Monthly Archives: August 2019

    OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s nuclear safety authority is analyzing tiny amounts of radioactive iodine detected in the air in northern Norway in the days after a deadly explosion during a rocket engine test over the border in Russia.

    Russia’s state nuclear agency, Rosatom, said on Saturday that five people killed in the blast were its staff members, and the accident involved “isotope power sources”, giving no further details.

    Norway’s radiation and nuclear safety authority DSA said it had detected the radioactive iodine at its air filter station in Svanhovd, which is by the Russian border. A river separates the two countries.

    The samples were collected in the period Aug. 9-12, while the accident in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia occurred on Aug. 8, it said.

    “At present it is not possible to determine if the last iodine detection is linked to the accident in Arkhangelsk last week. DSA continues more frequent sampling and analysis,” DSA said.

    Such radiation measurements are not unusual in Norway, as its monitoring stations detect radioactive iodine about six to eight times a year and the source is usually unknown.

    Russia’s state weather service said on Tuesday that radiation levels in the city of Severodvinsk had spiked by up to 16 times last Thursday, while medics who treated victims of the accident have been sent to Moscow for a medical examination, the TASS news agency reported.

    Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, Editing by Terje Solsvik and Alison Williams

      Mounting signs of a global economic slowdown hammered stocks and drove demand for sovereign bonds to such an extent that shorter-term yields rose above long rates in the U.S. for the first time since 2007.

      The S&P 500 sank more than 1% as the inverted gap in rates for two- and 10-year Treasuries flashed the strongest recession warning yet. European shares plunged after Germany’s economy contracted in the second quarter, adding to angst fueled by weak Chinese retail and industrial numbers. Oil retreated, gold rallied and the dollar held steady.

      The damage in American stocks was broad, with four stocks lower for every one that gained in the S&P 500. High-flying tech shares that paced yesterday’s rally amid easing trade tensions gave back all the advance. Banks led the drop as the inverted curve hits lending profits. Macy’s plunged to a nine-year low on weak results.

      The British yield curve also inverted for the first time since the financial crisis and the pound edged higher after inflation unexpectedly rose. Government bonds rallied across Europe, with the yield on benchmark bunds sliding to another record.

      The warning emanating from bond markets spooked investors already seeking shelter from the fraught geopolitical climate and the impact of the global trade war just a day after equities rallied on a tariff reprieve from President Donald Trump. While curve inversions normally precede economic downturns, they do not necessarily signal imminent doom.

      “This is not a positive sign for the market,” Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse, said on Bloomberg TV. “The Fed is totally empowered to change this dynamic and the market is saying they have to.”

      Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s airport resumed normal operations after a chaotic night of protest in which demonstrators beat and detained two suspected infiltrators and Trump warned of Chinese troops massing on the border.

      Here are the main moves in markets:

      Stocks

      The S&P 500 Index dipped 1.4% as of 9:32 a.m. New York time.

      The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.5%.

      The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dropped 1.3%.

      Germany’s DAX Index sank 2%.

       

      Currencies  

      The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.2%.

      The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 0.9%.

      The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.

      The euro increased 0.2% to $1.1188.

      The British pound climbed 0.1% to $1.2073.

      The Japanese yen jumped 0.8% to 105.90 per dollar

       

      Bonds

      The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank 10 basis points to 1.60%.

      The yield on two-year Treasuries declined seven basis points to 1.60%.

      Britain’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 0.465%.

      Germany’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to -0.64%.

       

      Commodities

      Gold rose 0.8% to $1,513.79 an ounce.

      West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 3.4% to $55.16 a barrel

        The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY is happy to announce EDWIN MARTINEZ as the 2019 GRAND MARSHAL. We are truly proud of Edwin and all he has done for our community.

        Edwin Martinez is the Publisher and Owner the Largest Latino Newspaper and Online News Organization serving Buffalo, Rochester and Dunkirk New York. Thru Panorama Hispano News daily online Newspaper, Panorama reaches readers in Puerto Rico, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando and Miami, and many other large Latino markets across the nation and around the world, including Spain and Mexico.  Edwin was born in Buffalo, NY. And raised in New York City and Buffalo, New York. His professional career began in 1987, when he joined an International conglomerate company with sales in the Billions of dollars as a corporate manager. He then entered Politics as a Legislative Director in the New York State Senate. In 1989, he became Chief of staff at New York State Parole Board and of the Division of Parole serving Governor Mario Cuomo. In 1995, he was offered the Under Sheriff position in New York City but declined because of family commitments. That year, he moved on to become Regional Director of Programs at the New York State Division of Parole. Edwin, Likewise, worked at the US Justice Department.

        Edwin also built an impressive record of accomplishment in the human service arena beginning in the early eighties. In 1983, he helped created the Consortium of Spanish Speaking Organizations, the first full service agency headed by a Puerto Rican/Latino in Buffalo, followed by the founding of the Western New York Hispanic and Friends Civic Association. He provided the leadership and spearheaded the creation of Western New York’s first residential substance abuse treatment program, then incorporated and served the board of La Alternativa, Buffalo’s first Hispanic based substance abuse prevention program. He then merged La Alternativa with The Puerto Rican Chicano Committee and The Puerto Rican American Community Association to create Buffalo’s largest Hispanic Organization, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo.

        Edwin has also been a Generous Philanthropist to the Latino and Western New York community, funding College Scholarships, Youth Programing, Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Hispanic Veterans Memorial and Senior Services throughout his lifetime. Likewise, he has given and raised monies for political candidate for the last 35 years.

        A pioneer in healthcare reform in Western New York, Edwin Served on The health Systems Agency board for 15 years. Where, he regulated HealthCare provider services thru local Hospitals, Nursing Homes and ambulatory care facilities throughout Western New York. Likewise, Edwin has served on the Board of Directors of Columbus Hospital and Waterfront Nursing home which were later merge with Buffalo General Hospital.

        As a Ward chairman and Executive member of The Democratic Party, Edwin was instrumental in the election of the first Latino Judge, Councilmembers and The first Puerto Rican Mayor of the City of Dunkirk. As well as coordinated campaigns for Governors, Senators and State Assembly members. Likewise, Edwin served on the transition teams of various Governors, County Executives and Mayors across New York State and Western New York, which opened doors to the first Latino Commissioners, and Deputy Commissioners in the City of Buffalo. As well, Edwin’s involvement in government opened the doors too many Latinos in government positions today.

        Edwin has also been active throughout his lifetime in improving outcomes within the public schools system. While at the same time, creating organizations in Higher Education to serve the needs of Latino College Students.

        Today, through his vision, commitment, and leadership, Panorama Hispano News continues to grow and continues to be the number one news source for Latinos around Western New York, while, also reaching across the country and around the world.

          EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – More El Paso residents than ever before crowded into a class over the weekend to become certified to carry a concealed gun in public in Texas after this month’s mass shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people. The national trend for minority communities to arm themself has become and overwhelming problem for weapons certification agency because they are unable to keep up with demand.

          Guadalupe Segovia, 35, was at the class with her two children. She said her military husband had long been pushing for her to get a concealed-carry license, which allows the holder to wear a gun hidden under their clothes or carry it in a purse when they are in public.

          Segovia said she felt urgency to do the required training now after the attack hit close to home. “I’m still going to be scared, even carrying a weapon,” she said.

          The vast majority of people at the classes were Hispanic; El Paso is a predominantly Latino city. Police say the accused gunman deliberately attacked Hispanics in the Walmart.

          Michael McIntyre, general manager of Gun Central, one of the largest gun shops in El Paso and the host of the class, on Friday said his store tallied double the usual number of sales in the week following the attack, something that did not happen after previous mass shootings in Texas.

          Most of the sales were for handguns, which can be strapped to an ankle or shoulder under clothing.

          “I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.

          “We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said.

          “This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”

          RUN FIRST

          With or without a weapon, McIntyre acknowledged most people would not be able to fight back in an attack like the one in El Paso. The class acknowledges this, and students are taught to run first before firing a gun. Only 1% of people return fire, he said.

          “One out of a hundred is a fire, the other 99 will run off,” McIntyre said.

          Segovia, who has military training, said the concealed-carry class does not compare to what is needed in an active shooter situation, but she wants her sisters to prepare anyway.

          “I’ve already told them, ‘Let’s go practice. Let’s go practice.’ It’s not just this one time that we have to keep coming to ranges and so you can feel familiarized with a weapon and be OK with it,” Segovia said.

          Segovia may be applying for her concealed-carry license, but she also wants to see changes in gun laws come from the top and make it harder for young people to get firearms.

          “I think weapons should be a privilege and for safety, not to go and kill people,” Segovia said.

