In our news wrap Tuesday, trade tensions with China spiked again after President Trump called for tariffs on another $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods. The president's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said the U.S. remains open to talks to resolve the dispute. Also, the U.S. and South Korea formally called off joint military exercises planned for August.
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In the day’s other news, trade tensions with China spiked again after President Trump called for tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing had matched an earlier round of tariffs, and Mr. Trump blamed that retaliation for his new action.
The Chinese today called it blackmail.
Geng Shuang (through translator):
China doesn’t want to fight a trade war, but it is not scared of one. We will continue to take effective steps to resolutely defend the country’s interests. We advise the U.S. side to return to reason, and stop words and actions that harm itself and others. This is the only way.
The president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said today the U.S. remains open to talks to resolve the dispute.
The trade trouble put Wall Street on the ropes. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 287 points to close at 24700. The Nasdaq fell 21, and the S&P 500 slipped 11.
The U.S. and South Korea today formally called off joint military exercises that had been planned for August. President Trump had initially announced the move after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Meanwhile, Kim traveled to China for a two-day visit. He met with President Xi Jinping, reportedly to discuss the results of his talks with President Trump.
The United States is pulling out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced it today, alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Haley charged the Council has long ignored real abuses while targeting Israel, and she said it’s continuing this year.
The Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel, more than the number passed against North Korea, Iran and Syria combined. This disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.
The announcement comes a day after the U.N. human rights chief called the policy of separating children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border unconscionable.
Nearly 69 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes last year. The U.N. Refugee Agency reported the figure today in Geneva. It said more than 16 million of the refugees were newly displaced last year, especially in Congo, South Sudan and Myanmar.
This is because of protracted conflicts, lack of solutions for those conflicts that continue, continuous pressure on civilians in countries of conflict that pushed them to leave their homes.
Syrians make up the largest displaced group, with some 12.6 million.
In Indonesia, rescuers spent this day searching for at least 128 people missing after a ferry sank last night. The vessel capsized in rough water on Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra. The lake is 1,500-feet-deep. By this morning, authorities had found only 18 survivors, who reunited with loved ones. The Transport Ministry says the ferry was badly overloaded.
Back in this country, the White House deputy chief of staff for operation, Joe Hagin, is stepping. Hagin led planning for President Trump’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Singapore. He says he plans to leave next month to work in the private sector.
And the U.S. Labor Department has announced a new health insurance option for small businesses and the self-employed. The plans begin this September. They will allow multistate combinations of small companies to negotiate more affordable rates. They also provide fewer benefits and waive some of the mandatory coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Still to come on the “NewsHour,” children at the border — the view from the White House and from Obama’s head of homeland security; the president of the Koch brothers’ political arm on the ongoing international trade battle; is diabetes treatment giving patients false hopes?; and much more.