Breaking News for October 9, 2019

9Oct

My apologies for the abrupt end to the Breaking News podcast. It has become financially impossible for me to continue these daily updates.

I might be able to do a weekly update, but I would need the support from more listeners to generate a weekly recording.

For some of you my podcasts may have, in some small way, helped you learn a new language. I am happy to have been of some small assistance.

Thank you for your support over the last 5 years following the end of the UMANO APP. I wish you health, wealth and eternal happiness.

Namaste.

My address is
umanodailynews@icloud.com

The News of the Day for Friday September 20, 2019

20Sep

The Pentagon on Friday announced it will deploy additional U.S. troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as President Donald Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Pentagon reporters this is a first step to beef up security and he would not rule out additional moves down the road. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said more details about the deployment will be determined in the coming days, but it would not involve thousands of U.S. troops. Other officials said the U.S. deployment would likely be in the hundreds and the defensive equipment heading to the Middle East would probably include Patriot missile batteries and possibly enhanced radars. The announcement reflected Trump’s comments earlier in the day when he told reporters that showing restraint “shows far more strength” than launching military strikes and he wanted to avoid an all-out war with Iran.

 

 

 

A tour bus crashed on a highway running through the red-rock landscape of southern Utah on Friday, killing four people from China and injuring dozens more. The bus from of Southern California rolled onto a guard rail, crushing its roof and ramming the rail’s vertical posts into the cab. The Utah Highway Patrol said five passengers remained in critical condition Friday night, and the death toll could rise. All 31 people on board were hurt. and about half of those on board were considered to be in critical condition shortly after the crash, but several of them have since improved. The crash happened near a highway rest stop a few miles from southern Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park, an otherworldly landscape of narrow red-rock spires. Authorities believe the driver swerved on the way to the park, but when he yanked the steering wheel to put the bus back onto the road the momentum sent the bus into a rollover crash. The driver, an American citizen, survived and was talking with investigators. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate.

 

 

 

President Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden. That's according to a person familiar with the matter. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against the president. Trump defended himself Friday against the intelligence official’s complaint, angrily declaring it came from a “partisan whistleblower,” though he also said he didn’t know who had made it. The complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to two people familiar with the matter. In that call, Trump urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential Democratic rival Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company, according to one of the people, who was briefed on the call. Trump did not raise the issue of U.S. aid to Ukraine, indicating there was not an explicit quid pro quo, according to the person. Biden said Trump should release the transcript of his July phone conversation with Zelenskiy “so that the American people can judge for themselves.”

 

 

 

North Korea on Friday praised President Trump for saying Washington may pursue an unspecified “new method” in nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang. Those talks have been stalled for months by disagreements over trade-offs between sanctions relief and disarmament steps. Kim Jong Un said he is optimistic about negotiations with the United States, which the North earlier said could resume in a few weeks. Pyongyang has repeatedly demanded that Washington reconsider its stance following the collapse of a February summit between the North Korean leader and Trump. Trump on Wednesday said comments made by former National Security Advisor John Bolton set the United States back “very badly” in talks with the North. Bolton has been replaced and Trump said, “maybe a new method would be very good.” While the timing of Bolton’s firing could be convenient for talks, experts say the departure of one adviser wouldn’t dramatically alter U.S. policy. The Trump administration has said sanctions and pressure will be maintained until North Korea takes concrete steps toward fully relinquishing its nuclear program.

 

 

 

Gun manufacturer Colt announced Thursday that it would suspend production of its popular AR-15 assault-style rifle for the civilian market. The gunmaker will still make the weapons for its military and law enforcement customers. The move came as pressure mounts for limiting access to assault-style rifles after numerous gunmen have used them in deadly mass shootings. CEO Dennis Veilleux in a statement sought to reassure customers that Colt is still "committed to the consumer market" and the Second Amendment, but he said demand for Colt rifles had dwindled. American Military News noted that Colt's relatively high prices for popular rifle models had dented sales.