          Gun control is definitely not on the horizon for Texas, where Governor Greg Abbot recently signed into law nine bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that will loosen up gun regulations starting on Sept. 1.

          One of the new laws lifts a ban on carrying firearms in places of worship. That ban came after a gunman fatally shot 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs. Another stops landlords from prohibiting firearms on their rental properties.

          The laws were all signed in the first regular legislative session after three mass shootings in Texas: the Sutherland Springs church massacre, a shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston that killed 10 in 2018, and the El Paso attack that killed 22.

          Reporting by Julio Cesar-Chavez; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

            MAICAO, Colombia – “Empuja, vamos, empuja sostenido. Push, come on, keep pushing.”

            The doctor chanted it like a mantra at Venezuelan migrant Yulianis Rodriguez from a delivery room in the northern Colombia-Venezuela border city of Maicao.

            Rodriguez, 26, was alone in the hospital in May, with no one’s hand to squeeze and no epidural, nothing for the pain other than a bright yellow rag in her mouth to stop her from biting down on her tongue.

            She crossed into Colombia months earlier through “trocha,” illegal dirt pathways run by criminal groups, with little more than her Venezuelan ID to her name. After living through Venezuela’s collapsing economy and food and medicine crises, the pregnant Venezuelan hoped she’d be able to get the medical care for her baby that she’d never be able to get in her own country.

            “I came to Maicao to be able to have my baby,” she said in Spanish. “To be able to work, to be able to help myself. I’m here because of this crisis.”

            Because of Colombia’s citizenship laws, her baby became one of 24,000 children in the South American country who were born “apátrida” –  stateless, without a country to call home. Though Colombia is putting in place measures to protect babies like Rodriguez’s, human rights activists worry that those measures are only a temporary solution for a bigger problem.

            A ‘legal limbo’

            A stateless person is someone who is not considered a citizen of any country, . Being stateless often is caused by a lack of birthright citizenship, the legal right to citizenship given children born in a country’s territory.

            As a result of the exodus of more than 3.7 million Venezuelans from their country, 24,000 Venezuelan babies have been born stateless in Colombia since the beginning of the crisis, according to government data from June.

            Colombian law dictates that if at least one parent did not have citizenship or legal permanent residency – a miniscule percentage of the Venezuelans arriving at the country’s doorsteps – the child would not receive Colombian citizenship. That’s created a growing number of stateless infants in Colombia, the biggest receiver of the migrants.

            That, in turn, made way for what experts called a “more vulnerable” population within an already desperate group of people fleeing Venezuela because stateless individuals often lack access to medical services, education or the ability to vote. They’re effectively in a “legal limbo,” said Juliana Vengoechea, a researcher with the Open Society Foundation, a U.S.-based group that funds independent human rights and justice groups.

            “They’re stuck in a country without rights, but then they’re not able to exercise freedom of movement,” Vengoechea said.

            That changed in August when Colombian President Ivan Duque decreed that Colombia would make an exception for children born to Venezuelan parents and give Colombian citizenship to those children and to babies born over the next two years.

            Human rights defenders called the decree a temporary fix to a larger problem. They worry that the damage done by Colombia’s constitution may have had a ripple effect on the children and their families.

            “The constitution of Colombia is still the same,” said Florencia Reggiardo, attorney and coordinator of the Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness.

            Venezuela’s migration crisis began in 2016, when the economy went into a freefall and brought with it shortages in food and medicine and an emerging medical crisis. As the situation worsened in 2018 and 2019, pregnant women such as Rodriguez flooded into Colombia to give birth and seek medical aid difficult to find in Venezuela.

            “There was nothing,” Rodriguez said. “Here, at least I have the chance of getting the medical services.”

            For years, Colombia did not provide automatic birthright citizenship – or jus soli, the “right to the soil” – to those simply born in the nation. Though Rodriguez’s baby did qualify for citizenship in Venezuela, it’s virtually impossible to obtain. Rodriguez and her baby would have to travel back to Venezuela, but the country is sinking deeper into political violence, food and medicine shortages.

            Though Colombia’s rule change marks a significant turning point for the children born without a nationality, Reggiardo said, the country will struggle to provide legal status to those children because many parents don’t know their children were born without a nationality in the first place.

            ‘Not valid for nationality’

            Up until August, the parents were given a “certificado nacido vivo,” a birth certificate that many mistook as testament their child is a Colombian citizen.

