Handout photo showing Jeffrey Epstein, issued 25 July 2019. Speculation as to how the disgraced financier died in his prison cell on Saturday has been rife with rumour and allegation. Photo: New York State Division of Criminal Justice
Delano’s breakfast briefing returns after a short break with news about Hong Kong protests, Guatemalan elections, the Kashmir dispute and speculation on who will replace Mark Carney.
Epstein death sparks rumours
The death of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein by apparent suicide in his prison cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on Saturday has sparked a series of conspiracy theories. The BBC reports that the hashtag #EpsteinMurder trended worldwide on social media in the immediate aftermath of the news, and serious commentators even speculated about who would have wanted the accused sex trafficker dead. Democrats on Sunday criticised president Donald Trump for retweeting an unfounded suggestion that former president Bill Clinton was somehow involved in the death, Reuters reports. The FBI and other authorities are investigating the death, and victims of Epstein are angered that they will not be able to confront him in court, says The Guardian.
US-China deal unlikely before 2020 election
Amid increasing fears that a U.S.-China trade war will lead to a recession, Goldman Sachs Group Inc has lowered its fourth-quarter U.S. growth forecast by 20 basis points to 1.8%, Reuters reports. The company’s chief U.S. economist, Jan Hatzius, was cited by CNBC as saying “pessimism about the outlook from trade war news may lead ﬁrms to invest, hire, or produce less”. Goldman Sachs reckons no trade deal will be struck before the 2020 election.
Hong Kong protests continue
Despite strong warning from China, Hong Kong has entered a 10th week of mass demonstrations and unrest. On Sunday protestors threw petrol bombs and bricks at riot police, who responded with baton charges and tear gas, according to the BBC. The city was cleaning up on Monday morning, but Reuters reports that protests at the international airport and police headquarters were planned for Monday night.
Carney replacement speculation
The Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott has an interesting piece on who could replace Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England. British chancellor Sajid Javid is expected to make an official announcement in the autumn.
Norway mosque attack
Police in Norway say an attack by a lone gunman on the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, 20km from Oslo, is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, the BBC reports. The 21-year old suspect, who was tackled by people at the mosque, allegedly posted support for the perpetrators of recent terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand and El Paso in Texas, The Guardian reports. Only one person was injured in the mosque attack, but the body of a woman was found at the suspect’s apartment.
Kashmir tension grows
The dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir took on a new dimension on Sunday. The Guardian reports that Imran Khan said the international community’s lack of action over Narendra Modi’s decision to strip Kashmir of its autonomy was akin to appeasing Hitler. The South China Morning Post has more on the dispute and has a neat video explainer via Reuters of the historical background.
Conservative wins Guatemala election
Alejandro Giammattei was poised for a decisive victory in Guatemala’s presidential election, securing more than 59% of the vote, according to Reuters. Among the conservative candidate’s policy pledges was the erection an “investment wall” on the border between with Mexico to curb migration and a proposal to bring back the death penalty.
Versace apologises over t-shirts
Italian fashion brand Versace has issued an apology to China after it sold t-shirts identifying the territories of Hong Kong and Macau as countries, Reuters reports.
Today's breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts