In our news wrap Thursday, the U.S. trade war with China has escalated further. President Trump announced that as of September 1, he will impose a new 10 percent tariff on about $300 billion of Chinese goods that hadn’t already been taxed in prior tariffs. Also, explosions in the Yemeni city of Aden killed 51 people. The government there blamed the violence on Shiite rebels allied with Iran.
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President Trump is escalating his trade showdown with China. He announced today that he will impose 10 percent levies on $300 billion worth of imported Chinese goods as of September first.
The president complained China is reneging on promises and slow-walking trade talks. He spoke before heading to a campaign rally in Cincinnati.
President Donald Trump:
For many years, China has been taking money out by the hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We have rebuilt China. So now it's time that we change things around. If they don't want to trade with us anymore, that would be fine with me. We'd save a lot of money.
Today's move covers all trade with China that was left out of earlier tariffs. It also comes after the latest negotiating talks ended this week with no apparent progress.
The tariff news didn't go down well on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 280 points after being up nearly 300. It closed at 26583. The Nasdaq dropped 64 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 26.
A two-year budget and debt deal backed by President Trump has won final approval in Congress. It passed the U.S. Senate today 67-28. The agreement includes sizable increases for military and domestic spending. It also lifts the legal debt ceiling for two years.
Senators on both sides hailed the outcome.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas:
The funding agreement we just passed will provide stability for our nation through 2020 and deliver on some of the administration's key priorities. It's been the result of extensive negotiations between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi and represents a compromise between two sides that typically don't agree on much.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.:
It includes a significant increase in support for domestic priorities. In fact, the budget deal increases domestic budget authority $10 billion more than defense. This legislation lays the groundwork to avoid another government shutdown and will preserve the full faith and credit of the United States.
Most Democrats backed the bill, along with 28 Republicans. Another two dozen Republicans opposed it, saying that it adds too much to the national debt.
We will get the details after the news summary.
There is word that North Korea has fired more short-range weapons for the third time in eight days. Details on the tests were scarce, but President Trump today dismissed any concerns. He said — quote — "These are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The president also declined again to address news reports that Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden is dead. The reports say that he was killed within the last two years, possibly in a U.S. airstrike. He was the apparent heir to his father's work with al-Qaida, and was about 30 years old. Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in 2011.
In Yemen, missile and bombing attacks killed 51 people today in Aden, a city held by the government and its Saudi allies. Officials said 36 people died in a missile strike at a military camp. Thirteen others were killed in a car bombing. The explosions left buildings charred and floors soaked in blood at the military camp. The government blamed Shiite rebels allied with Iran.
Russian officials have deployed the military as vast wildfires rage across parts of Siberia and the Russian far east. Fires are now burning in parts of five regions, and now cover an area the size of Belgium. As flames spread in remote forests, crews have struggled to make headway. And officials say dry conditions aren't helping.
Sergey Abanin (through translator):
The situation with the fires is developing negatively, as forecasts warned. The area affected has increased because of the dry weather we have been having for a long time and the failure to take active measures in extinguishing the majority of hotbeds of fires, including those located in remote areas.
Heavy smoke from the fires has cloaked hundreds of Russian towns and cities and even reached Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Fires are also spreading across Indonesia, with six provinces now under a state of emergency. A dangerous haze has blanketed an area that is home to more than 23 million people. Some 6,000 firefighters have been deployed, but the fires have charred more than 74,000 acres.
The ice sheet covering most of Greenland is rapidly melting under the same heat wave that broke records across Europe last week. Images from the Danish territory show melting across 56 percent of the ice sheet. The area has been growing, with forecasts of continued warm and sunny weather. Much of the melt will refreeze, but the amount that is lost for good might exceed the record loss in 2012.
Back in this country, former FBI Director James Comey will not face charges over his handling of memos about his conversations with President Trump. Reports today said that the Justice Department found no grounds to proceed. Comey let a reporter have access to some of his memos, which contained low-level classified material that prompted the review.
And Puerto Rican lawmakers today delayed putting Pedro Pierluisi in line to be governor until at least next week. He was chosen by outgoing Governor Ricardo Rossello, who is resigning down tomorrow. Pierluisi had represented Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress, but he faces opposition over his legal work for the island's highly unpopular fiscal oversight board.