Molasses explode across the country against Bolsonaro and the devastation of the Amazon
Thousands of Brazilians protested with panellos in various cities in Brazil against Jair Bolsonaro and the devastation of the Amazon stimulated by him. During a radio and TV chain statement, Bolsonaro attributed the increase in burning to dry weather. Meanwhile, Brazilians were beating pans and asking for their departure. The hashtag # panelaço is Twitter’s most talked about subject
247 – Jair Bolsonaro was targeted by panellists in various parts of the country on Friday evening, 23, during a televised address in which he spoke about the devastation of the Amazon Forest due to fires and deforestation.
The reason is Bolsonaro’s destructive and negligent environmental policy that has been causing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which burns in flames due to the increasing burning in his government.
The climate of widespread indignation against the government is the same as can be observed between 2015 and 2016. The movement led to a popular outcry that chanced the impeachment process of former president Dilma Rousseff.
Check below the repercussions of the first panelaço of the “new era”, which was recorded in countless regions all over the country.
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)
In ‘New India’, noose tightening on corruption, nepotism: PM Modi in France
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in Paris during his visit to France on Friday amidst chants of “Modi hai to Mumkin hai” at the UNESCO headquarters.
INDIAUpdated: Aug 23, 2019 17:21 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was the strength of 1.25 billion Indians that had powered the big decisions taken by his government in the first 75-days of re-election amidst chants of “Modi hai to Mumkin hai” during his address to the Indian diaspora at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Friday..
He listed criminalizing the practice of “Triple Talaq” and indirectly referred to removal of the “temporary” provision of Article 370 that had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir along with several other welfare schemes among the “big” decisions taken by his government.
“Triple Talaq, was an inhuman practice, we have ended the practice that hung like a sword over hundreds of thousands of Muslim women for years,” he said, adding that his government had set some goals for the country that were considered “impossible to achieve earlier”. He listed the “record number of new bank accounts” and the beneficiaries under PM’s Central health scheme as some important milestones.
“We have showed red card to several evil social practices in the last five years,” he said and added “In new India, the way in which action is being taken against corruption, nepotism, loot of people’s money, terrorism, this has never happened before.”
Watch | Modi’s Paris diplomacy: Macron fully backs India’s stand on Kashmir issue
Modi’s Paris diplomacy: Macron fully backs India’s stand on Kashmir issue
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed media with French president Emanuel Macron on the first day of his three-nation tour. He spoke about Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s diplomatic campaign against India.
Current Time 0:00
“There was no place for temporary in India,” he said in a veiled reference to his government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “It took us 70-years to remove temporary,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the mandate given to him in 2019 elections was “not just to run India but to create a new India”, adding that the country had seen “several positive developments in the last five-years during which the youth, women, farmers and the poor were put at the center of government’s programmers.” He also said that several studies had confirmed rapid eradication of poverty in India.
The Prime Minister, who is on day long visit to France, said India-France ties were beyond friendship. There was no single platform in the world where the two countries had not worked together. So, I devote this day to India-France relations,” he said.
He said India and France partnership could be summed up by combining words “IN” (for India) with “FRA” (for France) to create “INFRA”. INFRA, he said, represented the joint efforts between the two nations in the field of “Solar Infra”, “Technical Infra” and “Space Infra” among others.
A robot deployed on one of the darkest asteroids in the solar system may now shed light on the origins of some of the oldest, rarest meteorites, a new study finds.
These findings suggest that this asteroid formed during a collision of two very different space rocks, the scientists said. The research also suggests that dust may float off this asteroid, possibly driven by electric fields.
In 2018, the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 arrived at Ryugu, a 2,950-foot-wide (900 meters) near-Earth asteroid that is one of the darkest celestial bodies in the solar system. Its name, which means “dragon palace,” refers to a magical underwater castle in a Japanese folktale.
One reason scientists may want to learn more about Ryugu is because its orbit brings it close — potentially dangerously close — to Earth.
“Knowing the composition and geological structure of asteroids and comets is essential to [developing] mitigation strategies in the case of potential collision scenarios,” study lead author Ralf Jaumann, a planetary scientist at the Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, told Space.com.
In addition, previous research suggested Ryugu may contain primordial material from the nebula that gave birth to the sun and its planets. Hayabusa2 is designed to return samples from the asteroid to shed light on the formation of the solar system.
The first image captured by the MASCOT rover during its descent to Ryugu’s surface.
(Image credit: Jaumann et al., Science (2019))
To investigate Ryugu’s surface, Hayabusa2 deployed the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander. This shoebox-size robot took photos both as it dropped from the main Hayabusa2 spacecraft onto Ryugu and after it landed on the asteroid’s surface, where it operated for a little more than 17 hours before its batteries ran out.
“To have this small lander reaching the surface and providing detailed images of the surface was very exciting,” Jaumann said.
MASCOT found Ryugu was covered with two kinds of rocks and boulders — one dark with a cauliflower-like, crumbly surface and the other bright with smooth faces and sharp edges. Both types are nearly evenly distributed on the surface of the asteroid, suggesting Ryugu was a pile of rubble that coalesced after two parent bodies crashed into one another, “indicating a violent history of asteroid collision,” Jaumann said.
Close-up images of Ryugu’s dark, rough stones revealed they often seem to possess small, colored inclusions similar to those found in one of the most primitive and rare types of meteorites, known as carbonaceous chondrites.
“Carbonaceous material is the primordial material of the solar system, from which all planets and moons originate,” Jaumann said. “Thus, if we want to understand planetary formation, including the formation of Earth, we need to understand its building parts.” He said the new findings support long-standing speculation that carbonaceous chondrites come from C-type asteroids — dark-gray, carbon-rich space rocks such as Ryugu.
Unexpectedly, the MASCOT images of Ryugu showed no fine dust, which scientists had expected would accumulate on the asteroid’s surface due to micrometeoroid impacts and other forms of weathering. The mission’s predecessor, Hayabusa, found that another rubble-pile asteroid, Itokawa, also seemed dust-free.
The researchers suggested that some as-yet-unknown force removes dust from Ryugu’s surface. Electric fields on the asteroid might cause dust to float away, Jaumann said, or micrometeoroid impacts and seismic vibrations could be responsible.
The scientists detailed their findings online on Aug. 22 in the journal Science.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY “SHINE’)
China says US, Canada staged political farce on Huawei executive’s detention
09:51 UTC+8, 2019-08-24
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court appearance in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019.
The United States and Canada have echoed each other, distorted facts and staged a political farce on the matter of a Huawei senior executive’s detention, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday.
The remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland commented on the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou by Canada and the detention of two Canadians by China.
When meeting with the press on Thursday in Ottawa, Canada, Pompeo said that the “arbitrary detention” of two Canadian citizens in China was a “fundamentally different matter than the Canadian decision to apply the rule of law that’s consistent with the way decent nations work.”
The extradition of Meng is not a political matter, Freeland said.
Spokesperson Geng Shuang tore apart these remarks at a routine press briefing, saying the US side trumped up Meng’s case and resorted to state power to crack down on Chinese high-tech enterprises, while the Canadian side played an inglorious part in the process.
Meng’s case is a serious political incident, while the two Canadians, Michael John Kovrig and Spavor Michael Peter Todd, were arrested on suspicion of crimes against state security, Geng said.
What the United States and Canada have done to Meng is true “arbitrary detention,” he added, saying that out of pure political motivation, the two countries have abused the bilateral extradition treaty and severely violated a Chinese citizen’s legitimate rights and interests.
Geng called on other countries to be vigilant to avoid falling into the “American trap.”
He also urged Canada and the United States to earnestly deal with China’s serious concern, correct its mistakes, release Meng immediately and let her return home safe and sound.
When meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Freeland on the same day, Pompeo said it is wrong that the two Canadians were being held and the US side is focused on helping them be released.
Geng refuted Pompeo’s remarks by stressing that China is a country under the rule of law, and that China’s judicial organs handle cases independently and protect the legitimate rights of Canadian citizens in accordance with the law.
“The cases of Canadian citizens have nothing to do with the United States. The US side is not entitled to make irresponsible remarks,” Geng said.
Source: Xinhua Editor: Wang Qingchu
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You’ve watched cartoon characters sink into it, seen depictions of it on the Silver Screen, and may have even heard a tale or two about it, but is quicksand even real? Maybe it’s not something you’ve ever considered, but there is a real possibility that the notion of quicksand was a fictional creation. Even if you’ve heard stories about run-ins with it, have you ever met somebody who’s actually come face to face with quicksand?
Since it’s likely a question that’s been burning a hole in your mind, it seems appropriate to answer the question once and for all: Is quicksand a real thing?
Does quicksand exist?
The short answer is: yes. While it may sound like the creation of a science-fiction writer, quicksand is absolutely real. Just as depicted in the movies, quicksand appears to have a solid state, but when touched, turns into a gelatinous liquid that can trap a person. Though it has the word “sand” in its name, quicksand is not just an unstable patch of solid granules. It’s a non-Newtonian liquid, meaning it doesn’t follow the characteristics of Newton’s Law of Viscosity.
While composed of sand, quicksand’s qualities are due to the 30% to 70% of air found between each grain. There is another component to the unusual formation, however, that helps give it that thick consistency.
It’s more than just sand
Along with the air-filled space, quicksand is comprised of a third component — water. Since there is such a space between the grains of sand, when there is a vibration or added weight, they become unstable. With these disturbances, water separates from the grains, causing the liquid-like consistency. As it loses viscosity, the patch of quicksand becomes unable to hold up any weight. Anything that crosses it, from a small animal to a human, will start to sink.
Quicksand is often depicted as a death trap, but with the proper reaction, getting caught in it is not a dooming scenario.
When a living organism gets caught in quicksand, its gut reaction is panic. Even humans, who can more readily process what’s happening to them, will struggle against the downward force of sinking.
Rather than struggle, a victim of quicksand should stick to calm movements. The slower they move, the less viscous the quicksand will get. With the sinking slowed, rather than try to pull themselves out, the individual should spread their arms and legs to increase surface area. An increased surface area will cause them to float.
Where does quicksand form?
Though it may sound scary, quicksand isn’t commonplace all over the world. Patches of quicksand are found near springs and riverbanks, where the motion of the water causes additional space between the grains of sand.
Desert environments can also experience quicksand, though these instances aren’t caused by water. Instead, it’s the downward motion of the wind near sand dunes that create space, leading to the viscous terrain.
A rare occurrence in nature
While not quite the same as it’s depicted in fictional stories, quicksand does exist, though your chances of coming across a patch are incredibly low. For now, you can marvel at the oddities of quicksand from afar, popping on the occasional TV series or movie that depicts the phenomenon. At least now you can quell that lingering worry in the back of your mind that a random patch of sand may swallow you into the Earth.
4 Things You Never Knew About the Leaning Tower of Pisa
A historical site turned Instagram photo background, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a sight to behold, but it is often relegated to being the butt of an age-old joke. Is that person really holding up the tilting tower? Completed in 1372, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has a storied history that’s painted all over its lopsided construction.
While it’s not difficult to determine something went wrong during its build, there are far more fascinating facts about the Italian tower.
Test your knowledge!
In which U.S. state can you find this otherworldly lake?
Benito Mussolini Was Ashamed of the Tower
When Mussolini took over Italy and aimed to strengthen the presence of fascism, he targeted different aspects of the country. As odd as it may seem, among them was the Leaning Tower of Pisa. According to Mussolini, the tower wasn’t the best symbol for Fascist Italy. Ashamed of the historic structure, he ordered that the tilt be reversed.
Under Mussolini’s orders, engineers drilled into the foundation. Approximately 200 tons of concrete was poured into each hole in an attempt to correct the slant. Once the concrete was in place, Mussolini saw a change in the tilt, but not the one he sought. The Leaning Tower of Pisa fell another few inches south, increasing the tilt.
It’s Not the Only Leaning Tower
Though the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most well-known structure, it’s far from the only tower built on unstable ground. There are 10 leaning towers in Italy, including Campanile of San Nicola, Campanile of San Michele degli Scalzi, and others in Venice, Bologna, Caorle, Burano, and Rome.
Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, many of them were built on ground that can’t sustain the weight of the structure. The Campanile of San Martino, Santo Stefano, Basilica di San Pietro di Castello, and San Giorgio were constructed on the soft grounds of Venice.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is joined by two additional leaning towers — Campanile of San Michele degli Scalzi and Campanile of San Nicola.
The Lean Direction Has Changed Over Time
It may seem implausible, but the Leaning Tower of Pisa hasn’t always tilted toward the south. In attempts to completely fix the original slant, engineers have frequently implemented different techniques. Original attempts were thwarted by the center of gravity, and recent plans led to the Leaning Tower of Pisa switching which side it leaned toward.
In 1995, one method involved freezing and use of steel cables. The result was an increased lean. While some attempts have led to worse results, crews have been able to correct the tilt marginally. Ultimately, engineers have been able to return it to the degree of tilt it was at in 1838.
It Took 200 Years to Built
On August 14, 1173, construction on the Leaning Tower of Pisa began. What could have been a relatively simple job was exacerbated by the ground of Pisa. The soft soil led to immediate issues as the tower started to lean well before construction was close to being completed. Marshy terrain proved unable to sustain the weight of the tower, and as building continued, the tower started to sport its signature tilt.
When builders realized the structure was tilting, they stopped building. For almost 100 years, the unfinished tower was abandoned. Construction stopped in 1178 and didn’t pick up again until 1272, leaving nearly a century-long gap. The tower was finally finished in 1372.
Will the Tower Ever Fall?
Considering the degree of the tilt, it’s inevitable that the Leaning Tower of Pisa will collapse without proper intervention. For now, we get to enjoy it in all of its tilted glory, but according to Livescience, experts believe the tower has only another 200 years left, barring accidents with building maintenance or a permanent fix.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a part of Italy, one of many landmarks that tourists flock to in order to capture the perfect gag photo of themselves “lifting” the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
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But there’s even more to discover in this welcoming southern state, from iconic regional foods to incredible mansions and chilling historical mysteries.
Want to learn more? Here are four things you didn’t know about North Carolina.
Test your knowledge!
In which U.S. state can you find this otherworldly lake?
The Birthplace Of Both Pepsi And Krispy Kreme
Did somebody say sugar rush? North Carolina is the birthplace of not one but two internationally beloved sugary treats: Pepsi-Cola and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Pepsi-Cola:In 1893, a drugstore owner named Caleb Davis Bradham created what he called “Brad’s Drink,” a mixture of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other flavorings. It became a local favorite. The drink was later rebranded “Pepsi-Cola” and went on to become an international sensation.
Krispy Kreme:In 1933, an entrepreneur named Vernon Rudolph purchased a top-secret doughnut recipe from a New Orleans chef and set out to make some dough (pun intended). He took his recipe on the road and opened the first Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1937.
The business grew, and automating processes allowed for greater production. The business expanded, first through the Carolinas, then throughout the United States. Today, they operate locations in a variety of different countries.
America’s Biggest Mansion
Did you know that the largest home in the U.S. is located in North Carolina? Nestled in the green, mountainous region of Asheville, the regal Biltmore Estate was built in the 1800’s by George Vanderbilt II, an heir of the famous Vanderbilt railroad family.
The incredible estate boasts a gorgeous house with 255 rooms, grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (who also co-designed New York’s Central Park along with Calvert Vaux), and today, it even has a winery.
Today, the Biltmore Estate is no longer a private residence. It’s operated as a popular attraction, with guided tours, walking paths, restaurants, and regular events.
Its First Settlers Disappeared Mysteriously
In 1587, the first English colony, Roanoke Island, was established just off the coast of what is today North Carolina. The original settlers included a group of 117 individuals, including men, women, and children.
Soon after it was established, the colony’s leader took a trip back to Britain for supplies. But what was supposed to be a short trip became extended when war broke out, and he didn’t return for three years.
When he did get back in August of 1590, things had taken a very creepy turn. All of the settlers were gone. There were no traces of the colony, its inhabitants, or what might have happened.
The only clue? The seemingly meaningless word “croatan” carved into a wooden post. To this day, this mystery has historians stumped.
