Donald Trump, three U.S. officials said told Reuters. "This began merely as an effort to show that American democracy is no more credible than Putin's version is," said one of the officials. "It gradually evolved from that to publicizing (Hillary) Clinton's shortcomings and ignoring the products of hacking Republican institutions.”
The high price of challenging China
Before getting too carried away with Taiwan's elevated status under a Donald Trump presidency, President Tsai Ing-wen might want to check her bank balance. Trump's suggestion that the "one China" principle – that Taiwan is a part of China – was up for negotiation has already prompted saber-rattling on the Chinese mainland. That could be costly for Taipei, already limited by its weak economy and a tiny domestic arms industry. Washington may not be willing to help much. U.S.-based think tank the Rand Corporation said in a research report last year that rapid advances in China’s military capabilities mean the United States would find it far more challenging to come to Taiwan’s aid in the event of an attack now compared to two decades ago. Making matters worse: A Chinese Navy warship seized an American underwater drone in the disputed South China Sea on Thursday.
In Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s harsh war on drugs, there’s an elephant in the room. Even as he seeks closer ties with Beijing, the mainland is his country’s main source of narcotics—and drug control officials say little is being done to stanch the flow. A Reuters investigation examines how meth gangs from China are playing a star role in the Philippines drug crisis.
The stock craters, but the pay stays the same
Deutsche Bank has continued to pay staff roughly the same amount as it did a decade ago, despite the financial crisis and a collapse in profits, according to a Reuters analysis of its financial reports. Germany's biggest bank paid its staff more than 13 billion euros ($13.6 billion) in total last year, including benefits and bonuses, despite making a loss of almost 6.8 billion euros. That level of pay was about the same as in 2007, when it made a profit of around 6.5 billion euros.
The evacuation of the last opposition-held areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo was suspended on Friday after pro-government militias demanded that wounded people should also be brought out of two Shi'ite villages besieged by rebel fighters. Reuters photographers captured the tragedy and heartbreak of civilians trying to flee the besieged city.