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European Midday Briefing: Disappointing China -2-

Lucio Salamini has witnessed the weather patterns around his family's vineyard in northern Italy change dramatically over the past 30 years. But he says he has never seen anything like this summer before.

After scorching hot days, the heat doesn't let up at night, causing stress on his vines. And almost every month this year has seen less rainfall than average, with the nearby Po River-a key freshwater source for surrounding farms and vineyards-seeing record low water levels in recent weeks.


Ukraine's Food Exports Slowly Pick Up Under Grain-Corridor Agreement

ISTANBUL-An international agreement to restore Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports is showing early progress, with 18 ships moving to and from ports in Odessa nearly six months after Russia's invasion bottled up a chunk of the world's agricultural products.

On Saturday, the grain initiative passed a key milestone when the first inbound ship to arrive in Ukraine under the agreement safely departed Odessa after loading 12,000 tons of corn bound for Turkey. Before the ship's departure, all of the other outbound ships leaving Odessa had been vessels that were stranded in Ukraine when Russia attacked in February.


Ukraine Accuses Russia of Using Nuclear Plant to Blackmail West

KYIV, Ukraine-Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of using Europe's largest nuclear power plant to blackmail Kyiv and its allies, urging tougher sanctions against Moscow after recent shelling in the vicinity of the facility prompted warnings of a nuclear accident.

Fighting around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has intensified in recent days as Russia and Ukraine struggle to make meaningful gains on the battlefield almost six months into a war that has worn down both sides.


Palestinian Gunman Injures at Least Eight People in Jerusalem Shooting

JERUSALEM-A Palestinian gunman opened fire on a bus in Jerusalem's Old City, injuring at least eight people, including American citizens, Israeli police said, in the first such attack inside Israel in months and following a recent cease-fire between Israel and Gaza militants.

Among the two people seriously injured in Sunday's shooting was a pregnant woman, who suffered gunshots to her abdomen. Doctors delivered the baby and the newborn and mother are in stable condition, an official from Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek hospital said.


Kenya's Vote Count Slows to a Crawl as Election Candidate's Allies Cry Foul

NAIROBI, Kenya-Vote counting in Kenya's presidential election dragged into its fourth day amid politically charged allegations of ballot-box irregularities.

Allies of fifth-time candidate Raila Odinga, who trailed in unofficial counts, accused his opponent William Ruto, the current vice president, of meddling to boost vote counts in his own strongholds.


Anshu Jain, Who Helped Make Deutsche Bank a Trading Powerhouse, Dies

Anshu Jain, a veteran investment banker who led Deutsche Bank AG during a tumultuous time in the German lender's history, has died. He was 59.

Mr. Jain has been credited with helping build Deutsche Bank's investment-banking business, making the once sleepy German bank into a global trading powerhouse. When Mr. Jain became co-CEO in 2012 alongside Jürgen Fitschen, the investment-banking division he ran accounted for about 75% of the bank's profits.



China Growth Slows Across All Fronts in July, Prompting Unexpected Rate Cut

SINGAPORE-China's economy stumbled in July as a two-month boost from easing lockdowns faded, prompting the country's central bank to unexpectedly cut two key interest rates in an effort to shore up faltering growth.

A raft of data released Monday showed economic activity slowed across the board in July, including factory output, investment, consumer spending, youth hiring and real estate, highlighting the breadth of the economic challenge facing policy makers in a politically sensitive year for leader Xi Jinping, who is expected to break with recent precedent and seek a third term in power this fall.


Japanese Economy Recovers Prepandemic Size With 2.2% Growth

TOKYO-Japan's economy recovered its prepandemic size in the April-June quarter thanks to strong consumer spending and higher exports, but inflation may start to weigh on growth later this year.

The world's third-largest economy after the U.S. and China expanded 0.5% in the three months to June from the previous quarter and 2.2% on an annualized basis, which reflects what would happen if the pace continued for a full year.


Market Rebound Draws Wary Eye From Some Investors

Stocks reached another milestone in their comeback last week, with the Nasdaq Composite rising more than 20% from its mid-June low to end its longest bear market since 2008.

The rally has stirred a familiar debate: Will the rebound continue?


Labor Shortage Is Vexing Challenge for U.S. Economy

As anyone who has lost luggage or waited half an hour for a restaurant check can tell you, America needs way more workers in some parts of the economy.

Economists think so too. Many of them see the imbalance in labor supply and demand as at the heart of the U.S.'s current economic challenges. They say that fixing it is critical to achieving a so-called soft economic landing, in which the highest inflation in four decades comes down without unemployment rising enough to trigger a recession.


U.S. Lawmakers Travel to Taiwan on Heels of Pelosi Visit

A group of U.S. lawmakers flew to Taiwan on Sunday to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the latest development to raise questions about U.S. intentions regarding the island's relationship with China.

The visit is likely to rekindle tensions after China encircled the island with live-fire military drills in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit earlier this month.


FBI Recovered 11 Sets of Classified Documents in Trump Search, Inventory Shows

FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home Monday removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, according to a search warrant released by a Florida court Friday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump's ally Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property shows. Also included in the list was information about the "President of France," according to the three-page list. The list is contained in a seven-page document that also includes the warrant to search the premises which was granted by a federal magistrate judge in Florida.


Trump's Final Days Draw Scrutiny as Handling of Documents Investigated

WASHINGTON-In the final weeks of the Trump administration, the West Wing started to empty out. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was spotted carting away a framed photograph of the U.S. and Chinese presidents facing off. The chief of staff's wife was seen packing a stuffed bird into her car.

President Donald Trump remained preoccupied with overturning his November 2020 election loss. He spent his last days meeting with lawyers, plotting how to settle scores with Republicans who voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and negotiating over pardons with his advisers, former aides said.


China Sets Joint Air-Force Training With Thailand

China's military said it would dispatch jet fighters to Thailand for joint air-force training with the U.S. ally starting Sunday, drills that come on the heels of Beijing's live-fire exercises around Taiwan and coincide with a large U.S. military exercise in Indonesia.

The coming Falcon Strike exercises will mark the fifth time the Thai and Chinese air forces have practiced and are focused on building trust between the nations, China's Ministry of National Defense said.


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This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2022 05:31 ET (09:31 GMT)

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