Підозрюваний у захопленні людей в заручники на півдні Франції вбив трьох громадян і поранив ще 16, повідомив президент країни Емманюель Макрон.
За його словами, нападник убив двох людей у супермаркеті у місті Треб. Перед цим підозрюваний викрав автомобіль у сусідньому місті Каркасон, тоді він застрелив ще одного чоловіка, вважає влада Франції.
Макрон повідомив, що слідчі намагаються встановити, як підозрюваний здобув зброю і коли він був радикалізований. Президент заявив, що чоловік був відомий поліції як дрібний торговець наркотиками.
Французькі правоохоронці повідомляли, що 23 березня підозрюваний шість разів вистрелив у поліцейських у сусідньому Каркасоні, внаслідок чого був поранений у плече один із правоохоронців. Його стан не вважають тяжким. Після цього, за даними поліції, підозрюваний пішов до супермаркету в Требі, де захопив заручників.
За повідомленнями ЗМІ, нападник заявляв, що належить до екстремістського угруповання «Ісламська держава».
Прем’єр-міністр Франції Едуар Філіпп заявив, що захоплення заручників у місті Треб на південному заході Франції, ймовірно, є терористичним актом.
Пізніше міністр внутрішніх справ Франції Жерар Коломб повідомив, що поліція застрелила підозрюваного.
A journalist with Current Time TV has claimed that Russian nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky touched him inappropriately in 2006.
Renat Davletgildeyev made the allegation on his Facebook page and spoke about it with Timur Olevsky on Current Time TV, a Russian-language TV and digital network led by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in partnership with VOA. Zhirinovsky’s son, Duma deputy Igor Lebedev, called the accusations “nonsense.”
Рада директорів російського «Газпрому» обрала заступником голови правління компанії Михайла Путіна. Термін його повноважень на посаді члена правління триватиме п’ять років, заявили в «Газпромі».
З 2007 до 2018 року Михайло Путін був радником голови правління «Газпрому». У цей же період часу він працював заступником голови правління компанії «СОГАЗ». Михайло Путін закінчив Івановський державний медичний інститут імені А. С. Бубнова і Державну академію управління імені С. Орджонікідзе.
Речник президента Росії Дмитро Пєсков назвав Михайла Путіна «далеким родичем» глави держави Володимира Путіна.
«Мені не відомо, що в них є якесь спілкування, тобто вони фактично не спілкуються. Але якісь далекі родинні зв’язки справді є», – сказав Пєсков.
Видання «Коммерсант» називає Михайла Путіна двоюрідним племінником президента.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he has signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill into law Friday despite threats to veto the measure due to its lack of protections for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and because it does not fully fund his proposed border wall.
“I will never sign a bill like this again,” Trump said. He did sign the bill, which prevented a Friday midnight federal government shutdown. “Nobody read it. Its only hours old,” the president said of the nearly 2,200-page bill released Wednesday night.
A a hastily arranged White House media briefing, the Republican president blamed Democrats for the lack of protections for immigrants arrived under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“We want to include DACA in this bill. The Democrats would not do it,” the president said.
Trump called on congress to give him a “line item veto for all government spending bills” in the future.
The measure, which funds the federal government through September 30, was passed by Senate early Friday morning after the House of Representatives approved the measure on Thursday. Lawmakers had just hours to read the nearly 2,200-page bill released Wednesday night.
With midterm elections looming in November, the bill was likely the final time Capitol Hill considers major legislation this year. The law fulfills Trump’s vow to boost military funding but provides funding for limited parts of his immigration agenda. The law includes a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel.
After extensive negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, the law also provides $1.6 billion for physical barriers and 150 kilometers of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, short of the $25 billion Trump requested for the project he repeatedly touted on the campaign trail while pledging Mexico would pick up the cost.
“Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year…most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment,” Trump said on Twitter.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi touted the agreement in a letter to her Democratic colleagues, saying negotiators “fought for and achieved drastic reductions to the Trump/GOP plan,” including much less funding for the wall than Trump requested and a limit on the number of immigrants that can be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said there was “plenty” of compromise in the spending package and that members of his party “feel very good.”