 

 

 

Walmart announced Friday it will stop selling all e-cigarettes after health officials linked at least seven deaths and hundreds of illnesses to vaping products. The company said its decision also applies to Sam's Club locations in the United States. The announcement comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration revealed it launched a criminal investigation into suspected vaping-linked lung illnesses weeks ago. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday reported 530 confirmed or probable lung illnesses in 36 states -- up from 380 on Sept. 12. On Tuesday, a California man became the 7th person in the United States to die from the lung conditions. Early testing has linked the illnesses to illicit marijuana vapor cartridges, but officials say they cannot rule out nicotine e-cigarettes as also playing a role. In May, Walmart announced a plan to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21 as an added measure to prevent the sale of the items to minors.

 

 

 

Russia's oil reserves have nearly doubled in valuation since last year and now total $1.2 trillion. Moscow's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said Friday the 88 percent increase is largely attributable to newly discovered reserves and higher valuations for the existing reserve supply. In volume terms, Russia's oil reserves grew by nearly 9 percent and its valuation by $385 billion. The production cost per barrel remains about $15.50. Oil accounted for 72 percent of Russia's gross domestic product in 2018. The ministry said the value of Russia's natural gas reserves jumped by $44 billion, to $221 billion, after an increase of 3.6 percent, or 15 trillion cubic meters. The estimates for oil and natural gas only take into account what's commercially viable to produce.

 

 

 

About 75 people arrived early Friday at a gate at the once-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada — at the time appointed by an internet hoaxster to “storm” the facility to see space aliens — and at least two were detained by sheriff’s deputies. Officials estimated late Thursday that about 1,500 people had gathered at the “Storm Area 51” festival sites and said more than 150 people also made the rugged trip several additional miles on bone-rattling dirt roads to get within selfie distance of the gates. Millions of people had responded to a June internet post calling for people to run into the remote U.S. Air Force test site - about two hours north of Las Vegas - that has long been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories. “They can’t stop all of us,” the post joked. “Lets see them aliens.” The military responded with stern warnings that lethal force could be used if people entered the Nevada Test and Training Range.

 

 

 

Researchers from more than a dozen nations prepared Friday to launch the biggest and most complex expedition ever attempted in the central Arctic — a yearlong journey through the ice they hope will improve the scientific models that underpin our understanding of climate change. The 140-million euro ($158 million) expedition will see scientists from 19 countries including Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China work together in one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet. Packed full of scientific equipment, the German icebreaker RV Polarstern will leave the port of Tromsoe in northern Norway accompanied by a Russian vessel to search for a suitably large floe on which to anchor and set up base. Markus Rex of Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Ocean Research, who will lead the expedition said, “The Arctic is the epicenter of global climate change. At the same time the Arctic is the region of the planet where we understand the climate system least.”

The News of the Day for Thursday September 19, 2019

19Sep

The United States said on Thursday it was building a coalition to deter Iranian threats following a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Iran has warned President Donald Trump against being dragged into a war in the Middle East and said it would meet any offensive action with a crushing response. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Trump, who has ordered more sanctions on Iran, wants a peaceful solution to the crisis. Pompeo also spoke on Thursday with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, which is Riyadh’s main Arab ally. He did not provide details about the coalition. Pompeo described his proposed coalition as “an act of diplomacy while the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all out war”. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, told CNN that the Islamic Republic “won’t blink” if it has to defend itself against any U.S. or Saudi military strike, which he said would lead to “all-out war”. Pompeo said the attacks would be a major focus of next week’s annual U.N. General Assembly meeting and suggested Riyadh could make its case there.

 

 

 

A U.S. drone strike, intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan, killed at least 30 civilians that were resting after a day’s labor in the fields. Officials said the attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province. A survivor of the drone strike said about 200 laborers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened. Angered by the attack, some residents of Nangarhar province demanded an apology and monetary compensation from the U.S. government. Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry and a senior U.S official in Kabul confirmed the drone strike, but did not share details of civilian casualties. About 14 thousand U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counter-insurgency operations against IS and the Taliban movement.

