• U.S.
    Variety

    Billie Eilish Slams ‘All Lives Matter’ and White Privilege: ‘This Is Not About You’

    Following the death of George Floyd, Billie Eilish shared a passionate message to her Instagram followers calling on her white fans to recognize their privilege. The lengthy statement, posted Saturday morning, was captioned with the hashtags JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and BlackLivesMatter. Eilish's outrage at Floyd's death is clear in both her words and the fact that much […]

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  • World
    South China Morning Post

    Hong Kong warned WTO challenge to potential US trade sanctions could be 'counterproductive'

    In a statement released late on Thursday, hours after China's National People's Congress approved the proposal for the controversial legislation, the Hong Kong government said that as a full member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), "we expect to be fairly treated by our trading partners".Should the US revoke Hong Kong's special trading status, the special administrative region could be subjected to the same trade war tariffs imposed on Chinese exports to the US, or even unilateral tariffs against Hong Kong specifically, as well as export controls and potentially greater scrutiny of its financial and payments landscapes, experts said.In the case of tariffs, analysts said it is "factually possible and legally correct" that Hong Kong could bring a WTO case against the US, given that it retains its own WTO membership and should be treated on a "most-favoured nation" basis, which punitive tariffs would violate.But analysts believe any such future action would be "counterproductive", since even if Hong Kong was to win a case, it could be permitted to introduce retaliatory tariffs on the US, which would harm Hong Kong's economy and image as a beacon of free trade.Furthermore, it is unlikely that a WTO case, which would take years to process, would resonate in a White House which is openly scornful of the Geneva-based trade body."Hong Kong is really limited in what it can do. Taking a WTO case would be symbolic, and even if Hong Kong prevails, the damages would be very low. So if Hong Kong decides to put tariffs on the US " which would be a first " what does it target? Consumer products or food? What kind of message does that send about Hong Kong? Who is that really hurting?" said Bryan Mercurio, a professor covering the WTO at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.Hong Kong is a free port, with zero tariffs on goods shipped in and out, however, it has very little direct trade of its own. As a entrepot for trade with China, the vast majority of goods passing through are re-exported to and from the mainland.While Hong Kong was the world's sixth largest exporter in 2018, according to WTO statistics, just US$13 billion of its US$556 billion in shipments were domestic exports. For imports, just US$155 billion of US$628 billion were consumed domestically."Removing from US law the commitment to Hong Kong's non-discriminatory trade treatment would make it easier for the US Trade Representative to defend unilaterally slapping tariffs on the city's exports. This would most likely violate WTO rules, but this has not deterred the US from placing tariffs on imports from the mainland," read a Capital Economics research note."If this happened, shipments to the US would suffer. Gross exports from Hong Kong to the US are worth 13 per cent of [gross domestic product]. But the vast majority of products are being reshipped through the city. US-bound goods exports, generate under 3 per cent of [gross domestic product], mainly in logistics and postal services rather than manufacturing."Hong Kong has been a member of the WTO since January 1995, but it has only brought a single case " a complaint against the Turkish garment trade in 1996 that was "largely a matter of principle" rather than economic wrongdoing, said Julien Chaisse, a trade professor at the City University of Hong Kong.However, Chaisse said that Hong Kong could learn from another historical precedent of a smaller WTO member successfully bringing a case against a more powerful member, but eventually being left dissatisfied with the spoils of victory.In 2003, tiny Antigua and Barbuda accused the US of discrimination after it was frozen out of the world's largest gambling market after the Caribbean nation had built up a giant online betting market designed to replace its struggling tourism sector.WTO judges eventually ruled in its favour, awarding compensation of US$21 million per year, but the US refused to pay. Antigua and Barbuda therefore had the right to impose tariffs on the US, but declined to do so, thinking that it would be an act of economic self-harm."Why would a place like Hong Kong or Antigua impose tariffs on the US?" Chaisse added. "Who would hurt from such action, apart from the domestic middle class?"Chaisse added that should the national security law lead to an erosion in the "one country, two systems" model under which city is supposed to be governed until 2047, Hong Kong could also find itself on the receiving end of investor disputes and trade lawsuits, especially if the goalposts are moved for investors in the city.Hong Kong has 20 bilateral investment treaties, more than half of which were signed with developed nations in the run up to the handover from Britain to China in 1997, a means of assuaging fears of changing business conditions."I would not exclude the possibility of, in the future, investors from these places using investment protection courts to sue Hong Kong," Chaisse said.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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  • U.S.
    The Daily Beast

    Laura Ingraham to Black Americans: Trump Understands Police Violence Because of Russia Probe

    Fox News host Laura Ingraham attempted to explain to African-Americans on Thursday night that President Donald Trump can empathize with inequality and police brutality due to his “own experience” with federal investigators during the Russia probe.With protests raging across the nation over the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis police custody, Ingraham lectured protesters over the demonstrations devolving into violence and looting. After chastising the non-Fox media for supposedly fanning racial flames over the police killing and subsequent protests, Ingraham then decided to address the black community as a whole to tell them how they should properly protest the killing of George Floyd.“Now, I’m not going to pretend for a millisecond to know what it’s like to be a black person in America,” she said. “I don’t. But the only thing I do know is that we all need to do better.”Reiterating that we need to “do better,” the conservative Fox News host—who once told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble”—said the “real change agents in America are those who stay in their communities and build them up, not burn them down” before invoking a civil rights icon.“Rosa Parks is a beloved, global symbol of freedom and justice because of the determination and dignity to which she carried out her civil disobedience,” she said. “Would burning a store have been more powerful and transformative? I don’t think so.”Without skipping a beat, the pro-Trump Fox star then referenced the president’s anger at the FBI and Justice Department during the Russia investigation to let black people know Trump understands their experience.“And to our African-American fellow citizens, I say this: Given his own experience with an out-of-control FBI and unfair investigation, given all the work on criminal justice reform, President Trump knows how poisonous and out-of-control law enforcement process can be,” Ingraham proudly declared, concluding her mini-monologue.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • U.S.
    FOX News Videos

    Rudy Giuliani calls for resignations of mayor of Minneapolis, governor of Minnesota

    Don't elect progressive Democrats if you want to be safe, says former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on 'Hannity.'

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  • World
    The Telegraph

    Isolation for 14 days 'unnecessary', claims Germany's top government scientist

    Fourteen-day isolation periods are not necessary to defeat the coronavirus and a second wave of infections can be avoided, Germany’s leading government scientist said on Friday. With what is now known about the virus, it is possible to contain further outbreaks, claimed Prof Christian Drosten, chief advisor to Angela Merkel’s government on the crisis. One week’s isolation is enough to prevent the spread of infection, rather than the 14 days currently recommended by the UK and elsewhere, he said. “In the beginning, of course, we needed the whole wide range of measures because we didn't know exactly what would help. Now we know the virus better, we know better how it spreads,” Prof Drosten said in an interview with Germany’s Spiegel magazine. “The incubation period and the time in which you are contagious are all much shorter than originally thought.” There is still no sign of a second wave in Germany almost six weeks after the country began lifting its lockdown, and Prof Drosten said it may be possible to avoid one completely. “There is a theoretical possibility that we can get through without a second wave,” he said. The way the virus is spread by relatively few people — the so-called “superspreaders” — means it is easier to control than initially feared, he explained.

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