By Robert A. Vella
President Trump’s nonsensical trade war with China and maniacal tweets have triggered more retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports and more jitters in the stock market as recession fears intensify. Russia has launched its floating nuclear power plant into the Arctic Ocean… what could possibly go wrong? David H. Koch – the billionaire industrialist, Tea Party Republican activist, and libertarian son of discredited John Birch Society co-founder Fred Koch – has died from an undisclosed cause. Also in the news today are several stories concerning Trump’s anti-immigration efforts and the rising problem of overt racism in American society.
China on Friday unveiled retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting an additional 10% on top of existing rates in the latest tit-for-tat exchange in a protracted dispute between the world’s top two economies.
The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.
Trump causes market fall
Stocks fell to their lows of the day Friday after President Donald Trump ordered in a series tweets that U.S. companies find alternatives to their operations in China. Apple led the way lower.
The Dow dropped more than 500 points as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq sank 2.1% and 2.7%, respectively.
Trump tweeted on Friday: “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”
“The threats always been out there but there’s been no need to provoke that,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities. “It’s almost like the administration was expecting the Fed to announce a rate cut at the Jackson hole meeting. And since Powell did not deliver, he went to defcon 5.”
President Donald Trump on Friday savaged his hand-picked Federal Reserve chairman in a pair of tweets, slamming Jay Powell as an “enemy” who could pose a bigger risk to the U.S. than Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The tweets came after Powell, whom Trump picked for the role of Federal Reserve chairman last year, spoke at a highly anticipated conference in Wyoming, where he pledged to help maintain a growing economy while also saying that U.S. trade policies and tariffs could be causing the economy to slow.
Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia.
Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.
But environmental groups have long warned of the dangers of the project, dubbing it a potential “Chernobyl on ice” and a “nuclear Titanic.”
A deadly explosion this month at a military testing site in Russia’s far north, causing a radioactive surge, has prompted further concerns.
Still, he and his brother acknowledged roles in founding and contributing money to Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing advocacy group that was widely reported to have provided logistical backing for the Tea Party and other organizations in election campaigns and the promotion of conservative causes.
Among the groups they supported was the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative state legislators and corporate lobbyists. Alec, as the group is known, drafts model state legislation that members may customize for introduction as proposed laws to cut taxes, combat illegal immigration, loosen environmental regulations, weaken labor unions and oppose gun laws.
Fred Koch made millions in the 1920s and ’30s by inventing a process to extract more gasoline from crude oil and by building refineries in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East. Fiercely anti-Communist, he co-founded the right-wing John Birch Society and created the Wichita company that became Koch Industries.
Anti-immigration and racism news
Despite outbreaks of flu, tuberculosis and chicken pox, US Customs and Border Protection refuses to tell the public how many migrants in detention facilities have contagious diseases.
Doctors have long been concerned that these congested settings are breeding grounds for serious illnesses.
“They create facilities that encourage the spread of infectious agents,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccine issues.
SEATTLE (AP) — The Trump administration is opposing Washington state’s effort to make a privately run, for-profit immigration jail pay detainees minimum wage for the work they do.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued The GEO Group in 2017, saying its Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma must pay the state minimum wage to detainees who perform kitchen, laundry, janitorial, maintenance and barbershop tasks. The lawsuit seeks to force GEO to turn over profits it gained by underpaying them — an amount that could reach into the millions.
U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan has already issued some key rulings in the state’s favor. But in a “statement of interest” filed this week, the Justice Department called the lawsuit “an aggressive and legally unjustified effort by the State of Washington to interfere with federal immigration enforcement,” and it urged Bryan to reject it.
The Justice Department on Thursday said an email sent to immigration court employees this week should not have included a link to a white nationalist website.
The blog post “directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs,” the immigration judges’ union complained in a letter to DOJ that was obtained by Buzzfeed. “Publication and dissemination of a white supremacist, anti-Semitic website throughout the EOIR is antithetical to the goals and ideals of the Department of Justice,” the letter said.
MARYSVILLE, Mich. — A city council candidate in Michigan shocked a public forum when she said she wants to keep “Marysville a white community as much as possible.”
Jean Cramer made the comment Thursday in response to a question about diversity in Marysville, a city in St. Clair County, 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Detroit. The Times Herald in Port Huron says she’s one of five candidates running for three council seats in November.
After the forum, Cramer told the newspaper that she’s not “against blacks” but believes married couples “need to be the same race.”
A racist post sent to students at a Sacramento County high school is under investigation by the FBI and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.
Students at Rio Americano High School were air-dropped an image that looked like a policy posted on the school’s website banned black students.
The photo used derogatory and racist language while claiming the KKK will be patrolling the hallways. A parent shared the photo, which was sent to her child, with KCRA 3.