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Trump says he will meet with China’s Xi at G20 summit as trade fight intensifies – National

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Trump says he will meet with China’s Xi at G20 summit as trade fight intensifies National

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he would meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next month as the trade war between the world’s two largest economies intensified, sending shivers through global markets.

China announced earlier it would impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods, including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas, a move that followed Washington’s decision last week to hike its own levies on $200 billion in Chinese imports.


READ MORE:
China adds tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said later it planned to hold a public hearing next month on the possibility of imposing duties of up to 25% on a further $300 billion worth of imports from China. Cellphones and laptops would be included in that list but pharmaceuticals would be excluded, the office said.

The prospect that the United States and China were spiraling into a no-holds-barred dispute that could derail the global economy has rattled investors and led to a sharp selloff on equities markets in the past week.

WATCH: China hits back with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods





A gauge of global stocks shed a further 1.9% on Monday, its biggest one-day drop in more than five months. China’s yuan currency fell to its lowest level since December and oil futures slumped.

Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda, said he would talk to Xi at a G20 summit in late June.

“Maybe something will happen,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “We’re going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.”

Speaking several hours later at a dinner gathering at the White House, Trump said it should be clear in “three or four weeks” if a U.S. trade delegation’s trip to Beijing two weeks ago was successful.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be very successful,” Trump said.

WATCH: Markets tumble as China announces retaliatory tariffs for U.S.





The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councilor Wang Yi, said during a trip to Russia that China-U.S. talks were not a “one-way street” and needed to be conducted on the basis of equality, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

“Both countries’ negotiating teams have the ability and wisdom to resolve each other’s reasonable demands, and in the end reach a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement,” he said.

The comment period on the planned new tranche of U.S. duties – which covers 3,805 product categories – is much shorter than in previous rounds and could potentially leave Trump in a position to trigger those tariffs by the time he meets Xi.


READ MORE:
‘Just a small setback’: China’s Liu says trade negotiations with U.S. have not broken down

U.S. farmers are among those most hurt by the trade war, with soybean sales to China plummeting and U.S. soybean futures hitting their lowest level in a decade. Trump said on Monday his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion to help farmers whose products might be targeted.

Farmers, who are a core political constituency for Trump‘s Republicans heading into the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, are growing increasingly frustrated with the protracted trade talks and the failure to reach an agreement.

WATCH: US/China trade war causing turmoil in global financial markets





“What that means for soybean growers is that we’re losing,” Davie Stephens, president of the American Soybean Association, said in a statement.

STEADY DRUM BEAT

China said on Monday it planned to set import tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on 5,140 U.S. products on a $60 billion target list. It said the tariffs would take effect on June 1.

“China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to U.S. unilateralism and protectionism,” its finance ministry said. “China hopes the U.S. will get back to the right track of bilateral trade and economic consultations and meet with China halfway.”


READ MORE:
U.S. stocks post broad declines amid U.S.-China tariff standoff, recover some losses

In the middle of the negotiations last week, Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. The move affected 5,700 categories of Chinese products, including internet modems and routers.

Sources have said talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

WATCH: Trump reacts to China retaliation to tariffs





Beijing said on Monday it would never surrender to external pressure. Its state media kept up a steady drum beat of strongly worded commentary, reiterating that the door to talks was always open but vowing that China would defend its national interests and dignity.

State television said in a commentary the effect of the U.S. tariffs on the Chinese economy was “totally controllable.”


READ MORE:
China adds tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation

Trump has said he is in no rush to finalize a deal with China. He again defended the move to hike U.S. tariffs and said there was no reason why American consumers would pay the costs.

Economists and industry consultants, however, maintain that it is U.S. businesses that will pay the costs and likely pass them on to consumers.

U.S. tariffs last year triggered retaliation by China, which imposed 25% levies on $50 billion worth of U.S. products including soybeans, beef and pork and lower tariffs on a list of $60 billion in goods.

WATCH: China to fight back after Trump slaps tariffs on Chinese goods





Goldman Sachs economists said in a research note new evidence showed the costs of Washington’s tariffs on China last year had fallen entirely on U.S. businesses and households, with no clear reduction in prices charged by Chinese exporters.

They said the effects of the tariffs had spilled over noticeably to the prices charged by U.S. producers competing with goods affected by the levies.



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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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