Here are the top stories and upcoming coverage plans for Reuters text service as of 10 p.m. GMT/ 6 a.m. SGT. For a full schedule of news and events, go to our editorial calendar on Reuters Connect here or on Media Express here.
Taliban urge Afghan unity as protests spread to Kabul
The Taliban called on Afghanistan’s imams to urge unity when they hold their first Friday prayers since the Islamist group seized control of the country, as protests against the takeover spread to more cities on Thursday, including the capital Kabul.
Aid trickles in as Haitians struggle to count lives lost in quake
Foreign food aid slowly trickled into more rural areas of southwestern Haiti on Thursday, arriving days after a major earthquake that killed at least 2,189 people and reduced tens of thousands of buildings to rubble.
Police arrest man claiming to have bomb near U.S. Capitol
A man who claimed to have a bomb in a pickup truck near the U.S. Capitol surrendered to police on Thursday after a standoff that paralyzed a swath of Washington for more than five hours.
Three U.S. senators test positive for COVID-19
Three U.S. senators - Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado and independent Angus King of Maine - disclosed on Thursday they had tested positive for COVID-19.
FTC says Facebook ‘bought and buried’ rivals in renewed antitrust fight
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission refreshed its antitrust case against Facebook Inc on Thursday, adding more detail on the accusation the social media company crushed or bought rivals and once again asking a judge to force the social media giant to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.
J&J says veteran Duato to replace Gorsky as chief executive
Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday its Vice Chairman of Executive Committee Joaquin Duato will become chief executive officer from Jan. 3, replacing Alex Gorsky who has been at the helm for nine years.
Lionel Messi launches ‘Messiverse’ NFT crypto art collection
Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi has launched his own collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), crypto art that was created with his image by digital designer BossLogic and will go on sale on Friday.
R. Kelly accuser says R&B singer made her dress like a Girl Scout
A key prosecution witness against R. Kelly at his sex abuse trial testified on Thursday that the R&B singer videotaped their sexual activity when she was 16 and insisted she dress like a Girl Scout.
Messi left out of PSG squad for Brest game
Lionel Messi will not be included in Paris St Germain’s squad for Friday’s Ligue 1 game at Brest, French daily L’Equipe reported, adding that his former Barcelona team mate Neymar has also been left out.
Taliban to allow men’s cricket; status of smaller women’s programmes unclear
The Taliban have said they will not interfere with the Afghan men’s national cricket team, the country’s biggest sporting success of recent years, or stop the expansion of the flagship Twenty20 league, an Afghan cricket official said.
BUSINESS / ECONOMICS
TESLA-TECHNOLOGY/AI (PIX) (TV)
Musk’s ‘AI Day’ confronts tough questions about Tesla’s technology
In April 2019, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said that by mid-2020 Tesla would have over a million self-driving vehicles where riders “could go to sleep” during a trip. Tesla has not achieved that goal and on Thursday Musk is staging another event, called “AI Day,” to promote his electric car company as the place to work for the engineers he needs to make good on his promises for autonomous vehicles.
19 Aug 20:00 ET / 00:00 GMT
Weekly French cereal crop progress data
Update on crop conditions and harvest progress. A warm spell from mid-August should let farmers round off wheat and barley harvesting after a wet start to summer disrupted field work in the EU’s biggest grain producer.
AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT/INDONESIA-KARATE TEACHER (PIX) (TV)
Former Afghan karate champion fears ‘everything is finished’ for women athletes in her home country
Meena Asadi, a martial arts athlete from Afghanistan’s Hazara minority community, runs a karate club for refugee children in Indonesia’s mountain town of Puncak. She was forced to flee Afghanistan years ago after she set up a similar mixed club for both girls and boys, a practice banned in the conservative country. Meena talks about her worries for her motherland after the Taliban seized power.