 

 

 

Secretary of State Pompeo said on Thursday the United States is withdrawing about $100 million earmarked for an energy infrastructure project in Afghanistan and is withholding a further $60 million in planned assistance, blaming corruption and a lack of transparency in the country. In a statement, Pompeo said the United States would complete the infrastructure project, but would do so using an “‘off-budget’ mechanism”, faulting Afghanistan for an “inability to transparently manage U.S. government resources”. The decision comes a day after the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass, in a tweet called out the country’s National Procurement Authority (NPA) for not approving the purchase of fuel for thermal electricity. Residents of Kabul have accused the NPA of ignoring people’s need for energy, as large parts of the city have been without power for more than seven hours every day this month. The power crisis intensified further this week after insurgents attack pylons in northern provinces. About a third of the country has been hit by blackouts.

 

 

 

Nearly two decades after the World Health Organization declared polio eradicated in the Philippines, the malady - preventable by vaccine - has returned in a new outbreak. The Philippines health department said Thursday, one case involves a 3-year-old girl and another suspected case is awaiting confirmation. The department said traces of the poliovirus were detected in Manila and Davao. Polio is a crippling infectious disease that can invade a patient's brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis and possibly death. The last known case of wild poliovirus in the Philippines appeared in 1993, and the WHO declared it eradicated in 2000. Polio is rare around the world, and no cases have originated in the United States since 1979.

 

 

 

U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators were set to resume face-to-face talks for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday, as the world’s two largest economies try to bridge deep policy differences and find a way out of a bitter and protracted trade war. The negotiations, which run through Friday, are aimed at laying the groundwork for high-level talks in early October that will determine whether the two countries are working toward a solution - or headed for new and higher tariffs on each other’s goods. Sources said the discussions are likely to focus heavily on agriculture, including U.S. demands that China substantially increase purchases of American soybeans and other farm commodities. White House officials signaled warming negotiations as the deputies were set to begin their sitdown. Last week, Trump delayed a scheduled Oct. 1 tariff increase on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports until mid-month, as China postponed tariffs on some U.S. cancer drugs, animal feed ingredients and lubricants.

 

 

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday after Time published a 2001 photo showing him wearing brownface makeup at an Arabian Nights-themed gala at the expensive private school where he was then a teacher. "I'm really sorry," he said. "I didn't consider it racist at the time, but now we know better." Trudeau also admitted he wore blackface while singing "Day-O" at a talent show when he was in high school. The news came a week after Trudeau kicked off his re-election campaign. He faces a challenge from Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, who called the brownface photo "an act of open mockery and racism." National Council of Canadian Muslims' executive director, Mustafa Farooq, called the image "deeply saddening" but thanked Trudeau for his apology.

 

 

 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill requiring many companies to treat contract workers like employees, entitling them to more benefits. The new law could have far-reaching effects on the so called 'gig' economy. The legislation stemmed from concerns that some powerhouses in the 'gig' economy, including ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft, had exploited drivers by treating them as independent contractors rather than employees, depriving them of benefits and protections, including sick leave and minimum wages. Unions backed the bill and said it would improve conditions for many people, while businesses, including tech companies and health-care providers, said the new rules would be hard for them to handle. Lyft said it might have to cut 300 thousand drivers if it has to give everyone employee status.

 

 

 

Federal authorities have charged 58 people with health-care fraud involving illegal distribution of opioids in Texas. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said the suspects, including six doctors and seven pharmacists, are accused of dispensing more than six million opioid pills. One Houston pharmacy alone allegedly distributed 760 thousand pills from March 2018 to September 2019. Benczkowski said, "The data in our possession shines an inescapable light on those dirty doctors, clinic owners, pharmacists, and others who may have long believed that they could perpetrate their fraud in the dark, behind closed doors." Nearly 400 thousand people died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2017, about 218 thousand of them from prescription opioids.

 

 

 

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei on Thursday released its first 5G device -- the Mate 30 -- without Google-licensed apps, due to a U.S. blacklist. The device was revealed in Germany and will use an open-source, but non-proprietary, version of Google's Android operating system. The Trump administration has barred Huawei technologies in the United States and its armed forces due to national security concerns. President Trump declared a national emergency related to the Chinese company in May. The device, however, still functions like an Android-powered phone. Huawei created its own interface this year and its own store with 45 thousand apps. The company said the phone chip is the "most sophisticated" to date -- but some experts expect Huawei will struggle with sales. The company is also developing its own operating system, but it wasn't yet ready for the Mate 30.

