From a Drive to Damascus to an Abdication in Japan: Weekend Reads

(Bloomberg) --

Emperor Akihito abdicated in Japan this week to make way for his son. In Venezuela, National Assembly leader Juan Guaido is digging in after his attempt to force Nicolas Maduro’s departure seemed to fizzle out, and in Libya an eastern-based warlord’s attempt to take the capital isn’t going entirely to plan.

Read those stories, and others, in this edition of Weekend Reads.

From a Drive to Damascus to an Abdication in Japan: Weekend Reads

Global Headlines

Kim Jong Un’s Game of Thrones Puzzles North Korea Watchers
Youkyung Lee reports from Pyongyang where a swirl of mysterious personnel changes have fueled speculation that Kim Jong Un could be changing negotiating tacks after U.S. President Donald Trump walked away from their nuclear talks in March.

Biden Campaign Juggernaut Forces Other Democrats to Recalibrate
Sahil Kapur and John McCormick explore how Joe Biden’s entry into the Democratic nomination race has reset the contest and put rival candidates at risk of getting overwhelmed and overshadowed early in the campaign.

A Journey Down the Ganges in the Age of Modi
India’s prime minster is seeking a second five-year term in elections this month, but voters on the country’s holiest waterway told Archana Chaudhary in this stunning photo-driven reportage they have doubts.

From a Drive to Damascus to an Abdication in Japan: Weekend Reads

There’s No Price Like Home for Arabs in Tel Aviv’s Hottest Area
In Jaffa, Yaacov Benmeleh looks at property prices, which have almost tripled in some parts since 2010, enriching—on paper, at least—many of the area’s Arabs. But cashing out means surrendering to a wave of new residents, mainly Jewish, and hastening the end of 1,400 years of Arab presence in the area. 

Someone Did Get to Look at Trump's Tax Returns: Deutsche Bankers
President Donald Trump doesn’t want anyone to see his tax returns. Not the public. Not Congress. But at least one group has peered into the carefully guarded trove and could provide some insight – a team from Deutsche Bank AG. Greg Farrell has the details.

Trump’s Sanctions Mean a 19-Hour Wait for Gas in a Lifeless City
Donna Abu Nasr travels to Damascus via the road from the Lebanese border, a journey which leaves no doubt who has won the war that’s cast a shadow over the region for eight years. “Welcome to victorious Syria,” a billboard reads. But instead of engaging in frenzied reconstruction, Syrians are finding themselves fighting another battle: trying to survive in a decimated economy.

From a Drive to Damascus to an Abdication in Japan: Weekend Reads

In Iran, It’s Trump’s America That Looks Like a Rogue State
The Trump administration has struck at Iran’s economic jugular to try and force it to change behavior. But as Ladane Nasseri and Arsalan Shahla report, riding roughshod over diplomatic agreements swung the pendulum of Iranian politics toward hardliners digging in for greater confrontation, rather than engagement, with the West. Moderate politicians face a dilemma: become more strident or be pushed to the margins.

Hollywood Haggling Shows Why a China Trade Deal Is So Hard
For evidence of how tricky it will be to conclude sweeping trade talks between the U.S. and China, look to Hollywood, Jenny LeonardShawn Donnan and Anousha Sakoui write. With a deal potentially days away, demands by American film studios remain the subject of intense haggling.

Ramaphosa Can Win Over His Country. What About His Own Party?
Our Africa correspondents look at why it will be easier for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to win over his country than keep the support of his party.

And finally … Going to the moon used to be something that only governments dreamed of. But with the growing commercialization of space, some of the most exciting projects are taking place at start-ups. In Tokyo, Akane Imamura is part of a team at Ispace trying to develop a miniature lunar rover. Watch her story on the season premiere of Next Jobs, a mini-documentary series from Bloomberg that profiles careers of the future. 

From a Drive to Damascus to an Abdication in Japan: Weekend Reads

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