            A line at the bottom said otherwise: “Not valid for nationality.”

            That important fact was largely unknown among many of the women streaming across the Venezuela border.

            In the maternity ward in Hospital San Jose, a public hospital in Maicao, about half the women interviewed by USA TODAY said they thought their baby would be born Colombian. Most others said they thought their child would be Venezuelan.

            Mothers such as Liliana Gonzalez, 23, were simply confused.

            Gonzalez had been staying in a dusty, informal migrant settlement on the border and, like Rodriguez, had come to Maicao to give birth. She wanted to have her baby in her home of Maracaibo – a city devastated by the blackouts that swept through Venezuela in March – but had to flee to Colombia for medical care.

            “I’m scared, because I don’t know if he’s Venezuelan or Colombian,” Gonzalez said in May, peering down at her newborn baby snuggled in the crook of her arm. “I don’t have a paper that tells me, well, who he is.”

            As Colombia attempts to resolve its emerging human rights crisis, it’s unclear how many of the parents of these babies will know what resources they have to access their child’s nationality, or even know that their child doesn’t have a nationality.

            This lack of knowledge of resources and basic documentation has been one of the core problems in the exodus of millions of migrants from Venezuela. Migrants cross the Venezuela border in desperate conditions, sometimes walking for days and in various states of starvation or deteriorated health. They often lack basic documentation such as valid passports because it’s become practically impossible to access those papers in the collapsing country.

            For many, the complex legal maze that the statelessness situation presented is not the foremost concern; rather, it’s more basic human needs such as access to food, shelter and work.

            Birthright citizenship around the world

            Birthright citizenship gained an international spotlight after President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise that he would end the U.S. constitutional right of birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.

            Trump railed against the idea of migrants using their child’s birthright citizenship to stay in the USA without being deported. In October, the president told the Axios website in an interview that he wanted to use his executive power to end birthright citizenship.

            “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years … with all of those benefits,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

            More than 30 other countries have similar birthright citizenship laws, most in the Western Hemisphere. Other countries that eliminated birthright citizenship have seen the rise of stateless populations, sometimes referred to as “ghost citizens.”

            Worldwide, about 15 million people are stateless, according to the Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), an international nonprofit group. Every year, about 70,000 children are born into statelessness, according to the ISI.

            For decades in the Caribbean, undocumented Haitian women fleeing deep poverty crossed to the neighboring nation of the Dominican Republic.

            They gave birth to children who were legally Dominican, but for years, the Dominican government imposed increasingly stricter birthright citizenship policies on children of Haitian descent. In 2013, a ruling stripped Dominican nationality from anyone born to undocumented parents or grandparents since 1929.

            Those residents were unable to access education or medical services, find work or vote in the only place they had ever called home. As part of the long history of persecution of people of Haitian descent in the country, they became victims of xenophobic attacks and even expulsion from the Dominican Republic, according to Jonathan Katz, a national fellow at the D.C.-based New America who  covered Haitian statelessness as a journalist for The Associated Press.

            “It’s like all the things they need to do to live a healthy and complete life have suddenly been made impossible for them,” he said.

            Only ones who benefit are smugglers

            Colombia’s legal framework may have had a ripple effect as the exodus of migrants spreads across Latin America. Colombia is the largest receiver of Venezuelans in the world and has accepted more than 1.2 million migrants. It’s a transit zone, a place Venezuelans pass through on their way to countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina, which have all accepted hundreds of thousands of migrants.

            Those children born stateless who passed into other countries will effectively remain stateless, Reggiardo said, forced to return to Colombia or Venezuela to gain legal recognition.

            “A big problem is the children that were born in Colombia with this (legal) situation, who after that, migrate again with their parents to other countries in the region,” she said. “These children, they have to travel to Colombia to request their nationality.”

            For many who arrive on their last leg to other countries around Latin America without food, shelter or documentation, that journey back is impossible.

            They continue in the shadows, probably without access to education, more complex medical services or the right to legally migrate. Francisco Quintana, Andean director for the Center for Justice and International Law, an international legal initiative to protect human rights in the Americas, said migrants with those children could be forced into the hands of human traffickers or into dangerous situations to cross borders.

            “The fear is that people will not stop,” he said. “With more walls, more papers, migration does not stop, and the only people that are benefited by these situations are the smugglers.”

            Some have already been pushed into drastic circumstances.

