Saturday, 8 August 2020

Canada to impose $3.6B in retaliatory tariffs against U.S.

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a blistering rebuke of U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest trade tirade Friday, calling his decision to bombard Canada with new tariffs on aluminum absurd, useless and unjustified.

Freeland said Canada will retaliate within the next 30 days with $3.6 billion in import tariffs on American goods that contain aluminum, after consulting with industry in Canada on which products to hit.

Freeland was speaking in Toronto a day after Trump announced he was reimposing a 10% import tax on Canadian raw aluminum because Canada had broken a promise not to flood the U.S. market with the product.

Freeland said that was simply not true and that imposing trade penalties in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is “unnecessary, unwarranted and entirely unacceptable.”

“In imposing these tariffs, the United States has taken the absurd decision to harm its own people at a time its economy is suffering the deepest crisis since the Great Depression,” she said.

“Any American who buys a can of beer or a soda or a car or a bike will suffer.”

In fact, the washing machines that formed a backdrop for Trump during his announcement at a Whirlpool factory in Ohio Thursday, will cost more because of the tariffs, she said.

Washing machines are on a list of more than five dozen aluminum-containing products that Canada is considering for retaliatory tariffs. So are bicycles, golf clubs, hockey sticks, playground equipment, and aluminum foil.

Freeland said the goal is to inflict the least damage on Canada while having the “strongest possible impact” on the United States. She said the retaliation will be “reasonable” but match the U.S. tariffs “dollar for dollar.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who the Liberals used to enjoy comparing to Trump, echoed Freeland’s criticisms of the U.S. president. The two spoke early Friday about the tariffs. Freeland said she thanked Ford for his support and his friendship.

Ford encouraged Canadians to buy made-in-Canada products over U.S.-made ones to remind Trump that Canadians are Americans’ biggest international customers.

“Who does this?” Ford, said incredulously. “In times like this, who tries to go after your closest ally, your closest trading partner, your number 1 customer in the entire world? President Trump did this.”

He also raised the spectre of Trump going after Canadian steel with tariffs as well.

In 2018, the Trump White House slapped a 25% tariff on Canadian steel and 10% on aluminum. Those were lifted in May 2019.

Freeland said the White House would need to answer any questions about steel but noted that in the last couple of months the threats coming out of Washington, and the conversations Canada was having with them, were related only to aluminum.

The U.S. says Canadian producers increased the amount of raw aluminum going into the U.S. more than 80% since the tariffs were lifted in 2019. The Aluminium Association of Canada said raw aluminum shipments increased because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down factories, cancelling orders for processed aluminum products such as car parts for auto manufacturers.

Because smelters cannot just be turned off, they continued to produce the raw products. It was shipped to the U.S. for storage for use later on. The association said as factories resumed operations in June and July, more value-added goods were exported and less raw aluminum.

Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, said he has not heard specifically that steel will be targeted. He said he does worry Trump is “trying to pick a fight” because he is trailing in the polls ahead of the November presidential election.

“This is just so bad,” said Heyman, who is backing Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the presidential race. “It so clearly has the stench of pure politics and it affects real jobs and real lives.”

Heyman said Canada had no choice but to retaliate and it seems to be an equivalent response, but he does worry it will provoke Trump into a trade war that he thinks will help him woo American voters.

In 2018, when the first tariffs were applied to steel and aluminum, Canada hit back with $16.6 billion in tariffs on products. Many were politically aimed to hurt factories and workers in electoral districts held by key Republicans. Heyman said there were many Republicans who complained to the White House about that.

This time, he said, he doesn’t think those voices will mean anything to Trump.

“He’s fighting for his own survival right this minute,” said Heyman.

Jack Mintz, president’s fellow in the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, said retaliatory tariffs are politically attractive, but may wind up hurting Canada as much as they do the United States.

He said the U.S. tariffs are opposed by some members of the aluminum industry in the U.S. and Canada should work with those allies to try to head off such anti-free-trade moves. He also noted that Trump and Biden are both promoting “U.S.-first” policies as they try to enlist voter support.

Biden said this week he would re-evaluate U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, but has not weighed in on the aluminum tariffs yet.

Heyman said he thinks that if Democrats gain control of both the White House and Congress, one could expect a review of the White House’s use of national security as an excuse to impose tariffs on imports.

Friday, 7 August 2020

Hasbro Pulling Trolls Doll Due to Sensor Placement That 'May Be Perceived as Inappropriate'

Hasbro is pulling one of its toys from shelves after a petition alleged that the placement of one of its features could have "long term affects on a child's mental/physical health."

In the petition, Jessica McManis wrote that the Dreamworks Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy doll -- which "gasps and giggles" upon activation of a sensor between the toy's legs underneath its skirt, as shown in a video shared on Twitter -- "needs to be removed from our stores."

"Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok," she added. "What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it's fun when someone touches your private area? That pedophilia and child molestation are ok?"

"It's not ok!" McManis continued in the petition's description. "It's not fun! It's damaging and has long term affects [sic] on a child's mental/physical health!"

Never miss a story -- sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

RELATED: Disney Issues Recall on Toy Story 4 Forky Plush Toy Over Potential Choking Hazard

Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy gave a statement to the Providence Journal, insisting that the placement of the sensor "was not intentional."

"This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate," she said in her email to the publication.

"This was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our consumer care team," Duffy added. "We are in the process of removing the item for purchase."

RELATED VIDEO: IKEA Issues Voluntary Recall of Dressers and Chests That Have Killed 6 Children

The 2-minute video was re-posted to Twitter on Wednesday by politician Sam Parker. It was originally recorded by a mom whose daughter received the doll as a gift for her recent second birthday, for which she had a Poppy-themed party.

"I find this disturbing and I find it something that needs to be shared," the mom said from behind the camera, adding that she was inspired to speak out about the doll because of "sex trafficking in kids and things that are thrown in our kids' faces to groom them and make them more oblivious to things that are really happening."

"I know some of you may not think this is a big deal, but especially since I've had kids ... this is wrong," she said. "It says nothing about this button on the box."

The petition -- aimed at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Dollar General and Family Dollar Stores -- had over 145,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

Dinosaur diagnosed with malignant cancer for the first time: researchers say

The cancer was found in the leg bone of a Centrosaurus which lived 76 to 77 million years ago

Researchers on Monday announced the discovery and diagnosis of an aggressive type of bone cancer in a dinosaur, making it the first known example of a dinosaur afflicted by malignant cancer, according to a study.

The cancer was found in the leg bone of a Centrosaurus, a horned dinosaur that lived 76 to 77 million years ago. Its fossils were previously unearthed in the badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada’s Alberta province back in 1989, where scientists spotted a badly malformed leg bone they believed to be a healed fracture.

A team of researchers, including David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Mark Crowther a hematologist at McMaster University, re-evaluated the bone and determined it was actually osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer, according to a study published the journal Lancet Oncology.

“Diagnosis of aggressive cancer like this in dinosaurs has been elusive and requires medical expertise and multiple levels of analysis to properly identify,” Crowther said in a press release by the ROM. “Here, we show the unmistakable signature of advanced bone cancer in 76-million-year-old horned dinosaur -- the first of its kind. It’s very exciting.”

Evans said the lower leg bone contained “a massive gnarly tumor larger than an apple."

The researchers -- assembled from a variety of different fields -- diagnosed the tumor using high-resolution CT scans, where they observed thin sections under the microscope to assess it at a cellular level.

Scientists approached the diagnosis similar to how they would with an unknown tumor in a human patient.

“We were not only able to demonstrate that the bone tissue showed the hallmarks of osteosarcoma, but that the tumor spiraled through the cortex of bone, discounting its original identification of a healed fracture,” Evans added.

Most tumors occur in soft tissue that doesn't willingly fossilize, so there is little evidence of cancer in fossil records, according to Reuters.

The study's findings could establish links between ancient and modern animals and even help scientists learn more about the evolution and genetics of various diseases.

Illustration of two Centrosauruses (Photo by De Agostini via Getty Images/De Agostini via Getty Images)

Illustration of two Centrosauruses (Photo by De Agostini via Getty Images/De Agostini via Getty Images)

"Evidence of many other diseases that we share with dinosaurs and other extinct animals may yet be sitting in museum collections in need of re-examination using modern analytical techniques," the release said.

Tumors were also found in a dinosaur earlier this year, although a malignant cancer diagnosis has yet to be confirmed.

“This finding speaks to the biology of cancer. It is not something novel or new, but probably has occurred since time immemorial and is an expected complication in all animals,” added Crowther, according to the news organization.

“Osteosarcoma generally occurs in rapidly growing bones and as such is found in children and young adults. Presumably, dinosaurs were also at risk because of the fact that they grew at enormous rates,” he continued.

While the Centrosaurus was likely weak from cancer before it died, Evans said the disease may not have killed the dinosaur. The fossil was found in a bonebed containing the remains of hundreds of other Centrosaurus dinosaurs, which suggested that they died in a flood.

“This remarkable find shows that no matter how big or powerful some dinosaurs may seem, they were affected by many of the same diseases we see in humans and other animals today, including cancer," he added, according to Reuters. "Dinosaurs seem like mythical beasts, but they were living, breathing animals that suffered through horrible injuries and diseases."

NYC relocations accelerating at ‘substantial’ pace, local movers say

Moving experts say they have not been able to keep pace with demand

Even as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has leveled off in recent weeks, moving companies say they remain inundated with requests from people leaving New York City.

Big Apple-based moving company Oz Moving, for example, told FOX Business that the volume of moves continues to rise at a “substantial rate” – in addition to a “drastic” spike in storage compared with years prior.

The company has seen an average increase in quote requests of 30 percent year over year.

By July 15 Oz Moving was booked to capacity for the remainder of the month, and while it is always busy over the summer, 2020 marked the first time in 27 years the company was unable to take on additional jobs so early on.

Similarly, Roadway Moving President Ross Sapir told FOX Business that it is the busiest summer he has ever had.

“Insanely busy and for the last 3 months we couldn’t keep up with the demand,” Sapir said.

To accommodate movers who have already left Manhattan, Oz Moving even recently introduced an “absentee move,” which employees can carry out when residents are not in their apartments.

The company said it is quickly becoming one of its most sought-after services.

Both Roadway Moving and Oz Moving told FOX Business in May that the pandemic had caused business to boom in New York City, describing a panicked flight out of the densely-populated metro.

Both continue to detail an exodus, and other statistics confirm heightened interest in leaving.

According to the most recent data from United Van Lines, between May and July there was a 95 percent year over year increase in interest in moving out of Manhattan. That compares with a 19 percent increase in moving interest in the U.S., overall.

The top destinations for people who moved out of New York City between March and August were Florida and California – which together comprised 28 percent of relocations. Texas and North Carolina made up 16 percent of moves.

New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo joked during a recent press conference that he has been bribing his friends to return to Manhattan with promises of free dinners and drinks.

“We’re trying to get people to come back,” Cuomo said. “They’re not coming back right now.”

Still, some local real estate experts say perception of the issue may be overblown.

Lindsay Barton Barrett, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman, told FOX Business that some of the data and stories are skewed by the fact that in-person showings only recently resumed in Manhattan, while they were allowed in other areas weeks earlier.

“The reality is that there are always people in New York selling their homes and leaving,” Barrett said. “There are certain sectors of the market that are still active and other sectors of the market that are on hold.”

Barrett noted that some people may have temporarily left the city – with plans to return – which explains a dramatic spike in storage requests.

As previously reported by FOX Business, a big factor that may play into the Manhattan real estate recovery is whether schools reopen. Parents often relocate to be closer to their children’s school.

Dan Crenshaw blasts Teen Vogue op-ed advocating end to private property rights

Writer Kandist Mallett's article reads like 'Marxist propaganda,' the Texas congressman says

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, blasted Teen Vogue on Thursday over a July column in which the writer advocates for the eventual end of private property rights.

“Just wondering if anyone sees any issues with our next generation reading Marxist propaganda in popular teen magazines...?” Crenshaw, who has represented the Houston-area 2nd Congressional District of Texas since 2019, wrote on Twitter.

Columnist Kandist Mallett, who has recently focused on issues related to racial injustice protests, centered her argument around those struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic -- such as those dealing with rent and eviction issues.

“It’s been four months since the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic first highlighted the failures of capitalism and the incompetence of the United States government,” Mallett wrote in the piece, which was titled "An Eviction Crisis Is Coming — We Need to Treat Housing as a Right."

She said it was time to look at the role private housing plays in the “economic violence” against communities – especially those of color – who are currently facing eviction due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic didn’t create this housing crisis, but it did further expose the cruelty of payment-based housing,” she wrote. “Wages that have remained stagnant while rent prices ballooned, especially over the last two decades, have meant millions of Americans have been living one disaster away from being unable to afford their rent.”

She wrote there is a disconnect of “wealth and class” between politicians and the public. “The constitution was created by landowning white men, who were the only people who could vote for decades after this country’s founding. This legacy still guides the government’s funding priorities.”

Mallett added that the anti-eviction movement should be linked to larger land struggles in the country’s history, adding that a moratorium on evictions only delays the real issues of the housing crisis.

“We should cancel rent outright as this pandemic rages,” she wrote, "and we should work toward a world where landlords no longer hold this sort of power over people’s lives.”

She added that the housing movement should be based on “a rejection of the construct that any one person should own this earth’s land.”

“While we’re working to abolish the police, we must also work to dismantle what the police were put here to protect: property. What is more evident of the legacy of settler colonialism and its violence than the idea of the ownership of land?” she wrote.

Crenshaw has been a vocal supporter of police in the country amid protests and told Fox News last month that "every single piece of data and every single piece of evidence and over the last few years...violent crime and crime, in general, has gone up across major cities. And, that is a result of police having to pull back. And so, it's the exact opposite outcome that we want if we're trying to help the people that we're claiming to help."

