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Canada announces billions in retaliatory tariffs, says it will not back down

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Canada struck back at the Trump administration over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

The announcement by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland marks a new low in ties between the neighbors and trading partners which have become increasingly strained since U.S. President Donald Trump took power in January 2017.

The Canadian tariffs will come into effect on July 1 and largely target U.S. steel and aluminum products, but also foodstuffs such as coffee, ketchup and whiskies, according to a list by the Department of Finance. https://tinyurl.com/y8w5g895

"We will not escalate and we will not back down," Freeland told reporters at a Stelco Holdings Inc plant in the Ontario steel city of Hamilton.

Officials say the measures are designed in part to pressure Trump by focusing on goods from states where his political allies hold sway.

Canada's Liberal party government said last month it would retaliate after Trump moved against steel and aluminum imports from Canada and other nations, citing security grounds.

"We are acting very much in sorrow, not in anger," said Freeland, stressing the closeness of the overall relationship. Bilateral trade is worth around C$2 billion a day.

Freeland said she had already spoken to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer six times this week and was prepared to meet at any time to tackle the issue.

Ottawa also unveiled an aid package for affected industries and workers worth up to C$2 billion, consisting mainly of up to C$1.7 billion in commercial financing and insurance for firms in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries.

The Trump administration is studying whether to put tariffs on Canadian autos, which economists say would help plunge the economy into a recession. Freeland called the idea "absolutely absurd."

The U.S. embassy in Ottawa said it had no immediate comment.

While opposition parties have so far largely backed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for standing up to Trump, their support could be tested once the U.S. tariffs start to bite.

Trudeau, who usually attends celebrations in Ottawa on July 1 to mark the Canada Day holiday, will instead spend part of the weekend with families of steel workers in the western province of Saskatchewan, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Twitter. Goodale is from Saskatchewan, where Evraz plc has a major plant.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier this month the tariffs were designed in part to stop cheap steel entering the United States via Canada and other countries.

Ottawa would take measures to stop the dumping of steel in the coming weeks once it had finished consulting stakeholders, said Canadian Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, appearing at the same event as Freeland.

In Washington, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association said the tariffs would hit $170 million worth of U.S. beef products.

"We believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation," said Kent Bacus, the association's director of international trade and market access.

U.S. officials have also linked the tariffs to slow progress in talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump says is a disaster and must be changed.

Freeland said she expected the negotiations would enter an intensive phase after a Mexican presidential election on July 1.

($1=1.3141 Canadian dollars)

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Juan Williams: My immigrant story

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Raffi, my youngest child, wore his grandfather’s watch on his wedding day.

The classic with a sepia-toned dial symbolized the idea that, even as time passes, family bonds of love endure.

So what a painful contrast to my moment of joy a week ago to now see families being torn apart on the southern border.

How could an American president intentionally separate children from parents — break up families — as a new policy to deter immigrants from coming to the USA?

I understand that Trump plays politics with immigrants. He has even proposed cutting legal immigration in half. And he displayed indifference to family bonds when he proposed ending the family reunification standard that has been the hallmark of American immigration.

Last year, he went after immigrant children when he tore up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allows youngsters brought here illegally — but who grew up in America, attended school here and even served in the U.S. military — to legally remain here.

This is being done by a president who recently described immigrants coming to America as an “infestation”? Of course, he began his run for president by demonizing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.

Well, Mr. Trump, let me tell you a great American story: I came to this country as a child immigrant.

My mother left Panama in 1958 after it became clear to her and my dad that the rule of dictator Arnulfo Arias had narrowed the doors of education and economic opportunity for my sister, my brother and for me.

My mom was nearly 50 when she left behind everything she knew to give her kids a chance at a better life. She did not want us growing up amid the gut-wrenching poverty, anti-black bigotry and the violence that was festering in our hometown of Colon.

My dad stayed behind as she took the children — then aged 4, 11 and 14 — to America as added cargo on a banana boat bound for New York. Yes, a banana boat.  

Fast-forward 60 years to last weekend’s wedding.

My brother, sister, and I are now the elders in three blessed, successful families.

When I say we are successful, I am saying we have earned our way as Americans.

My mom worked for minimum wage in a sweat shop in lower Manhattan to support us.

But that immigrant with the fourth grade education lived to see her daughter get a doctorate from Harvard. She saw my brother get his law degree from New York University. She read my writing in The Washington Post and The Hill, and watched me do political commentary on Fox News Channel. She even took a trip with me to a rural Virginia factory to watch as one of my best-selling books rolled off the presses.

None of this would have been possible had a demagogue like Trump been president. Imagine if President Eisenhower talked about “shithole” countries and separated me from my mother as our family sacrificed to become part of the great American story.  

Former First Lady Laura Bush understands:

“I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel,” she wrote in the Washington Post. “It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) understands the deep bonds of family under attack by Trump.

“As an immigrant, I know the magnetic power of America's greatness… As an American, I know that kids shouldn't be pawns while the ‘adults’ figure it out,” Schwarzenegger tweeted.

Other Republicans, however, are in the grips of Trump’s anti-immigrant mania.

Ann Coulter said crying children were “child actors.”

