China says new tariffs are an act of 'blackmail'

China’s Commerce Ministry on Tuesday criticized President Trump’s latest threat of tariffs, calling it an “act of extreme pressure and blackmail.”

Trump on Monday threatened to impose additional tariffs on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods following an announcement last week that he would seek to slap a 25 percent tariff on $ 50 billion in Chinese imports to the U.S.

“If the United States loses its rationality and unveils another list of Chinese products for additional tariffs, China will have no choice but to take comprehensive measures combining quantitative and qualitative ones to resolutely strike back,” the ministry said in a statement.

Trump said the tariffs were “essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs.”

He added, “After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced.”

Beijing responded to Trump’s announcement last week by applying tariffs to 659 U.S. products, including agricultural products, cars and marine products.

Companies like Apple are worried China could cause delays in supply chains and increase scrutiny of products under the guise of national security concerns, The New York Times reported.

Ford Motor is already facing delays at Chinese ports, according to Reuters.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International

Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II American cemetery in Belgium where he was interred.

On Tuesday, Julius Heinrich Otto “Henry” Pieper, his identity recovered, was laid to rest beside his twin brother in Normandy, 74 years after the two Navy men died together when their ship shattered while trying to reach the blood-soaked D-Day beaches.

Six Navy officers in crisp white uniforms carried the flag-draped metal coffin bearing the remains of Julius to its final resting place, at the side of Ludwig Julius Wilhelm “Louie” Pieper at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

The two 19-year-olds from Esmond, South Dakota, died together on June 19, 1944, when their huge flat-bottom ship hit an underwater mine as it tried to approach Utah Beach, 13 days after the D-Day landings.

While Louie’s body was soon found, identified and laid to rest, his brother’s remains were only recovered in 1961 by French salvage divers and not identified until 2017.

A lone bugler played taps as the casket was lowered in an end-of-day military ceremony attended by a half-dozen family members, closing a circle of loss. Each laid a red rose on the casket and two scattered American soil over it.

The Pieper twins, both radiomen second class, are the 45th pair of brothers at the cemetery, three of them memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the cemetery. But the Piepers are the only set of twins among the more than 9,380 graves, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The cemetery, an immaculate field of crosses and Stars of David, overlooks the English Channel and Omaha Beach, the bloodiest of the Normandy landing beaches of Operation Overlord, the first step in breaching Hitler’s stranglehold on France and Europe.

“They are finally together again, side by side, where they should be,” said their niece, Susan Lawrence, 56, of Sacramento, California.

“They were always together. They were the best of friends,” Lawrence said. “Mom told me a story one time when one of the twins had gotten hurt on the job and the other twin had gotten hurt on the job, same day and almost the same time.”

The story of how the twins died and were being reunited reflects the daily courage of troops on a mission to save the world from the Nazis and the tenacity of today’s military to ensure that no soldier goes unaccounted for.

The Pieper twins, born of German immigrant parents, worked together for Burlington Railroad and enlisted together in the Navy. Both were radio operators and both were on the same unwieldy flat-bottom boat, Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), making the Channel crossing from Falmouth, England, to Utah Beach 13 days after the June 6 D-Day landings.

The LST-523 mission was to deliver supplies at the Normandy beachhead and remove the wounded. It never got there.

The vessel struck an underwater mine and sank off the coast. Of the 145 Navy crew members, 117 were found perished. Survivors’ accounts speak of a major storm on the Channel with pitched waves that tossed the boat mercilessly before the explosion that shattered the vessel.

Louie’s body was laid to rest in what now is the Normandy American Cemetery. But the remains of Julius were only recovered in 1961 by French divers who found them in the vessel’s radio room. He was interred as an “Unknown” at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neuville, Belgium, also devoted to the fallen of World War II, in the region that saw the bloody Battle of the Bulge.

Julius’ remains might have stayed among those of 13 other troops from the doomed LST-523 still resting unidentified at the Ardennes cemetery. But in 2017, a U.S. agency that tracks missing combatants using witness accounts and DNA testing identified him.

Lawrence, the niece, said the brothers had successfully made the trip across the English Channel on D-Day itself, and “they had written my grandparents a letter saying, do not worry about us we are together.”

“My grandparents received that letter after they got word that they (their sons) had passed away,” she said.

The Pieper family asked that Louie’s grave in Normandy be relocated to make room for his twin brother at his side.

The last time the United States buried a soldier who fought in World War II was in 2005, at the Ardennes American Cemetery, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission.

———

Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International

France's Macron admonishes teenager; video goes viral

A video of French President Emmanuel Macron admonishing a teenager who called him by a nickname went viral on social media Tuesday.

The video shows Macron shaking hands in a crowd, when the teenager — using a diminutive for Macron’s first name — asks him: “How’s it going, Manu?”

Macron stops and responds: “Call me ‘Mr. President of the Republic,’ or ‘monsieur.'”

He then adds: “The day you want to start a revolution, get a degree and learn to feed yourself, OK? You can start lecturing others then.”

The exchange occurred Monday at a ceremony commemorating Charles De Gaulle’s historic appeal for armed resistance against Nazi tyranny.

Macron tweeted a video of the discussion, prompting a flood of comments Tuesday. Some applauded the French leader’s demand for respect, while others criticized what they saw as his arrogance.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International

WATCH: North Korea threatens to cancel summit with U.S.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International

WATCH: Leaders react to North Korea's cancellation threat

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International

Over 150 migrant caravan members cross into US to claim asylum, organizers say

Seventy members of the migrant caravan that reached the United States’ southern border last week crossed into the U.S. Thursday morning, turning themselves in to American authorities in order to claim asylum, organizers said.

Those 70 brought the total number of migrant caravan members who have crossed into the U.S. in order to claim asylum to 158, according to Alex Mensing, a project coordinator for Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the group that organized the caravan.

All have crossed at the San Ysidro Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, including the 70 who turned themselves in at 9 a.m. Thursday. They were the largest group to be accepted for processing so far, organizers said.

There are around 70 members of the caravan still in Tijuana waiting to cross into the U.S. and claim asylum, Mensing said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that he was rirecting 35 federal prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to the southwest U.S. border with Mexico to assist with the caravan and immigration issues there.

Since the migrants first tried to gain entry to the U.S. side of the San Ysidro border crossing on Sunday, authorities have at times blocked their access, saying the facility had reached capacity.

Members of the caravan, composed largely of women and children mainly from Honduras, had woven their way through Mexico since late March. The group at one point last month numbered over 1,000, but its size diminished significantly after it gained the frequent ire of President Donald Trump and the subsequent assistance of Mexican authorities.

Members of the caravan, which also includes people from Guatemala and El Salvador, say they are fleeing violence in Central America and fear returning home.

ABC News’ Mike Levine contributed reporting from Washington.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ABC News: International