China’s Economy Grows, and Its Trade Gap With the U.S. Widens

China’s Economy Grows, and Its Trade Gap With the U.S. Widens SHANGHAI — China’s economy grew at a healthy pace in the first three months of this year, propelled by strong household spending and heavy government investment in infrastructure.
It was also helped — albeit much more modestly — by a factor that could exacerbate the country’s tense relations with Washington: China is selling a lot more to the United States, and its purchases from America aren’t keeping up.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced in Beijing on Tuesday morning that the economy had expanded 6.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the same quarter last year. That was well ahead of the pace necessary to hit the government’s target of 6.5 percent growth for the entire year.
The country’s quarterly growth figure has become so implausibly smooth and predictable in recent years that economists generally look for other ways to gauge China’s economic health. One of those is trade, which at one time was a..

Senate Bill to Curtail Labor Rights on Tribal Land Falls Short

Senate Bill to Curtail Labor Rights on Tribal Land Falls Short Photo The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, where a labor group is trying to organize workers. The casino is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe on tribal land. Credit Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times Organized labor managed an increasingly rare feat on Monday — a political victory — when its allies turned back a Senate measure aimed at rolling back labor rights on tribal lands.
The legislation, called the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, would have exempted enterprises owned and operated by Native American tribes from federal labor standards, even for employees who were not tribal citizens.
The A.F.L.-C.I.O. said passage of the measure, the subject of several years of tribal lobbying, would have amounted to the most aggressive erosion of labor protections since 1940s.
The bill fell six votes short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.
The House passed the measure in January. It is unclear if the Sen..

Chinese Tech Company Blocked From Buying American Components

Chinese Tech Company Blocked From Buying American Components
SHANGHAI — China’s second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment will not be able to use components made in the United States after the Commerce Department said it failed to punish employees who violated American sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
The ban announced Monday, which effectively locks the company, ZTE Corporation, out of American technology for seven years, is a blow to one of China’s few truly international technology suppliers.
ZTE’s products for the infrastructure of telecommunications networks, as well as its smartphones, use an array of American parts, like microprocessors from the chip maker Qualcomm, glass made by Corning and sound technology from San Francisco-based Dolby.
In a call with reporters on Monday, a senior Commerce Department official said the action was not connected to a broader intellectual property investigation into China.

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London falls out of top 10 most expensive business travel destinations thanks to stronger euro

All UK locations on list dropped down the rankings, with Aberdeen seeing a particularly marked fall, while Monaco, Basel and Paris became pricier
London has fallen out of the top ten most expensive cities in the world for business travel, thanks to a strengthening euro, new research has found.
The UK capital was overtaken by Monaco, Basel and Paris this year, dragging it down to sixth place in Europe from third the year before.
All of the UK locations included in the list compiled by data and software company ECA International dropped down the rankings.
Read more Inflation falls in February as transport and food prices decline Aberdeen fell from 13th to 39th in the European rankings in two years, partly due to a downturn caused by lower oil and gas prices.
Simon Franklin, daily rates manager at ECA International said: “Whilst the price of business travel to London has remained relatively static over the past few years, the strong performance of the euro in the past year has se..

'Cradle to grave' millennial renters should have German-style tenancy protections, says think tank

According to the Resolution Foundation, if the decline in the UK home ownership rate continues, a third of people currently in their twenties and thirties will still be renting their homes by the time they retire
Millennials who face the prospect of renting for their entire lives should be given German-style long-term security of tenure and limits on hikes in their rent, a leading think tank has argued.
In its latest report, the Resolution Foundation estimates that if the decline in UK home ownership rates seen since 2000 continues, a third of people currently in their twenties and thirties will still be renting their homes by the time they retire.
Lifetime renting is unremarkable in countries such as Germany and Switzerland, which have home ownership rates far below the UK’s current 63 per cent level.
Read more The real reason why the Tories can’t solve the housing crisis But those countries have much stronger rights for tenants compared to the UK, where tenants can usually be ..

Niger Ambush Suspect May Be in Custody, Officials Say

Niger Ambush Suspect May Be in Custody, Officials Say Video How the Ambush of U.S. Soldiers in Niger Unfolded One of the American soldiers ambushed by militants in Niger was wearing a helmet camera – we analyzed the footage to understand what happened.
By DAVID BOTTI, CHRISTOPH KOETTL, THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF and MALACHY BROWNE on Publish Date March 19, 2018. . Watch in Times Video » embed NIAMEY, Niger — More than six months ago, a group of American soldiers rushed to reach a spot in the scrubland of Niger after intelligence officials intercepted a signal from the cellphone of a terrorist known as Doundoun Cheffou. He wasn’t there, but hours later four of the Americans were killed in an ambush that remains under investigation.
This month, Nigerien forces apprehended a man who matches the description of Mr. Cheffou, a senior lieutenant of a former affiliate of Al Qaeda that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The Nigerien authorities are working to verify his identity, said a senior ..

Chemical Weapons Experts Blocked From Site of Syria Attack, Officials Say

Chemical Weapons Experts Blocked From Site of Syria Attack, Officials Say Photo Damaged buildings in Douma, Syria, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack this month. Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have still not reached the area, two days after arriving in Damascus. Credit Hassan Ammar/Associated Press LONDON — Western officials accused Syria and Russia on Monday of preventing weapons inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian government that led to airstrikes by the United States and its allies over the weekend.
Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria on Saturday, but two days later, they still had not reached Douma, the Damascus suburb where about 70 people were killed in the attack on April 7. Syrian and Russian forces have captured the area from rebels.
The inspectors are going to the scene to take samples and interview people, but “they are curre..

$21 Million in Assets Seized in South African Corruption Inquiry

$21 Million in Assets Seized in South African Corruption Inquiry Photo Members of the South African Asset Forfeiture Unit and other law enforcement agencies arriving to search the Gupta family compound in Johannesburg on Monday. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images JOHANNESBURG — Law enforcement officials raided the compound of a family close to former President Jacob Zuma of South Africa on Monday as part of an investigation into corruption at a government dairy farm project.
Accompanied by the news media, about 20 officials seized assets totaling about $21 million at the Johannesburg residence of the Guptas, three Indian brothers who built a business empire through their ties to Mr. Zuma, his family and political allies.
National prosecutors said the assets belonged to “several individuals and entities who were implicated in the offenses of theft, fraud and money laundering” in an investigation into a dairy farm project in Vrede, a farming town in the province of Free State. Th..