The News of the Day for Wednesday September 18, 2019

18Sep

President Donald Trump ordered a major increase in sanctions on Iran on Wednesday as Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling attack on its oil sites, “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran. Trump's order followed repeated U.S. assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday’s attack and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a “test of global will”. Iran denied being involved and has threatened the U.S. it will retaliate “immediately” if Tehran is targeted over the attack, which was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The attack exposed gaps in Saudi air defense despite billions spent on Western military hardware. The Sept. 14 raids hit the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output, the world’s leading oil exporter. After spiking as much as 14% following the attacks, oil prices fell Wednesday after Saudi officials announced oil production would be fully restored within weeks.

 

 

 

The Federal Reserve again cut key interest rates a quarter point at the conclusion of its policy meeting Wednesday, after weeks of criticism from President Trump and no new progress in the trade impasse between the United States and China. The move brought the federal funds rate down to a target range of 1.75 percent and 2 percent, where it was in September 2018. It is the second cut in a row after the Federal Open Market Committee ordered a quarter-point reduction in July. It would also be just the second rate cut in the last decade. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in Switzerland this month that U.S. and global economies are growing at a moderate pace, but cautioned the Fed is monitoring "significant risks." Trump this week again called for a "big interest rate drop." He has previously criticized Powell's leadership and the Fed for not making rate cuts sooner.

 

 

 

The European Union said Wednesday it's open to Britain leaving the alliance without the key Irish "backstop," as long as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government presents an alternative in writing before the Oct. 31 deadline. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said any alternative to the provision -- which ensures a "soft" border for trade on the barrier between Ireland and Northern Ireland -- must be "operable." Juncker called the prospect of Britain leaving without an agreement a "palpable" risk."The backstop has been the primary obstacle in achieving an agreement. Former Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated a deal with the EU but lawmakers in London did not support it largely because they said it didn't do enough to protect the backstop. The Irish backstop would keep Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, in the European Union if no agreement is reached as a way to avoid a hard border.

 

 

 

The parties of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opponent Benny Gantz are locked in a close race that challenges Netenyahu's decade long hold on power in Jerusalem. More than 90 percent of ballots had been counted and Israel's three main television news channels were projecting a victory for Gantz's Blue and White Party. It is projected to win 32 seats and Netanyahu's Likud 31. By early Wednesday afternoon, about 25 thousand votes separated the two, with fewer than 500 thousand ballots left to count. If the figures hold, Gantz would be expected to be chosen as the next Israeli prime minister -- a post Netanyahu has held since 2009. The right-wing bloc that includes Likud, Yamina, UTJ and Shas is projected to win 55 seats in the Knesset, down from the 60 it secured in the last vote in April. The left-wing bloc, led by Gantz's party, is projected to win 56. If neither party secures the 61 seats needed for an outright majority, Israel could stage a third election.

 

 

 

President Trump on Wednesday named Robert O’Brien as his new national security adviser. O’Brien, the fourth person in two years to hold the job, is Trump's chief hostage negotiator and an established figure in Republican policy circles. The announcement of O’Brien’s selection comes a week after Trump ousted John Bolton from the post, after he and his hawkish national security adviser found themselves in strong disagreement over the administration’s approach to Iran, Afghanistan and a host of other global challenges. The sudden exit marked the latest departure of a prominent voice of dissent from Trump’s inner circle as the president has grown more comfortable following his gut instinct over the studious guidance offered by his advisers. O’Brien was among five candidates under consideration by the president. As the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, O’Brien worked closely with the families of American hostages and advised administration officials on hostage issues.

