Syria, a 'country of miracles'
The man who said that meant it ironically, apparently a prerequisite for life in the parts of Syria not devastated by war these days. He was talking about the abundance of fuel and heating oil on the black market for double the cost, while there is little to be had from legitimate sources. Reuters' Dahlia Nehme reports on what life is like in Damascus, and the bottom line is simple: nearly everybody is doing without something -- meat, electricity and more -- as the country struggles to restore normality after nearly six years of conflict.
A travel ban that courts probably can live with
The new, more narrowly tailored temporary travel ban that President Donald Trump signed on Monday will be more difficult to challenge successfully in court. Since the order no longer covers legal residents or existing visa holders, and makes waivers possible for some business, diplomatic and other travelers, challengers are likely to have a harder time finding people in the United States who can legally claim they have been harmed, and thus have so-called "standing" to sue. Reuters' Mica Rosenberg and Dan Levine speak to legal experts.
Italy tries to send back more migrants
Italy is promising to send home more migrants who do not qualify for asylum as a fourth year of arrivals by sea began at a record-setting pace. The registration of the newcomers and new border restrictions mean more migrants are staying in Italy rather than moving on to Northern Europe as they have done in the past. This has pushed the government to deter migrants from risking the journey and to stem criticism from far-right parties capitalizing on anti-immigrant sentiment a year ahead of a national vote. Reuters' Steve Scherer reports from Carrara. Meanwhile, Italy's Italian population is shrinking. (here))
Europe's been good to investment banks lately
A spate of big deals by financial services companies in Europe could earn investment banks an estimated $332 million in advisory fees, with Goldman Sachs set to take most of it. Reuters' Pamela Barbaglia explains why.
Why the USA can't have Mexico's sugar
Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States to avoid penalties in a dispute over the pace of shipments, a document seen by Reuters said. Mexico partly blames the cancellation on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce - there are no counterparts around to help resolve the dispute. Adriana Barrera reports from Mexico City.
Reuters photo of the day
Pay inside credit?
Japan Self-Defense Forces soldiers inject fuel into Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile units in Tokyo. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon