Hello! Here’s what you need to know on Friday.
1. Donald Trump’s lawyers are exploring his pardoning powers over the Russia investigation. The President’s lawyers are looking into whether Trump can pardon himself, family members, and aides in preparation for the outcome of the Russia investigation. But not the head of the team, Marc Kasowitz, who is reportedly stepping aside.
2. The FBI wiped AlphaBay, an online black market for drugs 10 times bigger than Silk Road. The biggest black market on the so-called “dark net” was taken down in a collaboration with several countries, including Thailand, Canada, Netherlands, and Lithuania, as well as support from Interpol.
3. Borders between the UK and EU could remain open for two years after Brexit. British Prime Minister Theresa May is ready to make an offer under Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Brexit plans, but Brussels wanted to restrict the free movement of British citizens.
4. Millions of Venezuelans are on strike to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to cancel elections next weekend. Colombia, France, Spain, the US and the EU have urged the Venezuelan government to cancel the vote for a new constituent assembly on 30 July. Clashes yesterday saw 3 people die, with 300 arrested. More than 100 people have died since protests began in April.
5. China is banning garbage imports from overseas. The country imported more than 46 million tonnes of waste in 2015 for recycling, including paper, plastics, aluminium and copper, but a government official said the ban will cover 24 kinds of solid waste because the problems it creates now outweigh the benefits.
6. America’s Federal Trade Commission is looking into allegations that Amazon misleads customers about its pricing discounts. Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, complained to the FTC after checking out 1,000 products on Amazon’s website last month and claimed it found only 46% had a list price and of those products, 61% of prices were higher than when Amazon sold the same product in the previous 90 days.
7. Wealthy Chinese citizens are keen to leave for the USA. More than half of the country’s high net worth individuals – defined as people with US$1.5 million or more in investible assets – are either planning to, or are considering, emigrating from China
8. The Qatar blockade is threatening the OPEC deal. UAE foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, told Bloomberg the Gulf States would wait as long as it takes “to take away Qatar’s huge, huge support for this extremism and terrorism”, but the blockade has spurred Qatar to get more aggressive about its production levels.
9. Bitcoin exploded again. The cryptocurrency surged by around 25% overnight and to trade above $US2,800, as a draft version of a new Bitcoin trading platform known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit, was scheduled start today.
10. Wimbledon games are being investigated over possible match fixing. The Tennis Integrity Unit was alerted to two qualifiers and a “main draw” match, during which potentially suspicious betting activity took place.
Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
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