Global News June 15, 2018

  1. BBC
  2. Global News June 15, 2018

“Trump’s China Tariffs Met With Retaliation Vow From Beijing.”

The Trump administration moved the U.S. to the edge of a trade war with China by announcing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and pledging additional investment restrictions, which Beijing immediately vowed to retaliate against.
The response from China signaled a rapid escalation of the dispute. China will impose tariffs with “equal scale, equal intensity” on imports from the U.S. and all of the country’s earlier trade commitments are now off the table, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website late Friday.
President Donald Trump on Friday pledged more tariffs if China follows through on the retaliation threats, without specifying an amount. In April, he asked officials to consider an additional $100 billion in levies. Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said an announcement on U.S. investment restrictions on China will follow in the next two weeks.
The first wave of tariffs will hit $34 billion in goods and take effect July 6, with another $16 billion still to be reviewed, the U.S. Trade Representative said in a separate statement.
The USTR’s final list includes 1,102 product lines, down from about 1,300 initially, mainly focused on China’s Made In 2025 plan to become dominant in high-technology industries such as robotics, aerospace, industrial machinery and automobiles. Consumer goods including mobile phones and televisions aren’t being hit with the tariffs.


“Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near border.”

Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in a U.S.-Afghan air strike in Afghanistan, a senior Afghan Defence Ministry official said on Friday, a killing likely to ease tension between the United States and Pakistan.
An official at the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan confirmed Fazlullah was killed on Thursday.
The U.S. military said earlier in Washington it had carried out a strike aimed at a senior militant figure in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, which is on the Pakistani border, and one U.S. official said the target was believed to have been Fazlullah.
Fazlullah was Pakistan’s most-wanted militant, notorious for attacks including a 2014 school massacre that killed 132 children and the 2012 shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“I confirm that Mullah Fazlullah, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has been killed in an joint air operation in the border area of Marawera district of Kunar province,” Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for Afghan defense ministry, told Reuters, adding the air strike was carried out at about 9 a.m. on Thursday.
U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Martin O’Donnell said U.S. forces conducted a “counter-terrorism strike” which targeted “a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization”.


BBC News
“AT&T completes its takeover of Time Warner.”

US telecoms giant AT&T has completed its takeover of entertainment firm Time Warner after winning a court battle earlier this week.
The more than $80bn (£60.34bn) deal, which has been two years in the making, led to one of the largest US anti-trust lawsuits in decades.
But a US district court judge cleared the marriage of the two giants on Tuesday without conditions. The merger could shake up the US media scene for years to come.
The Trump administration’s argument was that the marriage between the two firms would harm consumers.
But AT&T argued it needed to acquire Time Warner to compete with online streaming services like Amazon and Netflix.
It is expected now that more content distribution companies will try to acquire content production companies.
The landmark deal between the firms will see well-known franchises like Game of Thrones, Wonder Woman and CNN under the roof of America’s largest pay-tv provider.
The Trump administration has 60 days to file an appeal, and says it is currently considering its options.


“Bitcoin Stumbles to End Miserable Week for Cryptocurrencies.”

Bitcoin edged lower on Friday and headed toward its worst week since March, as investors shrugged off a regulatory victory for virtual currencies and focused on a string of negative news, including cyber heists.
The largest cryptocurrency fell 2.1 percent to $6,518 as of 8:38 a.m. in New York. Ether also slipped on Friday, giving back much of Thursday’s 10 percent jump following a statement by the top U.S. markets regulator that transactions involving the world’s second-biggest token aren’t subject to federal securities rules.
Even as the 10 largest, most liquid coins on Friday traded little changed, the group is still down 19 percent for the week, with the industry fighting the perception that long-time investors are taking advantage of days with positive news to sell peer-to-peer money.
Questions swirled this week about whether the world’s biggest cryptocurrency was manipulated during last year’s record price surge after a University of Texas professor published a study flagging suspicious activity. And over the weekend, currency exchange Coinrail said in a statement that some of its digital currency appears to have been stolen by hackers, but it didn’t disclose how much, adding to a string of cyber heists.
A Ripple executive pushed back against the Reserve Bank of India’s moves to restrict banks from dealing with digital coins, the Times of India reported. The company expects Basel norms and RBI’s own report on the industry to lead to the ban being rescinded, the newspaper reported.