Friday, August 02, 2019 View this email in your browser
 

Sound bites: Trump put fresh new tariffs on China • Trudeau announced a new conservation area in Nunavut • North Korea shot two projectiles into the Sea of Japan • women in Saudi Arabia are finally allowed to get a passport without a man’s permission.
 

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TARIFFIC

In one fell swoop, President Trump caused the stock market to plummet after he announced via twitter that he would be adding new tariffs (taxes) on goods coming in from China.

Tell me more.
The U.S. is adding a 10% tax on $300-billion worth of Chinese-made products on Sept. 1, which essentially puts a tax on all Chinese goods. This move doesn’t just affect Chinese manufacturers. Taxing products that come from China could mean consumers have to pay more for iPhones, sneakers, and toys – 85% of the toys sold in the U.S. come from China. Last year, Trump added taxes on $250-billion worth of Chinese-made goods aimed at industrial materials like machines and equipment.
 
What’s all this for?
Trump is pressuring China to reach a trade deal with the U.S. He’s upset that Chinese President Xi Jinping didn’t keep his promise to buy more agricultural products from the States, and blames China for overselling fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid. But the taxes aren’t doing much to mend relations between the U.S. and China. American farmers were hit hardest when China threw retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. When China stopped buying from U.S. soybean farmers, the number of American soybeans sitting in storage hit a record high in 2018.


BIT BY BIT

Prime Minister Trudeau announced yesterday that his government plans to make an area off of Nunavut’s Baffin Island Canada’s newest conservation area.
 
That’s great!
The move will help the Feds hit (exceed, actually) their target of protecting 10% of Canada’s marine areas by 2020. Trudeau, along with Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq and President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, P.J. Akeeagok, said the new conservation area is located off of northern Ellesmere Island and will be called Tuvaijuittuq (which means, “the place where the ice never melts”). Any human activity or development in the area will now be banned for up to five years. Only Inuit will be able to use the area to hunt and fish.
 
Nice. Anything else?
Yep. JT also announced that the Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area in the northeastern region of Nunavut has now been completely set up and is officially Canada’s largest marine conservation area. When combined with the new Tuvaijuittuq, the area makes up 427,000km, an area larger than Newfoundland and Labrador. So, it’s big. The goal is to protect the Arctic and its sensitive ecosystem and those who rely on it. And for that, we’re thankful.


MAKE THAT THREE

North Korea (NK) fired missiles again. Overnight, the nuclear-armed country fired two “projectiles” from South Hamgyong province into the Sea of Japan. This is the third time in eight days that NK has gone rogue and broke UN rules. FYI, North Korea is not allowed to do any ballistic missile tests under UN resolutions. And yet, here we are. NK said the launches are warnings to South Korea and the U.S. over their planned military drills later this month. Reminder: while the relationship between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has improved – with the pair agreeing to restart negotiations over the denuclearization of NK – they haven’t really talked since they met at the DMZ (a neutral area between the two Koreas) last month. Trump doesn’t seem to be fazed by the recent missile tests, calling them “very standard.


FLYING SOLO

New laws published in Saudi Arabia finally gives women the right to apply for a passport and travel without permission from a man. Up until now, women had to get consent from their fathers, husbands, or sons to freely leave the country. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one appalled by this news. Saudi Arabia has long been criticized for its unfair treatment of women, a reputation that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been trying to change. Last year, the country let women into sports stadiums to watch games and permitted them to drive. The new rules published today will also allow women to register a child’s birth, marriage, or divorce.



GOOD NEWS

Grocery chain Sobeys is getting in on the environmental action and opting to ban the use of plastic bags by February 2020. The move follows calls from customers and employees for the Canadian chain to reduce its use of plastics, which, ICYMI, are really bad for the environment. Instead, customers will have the option to BYOB (bring your own bag) or use a paper bag substitute. Sobeys (which also operates chains such as Foodland and Freshco) also plans to start programs that will help the company reduce plastic products in other parts of the store.


WATCH LISTEN READ

• Drake dropped a surprise album just in time for his 9th annual OVO Fest in Toronto happening this weekend. This project features 17 of his one-off tracks, like Girls Love Beyoncé. Check out Care Package.

• Any day that Ariana Grande releases a new song is a good day. Here’s boyfriend.

• Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why is returning to Netflix on August 23rd.

Here’s your long weekend road trip playlist.

• Reminder: no Pressed on Monday. We’ll be out celebrating the long weekend with friends, food, and probably a rosé in hand.