“So many of our priorities for the middle class are included,” Schumer tweeted. “From opioid funding to rural broadband, from student loans to child care, this bill puts workers & families first.”
Despite Democrats’ efforts, the law makes no mention of protections for so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. They were protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that began in 2012. Trump, however, rescinded the program late last year while giving Congress six months to come up with a permanent plan for the immigrants.
Democrats had called on Republican leadership to bring to a vote on the House floor a range of proposals that would fix DACA. Federal judges have meanwhile ordered the Trump administration to keep in place certain parts of DACA while legal challenges continue.
Republicans hold majorities in both the House and Senate, but there was not universal support in the party for the bill.
Both parties touted the $4.6 billion in total funding to fight the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, and a record $3 billion increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health.
Speaker Ryan said the measure tackles a number of critical programs, including boosting defense spending and funding for the Veterans Administration, as well as opioid treatment and drug enforcement and improvements for roads, railways and airports.
Facing growing calls to address recent school shootings, lawmakers also included bipartisan legislation strengthening the federal background check system for gun purchases. The “Fix NICS” measure provides funding for states to comply with the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check system and penalize federal agencies that don’t comply.
“This doesn’t restrict gun rights in any way, shape or form,” Republican Rep. Tom Cole told reporters shortly before the vote. “The FIX NICS was very bipartisan and we all recognize there are gaps in the background system.”
It also includes money to improve school safety, including money for training school officials and law enforcement officers on how to identify signs of potential violence and intervene early, installing metal detectors and other steps to “harden” schools to prevent violence.
Подача води на неконтрольовану урядом частину Луганщини тимчасово припинена, повідомило Міністерство з питань тимчасово окупованих територій України у Twitter.
«Призупинено подачу води з Петрівської насосної станції на неконтрольовану частину Луганщини. Причина зупинки – аварійна ситуація на магістральному водоводі на непідконтрольній території», – повідомили в міністерстві.
Раніше Петрівську насосну станцію Попаснянського водоканалу неодноразово знеструмлювали через борги.
Верховна Рада України може розглянути кандидатів у члени Центральної виборчої комісії у квітні або травні, повідомив голова парламенту Андрій Парубій в інтерв’ю телеканалу «Рада».
«Ми вирішили найгостріші, ключові кадрові питання, які були на порядку денному сесії. У нас залишається ЦВК, але ми ще очікуємо закінчення спецперевірки кандидатів, бо не всі вони одночасно подали документи, дехто подав їх пізніше. І це наступне кадрове питання, яке стоїть на порядку денному у квітні-травні», – сказав Парубій.
5 лютого голова парламенту повідомив, що доручив відправити документи кандидатів у члени Центральної виборчої комісії на спецперевірку. Тоді він оприлюднив текст президентського подання, згідно з яким Петро Порошенко пропонує Раді розглянути 14 кандидатів у члени ЦВК.
1 червня 2014 року сплив семирічний термін повноважень 12 з 15 членів Центральної виборчої комісії.
While President Donald Trump’s new National Security Adviser John Bolton has said he would set aside his personal policy preferences and implement Trump’s policies, the new appointment sparks speculations that a review on the United States’ current one-China stance may be underway.
Bolton has long argued that Washington can play a “Taiwan card” to compel Beijing’s attention for its potentially destabilizing actions in East Asia and the South China Sea.
In a commentary published by the Wall Street Journal in 2016, Bolton said it was time to shake up U.S.-China relations.
“This may involve modifying or even jettisoning the ambiguous ‘one-China’ mantra, along with even more far-reaching initiatives to counter Beijing’s rapidly accelerating political and military aggressiveness in the South and East China seas,” wrote Bolton.
The Taiwanese government’s response to a potential change in U.S. policy has been low-key, while Beijing has brushed off speculation Washington is reviewing its one-China policy.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday the Chinese position on the policy “is very clear and the United States is very clear about this.”
“No matter who holds the position, the importance of Sino-U.S. relations is self-evident and there will be no change,” she added. “China and the United States respect each other, focus on cooperation, properly handle their differences to achieve a mutual beneficial and win-win result. This is consistent with the common interests of China and the United States, and is also the common expectation of the international community.”
A senior Taiwanese official said his government “is not doing anything or saying anything yet” on Bolton’s appointment to avoid unnecessary diplomatic repercussions.
Experts say Bolton, whose appointment does not require Senate confirmation, is likely to sharpen the Trump administration’s hawkish stance of “a position from strength” towards China, and “a real geopolitical competition with China.”
“Bolton claimed he would set aside his personal policy preferences and implement Trump’s policy, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t push for some of his long-standing priorities. Among those are regime change in North Korea and closer ties with Taiwan,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at Center for International and Strategic Studies.
Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, told VOA “Bolton will not only back the administration’s efforts to hit China with tariffs, but also support crucial allies and partners in their disputes with Beijing in the East and South China Seas as well as making sure Taiwan’s democracy is never tampered with.”
Kazianis added he expected the new National Security Adviser to “press for Taiwan to get a much more full-throated relationship with the U.S. — and very likely a full-up review of our ties with Taipei.”
New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rebounded more than expected in February after two straight monthly declines and shipments surged, which could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in business spending on equipment in the first quarter.
The Commerce Department’s report on Friday could prompt economists to raise their economic growth estimates for the first three months of the year. They were slashed last week after data showed retail sales fell in February for the third month in a row.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday painted an upbeat picture of the economy when it raised interest rates and forecast at least two more increases for 2018.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, jumped 1.8 percent last month. That was the biggest gain in five months and followed a downwardly revised 0.4 percent decrease in January.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast those orders rising only 0.8 percent in February after a previously reported 0.3 percent decline in January. Core capital goods orders increased 7.4 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Shipments of core capital goods increased 1.4 percent last month, the biggest advance since December 2016, after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in January. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government’s gross domestic product measurement.
They were previously reported to have slipped 0.1 percent in January. Business spending on equipment powered ahead in 2017 as companies anticipated a hefty reduction in the corporate income tax rate. The Trump administration slashed that rate to 21 percent from 35 percent effective in January.
U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data as investors worried that President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday of tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods could start a global trade war.
Prices of U.S. Treasuries were mixed while U.S. stock index futures were largely flat. The dollar fell against a basket of currencies.
Strong business spending
The surge in core capital goods orders in February suggests further gains. There had been concerns spending could slow sharply after double-digit growth in the past quarters.
Investment in equipment is likely to be bolstered by robust business confidence, strengthening global economic growth and a weakening dollar, which is boosting demand for U.S. exports.
That is helping to support manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of U.S. economic activity.
The strength in core capital goods shipments, together with a surge in industrial production in February, could help offset the impact of soft consumer spending on first-quarter growth.
The Atlanta Federal Reserve is forecasting gross domestic product increasing at a 1.8 percent annualized rate in the first three months of the year.
The government reported last month that the economy grew at a 2.5 percent pace in the fourth quarter. However, revisions to December data on construction spending, factory orders and wholesale inventories have suggested the fourth-quarter growth estimate could be raised to a 3.1 percent pace. The government will publish its third GDP estimate on Wednesday.
Last month, orders for machinery soared 1.6 percent. There were also hefty increases in orders of primary metals and electrical equipment, appliances and components.
Orders for computers and electronic products fell 0.2 percent, with bookings for communications equipment recording their biggest drop since December 2015.
Overall orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more, vaulted 3.1 percent last month as demand for transportation equipment soared 7.1 percent.
That followed a 3.5 percent tumble in January. Orders for motor vehicles and parts increased 1.6 percent last month after edging up 0.1 percent in January.
The Norwegian government proposed on Friday a nationwide ban on the wearing of full-face veils, such as the burqa and the niqab, in universities, schools, and kindergartens.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed restrictions on wearing full-face veils in public places.
If passes by parliament, Norway could become the first Nordic country to introduce such ban in the education sector, Finance Minister Siv Jensen said in a statement. Denmark plans to fine people who cover their face in public.
