Vox Sentences: Too many tariffs to keep track of

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China and the US keep hitting each other with tariffs; Rohingya Muslims, concerned for their safety, refuse to return to Myanmar.


China imposes retaliatory tariffs against the US

Wang Chun/Visual China Group via Getty Images
  • China is hitting the US with $75 billion in retaliatory tariffs, indicating that the trade war between the two countries is nowhere near simmering down. [USA Today / Nathan Bomey]
  • Tariffs of 5 to 10 percent will be placed on US imports, such as soybeans and oils, on September 1. The auto industry will also be heavily impacted after December 15: Tariffs of 25 percent on cars and 5 percent on auto parts will be implemented. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • China’s latest move is a direct response to President Trump’s 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese products, which will go into effect on September 1. Some consumer products, such as laptops and toys, have been delayed until December 15 so that consumers’ holiday shopping won’t be affected. [BBC]
  • In response, Trump has “ordered” US companies via Twitter that they have to find alternatives to working with China, which includes “bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA.” His warning of an upcoming punishment sent the stock market plummeting. [NYT / Alan Rappeport and Keith Bradsher]
  • And the punishment was announced later in the day: $250 billion worth of Chinese goods that are now taxed at 25 percent will be raised to 30 percent starting October 1. The 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of products will also be raised to 15 percent. [NYT / Alan Rappeport and Keith Bradsher]
  • Neither the US nor China is benefiting from the conflict: China’s industrial production growth was its slowest in 17 years, and the US is also scrambling as the economy slows and fears of an impending recession mount. [CNN / Yong Xiong and Victoria Cavaliere]
  • The US and China aren’t the only countries fearing economic downturn; there are also signs of a recession in several countries such as Japan, Germany, the UK, and Brazil. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • As the world’s two largest economies continue to fight, the implications of their conflict are far-reaching. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight. [South China Morning Post / Amanda Lee and Owen Churchill]

Rohingya Muslims refuse to return to Myanmar

  • Rohingya Muslims have been offered repatriation to Buddhist-majority Myanmar since Thursday. Nobody has taken up the offer so far. [Guardian / Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Shaikh Azizur Rahman]
  • More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in 2017 following a military-led crackdown prompted by Muslim militants’ attack on Myanmar police. Human rights groups have said the Myanmarese military’s use of mass rapes, killings, and the burning of homes is “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” [Reuters]
  • About 3,000 Rohingya are listed as refugees and have been approved to return to Myanmar. Yet nobody has headed back, and most have expressed they’d rather stay in makeshift refugee shelters. [CNA]
  • The repatriation is voluntary, and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made it clear that nobody will be forced to leave. [AP / Tofayel Ahmad and Julhas Alam]
  • The Rohingyas’ fears are twofold: first, that their safety isn’t guaranteed when they return, as they are still seen as outsiders in the country and face state-sanctioned discrimination. And second, that they are still being denied citizenship as ethnic minorities. [Guardian / Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Shaikh Azizur Rahman]
  • Repatriation efforts have failed in the past, and continue to revolve around the same old fruitless cycle, partially because they have a political purpose. Myanmar wants to signal that it’s not indifferent to human rights, and Bangladesh wants to show its people that its scarce resources won’t be diverted to the refugees for much longer. [NYT / Hannah Beech]
  • The reality is that both governments will have to do a lot more to build trust with the Rohingya, who have been traumatized by violence. Without the promise of safety and freedom, repatriation is unlikely to happen anytime soon. [Al Jazeera / Faisal Mahmud]

Miscellaneous

  • David Koch — one half of the infamous Koch brothers behind Koch Industries — died on Friday at age 79. The billionaire reshaped American politics by funding the right-wing libertarian movement. [The Hill / John Bowden]
  • 22 people were killed by a mass shooter in an El Paso Walmart on August 3. Walmart now plans to overhaul the entire store so that it is unrecognizable and reopen it later this year with a memorial for the victims. [NYT / Neil Vigdor]
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 153 cases of a mysterious lung disease that it’s associating with vaping. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain, and vomiting. [The Verge / Ashley Carman]
  • Apple’s new titanium credit card is so delicate that it comes with its own directions. To name just a few: Don’t leave it inside a leather wallet or denim jeans because it could get discolored; don’t store it with loose change or it could break; and clean it with a “soft, slightly damp, lint-free microfiber cloth.” [Washington Post / Marie C. Baca]
  • There’s an increasing number of cases where Florida panthers, which are an endangered species, have a hard time controlling their back legs, causing them to walk abnormally. Scientists have no idea why. [NBC News / Elisha Fieldstadt]

Verbatim

“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing….your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” [President Trump’s tweet in response to China’s tariffs]


Watch this: Why the US drinking age is 21

Why is the US drinking age 21? And how did it happen? In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox’s Phil Edwards explores the history of the somewhat unusual way the drinking age became 21. [YouTube / Phil Edwards]


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