 

 

 

Bermuda’s government is making final preparations for an expected close brush Wednesday with Hurricane Humberto, a powerful Category 3 storm. Authorities called up troops, ordered early closings of schools, transportation and government offices. Officials expected tropical storm-force winds to begin whipping at Bermuda in the morning and warned people on the British Atlantic island to prepare for hurricane-force gusts that could probably last until early Thursday. Humberto was predicted to pass just north of the territory of some 70 thousand people, though a small shift in its path could bring the storm over the island itself. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Humberto’s maximum sustained winds strengthened to 120 mph (195 kph) and it would probably remain a Category 3 hurricane through Thursday, though there could be some fluctuations in its winds. The storm was centered about 195 miles (310 kilometers) west of Bermuda early Wednesday, moving east-northeast at 16 mph (26 kph).

 

 

 

President Trump confirmed on Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency will revoke California’s waiver that allows it to require automakers to build cleaner vehicles than federal requirements demand - a move that will set off a massive legal battle. California wants 15.4% of vehicle sales by 2025 to be EVs or other zero-emission vehicles and 10 other states have adopted those requirements. Under Trump, federal regulators have backed freezing emissions requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026. Administration officials say the final regulation will include a modest boost in annual efficiency requirements but far less than what the Obama administration set in 2012. Trump urged automakers to back the action, but so far none have publicly supported revocation of California’s authority. The move, which will also include the Transportation Department declaring California is pre-empted from regulating vehicle fuel economy, will spark legal challenges over issues including states’ rights and climate change that administration officials say could ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

 

 

India’s government on Wednesday decided to ban e-cigarettes, expressing concern at the alarming rate at which vaping is becoming popular among the country’s youth and causing breathing illnesses. The ban was approved by the Cabinet. The government is expected to issue an ordinance soon prohibiting the manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes. The first offense will be punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 100 thousand rupees ($1,390), or both. For a subsequent offense, the punishment will be imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to 500 thousand rupees ($6,945). Government officials said that e-cigarettes were promoted as a way to get people out of their smoking habits but reports have shown that many are becoming addicted to them.

 

 

 

NBCUniversal announced new details of its upcoming streaming service, including what it's called: Peacock, a reference to the NBC logo. Peacock, launching in April 2020, is set to feature more than 15 thousand hours of programming, including reboots of Battlestar Galactica, Punky Brewster, and Saved by the Bell. The service will also feature content outside of the NBC network, including movies from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation. Peacock will also be the exclusive streaming home of 'The Office', which is set to leave Netflix, where it has been among the streamer's most popular sitcom offerings. This announcement comes a few weeks before Apple launches its new streaming service, Apple TV+, which will shortly be followed by Disney's streaming service, Disney+.

The news of the day for Tuesday September 17, 2019

17Sep

A bomb blast killed at least 24 people at a campaign rally for Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, on Tuesday. At least 31 other people were wounded. Ghani was inside a building when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated the bomb outside. Ghani has been campaigning in his re-election bid mostly by video conference ahead of the Sept. 28 vote, which is taking place under threat of attacks by Taliban insurgents. The Taliban has vowed to disrupt the vote. Hours after the blast at the rally, another blast hit near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Few details on the second explosion were immediately available, and no group claimed responsibility for either blast.

 

 

 

The Islamic State released audio in which a man it identified as the group's fugitive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, urges followers to carry out attacks against security forces wherever possible, and calls for assaults on prisons where ISIS members are being held. Baghdadi also urged ISIS supporters to remember the group's fighters who held out before being captured when the group's self-proclaimed caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria fell. The half-hour recording was released by the Islamist extremist group's al-Furqan media wing. The audio's authenticity was not immediately questioned but could not be confirmed. Baghdadi is among the world's most wanted fugitives, with the U.S. offering $25 million for credible information on where he is hiding.

 

 

 

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday Tehran will not hold talks with the United States until the 2015 nuclear agreement is restored. Khamenei made the comments Tuesday on state television. The United States blamed Iran for weekend attacks at oil installations in Saudi Arabia, which caused a global spike in prices Monday that hasn't been seen in 30 years. U.S. officials pointed to the sophistication of the drone attacks, which Tehran has denied. The Iranian leader called Trump administration sanctions "quite worthless" -- but said if the United States "repents" and rejoins the 2015 pact, Iran would again be willing to negotiate. French President Emmanuel Macron proposed at last month's G7 conference the idea of a meeting between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, which begins Tuesday in New York. Trump said Monday he would not meet without conditions.

