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Trade war: Trump raises tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods

The US has more than doubled tariffs on $200bn (£153.7bn) worth of Chinese products, in a sharp escalation of the countries’ damaging trade war.

Tariffs on affected Chinese goods have risen to 25% from 10%, and Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

China says it “deeply regrets” the move and will have to take “necessary counter-measures.”

It comes as high-level officials from both sides are attempting to salvage a trade deal in Washington.

Only recently, the US and China appeared to be close to ending months of trade tensions.

Tiananmen Square: China steps up curbs on activists for 30th anniversary

Government’s critics say controls are more severe: ‘They know the 30th anniversary means a lot’

 in Beijing

Every year in late May, Hu Jia is taken on a mandatory holiday to Qinhuangdao, a port city almost 200 miles from his home in Beijing. He is accompanied by police on walks in the park or by the sea and is always in view of a minder. Hu returns to the capital only after 4 June, the anniversary of the Chinese government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Hu, one of China’s most prominent political activists, has been under house arrest for years in part for attempting to commemorate the anniversary of the crackdown, one of the most notorious incidents of state violence against activists in living memory. He still maintains hope that democracy will come to China in his lifetime.

“I won’t change, because this is based on feeling,” he said. “I don’t believe the Chinese Communist party is made of iron. I have never lost faith. I don’t think the power of evil can last for ever. It won’t.”

German government defends planned immigration laws

Angela Merkel’s government presented its long-awaited draft immigration law to the Bundestag — and got plenty of criticism from all political sides in return. Reforms to attract skilled workers aren’t enough for some.

In a heated debate in the Bundestag on Thursday, the German government made the case for its much discussed proposed law governing immigration for skilled workers.

The new proposal, initially agreed upon by Angela Merkel’s Cabinet five months ago, is the government’s response to many years of complaints from a business community increasingly concerned about the lack of qualified IT specialists and engineers in Germany and shortfalls in other vocational professions. The country’s aging population is also desperately in need of health care workers.

Israel lifts Gaza fishing ban as calm returns

Israel lifted a ban on Friday on Palestinian fishing boats putting to sea off Gaza, an Israeli military body said, ending a measure imposed during a deadly flare-up of violence earlier this month.

The measure is seen as a first step in implementing a fragile truce meant to avert a new conflict between the army and Palestinian militants.

“Friday, the Gaza Strip fishing zone is expected to reopen at a range of up to 12 nautical miles,” the Israeli military body responsible for the Palestinian territories, COGAT, said.

Former Xinjiang teacher claims brainwashing and abuse inside mass detention centers

Updated 0352 GMT (1152 HKT) May 10, 2019

Overflowing toilets in overcrowded cells. Food and sleep deprivation. Forced injections.

As she witnessed horror after horror and was told of others, Sayragul Sauytbay, who says she was a former employee inside one of China’s sprawling network of alleged detention camps in Xinjiang province, vowed to one day tell the world what she saw.
“I knew that all people there were not guilty of anything,” she said. “I could do nothing to help them avoid suffering. That’s why I decided that one day I would publicize what’s happening there.”

Delays and long waits as Japan residents rush to buy Tokyo Olympic tickets

By Stephen Wade

If you’re a Japan resident and you want tickets for next year’s Tokyo Olympics – be patient.

Tokyo organizers on Friday said delays and long waits to get an online response met Japan residents who tried to enter the ticket lottery on the first day it opened.

The ticket lottery for Japan residents began Thursday and will continue through May 28. Tickets for non-Japanese residents go on sale on June 15 in other countries, where tickets are sold by so-called “Authorized Ticket Resellers” for the games which are 15 months away.