Portland mayor condemns rioters for 'attempting to commit murder'

The mayor said violent protesters will be used as "props" for President Trump's reelection campaign

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Thursday evening condemned the actions of rioters who attempted to set fire to a police precinct and blocked the exits while officers were inside.

“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder," Wheeler said in a news conference with Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

"Don’t think for a moment that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are," he said. "You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”

A riot was declared Wednesday evening when agitators descended upon the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct building, spray-painted over security cameras, broke a glass door with a 2x4, lit a fire using an accelerant and threw fireworks and other objects at officers, according to FOX 12 in Portland.

Police said that a truck also attempted to run over officers.

The front doors of the precinct were barricaded before the fire was started with more than 20 officers and civilian employees inside, police said, according to FOX 12.

Officers used tear gas to disperse the rioters and at least eight people were arrested. A federal court order bars police from using tear gas unless a riot is declared.

“I believe that city staff could have died last night,” Wheeler said. “I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms.”

Rioters also vandalized and broke into Portland’s Police Association Tuesday night.

Wheeler also urged peaceful protesters to avoid gatherings that could turn destructive or violent, according to Oregon Live.

“If you are a nonviolent demonstrator and you don’t want to be part of intentional violence, please stay away from these areas,” Wheeler said. “Our community must say that this violence is not Portland, that these actions do not reflect our values and these crimes are distracting from reform, not advancing.”

The clashes between thousands of protesters and federal agents sent by the Trump administration to guard the federal courthouse stopped after an agreement between Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that called for the agents to begin drawing down their presence in Portland’s downtown on July 30.

Then some instigators moved on to other police buildings across the city to cause problems.

Wednesday night’s violence in a residential neighborhood on the east side of the city began after a group of about 100 people gathered in a nearby park for a rally advertised on social media by the group Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front with the slogan “No cops. No prisons. Total abolition." The group then marched to the precinct.

At the same time, a larger peaceful group of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered downtown to give speeches. No police presence was necessary, Portland Police Bureau Capt. Tony Passadore said.

“Hurting people and trying to trap people in a building and burn them up, it’s just completely awful,” Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Damon Simmons reiterated in the news conference, according to FOX 12.

Wheeler said the city anticipates “additional planned attacks on public buildings” in the coming days and said he was giving the police leeway to do what they needed to do to counter those plans as long as it can be done without threatening peaceful protesters.

On Wednesday, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said rioters aren’t forwarding the cause of racial injustice protesters. "Portlanders need to send a strong message that enough is enough," he said. “This movement is really powerful, but the violence has taken away from it.”

Wheeler was met with jeers from protesters two weeks ago when he joined them for a dialogue.

Portland has faced nearly 70 nights of anti-police protests since the police custody death of George Floyd.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Tucker reacts to leaked George Floyd footage: 'Why haven't we seen the rest of the video until right now?' 

'The video seems relevant, particularly considering all that happened next,' says 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host

 The American people should have been allowed to see police body camera footage of the moments before Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned George Floyd's neck under Chauvin's knee much sooner than this week, Tucker Carlson argued Tuesday. Footage from the cameras of former rookie officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng was obtained by the Daily Mail and published Monday. The video shows about 18 minutes from Kueng's body camera and 10 minutes from Lane's. The footage shows four Minneapolis police officers struggling with Floyd this past May 25 before one of them, Derek Chauvin, ultimately pins Floyd to the ground in a scene that sparked protests worldwide. "The catechism has been written and it's in stone. 'George Floyd is a martyr, period' ... " the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" host said. "But in America, that's not good enough. It's not a real answer. In free societies, citizens have a right to know why things are changing so quickly. "What exactly is the basis of this cultural revolution that we're all living through?" Carlson asked. "Once again, it may be some time before we can answer those questions with certainty. Maybe we never will. We'll probably debate them for decades. But more facts are always the first step toward establishing what the truth is ... "Floyd's death has been used to justify a nationwide convulsion of violence, destruction, looting, in some cases killing ..." Carlson went on. "In addition to unprecedented levels of political upheaval, the wholesale reordering of our most basic institutions, Floyd's death changed everything. It was a pivot point in American history. No matter what your side you're on, that's very clear at this point. So with all of that in mind ... it's striking how little we really know months later about how exactly George Floyd died." Carlson then played clips of the body camera footage. Prior to its publication by the Daily Mail, the video was only available for viewing at the Hennepin County Courthouse, by appointment only. "You can decide for yourself what you think of that video. And we hope you will. That's the whole point of having a news network, to bring you the facts and allow you to decide what they amount to. We hope that takes place in this case," Carlson said. "So the question is, why haven't we seen the rest of the video until right now? The video seems relevant, particularly considering all that happened next."