            Venezuelan migrant Nairobi Correa Martinez stood in a migrant soup kitchen in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia, in February as her 4-year-old daughter, Fabiana, brushed her small hand on her mother’s bulging pregnant belly.

            They left their country at the beginning of the year, so Correa could give birth outside Venezuela. She, like many migrants from Venezuela, hadn’t had a single checkup for her pregnancy.

            “Imagine being sick and unable to get anything practically ever,” she said. “It’s hard to get anything. All of it, medicine, toiletries, sustenance. Right now, everything is horrible.”

            The goal was to stay for a month in Colombia to give birth. The border wasn’t what she expected, and it was hard on them. It was impossible for her to find work because business owners wouldn’t let her bring her young daughter along. They landed at the doors of a soup kitchen, accepting plates of food they wouldn’t have been able to afford outside.

            Correa said that when she first heard murmurings that if she gave birth in Colombia, her child might face issues with citizenship, she decided she had to go back to Venezuela. There was no food, not even the most basic medicine, but she had family and the assurance that her baby would be Venezuelan.

             “Yes, I’m scared, but at the same time, I have to do it,” Correa said.

            Though Colombia’s decree in August is an important step, said Reggiardo, the attorney, it is a short-term one.

            “If we have a solution solely based on solidarity, it means that these are only temporary, and for a specific situation as it is this one,” she said, “I mean, what is going to happen to children born from other nationalities?”

             

              The Trump administration moved on Monday to weaken how it applies the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act, ordering changes that critics said will speed the loss of animals and plants at a time of record global extinctions.

              The action, which expands the administration’s rewrite of U.S. environmental laws, is the latest that targets protections, including for water, air and public lands. Two states — California and Massachusetts, frequent foes of President Trump’s environmental rollbacks — promised lawsuits to try to block the changes in the law. So did some conservation groups.

              Pushing back against the criticism, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and other administration officials contend the changes improve efficiency of oversight while continuing to protect rare species.

              “The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal — recovery of our rarest species,” he said in a statement. “An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation.”

              Under the enforcement changes, officials for the first time will be able to publicly attach a cost to saving an animal or plant. Blanket protections for creatures newly listed as threatened will be removed. Among several other changes, the action could allow the government to disregard the possible impact of climate change, which conservation groups call a major and growing threat to wildlife.

              Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the revisions “fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.”

              The Endangered Species Act is credited with helping save the bald eagle, California condor and scores of other animals and plants from extinction since President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1973. The act currently protects more than 1,600 species in the United States and its territories.

              While the nearly half-century-old act has been overwhelmingly successful in saving animals and plants that are listed as endangered, battles over some of the listings have been yearslong and legendary. They have pitted northern spotted owls, snail darters and other creatures and their protectors against industries, local opponents and others in court and political fights. Republican lawmakers have pushed for years to change the law itself.

              John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican who leads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Monday’s changes in enforcement were “a good start” but he would continue working to change the act.

              Previous Trump administration actions have proposed changes to other bedrock environmental laws — the clean water and clean air acts. The efforts include repealing an Obama-era act meant to fight climate change by getting dirtier-burning coal-fired power plants out of the country’s electrical grid, rolling back tough Obama administration mileage standards for cars and light trucks and lifting federal protections for millions of miles of waterways and wetlands.

              Monday’s changes “take a wrecking ball to one of our oldest and most effective environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act,” Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, said in a statement. “As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection — no matter how effective or popular — is safe from this administration.”

              One of Monday’s changes includes allowing the federal government to raise in the decision-making process the possible economic cost of listing a species. That’s despite the fact that Congress has stipulated that economic costs not be a factor in deciding whether to protect an animal. The prohibition was meant to ensure that the logging industry, for example, would not be able to push to block protections for a forest-dwelling animal on economic grounds.

              Gary Frazer, an assistant director at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told reporters that the government would adhere to that stipulation by disclosing the costs to the public without it being a factor for the officials as they consider the protections.

              Price tag or no, Frazer said, federal officials would keep selecting and rejecting creatures from the endangered species list as Congress required, “solely on the basis of the best available scientific information and without consideration for the economic impacts.”

              “Nothing in here in my view is a radical change for how we have been consulting and listing species for the last decade or so,” Frazer added.

              But Brett Hartl, a government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity conservation group, contended any such price tag would be inflated, and “an invitation for political interference” in the decision whether to save a species.