Jensen, who is also the leader of the anti-immigrant right-wing Progress Party, said the ban would send a strong signal that Norway is “an open society where we are going to see the face of each other.”
The government amended an initial proposal, first presented in June, to allow the wearing of full-face veils during breaks and staff meetings in schools and universities, but it would have to apply throughout working hours at kindergartens.
“A ban on face-covering garments will ensure open communication with children, students and newly arrived immigrants in educational situations,” Jan Tore Sanner, minister of knowledge and integration said in the statement. Sanner belongs to the center-right Conservatives.
Full and partial face veils such as burqas and niqabs divide opinion across Europe, setting advocates of religious freedom against secularists and those who argue that such garments are culturally alien or a symbol of the oppression of women.
The niqab covers everything but the eyes, while the burqa also covers the eyes with a transparent veil.
Under the Norwegian proposal, employees who broke the rule several times would risk losing their jobs, and students would face expulsion, the government said. The ban would not apply to headgear like the hijab or hats.
Local bans on wearing burqa and niqab have been already introduced in some upper secondary schools in Norway.
Norway’s minority government, a coalition of the Conservatives, the Progress Party and the centrist Liberals, said in June it was confident it would find enough support for the move in parliament. If it does, the ban would start in
Separately, Oslo police said in a report that the capital had seen the highest reported number of hate crimes last year, with 198 incidents considered, against 175 in 2016.
“The biggest increase we see among are women insulted in the category of religion, and more specifically Islam,” said the police in a statement.
Russia will likely prepare a list of restrictions on imported products from the United States in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, Moscow’s trade ministry said on Friday, according to Interfax news agency.
The announcement came after China threatened to retaliate to U.S. President Donald Trump’s measures, stoking fears of a looming global trade war.
“We will prepare our position, submit it to the Economy Ministry and apply to the WTO [the World Trade Organization],” Russia’s Deputy Trade Minister, Viktor Yevtukhov, said, according to Interfax.
“We will probably prepare proposals on the response measures. Restrictions against the American goods. I think that all countries will follow this path,” Yevtukhov added.
The United States has said the tariffs are needed to protect its national security and therefore do not need to be cleared by the WTO. Many trade experts disagree saying they fall under the jurisdiction of the Geneva-based global trade body.
Russian steel and aluminum producers have been playing down the potential impact of the U.S. tariffs. But Russia’s Trade Ministry said there would be an impact.
Russian steel and aluminum producers may lose $2 billion and $1 billion, respectively, from the U.S. tariffs introduction, Yevtukhov said, citing preliminary estimates for the Trade Ministry. It was not clear whether he was referring to annual losses.
China’s commerce ministry said on Friday that the country was planning measures against up to $3 billion of U.S. imports to balance the steel and aluminum tariffs, with a list of 128 U.S. products that could be targeted.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a memo paving the way for major tariffs on Chinese imports. It’s part of Trump’s plan to crack down on China’s theft of intellectual property. But many U.S. farmers are worried the tariffs will prompt China to retaliate against their products. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh and Bill Gallo report on what some fear could be just the start of significant trade friction between Washington and Beijing.
The son of a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea is hoping against hope that his father will be released in conjunction with the unexpected summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I’m thankful that President Trump is going to have this summit. I’m thankful for his work and what he’s doing. I’m hoping the issue of my dad and other detainees would be brought up,” said Sol Kim in an interview with Voice of America’s Korean Service on Wednesday.
His father, Kim Sang Duk, whose American name is Tony Kim, has been detained in North Korea since April 22, 2017 when he was arrested at Pyongyang International Airport. North Korean state media reported that Kim had been arrested for “committing criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn” the country and he was held in custody pending a “detailed investigation into his crime.”
Last week’s surprise Stockholm meeting between North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and his Swedish counterpart, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, set off speculation that Sweden would be a possible location for the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
The meeting also brought the issue of Tony Kim and two other Americans to the fore as Sweden is thought to be negotiating with North Korea for release of the U.S. detainees. Sweden has maintained relations with North Korea since 1973 and is one of the few Western countries with an embassy in Pyongyang. It provides consular services for the U.S. in North Korea.
However, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Wednesday “there’s nothing under way” although seeking the detainees release is “a high priority for this administration.”
Sol Kim said he has not heard anything from the State Department about his father’s possible return.
Sol Kim and his family members and friends have been sending letters to Tony Kim via the State Department, hoping that, somehow, the letters would wind up with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang for delivery.
“But I think the letters have not gone [to him] … We just don’t know,” Sol Kim said.
Accountant turned professor
Tony Kim, a former accountant turned professor, had been in North Korea teaching international finance and management to students at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), the only private university in the country.
He also taught at PUST’s affiliate institution in China, the Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST) in Yanji, for more than 15 years. While at the Yanbian University, the 59-year-old professor made numerous trips to North Korea to teach at PUST after it opened in 2010.
PUST was founded by an evangelical Christian and funded from outside North Korea after the regime authorized the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture to establish PUST. The school has more than sixty foreign faculty members from China, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and other European countries, according to its website.
Sol Kim, a 27-year-old graduate student in Southern California, visited North Korea as his father”s teaching assistant.
“I got to see students study. … I got to spend time playing sports after class time. We’d eat and share meals together,” Sol Kim said. “They were very curious. They worked hard. It was a positive experience.”
The Olympics thaw
Sol Kim began speaking out about getting his dad released as tensions began thawing on the Korean Peninsula during the Winter Olympics.
When he heard about the summit between the U.S. and North Korea, Sol Kim ramped up his efforts to get his father released. He talks to the State Department every week. He’s posted on YouTube and launched #USA3.
“I think the response was good. I don’t know how many people read but people would repost or retweet, sharing with their friends,” said Sol Kim.
“They are encouraging for me. I’m not … doing this to get millions and millions of views,” he said. “But the fact that people took the time to share and hear the messages … was encouraging.”
Sol Kim has messages for his father, ones he hopes reach the elder Kim … somehow: “We miss him a lot. I love him. We want him to know that he’ll be becoming a grandpa soon. I look forward to seeing him again.”
The last time he had word of his father was when Joseph Yun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy who retired early this month, visited North Korea in June 2017 to secure the release of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died shortly after his release in a comatose state. Warmbier’s death prompted Trump to issue a ban on U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea.
Two other U.S. citizens, all ethnic Koreans Kim Hak Song and Kim Dong Chul are also detained in North Korea on charges of conducting anti-state activities to overthrow the North Korean government.
Christy Lee contributed to this report which originated on VOA’s Korean Service.
The British police officer who was poisoned by a nerve agent when he tried to help an ex-Russian spy and his daughter was released from the hospital Thursday.
“There are really no words to explain how I feel right now,” Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey said in a statement. “Surreal is the word that keeps coming up. … I’m just a normal person with a normal life.”
Bailey was hospitalized for three weeks in the southwestern English city of Salisbury.
The apparent intended target of the poisoning — former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia — are still unconscious and in critical condition.
Bailey rushed to their aid after finding them passed out on a bench near a shopping center on March 4.
Samples of their blood will be tested by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to try to determine exactly what kind of nerve agent was released.
Britain blames Russia for the poisoning.
Prime Minsiter Teresa May accused the Kremlin on Thursday of staging a “brazen and reckless attack … the incident in Salisbury was part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbors, from the western Balkans to the Middle East.”
Britain has expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Russia denies any involvement and expelled an equal number of British officials from Moscow.
The White House shake-up continues as President Donald Trump announced he is replacing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
“I am very thankful for the services of General H.R. McMaster, who has done an outstanding job and will always remain my friend,” Trump tweeted late Thursday.
Bolton is currently an analyst with Fox News. He has a reputation as a tough-talking conservative who was backed military action against Iran and North Korea and has taken a hard line against Russia.
Президент Європейської ради Дональд Туск заявляє, що лідери ЄС погоджуються з тим, що, «дуже ймовірно», Росія відповідальна за отруєння колишнього російського шпигуна в Британії.
