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‘MUCH TOUGHER!’: Trump hardens tone on China as trade war rattles economy

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Amid fresh signs his trade wars are rattling the US economy, President Donald Trump on Tuesday sent stern warnings to China, urging the Pacific power not to drag its feet in trade negotiations.

After a month of escalations in the year-long battle with Beijing, Trump sent a Twitter blitz saying Chinese negotiators may be holding out for a better deal in hopes he will be voted out in next year’s presidential elections.

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The latest invective from the White House ended the more conciliatory tone struck last week by both sides, which had helped soothe markets.

“While I am sure they would love to be dealing with a new administration… 16 months PLUS is a long time to be hemorrhaging jobs and companies,” Trump said, claiming China’s deteriorating economy could ill afford to wait.

“And then, think what happens to China when I win. Deal would get MUCH TOUGHER!”

While Trump pointed to China’s weakening economy, a survey showed Tuesday that the US manufacturing sector — which Trump has long championed — had contracted last month for the first time in three years.

While this does not necessarily mean a US recession is now on the horizon, economists said Tuesday it is a worrying sign.

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– Senate visit to Beijing –

“The canary in the mine may be falling off its perch,” economist Joel Naroff told clients in a note.

Wall Street was already in the red early Tuesday, the first trading session since Trump jacked up duty rates on more than $100 billion in Chinese imports over the weekend.

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Shortly after 1600 GMT, the benchmark Dow had fallen 1.3 percent. Yields on 10-year US Treasury notes touched three-year lows.

The grim results for the US manufacturing sector were only the latest sign of softening US economy, which has seen slower hiring and a sharp drop off in investment by businesses.

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Forecasts still call for growth of about two percent in the third quarter, however.

Chinese state media reported Tuesday, meanwhile, that Republican Senators Steve Daines and David Perdue had met in Beijing with Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top negotiator in the trade talks.

Liu said China hoped for a negotiated resolution based on “equality and mutual respect,” according to Xinhua.

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US and Chinese negotiations are due to resume this month after a sharp deterioration in the year-long trade war in August. But Bloomberg reported Tuesday the effort may be faltering.

Officials are having difficulty scheduling a time to meet after Washington rebuffed Beijing’s demands to hold off on imposing the weekend’s latest round of tariff increases, the news agency said.

Thomas Donohue, head of the US Chamber of Commerce, long a powerful Washington voice, told CNBC on Tuesday that lifting the latest tariffs would have instead allowed for a resumption of the talks.

But a White House strategy that involves creating such high levels of uncertainty could take the United States in a direction he said was unacceptable.

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“Uncertainty leads to eventually no good,” he said.


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Watch a band in cow costumes sing about Devin Nunes at White House impeachment protest

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Protesters clad in full-body furry costumes sang about Rep. Devin Nunes during a Saturday protest at the White House.

The protesters were dressed as cattle after the Fresno Republican sued a fake cow Twitter, @DevinCow.

The protesters changed the lyrics to the hit 1958 Chuck Berry song "Johnny B. Goode" to "Devin Nunes."

Video of the protested was posted to Twitter by Democratic strategist Parkhomenko, who was targeted by Nunes in one of his lawsuits.

The lyrics to the 1958 Champs song "Tequila" were changed to "subpoenas."

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Shocking photos document the devastating flooding pummeling San Francisco

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San Francisco was battered by a heavy winter storm on Saturday that caused localized flooding throughout the city.

"A low pressure system off the Northern California coast Saturday hurled bans of strong downpours into the Bay Area, triggering a flood warning for San Francisco," KPIX-TV reported.

"San Francisco Muni officials tweeted that train service between West Portal to Embarcadero Station had been shut down due to flooding. Several streets were flooded in San Francisco’s western neighborhood including knee-high water at 15th Ave and Wawona," the station noted.

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North Korea announces ‘test of very great importance’ occurred at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground: report

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North Korea state media reported on a "successful" test at a missile launch site.

"A very important test took place at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the afternoon of December 7, 2019," a spokesperson for the Academy of the National Defense Science said.

The spokesperson said the test was "of great significance to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

https://twitter.com/nktpnd/status/1203486463209431041

#UPDATE North Korea conducts a "very important test" at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reports, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked https://t.co/abYhRDvBic pic.twitter.com/neCYEQTEhf

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