 

 

 

A summit between President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in is likely to take place during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. According to a South Korean media report, Trump and Moon are to meet to discuss the possibility of resuming dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang. Talks have stalled between two sides since Trump met with Kim Jong Un at an impromptu summit in June at the border village of Panmunjom. Speculation is growing in Seoul about whether North Korea will skip the general debate of the U.N. General Assembly, despite an earlier statement from South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha that did not rule out Kim's attendance at the annual U.N. event. Trump and Moon are also expected to discuss the recent South Korean decision to not renew the military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, and renegotiation of cost sharing for U.S. troops on the peninsula. Trump has said allies like Seoul and Tokyo should pay more.

 

 

 

Israeli voters go to the polls Tuesday in an election that will determine whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power. It is the country's second national election in five months, coming after Netanyahu's failed effort to form a governing coalition. Netanyahu, seeking a fourth straight term with corruption charges against him looming, is the longest serving leader in Israel's history. Ahead of the vote, he promised to annex Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, and touted his relationship with President Trump. Retired military chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party was even with Netanyahu's Likud in polls ahead of the vote. Gantz said he offered a fresh start. Either side was expected to have trouble forming a majority coalition.

 

 

 

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday held his first face-to-face meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss revising the ill-fated agreement on the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union. Protesters booed Johnson as he visited Luxembourg for the meeting. The two sides failed to make concrete progress. Johnson dropped out of a planned news conference because of raucous anti-Brexit protests, but said he remained optimistic. "Yes, there is a good chance of a deal," he said. Johnson has vowed to lead Britain out of the 28-nation trading bloc on Oct. 31, with or without a deal. British lawmakers are trying to block a no-deal Brexit, which Johnson's critics say would be disastrous for Britain's economy.

 

 

A Chinese envoy will head to Washington on Wednesday to prepare for trade negotiations. The announcement Tuesday follows conciliatory gestures by both sides ahead of the October talks on their fight over trade and technology, which threatens to dampen global economic growth. China's deputy finance ministerwill lead a delegation to Washington to “pave the way” for the 13th round of negotiations. The two governments have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods. That has battered farmers and manufacturers on both sides and fueled fears the global economy, which already is showing signs of cooling, might tip into recession. Beijing announced Friday it will lift punitive tariffs on American soybeans, China’s biggest import from the United States. That followed President Trump’s decision to postpone a tariff hike on Chinese imports. But there has been no sign of progress on the core issues in their sprawling dispute. Negotiations between Washington and Beijing broke down in May over how to enforce any deal. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume talks but the last round in Shanghai in July produced no progress.

 

 

 

Hurricane Humberto strengthened to a Category 2 storm on Tuesday, as it maintains a northeastern heading off the coast of the Eastern Seaboard. As of Tuesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said Humberto is 555 miles west of Bermuda, where forecasters have issued a tropical storm warning. The Category 2 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and is moving northeast at 8 mph. Although the storm is not far off the U.S. East Coast, it's not expected to make landfall anywhere in the United States, and meteorologists expect Humberto, eventually, to make a turn to the northeast late this week, which will take the storm dangerously close to Bermuda. Humberto is forecast to dissipate somewhere over the North Atlantic early next week.

 

 

 

U.S. e-cigarette maker Juul Labs said on Tuesday its products were not currently available on e-commerce web sites in China, days after it entered the world’s single-largest market for tobacco consumption with over 300 million smokers. A company spokesperson said, “While JUUL products are not currently available on e-commerce Web sites in China, we look forward to continued dialogue with stakeholders so that we can make our products available again." The company spokesperson did not disclose any reason for the halt of sales. Juul is facing a regulatory crackdown and increased government scrutiny in the domestic market. The company is aggressively expanding in international markets including China where it has set up virtual stores on Tmall, an Alibaba Group site, and on JD.com, another major online retailer.

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