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski dismissed a story about a child with Down’s Syndrome being separated from his parents by making a mocking sound: “Womp, Womp.”

At rallies, Trump compares refugees to poisonous snakes that will eventually kill anyone that takes them into a home. And he highlights any criminal act by an immigrant as if immigrants have a higher rate of criminal activity than native-born Americans. That is just another Trump lie. But it is damaging to real people trying to join the American family.

Trump at first said breaking families apart was a deterrent to illegal immigrants. When statistics showed that was not true, he said it was up to Congress to change the law. But when he signed an executive order ending his family separation policy, that was revealed to be another lie.

At no point did Trump act out of concern for families and children.

He reversed himself only after a CBS News Poll found 67 percent of Americans said it was unacceptable to cut children away from their parents. Even 39 percent of self-described Republicans said it was unacceptable — along with 90 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independent voters.

“It is fitting that President Trump has been forced into retreat by babies. Cruelty should never be mistaken for strength,” Karen Tumulty wrote in the Washington Post.

My family came here as legal immigrants. But illegal immigrant children are the most vulnerable. And now Trump reduces them to collateral damage as he attempts to force Congress to give him money for a symbolic border wall.

The facts show the wall is all about politics because most illegal immigrants overstay visas and most illegal drugs come through legal ports of entry.

Raffi and his bride Morgan’s wedding was a celebration of the strength of family bonds and children yet to be born. That is America the beautiful.

But in the same week, our country lost the moral high ground that once allowed President Reagan to single us out to the world as the “shining city on the hill.”

Mr. Trump, have you no heart?

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

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Unarmed Teenager Antwon Rose Shot 3 Times In Back While Fleeing Police

The 17-year-old was running away from a traffic stop when he was killed by a Pittsburgh-area cop.

A 17-year-old boy in East Pittsburgh is dead after being shot three times in the back by an officer who had been sworn into the police department just hours earlier.

Antwon Rose was killed Tuesday night while fleeing from a car that had been pulled over in connection with an earlier shooting in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, according to WTAE TV.

A post on the Allegheny County Police Department’s Facebook page described what happened:

An East Pittsburgh police officer saw a vehicle matching the description on Grandview Avenue which also had ballistics damage to the rear window. The officer stopped the vehicle near Grandview and Howard Street in East Pittsburgh.

The officer took the driver into custody. While he was putting the driver into handcuffs, two other occupants ran from the car.

One individual ― a 17-year-old male ― was shot by police. He was transported to McKeesport Hospital where he was declared deceased.

Rose was not armed, Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Antwon Rose was shot and killed by a police officer in East Pittsburgh.
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Antwon Rose was shot and killed by a police officer in East Pittsburgh.

A bystander posted a 17-second video of the incident on Facebook. It shows two people running away from two police cars. After three gunshots, both of those people dive or fall to the ground.

Although the officer involved in the shooting was placed on leave by the East Pittsburgh Police Department, he has not been publicly named, McDonough told the Post-Gazette.

On Wednesday, East Pittsburgh Mayor Louis Payne told local station WPXI TV that the officer had been sworn into the department only a few hours before the shooting. However, he isn’t a rookie, having been an officer with other area police departments for the past seven years.

McDonough declined to say whether the officer is white, telling the Post-Gazette that he didn’t see what that had to do with the shooting.

People who live near where Rose was killed are outraged.

“Why did they have to shoot him when he is running away?” Selena Brooklin said to the Post-Gazette. “What is the justification for that? There is no justification. There is no answer. You shot a man in the back while he was running away.”

The 20-year-old driver of the vehicle that Rose allegedly fled was taken into custody. He was later released because officers did not feel they had cause to charge him in the North Braddock shooting, according to USA Today.

The North Braddock incident had happened less than 15 minutes earlier. Shots were fired from a car and a 22-year-old man was hit in the abdomen. The man, who was treated at a hospital and later released, told police that he fired back and struck the car.

Two guns were found in the car, and McDonough said he was confident the car carrying Rose was involved in the North Braddock incident.

However, more investigation was needed to determine whether Rose had fired a weapon in the earlier shooting, according to USA Today.

Rose’s death is being mourned by students and faculty at Woodland Hills High School. “He was an excellent student,” school superintendent Al Johnson told The New York Times, adding that Rose was taking Advanced Placement classes.

With Rose’s death, Johnson said the school has lost four students to gun violence over the past academic year.

Kim Ransom, who employed Rose at the Pittsburgh Gymnastics Club for about a year, told the Times that the teenager would be missed.

“Everybody loved him here. He was very mature,” Ransom said. 

“I feel like it’s important for people to know that he was Antwon,” she said. “He’s not a statistic, he’s Antwon.”

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Trump's approval rating just reached its highest level yet in the gold standard of presidential indicators

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  • President Donald Trump's approval rating is at an all-time high of 45% in the Gallup weekly tracking poll.
  • And his disapproval rating has hit a near-low of 50%.
  • His current approval rating at his point in his presidency lines up with the ratings of other presidents at similar points in their first terms. 
  • His new spike in approval could take a hit due to the backlash against the administration's controversial policy that has led to separating families at the border. 

