Tuesday morning news: April 3, 2018

China bites back on tariffs »The U.S. now appears to be in a trade war with China.

Chinese officials on Monday slapped $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports in retaliation for President Trump’s recent tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports.

At Monday’s traditional White House Easter egg roll— press secretary Sarah Sanders said her boss isn’t backing down.

SANDERS: Look, we’ve been doing the traditional way for a long time and the only thing that that has done is created a bigger trade deficit with a number of countries across the world and the president’s not going to let that continue. 

The Commerce Department says the U.S. trade deficit with China was the highest ever in 2017— $375 billion. The Trump administration maintains that China restricts market access and subsidizes its exports.

And on Monday—U.S. officials accused China of stealing U.S. technology by requiring foreign companies to hand over proprietary information in exchange for access to the country’s massive consumer market.

U.S. stock markets responded with a nose dive. The Dow dipped nearly 460 points, and the Nasdaq lost almost 200 points.

Putin invitation » Meanwhile— President Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House. WORLD Radio’s Kent Covington has details.

KENT COVINGTON, REPORTER: The Kremlin first broke the news Monday— followed hours later by White House confirmation that President Trump proposed a summit between the two leaders in a call with Putin two weeks ago.

But since that phone call— Trump has expelled 60 Russian suspected spies from the U.S. and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.

The U.S. and allies blame Russia for the poison attack.

Russia expelled 60 American diplomats in retaliation.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kent Covington.

Teacher walkouts » Public school teachers across Kentucky and Oklahoma walked off the job Monday demanding higher pay and protesting pension reform.

In Kentucky— Republican lawmakers tacked a pension overhaul onto a sewer bill on Friday and passed it without public comment.

Kentucky Education President Stephanie Winkler says she’d like to reform the legislature.

WINKLER: People are angry about the back handedness, backdoor deals, the corruption in Frankfurt.

Kentucky has a $41 billion unfunded pension liability with only around $12 billion in annual revenues.

In Oklahoma—teachers last week got a $6,000 dollar raise and $50 million more in education funding— but still left their classrooms Monday. The state has the second-lowest teacher salaries in the nation.

Oklahoma City teacher union leader Ed Allen.

ALLEN: Some folks say you got that pay raise. What more do you want? Well, I’m going to tell you what more we want. We want a good school that every student deserves.

Oklahoma teachers are demanding a $10,000 raise and $200 million more in education funding.

Boko Haram attack » Nigerian officials are confirming that more than a dozen people are dead after a clash between government forces and Boko Haram terrorists. WORLD’s Africa reporter Onize Ohikere has more.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: The fighting broke out in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri on Sunday as government troops tried to prevent the militants from advancing.

The Islamist fighters responded with gunfire and multiple explosive devices. 15 people died—including one soldier and 13 of the militants. Another 83 suffered injuries.

Army spokesman Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said the militants tried to target civilians in the fighting. He said— “It is clear that the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists are… bent on remaining relevant by attacking soft and vulnerable targets.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere.

Winnie Mandela Obit » South African activist Winnie Mandela has died after a long illness.

She was the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela and the two worked together at the front of the movement to end apartheid and minority white rule in South Africa.

Winnie Mandela said that movement was never about individuals.

MANDELA: I’ve never regarded myself as an individual. I’m just part of this whole liberation machine. I belong to the collective, the African National Congress.

A controversial figure, Winnie Mandela was convicted and fined in 1991 for kidnapping and assault related to political violence.

She was later fired from the cabinet amid corruption allegations.

Winnie Mandela was 81.

NCAA men’s basketball final »

AUDIO: Cheering nat sound

The Villanova Wildcats are the NCAA men’s basketball national champions, beating Michigan 79-62 last night.

The Wolverines jumped out to an early lead, but Villanova eventually woke up with a 30-9 run spanning both halves and never looked back.

It’s Villanova’s second championship title in 3 years.

I’m Jim Henry. Straight ahead: Emily Belz reports on decreasing crime in one New Jersey town. And April’s Classic Book of the Month. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) Teachers picket around the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 2, 2018, as teachers rally against low school funding.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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