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Senate will not ‘poke the bear’ Trump by passing tariff measure

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U.S. Senator Bob Corker accused his fellow Republicans of being afraid to stand up to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, as his legislation to block the president’s ability to impose tariffs on national security grounds hit a roadblock in Congress.

“‘We might poke the bear’ is the language I have been hearing in the hallways,” Corker said in an emotional Senate speech. “The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we’re going to do everything we can to block it.”

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Corker and other lawmakers – Democrats as well as some of Trump’s fellow Republicans – introduced the measure last week after the president’s recent announcement that he was considering tariffs on automobiles, after imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, citing national security concerns.

Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to negotiate better trade deals to bring back U.S. manufacturing jobs, has pursued aggressive measures against trading partners from China to Canada, Mexico and U.S. allies in Europe.

This has worried some lawmakers who strongly back principles of free trade, warning that Trump could trigger a trade war that would destabilize the economy and ultimately hurt American workers.

Corker’s amendment would have pared back Trump’s authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs on national security grounds without obtaining Congress’ consent.

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Its backers had hoped for a Senate vote as soon as this week by including the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019, or NDAA, a sweeping defense policy bill that Congress passes every year.

But Senator James Inhofe, the Republican who is managing debate on the defense bill, blocked the amendment as inappropriate for the legislation, preventing a vote.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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