The Tallest Brick Lighthouse in the United States
While North Carolina isn’t typically associated with tall structures, it is, in fact, home to America’s tallest brick lighthouse. Completed in the early 1800’s, the black and white Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is an iconic figure for the state and often appears on the cover of trip guides and on postcards.
What you can’t tell from photos, though, is just how massive the lighthouse is: It’s 210 feet (about 19 stories) tall and offers a range of 24 nautical miles.
North Carolina is home to plenty of beautiful nature, interesting history, and a lot of cool areas to visit. With its iconic architecture, legendary snack foods, and even some historical mystery and intrigue, it’s well worth your time to visit the Tar Heel State to explore!
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BIARRITZ, France — President Trump asserted on Saturday that he has the authority to make good on his threat to force all American businesses to leave China, citing a national security law that has been used mainly to target terrorists, drug traffickers and pariah states like Iran, Syria and North Korea.
As he arrived in France for the annual meeting of the Group of 7 powers, Mr. Trump posted a message on Twitter citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 — a law meant to enable a president to isolate criminal regimes but not intended to be used to cut off economic ties with a major trading partner because of a disagreement over tariffs.
“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Case closed!”
Donald J. Trump
For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!
The president’s tweet could further unsettle American companies that still conduct an enormous amount of business with China amid a trade war that has already strained ties. Stock markets fell sharply on Friday after Mr. Trump first raised the prospect of cutting off trade altogether.
Under the weight of Mr. Trump’s tariff war, China has already fallen from America’s largest trading partner last year to the third largest this year.
China’s commerce ministry issued a strongly worded statement on Saturday evening warning the United States to turn back from ever-escalating confrontation, but it did not threaten any new trade measures.
“This unilateral and bullying trade protectionism and extreme pressure violate the consensus of the heads of state of China and the United States, violate the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, seriously undermine the multilateral trading system and the normal international trade order,” the Chinese statement said.
China warned that the United States would suffer as a result.
“The Chinese side strongly urges the U.S. side not to misjudge the situation, not to underestimate the determination of the Chinese people, and immediately stop the wrong approach, otherwise all consequences will be borne by the U.S.,” the statement added.
In raising the possibility of forcing American businesses to pull out of China on Friday, Mr. Trump framed it not as a request but as an order he had already issued.
“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing our companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” he wrote on Twitter, adding, “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.”
In fact, aides said, no order has been drawn up nor was it clear that he would attempt to do so. Instead, it could be the latest negotiating tactic by a president who favors drastic threats without always following through on them in hopes of forcing partners to make concessions.
Andy Mok, a trade and geopolitics analyst at the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing, said that the Chinese government was coolly assessing the latest American actions.
“In negotiations, and especially in high-stakes negotiations, the side that reacts emotionally generally is the side that does not do well,” he said. “The U.S. side is approaching this from a more emotional side, while China is more calm and calculating.”
Mr. Trump’s threat to invoke the 1977 act to force companies to leave China would be his most recent unorthodox use of authorities that Congress delegated to the presidency for exigent circumstances.
The president previously threatened to use emergency powers to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, unless the Mexican government did more to stop migrants from illegally entering the United States. He backed off after Mexico promised to take tougher action.
His effort to use emergency powers could also be challenged in court, given the restrictions surrounding when it can be invoked.
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act says that if the president decides that circumstances abroad have created “any unusual and extraordinary threat” to “the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States,” the president can declare a “national emergency.” This triggers special authority for the leader to regulate “any transactions in foreign exchange” by Americans.
The law was passed to define and restrain presidential power, which until then had been seen by critics as interpreted too expansively. It has served ever since as the main source of authority for presidents to sanction other countries or individuals in response to specific national security threats, such as the Iranian hostage crisis that began in 1979.
As of March 1, presidents had declared 54 national emergencies under the law, of which 29 were still active, according to the Congressional Research Service. Among others, presidents have used it to target international terrorists, drug kingpins, human rights abusers, cyber attackers, illegal arms proliferators, and multinational criminal organizations.
Presidents relied on the law’s authority when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, when Serbia sent troops into Kosovo in 1998 and when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Among the countries targeted at various points over the years have been international outliers like North Korea, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Congo and Venezuela.
