Every Saturday, Asia Pacific Daily will provide you with a run-down of the latest hot news.
This week, the following hot news you should know:
The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled a list of roughly $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25% tariffs. The move marks the latest escalation of a trade war between the world's two largest economies. The tariffs on 279 products, including motorcycles, speedometers and antennas, will take effect August 23.
It is the second time the US has slapped tariffs on Chinese goods. The Trump administration has accused China of unfair trade practices and President Donald Trump has long vowed to bring down the United States' trade deficit in goods with Beijing.
China has decided to impose a 25-percent tariff on 16 billion dollars’ worth of US goods, the Customs Tariff Commission of the Chinese State Council announced on Wednesday.
Drones loaded with explosives detonated close to a military event where Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was giving a speech in capital city of Caracas on Saturday, but he and the rest of the government escaped unharmed in what the country's Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said was an "attack" against the president.
Seven National Guard soldiers were injured, Rodriguez added.
Maduro has accused two opposition legislators of having roles in the drone attack that Venezuelan officials have called an assassination attempt on the leader, and his allies are moving against the accused.
The United States said Wednesday it was imposing new sanctions on Russia over Moscow's involvement in the use of a "lethal" nerve agent in the attempted killing of a former spy in Britain.
The State Department said the sanctions were in response to "the use of a 'Novichok' nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal" -- who was a double agent -- and his daughter Yulia in March.
The action is aimed at punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Russia’s embassy in the United States on Thursday called new U.S. sanctions draconian and said the reason for the new restrictions — allegations it poisoned a former spy and his daughter in Britain — were far-fetched.
Despite global outcry, the White House on Monday vowed to re-impose and fully enforce sanctions on Iran lifted under the Iran nuclear deal.
The first batch of sanctions, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday (0401 GMT), target Tehran's purchase of U.S. banknotes, trade in gold and other precious metals, as well as the use of graphite, aluminum, steel, coal, and software used in industrial processes. They will also affect transactions related to the Iranian Rial, the issuance of sovereign debts, and the country's automotive sector.
Another round of sanctions, to be reinstalled on Nov. 5, will be on Iran's port, energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, its petroleum-related transactions, and business deals by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.
The Trump administration will also relist hundreds of individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft that were previously included on sanctions lists.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK's) state media called on Monday for the US to drop sanctions, saying Pyongyang had demonstrated good faith by ending its nuclear weapons testing and handing over the remains of US troops killed in the Korean War.
The statements came just days after a confidential UN report concluded that DPRK has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs, in breach of UN resolutions.
The DPRK’s state media accused Washington of "acting opposite" to its plan to improve ties, despite Pyongyang making goodwill gestures, including a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War. Such "practical measures" had already deprived UN Security Council resolutions of their reason for being, the Rodong Sinmun, a newspaper in the DPRK said.
Tesla shares surged nearly 11 percent on Tuesday after its CEO Elon Musk surprised the market by announcing plans to take the company private at 420 US dollars per share.
Musk broke the news in a series of tweets around midday on Tuesday. The company's stock halted trading for 90 minutes before an official statement was announced.
"First, a final decision has not yet been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best," said Musk in the statement. Tesla is also the most shorted stock in history, which exposes it to attacks from large number of investors, Musk said.
Listed in 2010, Tesla's current market value is 64 billion US dollars. At a share price of 420 US dollars, the company would be worth 71 billion US dollars.
Death toll from powerful earthquake in tourist island of Lombok located in Indonesia’s province of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province rose to 381, according to data released by provincial government on Wednesday.
In the updated data compiled from reports filed in by head of districts in the province’s most affected areas, 5 districts in North Lombok regency were identified to have the largest number of deaths totaling 347.
The NTB provincial data submitted by the province’s governor-elect Zoelkiflimansyah to local media mentioned that the Sunday’s earthquake has injured 1,033 ones, displaced 270,168 ones and damaged 22,721 ones.
Mike Pence has announced plans for a new, separate US Space Force as a sixth military service by 2020.
The US vice-president said the development is needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russia.
In a speech at the Pentagon in Washington DC, Pence said that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.
Donald Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force and has been seen as a key driving force behind the headline-grabbing move.
A spokesman says Pakistan's next prime minister, Imran Khan, has appeared before an anti-graft bureau in connection with his alleged misuse of a government helicopter.
Umair Khan, a spokesman for Khan's Tahreek-e-Insaf party, says the National Accountability Bureau handed the premier-designate a questionnaire about the case on Tuesday. The spokesman and the future prime minister are not related.
Khan, a former cricket star, is accused of using the helicopter for private visits while his party governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from 2013 to 2018. This had reportedly cost the local authorities 2.17 million rupees, or $20,000.
Khan's party won the most parliament seats in last month's general elections and he is expected to take over as prime minister next week.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated his criticism of the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal during a meeting with visiting Foreign Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Ri Yong Ho on Wednesday, a day after Washington re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic.
"The US is considered an uncertain and unaccountable country in the world that does not comply with its commitments," he said.
During the meeting, Rouhani expressed his country's support to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, adding that he hopes for a broad and comprehensive expansion of ties with Pyongyang.
Foreign Minister Ri made similar remarks, saying the DPRK aims to confront the trend of unilateralism as a matter of strategic policy.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)