The Latest: China vows countermeasures to raised US tariffs
BEIJING (AP) — China’s government says it will take “necessary countermeasures” in response to President Donald Trump’s latest tariff hike on Chinese imports but gave no details of possible retaliation.
The announcement followed an increase of U.S. duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%, escalating a fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions and other trade strains.
A Chinese Commerce Ministry statement said, “China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures.”
China responded to earlier U.S. tariff hikes by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American imports but is running out of goods for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance.
Regulators have extended retaliation by targeting American companies in China. They have slowed customs clearing for shipments of their goods and stepped up regulatory scrutiny that can hamper operations.
CHINA TARIFF-POLICING A TRADE DEAL
Burned before, US pushes for way to enforce China trade deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — In trying to hammer out a trade agreement with China, the Trump administration may be drawing inspiration from classic rock, specifically The Who’s anthem “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Fed up with China for breaking past promises, the administration is insisting on provisions designed to force the Chinese to live up to any commitments they make in trade talks that entered an 11th round on Thursday.
This week, top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Chinese of already reneging on concessions they’d made earlier.
In retaliation, the United States is poised to dramatically escalate the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies at 12:01 a.m. Friday Eastern time — by raising import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.
CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE-TRUMP JR-THE LATEST
The Latest: Committee chair slammed over Trump Jr. subpoena
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are lashing out at Sen. Richard Burr for his committee’s subpoena of President Donald Trump’s son, a move that suggests the Russia investigation is not “case closed,” as some in the GOP insist.
The revolt against the Senate intelligence committee chairman comes after reports that it had called Donald Trump Jr. in to answer questions about his 2017 testimony to the panel as part of its probe into Russian election interference.
It’s the first known subpoena of a member of Trump’s immediate family and a new sign that the Senate panel is continuing with its own two-year-long investigation.
President Trump says he was “very surprised” at the move.
Crisis point? High stakes in Trump’s showdown with Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — They call it a “constitutional crisis,” but is it?
Stunned by the White House’s blanket refusal to comply with oversight by Congress, Democrats warn the Trump administration is shattering historic norms and testing the nation’s system of checks and balances in new, and alarming, ways.
It’s not just the fight over the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The standoff involves President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to engage with dozens of Capitol Hill probes of his tax returns, potential business conflicts and the running of the administration. It’s a confrontation that’s only expected to deepen now that Mueller’s work is done and the investigative focus shifts to Capitol Hill.
Trump derides it as “presidential harassment.” But Democrats warn that without oversight the executive can become a “monarchy” — or “tyranny.”
UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA-COAL SHIP
US seizes large North Korean ship used to transport coal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that U.S. officials say was used to transport coal in violation of international sanctions.
The Justice Department announced the seizure Thursday of the Wise Honest. The ship was detained by Indonesia last month with two dozen crew members on board.
U.S. officials say payments for maintenance and equipment for the ship were made unwittingly in American dollars through U.S. banks.
The announcement was made at a time of tension between the two countries.
It came hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles, its second weapons launch in five days.
The launch is a possible sign that nuclear disarmament talks with the U.S. could be in danger.
Chelsea Manning released from jail on contempt charge
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been released from a northern Virginia jail after a two-month stay for refusing to testify to a grand jury.
Manning was released Thursday from the Alexandria jail after 62 days of confinement on civil contempt charges after she refused to answer questions to a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.
Her lawyers fear her freedom may be short-lived, though. She was released only because the grand jury’s term expired. Before she left the jail, though, she received another subpoena demanding her testimony to a new grand jury on May 16.
Her lawyers say she will again refuse to answer questions and could again face another term of incarceration.
Manning served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of documents to WikiLeaks.
Scrap ‘Obamacare’? Maybe not all, says Trump administration
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scrap “Obamacare”? Well, maybe not all of it.
The Trump administration is arguing in federal court that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down as unconstitutional. But at the same time, Justice Department lawyers have suggested that judges could salvage its anti-fraud provisions.
That’s raising questions about whether other parts could be kept as well.
President Donald Trump served up more mixed messages last week when he floated to a Democratic lawmaker that he’d like to revive legislation shoring up the health law’s insurance markets.
Some legal analysts say the administration is undercutting its own legal argument that the 9-year-old statute is so flawed it must be overturned entirely.
The White House says Obamacare is unconstitutional and the Trump administration is working within current law to reduce fraud.
JUDGES ESCAPING JUDGMENT
Federal judges find retirement offers easy way out of probes
WASHINGTON (AP) — The fastest way for federal judges facing investigation by their peers to make the inquiry go away is to utter two words: “I quit.”
That’s how appellate judges Maryanne Trump Barry and Alex Kozinski ended investigations into complaints that Barry participated in fraudulent tax schemes and Kozinski sexually harassed women. Barry is the older sister of President Donald Trump.
And because they’re older than 65, and with more than 15 years as federal judges, Barry and Kozinski can collect their annual salary of roughly $220,000 for life.
Panels of judges across the country have concluded that they lack authority to investigate a judge who has left the bench. Similar reasoning led judges to dismiss complaints against then-appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh stemming from his Supreme Court confirmation hearing last year.
FAKE HEIRESS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Fake German heiress gets 4-12 years in prison
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has sentenced the fake German heiress Anna Sorokin to four to 12 years behind bars for defrauding New York banks and hotels.
Judge Diane Kiesel says she was “stunned by the depth of the defendant’s deception” at the sentencing Thursday afternoon in Manhattan state court.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it will seek to deport Sorokin to Germany following her release from state custody. ICE said she Sorokin overstayed her 2017 visa.
The 28-year-old was found guilty last month of swindling some $200,000 through a series of scams. She was convicted of grand larceny and theft of services.
Prosecutors said she overdrew a bank account and forged financial records to further the ruse.
Sorokin’s attorney insisted she intended to pay the money back. But prosecutors said she has “not a cent” to her name.
NIKE FEET SCANS
Nike’s plan for better-fitting kicks: Show us your feet
NEW YORK (AP) — Nike wants to meet your feet.
The sneaker seller will launch a foot-scanning tool on its app this summer that will measure and remember the length, width and other dimensions of customers’ feet after they point a smartphone camera to their toes. The app will then tell shoppers what size to buy each of its shoes in, which Nike hopes will cut down on costly online returns as it seeks to sell more of its goods through its websites and apps.
But Nike will also get a flood of data on the feet of regular people, a potential goldmine for the shoe maker, which says it will use the information to improve the design of its shoes. Nike mainly relies on the feet of star athletes to build its kicks.
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