Here are the top stories and upcoming coverage plans for Reuters text service as of 6 a.m. GMT/2 p.m. SGT. For a full schedule of news and events, go to our editorial calendar on Reuters Connect here or on Media Express here.




Taiwanese staff to leave Hong Kong office in ‘one China’ row

TAIPEI, June 20 (Reuters) - Taiwanese staff working at the island’s representative office in Hong Kong will begin leaving the Chinese-run city from Sunday, a senior official said, after the government there demanded its officials sign a document supporting Beijing’s claim to Taiwan.


Taliban say committed to Afghan peace talks, want ‘genuine Islamic system’

KABUL, June 20 (Reuters) - The Taliban said on Sunday they were committed to peace talks, adding they wanted a “genuine Islamic system” in Afghanistan that would make provisions for women’s rights in line with cultural traditions and religious rules.



One dead after driver crashes into crowd at Pride Parade in Florida

June 19 (Reuters) - One person died and an another was injured after a pickup truck ran into a crowd of spectators at a Pride parade in south Florida on Saturday, local authorities said.


Cheers and quiet reflection as U.S. crowds mark Juneteenth

ATLANTA/CHICAGO, June 19 (Reuters) - Marching bands sparked loud cheers and quieter reflections about racial justice from crowds gathered on Saturday to mark Juneteenth as a new U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of the legal enslavement of Black Americans.



Porsche to set up joint venture with German battery maker

FRANKFURT, June 20 (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s luxury sports car unit Porsche AG is setting up a joint venture with Customcells to produce high-performance batteries that will significantly reduce charging times, the company said on Sunday.


Chevron returning offshore workers, restarts output halted by U.S. storm

HOUSTON, June 19 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp said on Saturday it was returning offshore workers who had been evacuated ahead of Tropical Storm Claudette from its Gulf of Mexico production platforms.



Cate Blanchett sees pandemic as chance for reflection on plight of refugees

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - This year’s World Refugee Day offers a chance to reflect on the uncertainty faced by those forced to flee their homes, actor Cate Blanchett, a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, says as the world grapples with the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Golf-Oosthuizen in three-way tie for U.S. Open lead

SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 19 (Reuters) - Perennial major contender Louis Oosthuizen sank a monster eagle putt at the final hole to vault into a three-way tie for the lead after the third round at the U.S. Open on Saturday.


Athletics-Richardson seizes spot on Team USA; Felix continues bid

June 19 (Reuters) - Sha’Carri Richardson’s coronation is complete.

Billed as American athletics’ next star, the 5-foot, 1-inch dynamo didn’t disappoint, torching the 100-metre finals in 10.87 with her trademark flourish at the U.S. Olympic trials, raising her arms to the sky and letting out a cheer in front of an elated crowd as she booked her ticket to Tokyo.


HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOUTHKOREA S.Korea to tweak social distancing rules South Korea’s government could loosen a series of coronavirus curbs as the country pushes ahead with its vaccination drive. The government may allow up to six people for social gatherings from current four in the greater Seoul area and ease tight operation hours for restaurants and cafes. 20 Jun 03:30 ET / 07:30 GMT ROMANIA-WILDLIFE/ (PIX) (TV) Nature reclaims failed communist construction projects in Bucharest Enviromentalists are lobbying for government protection of wildlife enclaves that have sprung up in Romanian capital Bucharest amid natural lakes and abandoned communist-era construction projects. 21 Jun POLITICS / INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

USA-CONGRESS/REPUBLICANS U.S. Democrats drive for Biden agenda faces implacable foe in McConnell As Democrats in the U.S. Congress struggle to unify on priorities like voting rights and infrastructure, they are running up against an old implacable foe in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as he marshals his fellow Republicans into a effective front against President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. 21 Jun USA-CONGRESS/REPUBLICANS Biden agenda in U.S. Congress faces implacable foe in McConnell As Democrats in the U.S. Congress struggle to unify on priorities like voting rights and infrastructure, they are running up against an old implacable foe in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as he marshals his fellow Republicans into a effective front against President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. 21 Jun BUSINESS / ECONOMICS

EU-CROPS/ EU crop monitor monthly report EU crop monitoring service MARS to update its yield forecasts for this year’s harvests and analyse recent weather conditions. 21 Jun CANADA-ECONOMY/RETAILERS Soaring costs hit Canadian retailers hoping to benefit from post-COVID surge Canadian retailers are readying for a post-pandemic rebound as consumers emerge from lockdowns and open their wallets, but higher overall costs are eroding their profit margins and further fanning inflationary pressures. 21 Jun ELETROBRAS-PRIVATIZATION/ Congress to hold final vote on Eletrobras privatization bill The lower house of Brazil’s Congress will hold a special session to approve changes made in the Sante to the Eletrobras privatizaion bill before it goes to President Jair Bolsonaro for signature one dead ahead of the measure’s expiry deadline. 21 Jun ODDLY ENOUGH

HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/INCENTIVES-PHILIPPINES (PIX) (TV) Philippine village holds rice lottery to encourage vaccine hesitant Filipinos to take shots A village on the outskirts of Manila is raffling off 25 kilos of rice weekly to encourage its residents to get vaccinated amid the hesitancy of some Filipinos in taking their shots. 21 Jun ARTS / CULTURE / ENTERTAINMENT

THAILAND-GIANTBUDDHA/ (PIX) Giant golden Buddha rises above Bangkok Deep in a network of canals in the oldest part of Bangkok emerges a newly completed giant golden Buddha statue, that stands at 69 metres above the ground, equivalent of the height of a 20-story building. 21 Jun PEOPLE-BRITNEY SPEARS/TIMELINE (PIX) (TV) ‘Overprotected’? Britney Spears’ journey from spotlight to shadows Pop star Britney Spears is this week to address the Los Angeles court handling the conservatorship, or guardianship, arrangement that has controlled much of her personal and business affairs since 2008. This is a timeline of key events in the life of Spears, now 39. 21 Jun SPORTS

OLYMPICS-2020/TRIATHLON-BROWNLEE (PIX) Olympics-Games a step too far even for Brownlee, but he still has a role to play in Tokyo Interview with British triathlete Alistair Brownlee on missing out on the Olympics and the role hs can still play in Tokyo 21 Jun