Friday morning news: May 10, 2019


Amid trade talks, new tariffs take effect against China » New tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods took effect this morning. The taxes on a variety of imports increased from 10 to 25 percent.

And as trade talks resumed on Thursday, President Trump said he is “starting the paperwork” to hit China with another $325 billion in tariffs.

Trump said the two sides were close to a deal, but China effectively cancelled it. He said Chinese officials took major concessions they had already agreed to off the table at the last minute.

TRUMP: So I have no idea what’s going to happen. I did get last night a very beautiful letter from President Xi … let’s work together. Let’s see if we can get something done. But they renegotiated the deal. I mean, they took, whether it’s intellectual property theft, they took many, many parts of that deal. 

China has vowed to retaliate against any new tariffs, further escalating the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.


North Korea conducts more short-range missile tests » North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea on Thursday. It was the second weapons launch in five days. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: A South Korean official said one of the North’s test-fired rockets flew 260 miles over ocean water. The other flew about 170 miles.

Just 10 minutes later, the U-S Air Force tested a long-range missile.

AUDIO: [Sound of missile]

But an Air Force spokesman said the timing was coincidental, adding that the launch was not a “a response or reaction to world events.” He said test launch calendars are set years in advance.

Following Pyongyang’s last missile test over the weekend, U.S. officials said they weren’t concerned because the launches did not involve long-range ballistic missiles

But South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized the tests. He urged North Korea to refrain from actions that could get in the way of diplomacy.

Moon also said Seoul will explore various options to help revive stalled nuclear talks. That could include providing food aid to the North and pushing for his fourth summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


Border apprehensions reach 12-year high » New numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show border officials apprehended 109,000 migrants last month. That’s the highest monthly total in 12 years.

And Border Patrol chief Carla Provost said through April, authorities had already apprehended nearly a half-million migrants. That surpasses the total “apprehensions of every fiscal year since 2009.”

And she said “the number of family units and unaccompanied children has skyrocketed.” They now make up 64 percent of all apprehensions. She praised border officials for going above and beyond the call of duty but pleaded this week with lawmakers on a Senate panel to help.

PROVOST: I could never have envisioned that today agents would spend at least 40 percent of their time as child care professionals, medical caregivers, bus drivers, and food service workers. 

She said human traffickers often convince migrants to bring or send their children to the U.S. border.

PROVOST: Just a few weeks ago, agents rescued a 3-year-old boy abandoned by smugglers in a corn field with only his name and his parents’ phone number written on his shoes. 

Provost said border officials have released more than 30,000 migrants inside the U.S. because holding facilities are overwhelmed.

And she said that’s creating a cycle. As migrants get word of families released, it incentivizes more families to make the trek.


Former intel analyst charged with leaking military secrets » Federal authorities arrested a former government intelligence analyst on Thursday. He is accused of leaking classified military documents to a reporter. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: 31-year-old Daniel Everette Hale worked as an intelligence analyst for the Air Force and later as a contractor.

Prosecutors are charging him under the Espionage Act. They say he provided 11 Top Secret or Secret documents to a reporter beginning in 2013. Those documents were later published either in whole or in part.

According to the indictment, they included a secret memo outlining a military campaign against al-Qaeda.

Details in the indictment make clear that Hale gave the documents to a founding editor of The Intercept.

In a statement, The Intercept’s current editor-in-chief said the documents detailed a—quote— “unaccountable process for targeting and killing people around the world” through drone strikes. And she blasted the government for prosecuting what she called “whistleblowers.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.


Pope Francis issues new church laws for reporting abuse » Pope Francis issued a new church law on Thursday to further combat sex abuse. It requires all priests and nuns to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-up by their superiors to church authorities.

The new law provides whistleblower protections for anyone making a report. It also outlines procedures for conducting investigations.

Abuse victims applaud the announcement but say it’s not enough, since it doesn’t mandate reporting crimes to police. Critics say the Vatican’s asking bishops to police themselves.


Uber to go public amid driver protests » Ride-hailing company Uber is set to go public today in one of the largest tech IPOs ever. It’s seeking a valuation between $80 and $90 billion.

Uber is following its smaller competitor Lyft into the stock market. But it does so as drivers for both companies turned off their apps this week to protest low wages.

AUDIO: [Sound of protest]

Drivers demonstrated in 10 major U.S. cities and some in Europe. One Uber driver in New York City said it’s hardly worth it anymore.

AUDIO: It was good initially, but for these last few years it’s been really horrible. They have absolutely no care for their drivers. All they care about is their bottom line. 

It’s not clear how many drivers participated in the strike, and its effect on customers seemed minimal.

Some drivers are demanding to be treated as employees with benefits, rather than contractors. Others want to be paid a percentage of the fare.

AUDIO: 80 to 85 percent of the fare. No more up front pricing where drivers are cut out of the fare revenue. 

Uber has so far resisted big changes to its pay structure. The company has lost nearly $8 billion dollars over a decade, as it’s focused on aggressive worldwide expansion.


(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File) This Saturday, May 4, 2019, file photo provided by the North Korean government shows a test of weapon systems, in North Korea.

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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