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Trump to Impose Tariff of Up to 25% on Mexico Until Illegal Immigration Stops

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U.S. President Donald Trump just escalated tensions between the United States and its southern neighbor by vowing to impose a 5% tariff on all goods produced in Mexico. This is the latest in his string of attempts to Make America Great again by punishing Mexico for not stopping immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally.

Tariffs are one of the president’s preferred methods of bullying and punishing foreign countries in an attempt to get what he wants. This specific threat only expands his ongoing trade wars.

If he gets his way, the tariffs would begin on June 10th, the president tweeted Thursday, adding that it “would gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied at which time the tariff will be removed.”

The tariffs could rise to 25%—an unprecedented level—come October.

The move, which would not only punish Mexican manufacturers but also average Americans—who may end up footing the bill—and American companies with operations in Mexico, comes mere days after Trump removed steel tariffs on the country.

It may also risk Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

In an unsettling display of the power of a Trump tweet, Mexico’s peso weakened 2.4% and the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield dropped to 2.18% after his posts. According to Investor’s Business Daily, “Dow Jones futures sold off late Thursday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures” and automakers GM and Ford fell after the news.

Mark Cudmore, Macro Strategist with Bloomberg reports:

“This Mexico tariff news is far worse than even the initial market reaction makes it out to be. The timing is almost immediate. Chaos for both companies and bureaucrats. No time for anyone to prepare or make contingencies. The only way the S&P 500 doesn’t sink massively today is if Trump rows back on this. The U.S. imported almost $350b worth of goods from Mexico in 2018.

What makes it even worse again, if possible, is that so many traders were hoping Trump would soon take a more conciliatory trade zone because U.S. stocks have weakened.

This is a black swan event for markets and people aren’t even registering. Maybe traders are all hoping there’s some mistake or that this won’t be implemented.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that his foreign minister and others would be visiting Washington on Friday to come to an agreement. “I don’t want confrontation,” Lopez Obrador said in a letter to Trump shared on Twitter.

According to Bloomberg, Mexico’s undersecretary of foreign relations for North America, Jesus Seade told “reporters in Mexico City Thursday at a previously scheduled event that the country won’t retaliate before discussing the matter with the U.S.” He also said “it would be disastrous” for the tariffs to go into effect.

While Trump says he is invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to impose the tariffs, lawyers and analysts are questioning the legality of using it in this way. Federal law allows the use of tariffs to deal with “unusual and extraordinary threat.” Much like his attempt to declare a national emergency to fund the border wall, he may just be grasping at straws.

According to the Chicago Tribune, on May 24 a federal judge blocked Trump from building sections of the border wall with money acquired after his declaration of a national emergency.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Thursday:

This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent. I support nearly every one of President Trump’s immigration policies, but this is not one of them.”

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that if Mexico is able to cooperate with Washington in the coming weeks, the tariffs will either be lifted or not even go into effect in the first place.

Un-ironically, Trump used undocumented immigrants and The Wall as a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign and, now that he is gearing up for his 2020 re-election campaign, it should come as no surprise that he’s once again tackling the same issue.

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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