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U.S. Slaps Allies With Tariffs

Angry allies plan to retaliate over U.S. trade tariffs. MarketWatch: "The U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union starting on Friday, the Trump administration said, raising the specter of trade war with some of Washington’s closest allies, who said they would retaliate. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said Ottawa will impose billions of dollars of tariffs on steel, aluminum and a wide range of other U.S. goods, including some food and agricultural products. Canada said it would hold consultations for two weeks before imposing the tariffs on July 1, which would remain until the U.S. levies are removed. Trudeau said the fallout from its moves would be 'more significant' than it realizes. The EU said it is also planning to hit back with billions of dollars of levies on U.S. exports which could go into effect staring June 20 and launch a case against American measures at the World Trade Organization on Friday. 'This is protectionism, pure and simple,' the EU’s top executive, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said Thursday."

Trump Trade Disarray Drives Markets Down

War inside Trump trade team triggers global angst. Politico: "President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision Thursday to slap steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union capped a whipsaw week that reflected not just the deep divisions among his top economic advisers, but the changeable attitudes of the irascible and unpredictable president himself. Senior administration officials profess privately to not knowing exactly what Trump will ultimately decide to do on trade at any given moment. The uncertainty has led the president’s advisers to compete for his attention in a bid to sway him, leading to nasty behind-the-scenes fights that are increasingly bursting into public view... The result of the infighting is a trade policy that’s nearly impossible for anyone to understand or predict and which risks undermining Trump’s economic and stock market gains. Thursday’s action sent markets down, compounding losses earlier in the week after the China announcement."

IL Ratifies Equal Rights For Women

One more to go: IL ratifies Equal Rights Amendment. NPR: "Illinois lawmakers have voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, affirming equal rights for women and putting the legislation just one state away from potentially being adopted by the U.S. Constitution. The passage comes 36 years after the original deadline for ratification set by Congress. Opponents of the amendment said that voting on it now was merely a symbolic gesture; some also said the protections it outlined in 1972 already apply to women today. But supporters said it's important — now more than ever — for the government to state clearly that women and men have equal rights under the law. The Illinois House approved the ERA on Wednesday night, just before the end of the chamber's regular session. There were hugs and high-fives as Democratic legislators, including a number of female lawmakers, stood, cheered and hugged as the result was announced."

Federal Workers Union Sues Trump

Workers sue Trump administration over organizing ban. Common Dreams: "The nation's largest union of federal workers filed suit against the Trump administration on Wednesday over an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that seeks to deny workers the right to job site representation—an established guarantee in existing labor law. The lawsuit by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), a member of the AFL-CIO which represents approximately 700,000 federal employees, argues that among a slate of anti-worker orders signed by the president last Friday, one of them specifically exceeds the president's constitutional authority and violates the First Amendment right of workers to freely associate. 'This president seems to think he is above the law, and we are not going to stand by while he tries to shred workers' rights,' said AFGE national president J. David Cox Sr., in a statement announcing the lawsuit. 'This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. No president should be able to undo a law he doesn't like through administrative fiat.'"

Charges Dropped Against Trump Inauguration Protestors

Prosecution drops charges against anti-Trump defendants after withholding evidence. ThinkProgress: "Prosecutors dropped charges on Thursday against a half-dozen people the government has sought to imprison for decades for their roles in planning a 2017 anti-Trump march. The judge in the case, visibly angry on the bench as prosecutors could not explain why their colleagues had lied to him about evidence in their possession months earlier, dismissed one of the charges with prejudice. Prosecutors can still pursue misdemeanor rioting and property damage charges if they wish, but are forbidden from charging a conspiracy to riot — the most serious felony among the several counts levied against the marchers. Government lawyers have pursued felony charges against everyone they could connect to the Inauguration Day march branded as #DisruptJ20, generating dozens of separate group trials that sprawled out over nearly a year and a half. Their case relied heavily on videos provided by the right-wing hoax group Project Veritas. Prosecutors now stand accused of hiding some 69 separate video and audio recordings provided by that group from defense counsel, including material the lawyers say would have helped their clients."

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