World shares advance…China sanctions US politicians
UNDATED (AP) – Shares advanced today in Europe and Asia after President Donald Trump issued executive orders to provide tax relief and stopgap unemployment benefits for Americans hit by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. On Wall Street, S&P futures are flat and Dow futures are up. Investors are watching for further developments on stimulus for the U.S. economy and on trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. Trade talks are planned for Friday, to be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BEIJING (AP) – China has announced unspecified sanctions against 11 U.S. politicians and heads of organizations promoting democratic causes. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz already have been singled out by Beijing. A foreign ministry spokesperson says the 11 politicians “performed badly” on issues concerning Hong Kong, where China has cracked down on opposition voices following its imposition of a national security law in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city last month. The number of Americans named by the ministry exactly equals the number of Hong Kong and Chinese officials placed on a sanctions list by the U.S. last week over the crackdown.
HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong police have arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai and raided the publisher’s headquarters in the highest-profile use yet of the new security law Beijing imposed on the city in June. Lai was led out of his mansion in Kowloon by police officers wearing surgical masks and was taken away. Lai owns popular tabloid Apple Daily and regularly criticizes China’s authoritarian rule. Police cordoned off the Next Digital headquarters during the raid on its premises, and officers appeared at times to get into heated exchanges with staffers. The move comes days after the U.S. announced sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials and shows China’s determination to enforce the new law despite pressure.
UNDATED (AP) – President Donald Trump wants to continue paying a supplemental federal unemployment benefit for millions of Americans put out of work during the outbreak. But his order calls for up to $400 payments each week, compared with the $600 that people had been receiving. Trump says states would cover 25% of this money even as many are dealing with major budget shortfalls. As state officials question whether they could afford $100 per person per week, Trump offered a new angle to the plan Sunday night saying that states could apply to have the federal government provide all or part of the $400 payments. He said decisions would be made on a state-by-state basis.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Decades of progress in one of modern history’s greatest achievements, the fight against extreme poverty, are now in danger. The World Bank says up to 100 million people globally could fall into the bitter existence of living on just $1.90 a day. Most of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that against countless odds had some of the world’s fastest growing economies in recent years. In Ethiopia, where images of withered children once left the world aghast and a determined leader made pulling millions from poverty his legacy, families are now watching the future slip away.