May 20, 2019

U.S. warship sails near disputed South China Sea reef

The USS Preble departs Naval Base San Diego in California in 2013. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, claimed by the Chinese government, Monday, Reuters first reported.

Details: A spokesman for the Navy's Seventh Fleet said the USS Preble sailed to the uninhabited reef that's 120 miles west of the Philippines and claimed by the Philippine and Chinese governments to "challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law," according to ABC News.

Why it matters: Disputed South China Sea territories are among several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship. The action comes as trade talks between the 2 countries continue to stall. Market analysts at both Morgan Stanley and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch have predicted a prolonged trade war could lead to an outright global recession.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.