Як написав Туск у твітері, лідери Євросоюзу наголошують, що «немає іншого правдоподібного пояснення» отруєнню Сергія Скрипала та його дочки.
Екс-розвідника Сергія Скрипаля та його дочку Юлію виявили 4 березня непритомними на лавці в парку Солсбері на півдні Великої Британії. Пізніше британські слідчі встановили, що їх отруїли нервово-паралітичною речовиною з серії «Новачок», яку розробили в Росії (СРСР). 66-річний Сергій Скрипаль та його 33-річна дочка Юлія перебувають у лікарні в «критичному, але стабільному» стані.
14 березня прем’єр-міністр Великої Британії Тереза Мей звинуватила Росію в отруєнні Скрипаля і його дочки й оголосила про вислання 23 російських дипломатів. Цей захід підтримали в адміністрації президента США. Про розробку схожих санкцій також оголосив президент Франції.
17 березня Росія оголосила про вислання 23 британських дипломатів, скасувала поновлення роботи генконсульства Британії в Санкт-Петербурзі, а також заявила про припинення діяльності Британської ради.
Президент Росії Володимир Путін заперечив причетність його країни до отруєння Сергія Скрипаля та його дочки.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday initiating actions to consider imposing tariffs on a long list of nearly 1,300 Chinese imported products worth about $60 billion.
The move could limit China’s ability to invest in the U.S. technology industry, setting the stage for a possible trade war with Beijing.
The decision to take action is a result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. trade representative to determine whether Beijing’s trade practices may be “unreasonable or discriminatory” and may be “harming American intellectual property rights, innovation or technology development.” After a seven-month investigation, the USTR’s office found the policies were in violation.
At the signing ceremony, Trump said, “We have a tremendous intellectual property theft going on.”
He said the U.S. wants reciprocal trade and tariff deals with China and other countries. “If they charge us, we charge them the same thing,” Trump said at the White House ceremony.
He also blamed the “unfair Chinese trade practices” for the U.S. trade deficit with China, which has reached a record $375 billion on his watch.
Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America’s massive trade deficit — $566 billion last year — by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive commercial practices by U.S. trading partners.
The investigation concluded that China “uses foreign ownership restrictions, including joint venture requirements, equity limitations and other investment restrictions to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies to Chinese entities.”
Trade associations representing a wide range of the business community said they largely agreed with criticism of China’s intellectual property practices, but criticized the tariffs as a poor remedy that could ultimately harm U.S. businesses and raise prices for consumers.
Earlier this week, some of the largest American retailers and tech companies, including Walmart and Apple, urged Trump to carefully consider the impact the tariffs would have on consumer prices.
“As you continue to investigate harmful technology and intellectual property practices, we ask that any remedy carefully consider the impact on consumer prices,” a coalition of more than 40 business groups, led by the Information Technology Industry Council, said Sunday in a letter to the president.
“As the industry closest to consumers, retailers know firsthand how high tariffs will hurt American families,” the letter continued.
The prospect of a trade war sent markets plummeting, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down 724 points, almost 3 percent, its biggest drop in six weeks.
Global trade conflagration
Bloomberg Economics estimated a global trade conflagration could wipe $470 billion off the world economy by 2020.
As news of the impending announcement spread, China announced it was preparing tariffs of its own on U.S. soybeans, sorghum and live hogs.
“China will not sit idly to see its legitimate rights damaged and must take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights,” the Commerce Ministry in Beijing said in a statement on its website.
The Trump administration has said it is simply taking long overdue action following years of unfair Chinese trading practices that they argue previous administrations have insufficiently countered.
Peter Navarro, Trump’s hawkish top trade adviser, said that the administration had decided on the tariffs in lockstep and that the U.S. had opted to take tariff actions after dialogues with China over the past 15 years failed to change Chinese behavior significantly.
The tariffs will be subject to a 15-day comment period before the U.S. trade representative finalizes the move. Other measures, including new restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S., will take longer.
