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Breakfast Briefing: Uber Settles, a Saudi Windfall & Korea

South Korea Responds to Kim

South Korea said it would wait for “right conditions” before an inter-Korean summit takes place.

Editor’s Remarks: On Saturday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invited his southern counterpart, Moon Jae-in, to his capital, Pyongyang. Despite increased dialogue between the North and South being one of Moon’s top ambitions, the South Korean leader is reluctant to accept the offer right away. Instead, he has said that “the early resumption of dialogue between the US and North Korea” is a necessary precursor for any closer inter-Korean relations. International commentators have praised Moon’s restraint and the emphasis he has placed on the wider connotations of any fresh dialogue with North Korea.

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Uber Settles for $245m

Uber agreed to pay Waymo $245m to settle an intellectual property conflict.

Editor’s Remarks: Waymo, an Alphabet subsidiary, will receive the sum in Uber stock – an amount that represents 0.34% of the company’s total equity. Incidentally, Alphabet already has a position in Uber that it acquired back in 2013. In court, Waymo alleged that one of its top engineers, Anthony Levandowski, stole over 14,000 files that related to Alphabet’s self-driving technology before accepting a post at Uber just months later. At the heart of the case was Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick, who spent around three hours in the witness stand last week. Current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said he regrets the episode but wants to put it behind the company.

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Saudi Purge Raises $13bn

The Saudi Arabian government has said that its anti-corruption drive will net $13bn in savings.

Editor’s Remarks: Following Riyadh’s crackdown on corruption at the very centre of the Saudi kingdom, Saudi officials have announced that the purge will bring in around $13.3bn by year’s end. Hundreds of members of the nation’s royal family and government have been detained in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while investigations have been carried out into their financial affairs. Most suspects have since been released and the hotel has returned to its normal operations. The government has also said that seized assets will be drip-sold into the market to avoid altering liquidity levels.

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BoJo Meets Rohingya

The UK foreign secretary met with Rohingya refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh.

Editor’s Remarks: Boris Johnson toured several refugee camps in Bangladesh and said that the “horrendous living conditions” strengthened his will to solve their plight. During his visits, he also praised the Bangladeshi government for their humanitarian assistance but emphasised that the refugees must be allowed back to their homes in Myanmar “in safety and with dignity, under international oversight”. Bangladesh has currently agreed a two-year timeframe in which the Rohingya people must be repatriated. The international community, however, believes that this is highly unlikely given that there are 700,000 Rohingya and Myanmar has pledged to take in just 1,500 per week.

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Tokyo School’s Armani Uniform

An elementary school in Tokyo requested that parents buy uniforms designed by Giorgio Armani. 

Editor’s Remarks: In a letter to parents, the school’s principal said that the uniforms were intended to reflect the school’s reputation as a “landmark” in Tokyo’s trendy Ginza district. The uniforms, which cost around 80,000 yen (£535), unsurprisingly triggered numerous complaints from the school’s parents body. The issue was even raised in Japan’s parliament when the country’s finance minister, Taro Aso, echoed concerns over the uniform’s price tag. Following the backlash, the school’s principal has apologised to parents and said that he will provide further explanation. However, he did not mention whether the uniform would be scrapped.

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