With a stroke of his pen, Trump worsens Europe’s Huawei dilemma

(CNN)As if Europe didn’t have enough to worry about. The Huawei issue cuts to the heart of tensions between security and economic interests when it comes to China and Chinese influence. While many countries around the world share Washington’s suspicion — even hostility — towards Beijing, they are unwilling to take the economic hit that openly standing apart from China would entail. UK in chaos Nowhere will Trump’s order cause more chaos — outside perhaps Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen — than in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Theresa May fired her defense secretary, Gavin Williamson, after it was alleged he was the source of a news report that the UK was preparing to give Huawei access …

Washington pioneers public health care option, but controlling costs remains tricky

(CNN)Washington, DC, may be gridlocked over what to do about health care, but Washington state is blazing a trail for progressives looking to lower costs and expand coverage. In addition, the state’s efforts lay bare the challenges of getting the government more involved in health care. The Affordable Care Act bill originally contained a public option, but the contentious provision was ultimately struck before it became law amid opposition from the industry and some members of Congress. Some argued that a public option wasn’t needed to boost coverage, said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, managing director at Manatt Health, who worked on the law’s passage and implementation for the Obama administration. “Ten years later, we may feel differently about what’s necessary,” she said. …

Fact checking Trump’s Buy America strategy of avoiding tariffs

(CNN)In attempting to justify his decision to raise tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports into the US, President Donald Trump has suggested that paying the tariffs is a voluntary decision by US consumers and businesses, and that the best way to avoid them is not to buy Chinese-made products. In other words, just buy American, Trump argues. Part of the problem is that the US no longer has the manufacturing base it once did. According to Robert E. Scott, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, over the past two decades, the US has lost roughly a third of its manufacturing capacity, as more than 90,000 factories have closed and 5 million manufacturing jobs have been …

Police ask McDonald’s to halt milkshake sales during Farage rally

Edinburgh branch also stop ice-cream sales after rightwing politicians targeted with drinks Police asked a McDonalds restaurant near an Edinburgh venue where Nigel Farage was speaking not to sell milkshakes because of concerns protesters might throw them at the Brexit party leader. A sign appeared on Friday in the window of the McDonalds on New Market Road, which is less than 200 metres from the Corn Exchange where the posted a photo of the sign on Twitter, saying it was in the McDonalds next to the Farage demo. Someone clearly got wind. pic.twitter.com/kHETQ66TOq had milkshakes thrown at him twice in two days earlier this month while campaigning in the north-west. He is standing as an independent candidate for the region …

Tariffs loom as US-China talks begin

Washington (CNN)A consequential round of trade talks between the United States and China began with smiles and a dinner Thursday evening in Washington. Yet the outward optimism did not appear to translate into a last-minute agreement that could stave off a planned increase in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. “It’s possible to do it,” Trump said when asked about the prospect of an agreement that would prevent a tariff hike on Chinese goods. “I have no idea what’s going to happen.” Even a week ago, top administration officials appeared bullish on the chances a deal would soon be struck with China. But backtracking by the Chinese and an emboldened Trump have dampened the optimism, and on Wednesday …

US braced for Iranian response as oil crackdown starts

Washington (CNN)The US is sanctioning friends and foes that import Iranian oil starting Thursday, but analysts say the White House might find it harder to eliminate Tehran’s energy exports than it expects and Trump administration officials are bracing for Iran’s response. Burgeoning international conflict, competing foreign policy priorities and President Donald Trump’s intense focus on the political impact of gasoline prices could also fray the administration’s attempts to cut Tehran’s estimated daily exports of 1.1 million to 1.3 million barrels a day to a stark zero. “I don’t think Iranian oil will stop flowing,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former senior adviser at the Treasury Department. While Rosenberg said she expects “a big dip,” she emphasized that “it is not going …

How the Trump administration won a major policy shift from the Chinese on fentanyl

Washington (CNN)Officials from the Office of National Drug Control Policy were preparing a briefing for President Donald Trump late last year ahead of his meeting with the Chinese President at the G20 summit when they decided they needed a visual aid to drive home their point. The move, which came as the two countries grappled in an escalating trade war, was the product of months of lobbying by the Trump administration after a turn towards a harder line on the topic in 2017, multiple officials involved in the process told CNN. Over the next year and a half, negotiators chipped away at Chinese recalcitrance towards policy change to their drug market, and their belief that fentanyl enforcement was only a …

Democratic candidates’ boldest ideas for 2020

(CNN)The 2020 Democratic presidential primary is turning into a question of restoration or revolution. Here’s a look at some of the more novel and transformational proposals that Democratic candidates are pushing. This is not a survey of where all Democrats agree, so we’ve left out the Green New Deal, which many support but which lacks many specifics. You’ll notice that some candidates — Sens. Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey — have more entries than others. And that some candidates who don’t get a lot of mainstream media attention or have a following in the polls, like John Delaney and Andrew Yang, have fully formed and interesting proposals. Meanwhile, some candidates who get …

