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US officials have reached out to China for new trade talks: sources

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The Trump administration has reached out to China for a new round of trade talks as it prepares to activate punitive U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Senior U.S. officials led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently sent an invitation to their Chinese counterparts, including Vice Premier Liu He, to hold another bilateral trade meeting.

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The timing and location of the proposed meeting were unclear, the people said. Mid-level U.S. and Chinese officials met on Aug. 22 and 23 with no agreements.

A U.S. Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The invitation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. A meeting among cabinet-level officials could ease market worries over the escalating tariff war that threatens to engulf all trade between the world’s two largest economies and raise costs for companies and consumers.

So far, the United States and China have hit $50 billion worth of each others’ goods with tariffs in a dispute over U.S. demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

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U.S. President Donald Trump last week said that in addition to preparing tariffs on another $200 billion worth of goods, he had tariffs on another $267 billion worth of goods “ready to on short notice if I want.”

U.S. business groups are escalating their fight against Trump’s tariffs, with over 60 industry groups launching a coalition to put political pressure on the Trump administration to seek alternatives to tariffs.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by David Lawder and Ginger Gibson; writing by David Lawder; editing by Leslie Adler

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Google tells workers to avoid arguing politics in house

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Google on Friday told employees to focus on work instead of heated debates about politics with colleagues at the internet company, which has long been known for encouraging people to speak their minds.

Updated workplace guidelines for "Googlers" called on them to be responsible, helpful, and thoughtful during exchanges on internal message boards or other conversation forums.

"While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not," the updated guidelines stated.

"Our primary responsibility is to do the work we?ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics."

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Trump administration urges US Supreme Court to declare firing a worker for being gay is legal

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The Trump administration has just urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that firing an employee simply because they are gay is perfectly legal. The request comes in the form of a 34-page amicus brief, which was not required, but voluntary.

The brief, signed by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco, tells the Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do9es not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay, as The Washington Blade, which was first to report, notes.

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#BoycottJimmyJohns trends after photo resurfaces showing restaurant’s owner with thumbs-up next to dead elephant

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The hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns started to gain traction this Friday after an old photo of the fast-food chain's owner resurfaced, showing him sitting on a dead elephant he killed with both thumbs up.

The hashtag was sparked by Twitter personality and animal advocate Brother Nature, who retweeted the photo and declared, "We boycotting Jimmy Johns."

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