Stocks plunged Thursday after the Trump administration slapped sanctions on goods and investment from China. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 700 points as investors feared that trade tensions between the world’s largest economies would escalate.
The planned sanctions include tariffs on $48 billion worth of Chinese imports as well as restrictions on Chinese investments. Trump said he’s taking those steps in response to theft of American technology, and the Chinese government said it will defend itself. Investors are worried that trade tensions would hurt U.S. companies and harm the world economy.
On Thursday they fled stocks and bought bonds, which sent bond prices higher and yields lower. With interest rates falling, banks took some of the worst losses. Technology and industrial companies, basic materials makers and health care companies also fell sharply.
Peter Donisanu, an investment strategy analyst for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said the risk of a damaging trade war is still low because the Trump administration is targeting specific goods that aren’t central to China’s economy. That could change if it puts tariffs on products like electronics or appliances imported from China.
“If the Trump administration really wanted to hurt China and start a trade war, then they would go after those larger sectors,” he said. Still, Donisanu said that after last year’s rally, investors are looking for new reasons to feel optimistic about stocks. With trade tensions in focus over the last month, they’ve had trouble finding any.
The S&P 500 index skidded 68.24 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,643.69. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 724.42 points, or 2.9 percent, to 23,957.89. The Nasdaq composite gave up 178.61 points, or 2.4 percent, to 7,166.68. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 35.43 points, or 2.2 percent, to 1,543.87.
Construction equipment maker Caterpillar fell $8.90, or 5.7 percent, to $146.90, for its worst loss since mid-2016. Aerospace company Boeing slid $17.49, or 5.2 percent, to $319.61.
Investors also sold some of the market’s biggest recent winners. Among technology companies, Microsoft fell $2.69, or 2.9 percent, to $89.79 and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, fell $40.85, or 3.7 percent, to $1,053.15. Online retailer Amazon slid $36.94, or 2.3 percent, to $1,544.92.
Earlier this month the Trump administration ordered tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and stocks dropped as investors worried about the possibility of tougher restrictions on international trade and smaller profits for corporations.
Their fears eased when the administration said some countries will be exempt from the tariffs. That continued Thursday, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the tariffs won’t apply to the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Australia.
Donisanu, of Wells Fargo, said the Trump administration isn’t hostile to trade necessarily, but wants to get other countries to revise the terms of America’s trade deals.
“This is probably intended to get China to get more serious in discussions around violations of intellectual property rights and addressing those issues,” he said.
Bond prices climbed, sending yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.82 percent from 2.88 percent. Falling bond yields are bad for banks because they force interest rates on loans lower. Bank of America lost $1.32, or 4.1 percent, to $30.55 and JPMorgan Chase gave up $4.79, or 4.2 percent, to $109.95.
Utility companies and real estate investment trusts moved higher. When bond yields decline, investors often bid up those stocks and others that pay big dividends.
The decline in rates comes a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and said the U.S. economy and the job market continued to improve over the last two months. The Fed expects to raise rates three times this year, although some investors think a fourth increase is possible. The Fed also said it might raise rates three more times next year instead of two.
Overseas markets closed mostly lower.
Німецький парламент затвердив плани про продовження військової місії країни в Афганістані.
Більшість законодавців проголосували за схвалення законопроекту про збільшення максимальної кількості німецьких військових, розміщених в Афганістані в рамках місії із рішучої підтримки НАТО, до 1300.
Це рішення схвалили, оскільки уряд, підтриманий західними урядами в Кабулі, намагається відбити атаки Талібану та інших угруповань бойовиків після виведення більшості військ НАТО в 2014 році.
Раніше цього місяця німецький міністр оборони Урсула фон дер Ляєн зазначив, що збільшення кількості німецьких військ має поєднуватися з прискореними реформами уряду Афганістану. Вона також попередила, що місія військовослужбовців в Афганістані може тривати деякий час, кажучи, що «ми потребуємо терпіння».
Останні 17 років Німеччина долучалася до місій НАТО в Афганістані.
Німецькі військові мають штаб-квартиру в Афганістані в північному місті Мазарі-Шаріф та велику базу біля Кундузу.