Seeking to use it in a trade dispute with a country like China would be a drastic departure from its history. But Mr. Trump could make the argument that China’s theft of intellectual property constitutes a national security threat akin to cyber attacks or other nonviolent attacks on American sovereignty.
Mr. Trump came to office criticizing President Barack Obama for abusing his executive authority but has himself asserted new and creative ways of taking action that his predecessors never used.
Among other things, he invoked a related national emergency law to finance parts of his proposed wall along the Mexican border even though Congress explicitly refused to authorize the money. So far, Mr. Trump has successfully rebuffed legal challenges to that decision.
Speaking with reporters before leaving Washington for France, Mr. Trump made clear how much of a priority his trade war with China has become for his presidency.
“This is more important than anything else that we’re working on, just about,” he said.
But he brushed off the stock market drop in reaction to his statements on Friday, saying he was “not at all” responsible and, besides, the markets had gone up substantially since he took office.
“So don’t talk to me about 600 points,” he said, minimizing the drop in the Dow Jones industrial average.
Mr. Trump’s meetings in Biarritz could be tense given the economic uncertainty and his many policy differences with his global counterparts. The American president has become such a dissenter from the international consensus that President Emmanuel Macron of France, the host, has decided even not to bother trying to craft a single joint statement for the first time in the history of the summit.
“This is another G7 summit which will be a difficult test of unity and solidarity of the free world and its leaders,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Union, told reporters in Brussels.
“There is still no certainty whether the group will be able to find common solutions, and the global challenges are today really serious, or whether to focus on senseless disputes among each other.”
He warned against further economic conflict.
“Trade deals and the reform of the W.T.O. are better than trade wars,” he said, referring to the World Trade Organization. “Trade wars will lead to recession while trade deals will boost the economy.”
After landing in Biarritz, Mr. Trump had lunch with Mr. Macron and the two put on a friendly show for reporters.
“We will be allies, friends,” Mr. Macron said.
Mr. Trump insisted that he and Mr. Macron “actually have a lot in common” and “have been friends a long time.”
“Once in a while we go at it just a little bit,” he added, “not very much.”
Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear from Biarritz, Keith Bradsher from Shanghai and Matina Stevis-Gridneff from Brussels.
Follow Peter Baker on Twitter: @peterbakernyt.
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Even by Donald Trump’s standards his Twitter rant attacking China on Friday was extraordinary. In a series of outbursts Trump “hereby ordered” US companies to stop doing business with China, accused the country of killing 100,000 Americans a year with imported fentanyl and stealing hundred of billions in intellectual property.
The attack marked a new low in Sino-US relations and looks certain to escalate a trade war already worrying investors, manufacturers and economists who are concerned that the dispute between the two economic superpowers could trigger a recession.
Not so long ago Trump called China’s president, Xi Jinping, “a good friend”. Now he is an “enemy”. How did we get here?
Trump repeated the word China so often it spawned a viral video of him saying it over and over again. The attacks were a hit with voters and helped get him elected. He has continued lambasting China – to cheers – at rallies ever since.
His main beef? The trade deficit.
The US imported a record $539.5 bn in goods from China in 2018 and sold the Chinese $120.3 bn in return. The difference between those two numbers – $419.2 bn – is the trade deficit.
That deficit has been growing for years as manufacturing has shifted to low-cost China and, according to Trump, it explains the hollowing out of US manufacturing.
For Trump, and especially for his adviser Peter Navarro, who once described China as “the planet’s most efficient assassin”, trade deficits represent an existential threat to US jobs and national security. China makes up the largest part of the US trade deficit but those fears are also behind his disputes with the EU, Canada and Mexico.
His detractors argue these deficit worries are hyperbole and a result of the US’s stronger economy, which allows consumers to buy goods at cheaper prices.
While it’s true that unemployment is at record lows and consumers continue to prop up the economy, manufacturing jobs have been lost (automation is also to blame for this) and with them wage growth (although the hollowing out of unions plays a part here).
But it is not just deficits that concerns Trump.
China has a deserved reputation for intellectual property theft. On Friday, Trump estimated China robs the US of “hundreds of billions” a year in ideas.