Europe’s rapeseed harvest winds down, planting begins
Round-up on harvesting of rapeseed, Europe’s main oilseed crop, and early indications on planting for next year’s crop.
Air Canada sees cargo “advantage” in Toronto hub as shippers avoid U.S. crunch
Air Canada sees a “strategic advantage” for its cargo business in Canadian hubs like Toronto, a company executive told Reuters, as shippers seek to bypass logjams at some U.S. gateways.
WEF-SINGAPORE/ (PIX) (TV)
CANCELLED World Economic Forum held in Singapore over coronavirus concerns
The World Economic Forum’s annual gathering of political and business leaders move from Switzerland to Singapore as the COVID-19 pandemic would make it challenging to host the event safely in Europe, according to organisers. It is only the second time the event, known informally as Davos after the Swiss ski resort where it is usually held every January, will be hosted outside Switzerland since its inception in 1971, and marks its debut in Asia.
FINANCE-BIGTECH/ (PIX) (GRAPHIC)
FOCUS-For bank regulators, tech giants are now too big to fail
More than a decade on from the financial crisis, regulators are spooked once again that some companies at the heart of the financial system are too big to fail. But they’re not banks. This time it’s the tech giants including Google, Amazon and Microsoft that host a growing mass of bank operations on their vast cloud platforms.
20 Aug 01:00 ET / 05:00 GMT
German rail union announces next steps in dispute with Deutsche Bahn
German rail union GDL announces its next steps in its labour dispute with Deutsche Bahn, after a strike last week caused major disruptions to rail traffic in Germany.
20 Aug 05:00 ET / 09:00 GMT
FOCUS-The electric vehicle boom is paydirt for factory machinery makers
The investment surge by both new and established automakers in the electric vehicle market is a bonanza for factory equipment manufacturers that supply the highly automated picks and shovels for the prospectors in the EV gold rush.
20 Aug 06:00 ET / 10:00 GMT
VIACOMCBS-PAW PATROL/ (FOCUS, PIX)
FOCUS-‘Paw Patrol’ unleashed: Behind ViacomCBS’s plan to take on Disney
When “Paw Patrol: The Movie” hits theaters and the Paramount+ streaming service on Friday, it will kick off ViacomCBS’ most ambitious effort to take on Disney in the streaming wars era.
20 Aug 07:00 ET / 11:00 GMT
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Kaplan participates in moderated q&a
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan participates in moderated question-and-answer session before virtual conversation, “Economic Developments and Implications for Monetary Policy” event hosted by Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business.
20 Aug 11:00 ET / 15:00 GMT
POLITICS / INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
U.S. nonprofits, companies cobble together desperate effort to swiftly evacuate Afghans
An unlikely mix of U.S. military veterans, refugee advocates and Afghans living in the United States and lawmakers have scrambled in recent days to find ways to get vulnerable contacts out of Afghanistan following the Taliban’s rapid takeover of much of the country. The effort includes online forms to gather names of people who need to get out, leading to tens of thousands of submissions, personalized advice from defense contractors to staffers and behind-the-scenes coordination with the U.S. government and White House.
RWANDA-POLITICS/ (PIX) (TV)
POSTPONED - Court to deliver judgement in case against ‘Hotel Rwanda hero’
The verdict in a terrorism case against Paul Rusesabagina, depicted as a hero depicted as a hero in a Hollywood movie about the country’s 1994 genocide has been postponed, a spokesman for the judiciary said on Wednesday. The next date is set to be announced on Friday, the spokesman said. Rusesabagina says he was tricked by government agents into returning to Rwanda from abroad last year.
U.S. political parties to detail their finances ahead of 2022 elections
The Democratic and Republican parties will each disclose how much money they had in the bank at the end of July as they prepare for 2022 congressional elections that will be key for the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
USA-IMMIGRATION/DEPORTATIONS (PIX) (TV)
Migrants deported to Guatemala left high and dry at border outpost
Hundreds of migrants, including children and babies, from Central America have been expelled by U.S. and Mexican officials south by plane and then on in buses to El Ceibo, a tiny village of about one hundred wooden and concrete dwellings some 630 kilometers (390 miles) north of Guatemala City.
