Your Evening Briefing

The Ovation of the Seas Quantum-class cruise ship.

Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

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The Chinese are taking to the seas in their millions. The number of cruise ship passengers from the world's second-largest economy rose tenfold in just five years to 2 million in 2016. And that figure is estimated to soar to 4.5 million by the end of the decade. But, as cruise liners are learning, Chinese passengers have very different tastes than their counterparts in the West — and not just in the kitchen. —Alex Millson

North Korea says new missile can carry 'large' nuclear warhead. The country's official news agency said the missile, launched Saturday, was fired at a steep trajectory and reached an altitude of about 2,112 kilometers before hitting its target 787 kilometers away in open water. As Pyongyang boasted the new rocket could carry a “large-size heavy nuclear warhead”, Washington said it would "continue to tighten the screws" on Kim Jong Un's regime.

Noble Group shares are mauled again. The company's shares extended a spectacular collapse and its bonds fell amid concerns the embattled commodity trader will struggle to turn around its business and return to profitability. The slide came after it reported a quarterly loss of about $130 million. Last week, in the hunt for a savior, Noble turned to the man who helped bury Lehman Brothers.

This Caribbean bank wants Chinese money no one else will touch. The global campaign against money laundering, coupled with the Panama Papers scandal, made the Caribbean a near no-go zone for the world's biggest banks. Now, the British Virgin Islands is offering a solution for offshore companies, many of them from China, that have been effectively locked out of the global banking system.

The age of Trump is 'defining deviancy down'. Almost a quarter century ago, U.S. Senator Patrick Moynihan of New York warned about the dangers of "defining deviancy down," in which worse and worse behavior comes to be accepted as the norm, writes Albert R. Hunt. President Trump has so lowered our expectations that he is given effusive credit if he ever performs a routine function even adequately, Hunt says.

Noodles are shorter in the West. In a bid to take its ramen to the wider world, Japan's Ippudo has had to adapt one of the country's best-known specialties. It took almost six months to get the rich tonkotsu pork broth right in Europe because of the harder water. And the noodles are shorter, too, to make them easier for Western diners to eat. The company plans to open its first outlets on the U.S. West Coast this year, with a bold expansion program to follow.

One watch, eight minutes, $5 million. A Rolex that once belonged to the last emperor of Vietnam has become the brand's most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. The "Bao Dai" that the late emperor bought during Geneva peace negotiations in 1954 was sold to an unidentified phone bidder for $5 million, after an eight-minute, 13-way bidding war.

The “Bao Dai” Rolex.

Source: Phillips

 

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