              “You have to be really naive and cynical and disingenuous to pretend” otherwise, Hartl said. “That’s the reason that Congress way back … prohibited the Service from doing that,” he said. “It’s a science question: Is a species going extinct, yes or no?”

              A United Nations report warned in May that more than 1 million plants and animals globally face extinction, some within decades, owing to human influence, climate change and other threats. The report called the rate of species loss a record.

              In Washington state, Ray Entz, wildlife director for the Kalispel tribe, spoke of losing the struggle to save the last wild mountain caribou in the lower 48 states, despite the creature’s three decades on the Endangered Species List. With logging and other human activities and predators driving down the numbers of the south Selkirk caribou, Canadian officials captured and penned the last surviving members of the species over the winter for their protection.

              “There were some tears shed,” Entz said, of the moment when tribal officials realized the animal had dwindled in the wild past the point of saving. “It was a tough pill to swallow.”

              Despite the disappearance of the protected caribou species from the contiguous United States, Entz said, “We don’t want to see a weakening of the law.”

              “There’s times where hope is something you don’t even want to talk about,” he said. But, “having the Endangered Species Act gives us the opportunity to participate in that recovery.”

              In Idaho on Monday, meanwhile, officials reported that the state’s sage grouse population has dropped 52% since the federal government decided not to list the birds under the Endangered Species Act in the fall of 2015.

              Wildfires, as well as oil and gas exploration and farming, have cut into the grouse’s habitat, so that as few as 200,000 are believed to remain out of as many as 16 million a century ago.

                FILE PHOTO: Chinese staffers adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

                WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration will delay imposing a 10% tariff on certain Chinese products, including laptops and cell phones, that had been scheduled to start next month, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday.

                The USTR’s action was published just minutes after China’s Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He conducted a phone call with U.S. trade officials.

                Other products whose tariffs will be delayed until Dec. 15 include “computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,” the USTR said in a statement.

                A separate group of products will also be exempt altogether, “based on health, safety, national security and other factors,” it added.

                Technology investors welcomed news of the exemptions, pushing an index of chip stocks up 2.8%, while shares of Apple (AAPL.O) surged more than 5%.

                President Donald Trump said on Aug. 1 he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods, blaming China for not following through on promises to buy more American agricultural products. He also personally criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to do more to stem sales of the synthetic opioid fentanyl amid an opioid overdosing crisis in the United States.

                The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office will publish additional details and lists of the specific product types impacted by the announcement. The office plans to conduct an exclusion process for products subject to the additional tariff.

                Reporting by David Shepardson and Makini Brice; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Bernadette Baum

                  Trader Peter Tuchman gestures as he talks on the phone following the resumption of trading following a several hour long stoppage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., July 8, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

                  NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Friday following renewed jitters over the U.S.-China trade war, capping a week of trading that saw big swings and high volume.

                  President Donald Trump said the United States and China were pursuing trade talks but he was not ready to make a deal, fanning fears over the impact of the trade war on the global economy.

                  Trump also said the United States would continue to refrain from doing business with Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies.

                  The week was marked by wild swings, but indexes finished nearly flat on the week. This week’s volume on U.S. exchanges was also the biggest weekly total of the year, exceeding 41 billion shares.

                  On Friday, all three indexes were down more than 1% in early trading and rebounded later in the session, with the Dow briefly turning positive at one point. This left a 315-point swing between the blue-chip index’s high and low of the day.

                  The frequent comments on trade are “leaving investors whipsawed,” said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

                  “As volatility has picked up, you’ve gotten more interest on the part of traders, and that in turn has led to even higher volume,” he said. “When you get moves like this and reversals, it brings a lot of high-frequency traders in and short-term traders.”

                  Shares of chipmakers and other tariff-sensitive technology companies .SPLRCT fell, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index .SOX down 1.8%.

                  The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 90.75 points, or 0.34%, to 26,287.44, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 19.44 points, or 0.66%, to 2,918.65 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 80.02 points, or 1%, to 7,959.14.

                  Shares of Amgen (AMGN.O) jumped 5.9% after news that a U.S. judge said patents relating to the Amgen’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel were valid, denying a challenge by Novartis AG (NOVN.S).

                  Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) shed 6.8% after the ride-hailing company reported a record $5.2 billion quarterly loss and revenue that fell short of Wall Street targets.