In March, a CNBC poll found one in five US corporations had intellectual property stolen from them within the last year by China.
According to the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, the theft costs $600bn a year.
Like Tesla, Nio, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) company, is suffering as subsidies for EVs are phased out. Unlike Tesla, Nio has Xi. China is pumping $1.5 bn into the company to keep it on the road, the latest in a series of handouts that the Trump administration believes are unfair.
Cheap steel and aluminium, subsidized by the Chinese government, are the origins of this trade dispute. According to the White House, last year alone China dumped and unfairly subsidized goods including steel wheels, tool chests and cabinets and rubber bands on to the US market.
To be fair the US too is more than willing to bail out its industries (see: the banks or the automakers) at the taxpayers’ expense. But at this point “fair” is not up for discussion.
Earlier this month the US officially accused China of manipulating its currency “to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade”.
It was the first time since 1994 that such a complaint has been made official and comes as the dollar has strengthened against world currencies. The dispute adds another layer of tension to a complex situation.
China disputed the charge accusing the US of “deliberately destroying international order” with “unilateralism and protectionism”.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) appears to be on China’s side, arguing the devaluation of the yuan is largely in line with worsening economic conditions in China.
What happens next?
The US has now slapped billions of dollars on tariffs on Chinese goods. China retaliated, again, on Friday with more levies on US goods. China’s economic growth has slowed to levels unseen since 1992; US economic forecasts have also been cut.
American farmers were the first to feel the result, as China has canceled orders, and manufacturers are increasingly gloomy. So far US consumers have not felt the pinch but JP Morgan estimates the average US household will end up paying $1,000 a year for goods if the latest set of tariffs go through.
The unanswerable question is whether any of this will sway Trump. If his supporters continue to see a trade war with China – and the pain it will cause – as the necessary price to Make America Great Again, then the answer is probably no.
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks with NPR in July.
Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just completed three weeks of radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court disclosed Friday.
The radiation therapy, conducted on an outpatient basis, began Aug. 5, shortly after a localized cancerous tumor was discovered on Ginsburg’s pancreas. The treatment included the insertion of a stent in Ginsburg’s bile duct, according to a statement issued by the court.
Doctors at Sloan Kettering said further tests showed no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. The treatment comes just months after Ginsburg was operated on for lung cancer last December. The 86-year-old justice has been treated for cancer in various forms over the past 20 years.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” a statement from the Supreme Court read. “The focused radiation treatment began on August 5 and was administered on an outpatient basis to treat a tumor on her pancreas. The abnormality was first detected after a routine blood test in early July, and a biopsy performed on July 31 at Sloan Kettering confirmed a localized malignant tumor.
“As part of her treatment, a bile duct stent was placed. The Justice tolerated treatment well. She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule. The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time.”
“There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months,” Ginsburg said. “That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I,” she added with a smile, “am very much alive.”
During Ginsburg’s three weeks of treatment in New York, she kept up a busy schedule in New York, often going out in the evening to the movies, the opera and the theater.
At the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, where Fiddler on the Roof is playing, word spread during intermission that Ginsburg was there, and the audience stood for several minutes applauding the diminutive justice.
Also in the audience that night was Kate McKinnon, whose frequent portrayal of Ginsburg on NBC’s Saturday Night Live has become a marquee event on the show. Soon, the justice and her imitator were caught in photos clasping hands for the first time.
Adoring Kate McKinnon@KateMcKinnonNet
| Kate saying goodbye to RBG backstage at @FiddlerNYC last night!
The justice also continued to work during her time in New York, according to court sources, and she has been spotted frequently window shopping, even going in to try on shoes and other items that have interested her.
Ginsburg has 11 public events planned for September and has not canceled any of them to date.
The Supreme Court is set to open a new term on the first Monday in October, and the justices routinely return to work in September.
President Trump has already named two conservative justices to the court, thus ensuring a five-justice conservative majority in most controversial cases.
Were Ginsburg to leave the court prior to the 2020 election or even the inauguration, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has made clear the GOP would move immediately to fill the vacancy. That would ensure a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the court, all but guaranteeing a conservative grip on the court for decades to come.
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