Donald Trump hits hard and threatens Beijing with $ 100 billion in taxes

"I asked the Ministry of Commerce to consider whether an additional $ 100 billion of tariffs would be adjusted under Article 301 (on intellectual property) and, in this case, to identify on which they could be taxed, "said the US president in a statement. Even if he has clearly decided to raise the pressure by one step by answering in Beijing, it is only threats.

The China s is declared Friday ready to "go to the end" and "whatever the price" in a commercial war with the United States, after new threats of the American president Donald Trump . "If the United States ignores the opposition of China and the international community and persists in their unilateral and protectionist measures, China is ready to go to the end, whatever the price," said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a statement. Trump threatened Thursday to impose $ 100 billion of new customs duties on Chinese imports, in response to retaliatory measures announced by Beijing.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer took care to note in a statement that, as the trade retaliation announced on April 3 by the United States that provoked the ire and the threat of retaliation from Beijing this week, they would only come into force after the end of a public consultation process. However, the prospect of a proper trade dispute is a concern for investors and stock prices have suffered in recent weeks.

"President Trump proposes an appropriate response to China's recent threat of After a detailed investigation, the USTR found irrefutable evidence that China's unreasonable actions were threatening the US economy, "he said. The USTR again denounces Chinese practices that, according to the Americans, are the looting of the intellectual property of American companies that want or do business in China.


"Economies Around the World – including the Chinese economy– would benefit from the application in China of policies that would truly reward hard work and innovation rather than pursue policies that distort the vital sector of high technology, "the USTR added. its press release. "Unfortunately, China has chosen to respond with threats of imposing unjustified taxes on billions of dollars worth of US exports, including our agricultural products, which would undoubtedly hurt even more workers, farmers and businesses. USTR,

In response to the Trump administration's Tuesday publication of a tentative list of products imported from China likely to be subject to new tariffs, Beijing responded with a A list of more strategic US products including soybean, automotive and aerospace for an amount equal to the first measures announced by Washington on Tuesday: $ 50 billion.

Beijing has taken careful to establish its list of future products to be taxed to hit as hard as possible regions that voted in favor of Donald Trump, according to experts. One way to exert maximum pressure on the billionaire, which ensures that it will seek a second mandate. China also made an official approach to the first round of tariffs by Trump on Thursday at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

In the Chinese text, published by the WTO, the Chinese delegation the organization is seeking "consultations" with Washington "on the taxes (and) measures" that Mr. Trump plans to apply "to certain products in various sectors including mechanical engineering, electronics, etc., from China". A "request for consultations" is the first step towards a formal complaint to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.

Donald Trump has launched a merciless struggle against the US trade deficit which he sees as a sign of the weakness of his predecessors who have allowed the rest of the world to profit from the United States.

International mobilization

China is particularly in the sights. The US trade deficit (US $ 375.2 billion in 2017) pushed Trump to ask Chinese officials to "immediately reduce this $ 100 billion deficit." The latest US figures released on Thursday show that since the beginning of the year, the deficit on goods trading has further increased by more than 20%. "We are not in a trade war with China, this war was lost many years ago by stupid or incompetent people, people representing the United States," said Mr. Trump.

Chinese, rhetoric is no less warlike. "Any attempt to put China on its knees by threat and intimidation is doomed to failure," a spokesman for Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang warned at a press briefing. The Chinese Foreign Minister, visiting Moscow on Thursday, called for international mobilization against Washington, while Trump opened several fronts in his quest for "a better deal."

"The International Community must oppose as a whole such unilateral actions and violations of the rules, defend as a whole the growth of the global economy and help those who think that everything is allowed them to find common sense, "said Wang Yi at of a press conference

(source: AFP)

While a cold snap hits Europe, it is unusually hot in the Arctic

As Europe shivers under a cold snap late, mercury breaks records at the North Pole, with temperatures 30 degrees above seasonal norms. An exceptional phenomenon which is part of the warming of the Arctic . While the thermometer descending to -35 ° C in parts of central Russia on February 25, 2018 and reaching -10 ° C in eastern France, the North Pole, immersed in the permanent darkness of the polar night, recorded positive temperatures thanks to gentle waves of air

"The peak of softness on the North Pole and the cold wave on Europe are directly linked"

It happened "a situation of anticyclonic blockage on northern Scandinavia (…) with a rise of fresh air from Iceland to the North Pole on one side and on the other side of the anticyclone, descents of cold air from the Urals and Western Russia to Western Europe "told AFP Tuesday Etienne Kapikian, forecaster at Météo-France. "The peak of softness on the North Pole and the cold wave on Europe are directly related ", he continues.

+ 30 ° C. As a result, "it is estimated that it was about zero degrees Celsius at the North Pole" said Kapikian, according to estimates obtained by modeling, because no meteorological station is established in this area. To have a more precise measurement, it is necessary to go to the extreme north of Greenland, where "one rose Sunday 6.2 ° C" adds Etienne Kapikian. "This is an exceptional value, about 30 ° C above normal season, or 35 ° C for this very precise measurement" he continues.

An exceptional winter in Arctic

According to scientists, this is an exceptional episode. "Positive temperatures near the North Pole in winter were found four times between 1980 and 2010 (…) They have now been recorded in four of the last five winters" explains to the AFP Robert Graham, climatologist at the Norwegian Polar Institute. Sign that the trend is increasing "We have an exceptional winter on the Arctic, the previous winter had already been and we do not take too much risk saying that the following will be. background is very clear, it is the warming of the Arctic "adds Etienne Kapikian.

