Friday, July 30, 2021
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China promises retaliation if US imposes more tariffs

China’s government says it will retaliate if Washington goes ahead with more tariff increases following President Donald Trump’s comment that he was considering extending penalties to more Chinese imports.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Monday that Beijing “will definitely take countermeasures to safeguard its legitimate rights” if Trump goes ahead with a new round of tariffs.

Beijing and Washington have imposed 25 percent import duties on $50 billion of each other’s goods in a battle over technology policy. The Trump administration is poised to decide whether to extend that to another $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Trump said Friday he was considering penalties on an additional $267 billion list of Chinese goods. That would extend tariff increases to nearly all of China’s exports to the United States.

US to launch drone strikes in Niger against IS, Al-Qaeda: Report

The US CIA is set to launch drone strikes against suspected Libya-based jihadists with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group from a base in northeastern Niger, the New York Times reported.

Nigerien and US officials told the newspaper that Central Intelligence Agency operatives have been flying surveillance drones from a small airport in the town of Dirkou.

The airport has grown since February to include new runways and security posts, the agencies reported on late Sunday, citing satellite images.

Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum acknowledged the drone presence, but gave few details, while Dirkou Mayor Boubakar Jerome said the drones have helped improve the town’s security.

The move gives an expanded role to the CIA in drone strikes, a change carried out under President Donald Trump.

His predecessor, Barack Obama, had sought to put drone operations under military control, which is less secretive and more accountable than the CIA, the Times said.

The Pentagon operates a base in Niger’s capital Niamey, some 800 miles southwest of Dirkou, from which it has launched lethal strikes against Libya-based jihadists, the Times reported.

Niger is one of several poor, fragile countries in the Sahel region hit by jihadist unrest.

Libya, which shares a border with Niger, has been thrown into chaos since the ouster of strongman Moamer Kadhafi in October 2011.

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