                  Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR.O) shares also plunged, a day after the drug developer flagged manufacturing issues with its experimental cancer drug bempeg.

                  Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.99-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.07-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

                  The S&P 500 posted 46 new 52-week highs and nine new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 56 new highs and 129 new lows.

                  Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New YorkAdditional reporting by Medha Singh and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman

                    Designa al nuevo administrador de La Fortaleza.

                    La nueva mandataria, Wanda Vázquez Garced, designó a Luis Augusto Martínez Román como nuevo administrador de la Oficina de la Gobernadora, según una orden ejecutiva publicada en el portal del Departamento de Estado.

                    Este puesto llevaba vacante una semana con la salida de Ricardo Llerandi de La Fortaleza. Llerandi, quien también fue secretario de la Gobernación, actualmente se desempeña como director ejecutivo de la Compañía de Comercio y Exportación. Martínez Román era subadministrador del despacho del gobernador.

                    En el documento, Vázquez Garced derogó dos órdenes ejecutivas anteriores, firmadas por el exgobernador Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, que distribuían ciertas funciones administrativas en el Palacio de Santa Catalina.

                    El otro nombramiento que se conoce es el de Grisel Santiago Calderón como secretaria interina de Justicia.

                    Vázquez Garced juramentó el miércoles como nueva gobernadora de Puerto Rico. Su investidura surge luego que el Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico declarara como inconstitucional la juramentación del excomisionado residente Pedro Pierluisi, quien había sido designado como secretario de Estado y sucesor de Ricardo Rosselló Nevares en la gobernación. Vázquez Garced era la secretaria de Justicia y segunda en la sucesión de la gobernación.

                    Rosselló Nevares renunció el 2 de agosto luego de semanas de protestas exigiendo su dimisión tras conocerse de actos de corrupción moral y administrativa.

                      GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized U.S. treatment of migrants during a visit to Guatemala, and raised doubts about whether the Central American country could cope with a migration deal agreed with the Trump administration.

                      Pelosi, a Democrat, was visiting Central America on Thursday with a bipartisan congressional delegation just as the region was coming under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to do more to stop migrants reaching the United States.

                      Under the threat of economic sanctions, Guatemala late last month struck a deal with Trump to make the country a so-called “safe third country.” The accord will require migrants to seek asylum in Guatemala rather than in the United States.

                      Critics question whether Guatemala, which suffers from high levels of poverty and violence, has the resources to handle a potential surge in asylum applications.

                      Asked whether Guatemala would be able to handle the agreement, Pelosi told a news conference she wanted to know more about what the safe third country deal entailed, and described it as a “very difficult challenge.”

                      Pelosi and the congressional delegation will also travel to El Salvador and Honduras, after which they are scheduled to visit U.S. detention centers in McAllen, Texas.

                      Democrats have said Trump’s policies have sparked a humanitarian crisis at border facilities, and Pelosi said that “from what we have seen in past visits, the treatment of people there is a challenge to the conscience of America.”

                      “It’s really shameful what has happened on the border,” added Pelosi, who was meeting with representatives from the judiciary, civil society and rights groups in Guatemala.

                      U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said this month that the United States wants similar agreements with Honduras and El Salvador. His office said on Thursday the number of migrants apprehended or deemed inadmissible on the U.S. border with Mexico fell 21% to 82,049 in July from June.

                      “The situation is improving by every available metric, but, I want to be very clear, that we remain at and beyond crisis levels in illegal crossings,” McAleenan said in a statement.

                      According to Customs and Border Protection data, law enforcement actions against Guatemalan migrants fell by 41%, against Salvadorans by 21% and against Hondurans by 16% in July.

                      Under the safe third country deal, Guatemala says it will only accept migrants from neighboring Honduras and El Salvador.

                      Still, Guatemalan-born U.S. Democratic Representative Norma Torres said the deal was not realistic.

                      “My personal position is that Guatemala is in no way capable of being a (safe) third country,” she said alongside Pelosi.

                      Immigration, one of Trump’s signature issues in the 2016 presidential campaign, is already shaping up as a central issue in the November 2020 election. Democrats have sharply criticized Trump’s policies aimed at banning nearly all asylum-seekers from entry, warehousing detainees in crowded quarters and holding children separately from the adults they traveled with.

                      Reporting by Sofia Menchu; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Rebekah F Ward in MEXICO CITY; writing by Julia Love and Dave Graham; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Simon Cameron-Moore

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