Newsbeat news digest

Jul 18, 2017, 11:00 AM

The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments.

Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially wiping out their debt, because documents proving who owns the loans are missing. A review of court records by The New York Times shows that many other collection cases are deeply flawed, with incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documentation.

Netflix stock soared 9% after its second quarter earnings demolished expectations. The streaming company added 5.2 million users around the world, versus analyst estimates of 3.2 million. Netflix said it “underestimated the popularity” of shows like Orange is the New Black.

An activist investor launched a massive proxy battle against Procter & Gamble. Trian Fund Management said it would nominate CEO Nelson Peltz for the P&G board, after five months of contentious discussions. Trian, which owns about 1.5% of the company, has until an annual meeting in October to convince fellow shareholders.

Blue Apron plunged on Amazon’s meal kit plans. The delivery startup’s stock slid 12% on the news that Amazon is trademarking the phrase “We do the prep. You be the chef,” hinting at a move into the already crowded meal kit space. Since Blue Apron’s June IPO, its stock has slid 30%.

Private equity icon KKR prepped for the next generation. Co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts named two 40-something executives, Scott Nuttall and Joe Bae, as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers. Designating likely successors mirrors other firms like Berkshire Hathaway, but is a rare move in the private equity industry.

Hampton Creek’s entire board of directors quit. CEO Josh Tetrick is the only remaining board member after at least five of its directors stepped down, citing conflicts with Tetrick. Known for its eggless mayonnaise, the company was a hit in Silicon Valley until a series of controversies, the latest of which caused Target to pull its products from stores.

South Korea reached out to North Korea, offering to hold military and humanitarian talks at their heavily armed border this Friday and even to arrange reunions for families divided decades ago by the Korean War.

How the North responds will offer a gauge of the pro-dialogue policy of South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in.

The overture comes as the U.N. Security Council is discussing a new set of sanctions against the North over its recent ICBM test, and as a South Korean-born American peace activist, Christine Ahn, was denied entry by the South on the grounds that she might “hurt the national interests and public safety.”

The U.S. government’s top ethics watchdog, who is stepping down today, said the country is “pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.” President Trump’s repeated trips to his family’s business properties — including 40 to a family golf course — “creates the appearance of profiting from the presidency,” he said.

Mr. Trump continued to defend his eldest son, though revelations continued to grow about his meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer last year.

The Republicans health-care bill appears stalled for at least a week or two because of the absence of Senator John McCain. The cranial surgery he had on Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions implied.

In China, the cat-and-mouse game between the government and internet users reached a new level as a vast army of censors tried to scrub away the outpouring of grief on social media for the Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo last week.

It appears that even an image of Winnie-the-Pooh was censored, and some commenters saw a reason: the warmhearted bear of A.A. Milne’s children’s books shows a resemblance to President Xi Jinping.

Beijing is in the midst of a reconstruction project as sweeping as any since the 2008 Olympic...