Malaysia’s king to meet senior royals to decide new PM
Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah will meet with other sultans on Friday after which he is expected to name the country’s new prime minister. Former Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob moved closer on Thursday to forming the next government after securing a parliamentary majority from the same coalition that collapsed earlier this week.
Bulgaria’s second largest party GERB expected to decline to form a government
Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev will hand a mandate to the second largest political party GERB party to try to form a government, but the centre-right faction of former premier Boyko Borissov, which has no natural allies in the parliament, has already said it would not try to do so. Radev will have to ask another party of his choosing to try and form a government, but analysts say chances to build a majority in the fractured parliament are very small, meaning Bulgaria will most likely facing its third national election this year.
20 Aug 02:30 ET / 06:30 GMT
KENYA-POLITICS/ (PIX) (TV)
Kenyan court to rule on appeal against halting of constitutional changes
Kenya’s Court of Appeal will issue its judgement in an appeal brought by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his allies against a High Court decision in May that stopped his proposed sweeping changes to the constitution. The court battle is a key part of jostling ahead of a presidential election due next year.
20 Aug 05:00 ET / 09:00 GMT
RUSSIA-GERMANY/PUTIN-MERKEL (PIX) (TV)
Merkel arrives in Moscow, holds talks with Putin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaders give a news conference after the talks.
20 Aug 07:00 ET / 11:00 GMT
NATO foreign ministers hold virtual crisis meeting on Afghanistan
NATO foreign ministers hold a virtual crisis meeting to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan, followed by a press conference by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
20 Aug 08:00 ET / 12:00 GMT
Russia’s Putin, Germany’s Merkel hold news conference after meeting
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a news conference following a meeting in Moscow to discuss security in Afghanistan and how to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine.
20 Aug 10:00 ET / 14:00 GMT
Portugal’s ministers to discuss lifting some COVID-19 restrictions after reaching 70% of population fully vaccinated
Portugal will hold an extraordinary cabinet meeting to discuss lifting some COVID-19 restrictions after reaching 70% of population fully vaccinated. Meeting starts at 1500 local time, briefing expected at 1530 local time.
20 Aug 11:30 ET / 15:30 GMT
SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/AUSTRALIA (PIX) (TV)
Australia’s New South Wales reports new daily caseload
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, announces the latest COVID-19 case updates, amid official warning that infections are set to “rise substantially” in Sydney in the coming weeks despite a prolonged lockdown.
Philippines’ Duterte to decide whether to extend lockdown measures in capital region
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to announce decision on whether to extend lockdown measures in the capital region.
South African health minister briefs media on COVID-19 vaccinations
South African health minister Joe Phaahla gives update on country’s inoculation programme, which opens up on Friday to those aged between 18 and 35 years.
20 Aug 01:30 ET / 05:30 GMT
Students in Arkansas were slow to get the vaccine; then football season arrived
In Fordyce, a small rural town home to less than 4,000 people in south Arkansas, high school football is a religion. With the resurgent pandemic once again threatening school sports this fall, some prominent athletes at Fordyce High School decided to get the COVID-19 vaccine to be able to keep playing. Some shared their experience on social media and encouraged others to get the shot. The result: Students have been coming into the local pharmacy for weeks to get vaccinated, according to Daniel Bryant, who runs Watson Pharmacy in Fordyce.
20 Aug 06:00 ET / 10:00 GMT
ARTS / CULTURE / ENTERTAINMENT
Karlovy Vary Film Festival opens, honours Britain’s Michael Caine
The 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival opens in the Czech spa town of the same name. Veteran British actor and two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine will be presented with an award for an outstanding contribution to cinema at the festival’s opening ceremony.