India imposes retaliatory tariffs on US, as global trade war widens

Annie Gowen | The Washington Post

NEW DELHI – India joined the European Union and other U.S. trading partners in retaliating against the Trump administration’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum Thursday by raising import duties on a variety of goods, including almonds, apples and some metal products.

India had notified the World Trade Organization on June 14 of its decision to increase tariffs on more than two dozen goods from the United States. It is a $241 million measure that matches the amount of steel and aluminum import duty expected to be collected from India by the United States after the Trump administration imposed the measures earlier this year. More than a third of that number comes from almonds, as India is the world’s biggest buyer of U.S.-grown almonds.

India finalized its decision during a week when the global trade war escalated, with the United States enacting $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, and the European Union imposing $3 billion in levies on such products as U.S.-made bourbon, peanut butter and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Trump has erroneously called out India for its “100 percent” tariffs on Harleys; in fact India lowered its tariffs on high-end motorcycles from a range of 60-70 percent to 50 percent. The new tariffs will go into affect Aug. 4.

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Economists noted that the amount of money involved with India’s levies dwarfed in comparison with that of China – U.S.-India trade was $126 billion last year, while U.S.-China trade was $635 billion – but that the gesture had important symbolism and could forecast further strain between the two friendly democracies at time when its diplomats are working to deepen military ties.

With its move, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Report: Tabloid ran stories by Trump before publishing

By Sarah Ellison | Washington Post

During the presidential campaign, National Enquirer executives sent digital copies of the tabloid’s articles and cover images related to Donald Trump and his political opponents to Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen in advance of publication, according to three people with knowledge of the matter – an unusual practice that speaks to the close relationship between Trump and David Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company.

Although the company strongly denies ever sharing such material before publication, these three individuals say the sharing of material continued after Trump took office.

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“Since Trump’s become president and even before, [Pecker] openly just has been willing to turn the magazine and the cover over to the Trump machine,” said one of the people with knowledge of the practice.

During the campaign, “if it was a story specifically about Trump, then it was sent over to Michael, and as long as there were no objections from him, the story could be published,” this person added.

The Enquirer’s alleged sharing of material pre-publication with Trump’s attorney during the campaign highlights the support the tabloid news outlet offered Trump as he ran for president. It also intersects with a subject that federal prosecutors have been investigating since earlier this year: Cohen’s efforts to quash negative stories about Trump during the campaign. As part of that, prosecutors are also looking into whether Cohen broke campaign finance laws, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Earlier this week, federal prosecutors subpoenaed American Media Inc. as part of their investigation into Cohen, according to the Wall Street Journal. A Justice Department official said Pecker did not fall under the regulation that governs …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Editorial: Trump tacitly admits lie about splitting families

It was a lie all along.

For over a month, President Trump falsely claimed that the law required him to separate children from parents arrested at the border. He said that Democrats were to blame.

But there was no such law. On Wednesday, facing national outcry, Trump issued an executive order to keep the families together. It was a tacit admission that his prior claims of helplessness were bogus.

Moreover, it doesn’t address the bigger issue — the need for comprehensive immigration reform that balances border security with the reality that we now have generations of undocumented immigrants who have grown up here and are, for all intents and purposes, Americans.

We need reform with compassion that recognizes that people trying to cross our borders — legally or illegally — are often fleeing violence and gang activity in Central America or civil war in Syria, or simply seeking a way out of abject poverty.

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For now, all the president has done is defuse, perhaps only temporarily, a political and human rights crisis of his own making.

This crisis was created because Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April chose to implement a “zero tolerance” policy that requires criminally charging anyone attempting illegal entry into the country.

The issue then became, and still is, what to do with the accompanying children. A 1997 consent decree prohibits the federal government from keeping them in custody for more than 20 days. That’s why more than 2,300 boys and girls have been separated from their parents since April.

A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico Border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Trump airs grievances, demands more credit – for just about everything

Philip Rucker, Jenna Johnson | The Washington Post

DULUTH, Minn. – President Donald Trump feels wronged.

Standing at center stage in a hockey arena here, delivering a rollicking speech that harkened back to the glory days of his 2016 campaign, Trump was simmering with frustration.

Trump said he felt wronged that he was not given more credit for his historic meeting last week in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Wronged that his administration’s move to separate migrant children from their parents at the border garnered round-the-clock news coverage.

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Wronged that the media are not instead focused on this week’s congressional hearings over a Department of Justice inspector general report, and wronged that the report backed up the FBI’s decision not to charge Hillary Clinton with crimes.

Wronged that he has to share some of the credit for the good economy with his predecessor, former president Barack Obama.

Wronged that the media does not focus enough attention on the size of his crowds.

Wronged that a handful of protesters interrupted his rally speech.

And wronged that, after defying the predictions of political experts to become elected president as a populist hero, he still is not considered part of the nation’s elite.

“You ever notice they always call the other side ‘the elite,’ ” Trump asked. “The elite! Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do. I’m smarter than they are. I’m richer than they are. I became president and they didn’t.”

Trump’s electric connection with his supporters is powered in part by his propensity to speak his mind, and he did not disappoint on Wednesday night. The president veered from his prepared script repeatedly to air his grievances before …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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