Answers to the pressing questions behind the FAA and the Boeing crash

(CNN)After the crash Sunday of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Ethiopia, questions have risen around Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration, and why this crash occurred just months after a similar crash involving the same type of airplane. “We’re a data-driven organization,” FAA’s acting administrator Daniel Elwell told NBC News Thursday when asked why the US was among the last to make the decision to ground the Boeing 737 MAX planes. “You have to establish at least more than a gut feeling that two crashes are related before you ground an entire fleet.” According to Elwell, the tracking data for the Ethiopian flight was not available to be analyzed by the FAA until Wednesday. That data, along with information …

Trump asks China to remove all agricultural tariffs on US

(CNN)President Donald Trump asked China in a tweet Friday to lift all of its tariffs on American agricultural products, pointing to his decision to delay a second round of tariffs and to improving trade relations with China. Trump on Sunday had lauded “substantial progress” in the talks covering “important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues” and resulting in “a very good weekend for U.S. & China!” Trump’s request Friday came following his decision to walk away from negotiations with North Korea at a summit in Vietnam on Thursday, alleging that leader Kim Jong Un had insisted on full sanctions relief in exchange for partial denuclearization in an unacceptable offer. Trump had …

Concern over food safety as US seeks greater access to UK markets

US sets out aims for post-Brexit trade deal amid fears about chicken and beef standards The US has outlined its objectives for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, demanding greater access to the food markets where products such as chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef are banned under EU rules. The US laid out its aims for a trade deal to cut tariff and non-tariff barriers for US industrial and agricultural goods and reduce regulatory differences. The Trump administration is seeking to eliminate or reduce barriers for US agricultural products and secure duty-free access for industrial goods. The firm on his position that the UK would not compromise on food standards. He has in the past expressed concern about antibiotics …

Congress returns to Washington as debt limit deadline looms

Washington (CNN)Lawmakers return to Washington this week with a debt limit deadline looming and no clear plan yet to deal with the issue as the clock ticks down. “Not many people are paying attention at the moment,” said Shai Akabas, the director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “When the reinstatement goes into effect that will be when people generally start paying attention.” Talks on how to address the debt limit are just starting to get underway on the Hill, one congressional Democratic aide told CNN. “Conversations on the debt ceiling are at their very beginning phases right now,” the aide said. Part of the challenge lawmakers face is finding time to confront issues like the debt limit …

How would Elizabeth Warren’s ambitious child care proposal work?

Washington (CNN)Democrats running for President in 2020 have unveiled a buffet of increasingly ambitious proposals to strengthen the social safety net. In introducing the plan, Warren told the story of her own struggles as a working mother and how her Aunt Bee flew to the rescue after a bad daycare experience. “Finding affordable and high-quality child care has gotten even harder since my children were growing up — and not everyone is lucky enough to have an Aunt Bee of their own,” Warren wrote in a Medium post outlining her plan. Warren’s plan, assessed by Moody’s economist Mark Zandi — who’s worked on both sides of the political aisle, including for John McCain and Barack Obama — is based on these key …

How ‘weak’ a 2020 candidate is Donald Trump, really?

(CNN)Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is thinking about challenging President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican presidential primary for one simple reason: He’s not sure Trump can actually win a second term. Obviously, any attempt to peer 20+ months into the future has to come with this caveat before we even start: Stuff — ahem — happens. Races for president are evolving creatures. They are impacted by outside events — and how candidates react to them. Chance/luck plays a role. So there’s that. With all that said, there are still plenty of ways to compare where Trump is today, politically speaking, with past presidents at this same time in their first terms. The best way to do so is to compare …

Trump’s tariffs have helped steel companies. Workers are still waiting.

New York (CNN)American steel companies are planning to reopen several mills this year, adding jobs across the country, thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s tariffs. The story is the same elsewhere in the United States. Trump’s year-old trade war has succeeded in revitalizing an industry that experienced years of decline as China ramped up production.But that hasn’t translated into a boon for workers. The steel industry added 2,400 jobs last year, an increase of just over 1%. Employment in the industry is still down about 43% since 1990. Trump’s tariffs made it 25% more expensive to buy foreign steel, aiming to redirect business toward American producers. Steel production in the United States grew about 5% last year and producers …

The 47 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump’s wild national emergency declaration

(CNN)President Donald Trump crossed a major threshold on Friday, declaring a national emergency at our southern border in order to take money allocated for other purposes and use it to build his much-ballyhooed wall. Below, my thoughts on the lines you need to see. 1. “We have a lot of great announcements having to do with Syria and our success with the eradication of the caliphate. And that’ll be announced over the next 24 hours.”

Readers’ guide to the State of the Union

Washington (CNN)When Trump gave his State of the Union address last year, he was coming off one of the highest points in his presidency. He had just signed a huge tax cut into law and removed the Obamacare mandate penalty. Both the House and Senate were controlled by Republicans, and he was enjoying some of his highest approval ratings as president. Immigration and The Wall More than anything else, the issues of immigration and border security have consumed Trump’s first two years in office. Here’s a look at some recent talking points and whether they’re true. “You don’t bring trucks of drugs through the checkpoints. You bring trucks of drugs by making a right 20 miles, and a left into …

Trump blames former Speaker Paul Ryan for not getting border wall funding

(CNN)President Donald Trump blamed former House Speaker Paul Ryan for not getting funding for the wall, saying in an interview with The Daily Caller that Ryan assured him congressional Republicans would get the money when the President agreed not to veto the omnibus spending bill last year. “And once he went lame duck, it was just really an exercise in waving to people, and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall,” he added. CNN has reached out to Ryan’s representatives for comment on the President’s remarks. Ryan was the leader of the House for Trump’s first two years in office …

Trump and Fed’s Powell meet over dinner at White House on the US economy

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Monday evening for an informal dinner at the White House residence to discuss the health of the US economy, according to a statement from Federal Reserve. Trump has repeatedly railed against the Fed’s rate changes, breaking precedent by openly attacking Powell and expressing his hopes, via Twitter, that central bankers would keep rates steady. Such a move could risk letting the economy overheat amid continued strong hiring. The President’s dissatisfaction over increased market volatility heightened late last year, leading Trump to ask advisers whether he could fire Powell, even though it’s unclear whether presidents can legally fire their Fed chairs. Also attending the dinner was Powell’s deputy Richard Clarida, …

Kamala Harris officially launches 2020 presidential campaign

(CNN)Kamala Harris officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign Sunday in her birthplace of Oakland, promising to be a fighter “for the people” and stating that it is time to restore what she views as the loss of American values under President Donald Trump. “If I have the honor of being your president, I will tell you this: I am not perfect. Lord knows, I am not perfect,” she said. “But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. And I will speak the truth.” She did not dwell on her own potential for a history-making candidacy with her background as a black woman seeking the Democratic …

New lawmaker Katie Hill highlights what’s different in Congress: We look and speak like the people we’re there to represent

Washington (CNN)When Katie Hill opened the heavy wooden door to her new congressional office in the Longworth House Office Building, one feeling smacked her in the gut. The thrust of her career has been in non-profits, as an advocate for the homeless. She also embraces the sexist criticism, known as “resting bitch face,” about a serious woman (like her) not smiling while thinking. This isn’t the sort of resume or life story that typically precedes a seat in Congress, but that’s just fine with Hill and the voters who elected her. An unconventional woman, the 31-year-old joins the 116th Congress, the most diverse legislature in history by many measures — gender, race and sexual orientation. Refusing to change is part …