Brexit: Irish backstop could undermine EU standards, report says

Study for German Green party says backstop could let UK flout EU green and social standards It is a dastardly trap, designed to lock freedom-loving Britain into the European Unions protectionist customs union: that is the argument against the so-called backstop, cited by hardline Brexit advocates as the main reason why they have thrice voted down Theresa Mays deal with the European Union. But as the dust settles after months of chaos in Westminster, suspicions are growing on the other side of the Channel that the backstop could in fact be the very opposite: a brilliant deception device constructed by crack UK negotiators, which would allow a more reckless British prime minister to undermine the EUs green and social standards …

Muellers account of Trumps world acts as a cautionary tale for UK politics | Will Hutton

Senior figures in both countries behave as if they are above the law. Enough is enough Trump was right. His presidency was announced. Its tantamount to treasonous to work so closely with the Russian secret services during the campaign, with the Russians plainly hoping a Trump presidency would turn a blind eye to the subpoena by the House judicial committee for the full unredacted report is the first step. Democrat leaders may have misgivings about how impeachment will play out politically, but they have a constitutional and moral obligation to act against such a president with such a record. This behaviour sets new abysmal lows. Republican senators will almost certainly block the two-thirds majority needed to secure impeachment in the …

Ken Clarke: Brexit is like a parody version of student politics

The Father of the House loves the EU but doesnt want another referendum, called Theresa May bloody difficult yet backed her deal three times, and finds the political deadlock both annoying and hugely entertaining The twin pillars of Tory pro-Europeanism, the two men who defended that lonely cause in the Thatcher heyday and through the long trudge of the Major years, have responded very differently to Brexit. On one side stands Michael Heseltine, belated darling of the remainers, the lion in winter who won bloody difficult woman? She is a bloody difficult woman, because she gets fixed ideas in her head, she sticks to them stubbornly. But I say that with some praise. So we shouldnt blame her for this …

Trump says ‘granddaddy’ US-China trade pact could be done in ‘weeks’

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Thursday hinted the United States and China may be inching closer to finalizing a deal to end a year-long trade impasse between the world’s two largest economic superpowers within weeks. Liu hinted that the two sides are moving closer to a deal, calling the latest round of talks “fruitful.” US and China negotiators “reached new consensus on such important issues as the text of the … trade agreement,” Liu said, according to state-run Xinhua news. The comments were a rare note of optimism from China over the ongoing negotiations. Talks this week in Washington were yet another make-or-break moment for what has been closely held trade negotiation that has drifted beyond the ambitious 90-day clock …

Mays desperate pitch for cross-party unity is a leap into the dark | Rafael Behr

The PM hopes to collaborate with Labour, but EU patience is running out, says Guardian columnist Rafael Behr One way to identify Britains next Brexit panic is to look for a problem that was foreseen in Brussels ages ago. For example, the European commission, seeing that Theresa Mays deal was failing, a desperate pitch for collaboration with Labour in pursuit of some version of Brexit that stands a chance of Commons ratification. This has been the pattern from the start. The EU anticipates problems, makes choices and waits for British politics to catch up. Even before the referendum there were warnings about the impossibility of frictionless borders outside the single market. The specific challenge that posed for Northern Ireland was …

Petitions and jokes will not halt this march into Brexit calamity | John Harris

Our response to the crisis has been too English. By the time the irony turns to anger, it will be too late, says Guardian columnist John Harris It could conceivably have happened on any day over the past couple of years, but my own peak of anger about Brexit and its absurdities arrived last Wednesday. Jacob Rees-Mogg was in the Commons chamber, making quips about the fact that another Conservative MP had been to Winchester rather than Eton (My honourable friend makes a open-topped vintage sports car. Meanwhile, there were reports of Theresa Mays address to Conservative MPs being made all the more dramatic by the sound of her voice cracking: something conspicuously absent when she has talked about everything …

Juncker rejects May appeal for further Brexit delay

European commission president insists 12 April ultimate deadline for MPs to pass withdrawal deal Theresa Mays appeal for a short Brexit extension has been rejected by Jean-Claude Juncker, who said that unless the withdrawal deal was passed within nine days the UK would crash out of the EU or have to sign up to a long delay. Less than 24 hours after May had spelled out Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Apathy, anger and relief: How voters around the country are processing the end of Mueller

(CNN)Brandon Wolf is ready to move on. Terry Dittrich, the Republican chairman in Waukesha County — a massive source of Republican votes in southeastern Wisconsin — said Republicans in his county see the Mueller probe as “a witch hunt” but that “people would like to move on” and “we don’t need to do any more investigating.” “Why do people call it the Swamp? Well this is a good example. It looked very vindictive. It looked very partisan. And it looked like there was an aimless investigation,” he said. “The first comment people make to me is, how many millions did we spend? They’re very upset about the spending side of this.” The same sentiment was felt by voters in Virginia, …