 

President Donald Trump's approval rating has reached an all-time high of 45% in a Gallup poll released on Sunday. 

Gallup, considered the gold standard of gauging approval ratings, polls a representative sample size of 1,500 Americans by telephone every week, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. 

Trump's disapproval rating is currently at 50%, the second-lowest point it's been since the very beginning of his first term in January 2017. His disapproval ratings have been as high as 60% in previous months.

Trump's current approval rating 513 days into his presidency is on par with the approval ratings of other presidents at similar points in their first terms. President Barack Obama's approval rating was 45% at day 523 of his presidency, and former President Bill Clinton held 44% approval on day 524.   

Data analyst and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver theorized that Trump's sudden spike in approval ratings this week is most likely due to the positive reaction among Republicans to the summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Silver said that temporary increase would disappear in the coming weeks, as the Trump administration faces mounting backlash from Democrats and Republicans alike over it's controversial "zero-tolerance" policy that has led to the separation of parents and children at the US border. 

A Quinnipiac University poll from Monday found that Americans oppose the border separation policy 66% to 27%. The majority of Republicans support it, but by a narrow margin of 55% to 35%. 

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Advice to graduates: Pursue a PhD in common sense

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“Education must not simply teach work. It must teach life.”—W.E.B. DuBois

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—This time of year brings great pride and congratulations for graduates at all levels, from high school to doctorates. But the most important degree I can recommend is a PhD in common sense, with a concentration in thriving and surviving in 21st Century America.

Common sense is genius wrapped in work clothes.  And to achieve it, we must learn four lessons.

First lesson: Don’t ever forget from whence you came. Along the long journey of life, one need only recognize that as graduates of 2018, you’re standing on the shoulders of those who came before. As you celebrate your success after many years of hard work, financial sacrifice, long nights —in many cases working and going to school at the same time—there are many out there from your hometowns and neighborhoods, maybe in your own family, who will not have the opportunities you have today. This nation has too many children who are born into and grow up in poverty. This nation has a problem of mass incarceration. This nation still has too much gun violence. To whom much is given, much is expected, demanded and required. Go back to your high school, to your community, to the young people, and let them see your success. Let them hear your story. Let them understand what you had to do to get to today.

Lesson two: Pursue excellence in every instance. It is still an unfortunate fact that to be Black, you’ve got to be better. Your grandmother and mother will tell you that time and again. But you can be the best. Say no to mediocrity. Say no to half-stepping. Say no to foot-dragging. Be excellent. And remember, excellence is not perfection. No one is perfect. What excellence means is the pursuit of perfection and the faith that in all of our endeavors, you have given everything that God has given you to accomplish to achieve and to pursue your goals and your dreams.

Lesson three: In this nation today, racism is real. But you are not going to let racism break your spirit. Whether it’s Starbucks or Waffle House. Whether it’s Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown or Eric Garner. Whether it’s a student taking a nap from studying too hard in a student lounge at Yale university. Implicit and explicit bias is still a part of American life. It’s in the criminal justice system, where people of color who serve longer sentence than White men who commit same crimes. It’s in the scourge of hate crimes that have spiked over the last two years. It’s in the leaders talking about building walls when we should be talking about building bridges.

Racism is real. But you’re not going to let it break your spirit. Frederick Douglass didn’t let racism break his spirit, and he didn’t let Lincoln’s hand shake when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Racism didn’t break the spirit of Harriet Tubman, who carried members of her family through the back woods on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, time and time again, to freedom. Racism didn’t break the spirit of Thurgood Marshall in 1954 when he persuaded the Supreme Court to declare unanimously that school segregation is unconstitutional. Racism didn’t break the spirit of Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. DuBois. Remember that Rosa sat so Martin could march, so Barack could run, and Barack won so you can soar.

Finally, America respects economic power and political power. Now that you have a college degree, it’s time for you to build your assets. Building assets means investing in things that appreciate in value. Yes, you need a car but even the fanciest car doesn’t appreciate in value. Fancy handbags and fancy shoes don’t appreciate in value. Glam and glitter do not appreciate in value. Real estate does. Stock portfolios do. I know many  of you are saddled with student loan debt. But don’t ever think any dime you invested in yourself was a dime wasted. If it is within your vision for yourself and the skill set that God has given you, build a business. Hire more people. Grow that business and sell that business and build a new business. Economic power is what we need.

This nation understands political power. We shirk our duty and our responsibility when an election comes and we don’t vote. We surrender our power to others when an election comes and we don’t vote. We need to send a message to the people who lead this country that we do not want a divided America. We do not want an America of walls; we want an America of bridges. We do not want an America of hate; we want an America of cooperation and an America of love. We want an America where everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, orientation, or national origin is respected and honored as one of God’s children.  That’s the America we want.

Of all the honors I’ve been humbled to receive in my life, and all the things I’ve learned from attending great institutions, the most important degree I got is the PhD in common sense I got from my mama. It came from these four lessons: Remember from whence you came. Pursue excellence. Racism is real but will not defeat us. And America respects economic power and political power and while we do not worship it, and we will build it each and every day of our lives.

Congratulations to the class of 2018!

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