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US hikes tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing vows retaliation

American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations.

BEIJING (AP) — President Donald Trump’s latest tariff hike on Chinese goods took effect Friday and Beijing said it would retaliate, escalating a battle over China’s technology ambitions and other trade tensions.

The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%. China’s Commerce Ministry said it would impose “necessary countermeasures” but gave no details.

The increase went ahead even after American and Chinese negotiators began more talks in Washington aimed at ending a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and shaken global financial markets.

Photograph by Andy Buchanan / AFP / Getty P.G. Wodehouse wrote that the best way to discover a man’s character is to play golf with him. In his short story “Ordeal by Golf,” the narrator declares, “In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself.” Donald Trump is an avid golfer, of course, as well as the avid proprietor of seventeen golf courses on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, all evidence suggests that he is far more interested in golf than he is in immersing himself in the duties of the Presidency. According to the Web site TrumpGolfCount.com, which meticulously tracks Trump’s play, he has made a hundred and sixty-five visits to golf clubs since becoming President, and he has played golf at least seventy-seven times. In March alone, he played six rounds at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. Even when he is confined to Washington, he caters to his golf habit. The Washington Post reported that Trump had installed a state-of-the-art golf simulator in the White House’s living quarters, which allows him to pretend he is playing famous courses around the world. By the standards of most weekend golfers, Trump is a decent player, as his playing partners attest, with a roundhouse swing that propels the ball a long way. But he doesn’t claim to be decent player; he claims to be an élite amateur who has won a remarkable eighteen club championships. (At any golf club, the club championship is the biggest tournament of the year.) Over the years, however, tales of Trump’s chronic cheating on the links have circulated widely. In the new book “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Donald Trump,” the sportswriter Rick Reilly has pulled these stories together and found some new ones. Relying on testimony from playing partners, caddies, and former Trump employees, Reilly pokes more holes in Trump’s claims than there are sand traps on all of his courses combined. It is by turns amusing and alarming. “Trump doesn’t just cheat at golf,” Reilly notes. “He cheats like a three-card Monte dealer. He throws it, boots it, and moves it. He lies about his lies. He fudges and foozles and fluffs.” Reilly recounts a time when Trump was declared the senior club champion at Trump National Bedminster, in New Jersey, even though he was in Pennsylvania on the day that the event was played.

Trump: The Serial Golf Cheat in the White House, The President Cheats Like a Mafia Accountant at Golf

Commander in Cheat? New Book Recounts Golf Misdeeds by Trump
Donald Trump’s alleged misdeeds on and around the golf course are the subject of a new book by former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos divorces at $35bn (£27bn), ex-wife MacKenzie becomes the third richest woman in the world

JEFF BEZOS, The world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and his wife MacKenzie have agreed on a record-breaking divorce settlement of at least $35bn (£27bn).

Ms Bezos keeps a 4% stake in the online retail giant, worth $35.6bn on its own.

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in Seattle in 1994, a year after the couple married, and Ms Bezos was one of its first employees.

Dec 3, 2018 RICARDO HAUSMANN Venezuela’s problems will not be solved without regime change. And that could – and should – happen after January 10, when the international community will no longer recognize the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro's presidency.

Venezuela crisis: Trump, Putin new Geo-political playground ?

The crisis in Venezuela appears to be shaping up like a Cold War-style confrontation: The Kremlin is throwing its support behind embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while Washington backs Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president.

The story at first glance seems to have all the elements of a spy thriller. In recent days, rumors have swirled about Russian mercenaries, massive bullion shipments and murky assassination plots.
Maduro has cast himself as a latter-day Fidel Castro in this drama. In an interview with Russia’s state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti, Maduro hinted at a US-backed attempt on his life, saying, “Without a doubt, Donald Trump gave the order to kill me, told the Colombian government, the mafia of Colombia to kill me.”