BANQUISE. Is this phenomenon attributable to global climate change? "It is difficult to say that an event is linked to global warming But this trend we see, a warm Arctic, a cold continent, may be related to climate change", ] meets Marlene Kretschmer, a climatologist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research. These episodes of rising temperatures are in any case not good news for the pack ice, whose surface has never been smaller for the season since measurements began more than 50 years ago.

Arctic free of ice in summer by 2050

Around the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, east of Greenland, the ice surface measured on February 26, 2018 was 205.727 km 2 less than half of the average area over the period 1981-2010, according to Norwegian data. More generally, climatologists consider it likely that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free by 2050 during the summer.

S.S. with AFP

Siberian cold wave hits northern and eastern France

Up to -10 ° C in the Ain in the early morning with -18 ° C felt under a cold breeze from Siberia: the phenomenon "Moscow-Paris" which has settled on the north and east of France holds all its promises.

As expected by Météo-France, temperatures have dropped considerably in the lowlands: -10 ° C in Ain, -9 ° C at Basel-Mulhouse airport, -8 ° C in Strasbourg and Nancy, or -3 ° C in Montpellier, -1 ° C in Marseille or -2 ° C in Brest

After a month of January historically mild and a snowy beginning of February, this episode of cold , which would be banal in the heart of winter, is notable because of its late character. France had not experienced such a cold snap at the same time of the year-late February-early March-since 2005.

The first probable victims of the cold are to be deplored: a homeless 35-year-old Sunday in Valence (Drôme) and another 62 years old Friday in his hut in the woods in the Yvelines.

Throughout eastern France, charities are busy identifying the most vulnerable people for to turn towards the many homes or gyms requisitioned by the State services.

This episode of cold led them to trigger in 37 departments the plan "cold weather", with more than 3,100 temporary places of additional accommodation for homeless, including 500 in Paris.

 Working by

Working by "cold weather" (AFP – Aude GENET, Sophie RAMIS)

In Paris too, we warm up as we can. "I'm offered cafes when I put in registered people, it's good!" Smiles Mohamed Rimaoui, a postman who is touring the 10th arrondissement.

Edouard, a young city clean-up officer, wants to stoic. "The cold is not a problem for us, we are always walking, we are always active, it warms up," he says, sheltered by four thick layers of clothing.

Alsace and Lorraine, a hundred volunteers from the Red Cross are mobilized. However, firefighters did not report any care for people suffering from polar temperatures.

"The maraudes are organized every night, we distribute more blankets, more sleeping bags, more hot food," says Armand Perego, president of the Red Cross of Alsace and Lorraine

"We are under tension but still able to host", according to Marie-Dominique Dreyssé, deputy mayor of Strasbourg in charge of the action territorial social The devices put in place make it possible to answer 95% of requests even if there remain "people who refuse to leave their sidewalk," she laments.

– Redoux brutal –

 A family s Amused on frozen Green Lake near Soultzeren (Haut-Rhin) on February 26, 2018 (AFP - PATRICK HERTZOG)

A family has fun on frozen Green Lake near Soultzeren (Haut-Rhin) on February 26, 2018 (AFP – PATRICK HERTZOG)

The temperature dropped to -12 degrees at 1,000 m altitude in the Vosges mountains, on the site of Lac Blanc, completely frozen, said an AFP journalist.

Among the most affected economic sectors, agriculture and especially fruit trees threatened by frost, according to FNSEA President Christiane Lambert

"It's complicated for orchards." Apricot trees have already frozen because the buds were formed, "according to the union leader. With the key, a possible price rise of a few cents.

After a peak of cold waited Tuesday and Wednesday, Météo-France however provides a "brutal" drowsiness in the South which should spread gradually to the rest of the country before a spring weekend.

"We will spend the winter in spring in a week", predicts the forecaster Patrick Galois.

Meanwhile, Météo-France counts by Wednesday on minimums of -6 ° C to -10 ° C over a large eastern half, from 0 ° C to -4 ° C near the Mediterranean and -2 ° C to -6 ° C over the west.

"We We have given instructions to the prefects to open the reception, "said Interior Minister Gerard Collomb Sunday night during a marauding in Paris.

In the capital, Hicham, a homeless in the street for 11 years, met Monday in the early morning in front of a bakery, found the parade by taking refuge in the subway. He has no gloves but proudly wears a sleeping bag over his shoulder. "I can tell you that I envy that."

Philippines Hurricane Hits, At least 133 Killed

Police and disaster response officials in the Philippines say at least 133 people were killed and dozens more disappeared by tropical storms triggering mudslides and floods.

A number of deaths were reported Friday in Tubod, Mindanao. A policeman at Tubod said, "The surface of the river water rises and almost all the houses are carried away. The village does not exist anymore. "

The walls of the buffer rocks that serve to protect the city of Piagapo were damaged by flash floods that buried 40 houses in the city.

Police say about 12,000 people were forced to flee to higher areas.

The Philippines regularly faces about 20 storms each year, and this storm attack generally occurs at the end of the year.

In November 2013, Haiyan storm struck the Philippines as one of the most deadly storms in history. The storm, also known in the Philippines as the Yolanda storm, has killed 7,800 people.

The Philippine weather watchdog says over the past 65 years, there are at least seven storms that struck the Philippines around Christmas. [ab]