Tag: US

TRUMP THREATENS FURTHER $100BN IN TARIFFS AGAINST CHINA

China auto factoryUS President Donald Trump has instructed officials to consider a further $100bn (£71.3bn) of tariffs against China, in an escalation of a tense trade stand-off.

These would be in addition to the $50bn worth of US tariffs already proposed on hundreds of Chinese imports.

The proposal comes after China retaliated to that by threatening tariffs on 106 key US products. The tit-for-tat moves have unsettled global markets in recent weeks.

Analysts have said a full blown trade war between the US and China would not be good for the global economy or markets – and that ongoing behind-the-scenes negotiations between the two giants were crucial.

But market reaction in Asia trade on Friday suggested investors were not too troubled by the latest twist, and that trade war fears were somewhat exaggerated.

In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was in positive territory, up 1.3%. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was also trading higher in the afternoon session.

FACEBOOK ADMITS TO FAR HIGHER NUMBER OF DATA BREACHES

Silhouettes of cellphone users in front of a screen displaying the Facebook logo (Reuters/D. Ruvic)Facebook said on Wednesday that 87 million people may have had their personal data leaked to Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm that used the data to try to influence elections in the US and UK.

The social media giant admitted last month that 50 million users’ data had been leaked, after two newspapers, The New York Times and The Observer, broke the story based on their investigations of Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, released the new figures on Wednesday as he unveiled a new set of privacy tools for users of the social network.

“In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people mostly in the US  may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” he said.

TRUMP VENTS ANGER ON IMMIGRANT PROGRAMME

US President Donald Trump has reasserted his opposition to legalising the status of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

He declared on Twitter that Republicans should “go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws [on illegal migrants] NOW”.

He accused Mexico of doing “very little, if not NOTHING”, to stop migrants crossing its northern border. The top candidates for Mexico’s presidency have hit out at Mr Trump.

Mr Trump also threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Continue reading

OLDEST US GUN MAKER FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

A salesperson holds a Remington handgun at Chuck"s Firearms in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 13 February 2018.

The oldest gun manufacturer in the US, Remington Outdoor, has filed for bankruptcy in the wake of slumping sales.

The firm, founded more than 200 years ago, filed for bankruptcy protection to cut a deal with its creditors.

Remington’s chief financial officer said the company’s sales dropped significantly in the year before its bankruptcy, court papers show. The filing comes amid fresh demands for greater gun control in the US. Continue reading

TRUMP URGES DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG DEALERS

US President Donald Trump has called for drug traffickers to face the death penalty as part of his plan to combat the US painkiller-addiction epidemic.

He outlined the proposal during a speech in New Hampshire, a state badly affected by the opioid crisis.

Mr Trump said his administration was attempting to change the law to execute drug dealers, but it will face stiff political and judicial headwinds. Opioids are a class of drugs including prescription painkillers and heroin. Continue reading

DONALD TRUMP SIGNS TAIWAN TRAVEL ACT, DRAWING CHINA’S IRE

Protester holds Taiwanese and US flags

US President Donald Trump has signed a law promoting official exchanges between the US and Taiwan. The move could further strain US-China ties.

Trump on Friday signed legislation promoting contacts between Washington officials and their Taiwanese counterparts, angering China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory.

The Taiwan Travel Act will allow unrestricted two-way travel for officials from the United States and Taiwan, thus restoring direct official US contacts with the self-ruled island, which were cut in 1979 when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The White House said the bill, which was passed unanimously by Congress, would go into effect on Saturday morning even without the president’s signature.

The United States still does not have formal ties with Taiwan, but is required by law to help it with self-defense.

SWEDEN PLEDGE TO SUPPORT HISTORIC US-NORTH KOREA DIALOGUE

Sweden’s top diplomat said Friday that her country stands ready to assist the United States and North Korea in moving forward a historic dialogue between the two nations.

Briefing reporters between meetings with her North Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said that the “security situation (on) the Korean Peninsula is of interest to the whole world” and that the Swedish government “values this opportunity to arrange a meeting” between the traditional foes.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is in Stockholm for two days of talks with Wallstrom. His arrival in the Swedish capital is the first significant diplomatic move by Pyongyang since President Donald Trump said a week ago he would be willing to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
“We believe in dialogue and the political process, but we are not naïve,” Wallstrom said. “We are hoping that if we can use our role and also our contacts there, we will put it to the best use, and then it’s for the parties to decide.”
Earlier on Friday, Ri also met Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, the latter’s press secretary, Erik Nises, told journalist. “They met this morning and discussed the same issues that are being discussed during this trip, such as the security situation,” he said.
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