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Exactly why UK voted Leave! Head of tiny tax haven insults our PM with anti-Brexit stunt

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Trump announces ‘phase one’ trade deal with China

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President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. and China had reached a “substantial phase one deal” on trade that will eliminate a tariff hike that had been planned for next week.

Trump announced the deal in the Oval Office alongside members of his economic and trade teams, as well as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and his team, who were in Washington for negotiations.

Trump said the deal would take three to five weeks to write and could possibly be wrapped up and signed by the middle of November, when world leaders will travel to Chile for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

“We’ve come to a deal pretty much, subject to getting it written,” Trump said.

“This is something that is going to be great for China and great for the U.S.A,” he added.

News of a possible deal had been reported earlier in the day, sending markets upward. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day up nearly 320 points, or 1.2 percent.

Trump — who last week publicly urged the Chinese government to probe former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over the latter’s involvement with an investment fund that raised money in the country — said Friday that the Bidens didn’t come up during trade negotiations.

“I have not brought up Joe Biden. China can do whatever they want with respect to the Bidens,” Trump said.

According to Trump, under the agreed-upon deal China will purchase $40 to $50 billion of U.S. agricultural products. The agreement will also include commitments by China related to its currency, to intellectual property and allowing the U.S. financial services industry access to Chinese markets, Trump said.

“We’ve come to a deal on intellectual property, financial services. A tremendous deal for the farmers. A purchase of $40 to $50 billion worth of agricultural products,” Trump said.

Under the deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters, the U.S. will no longer go forward with a planned tariff increase on Oct. 15. On that day, tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports had been set to rise from 25 percent to 30 percent.

Mnuchin said Trump “has not made a final decision” on delaying or eliminating another round of tariffs that is set to go into effect on Dec. 15. On that day, a 15 percent tariff is set to kick in on approximately $160 billion of Chinese imports, including a significant number of consumer goods such as clothes, toys, and electronics.

Trump said there would be a “phase two” deal and that talks for that would start “almost immediately after we’ve concluded phase one.”



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California law bans for-profit, private prisons, including immigration detention centers

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Friday that would eliminate private, for-profit prisons, including those used for immigration detention, by 2028.

Starting on Jan. 2020, the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation won’t be able to enter into or renew a contract with a private, for-profit prison to incarcerate people.

Operating a private immigration detention facility and incarcerating people in for-profit prisons will be prohibited after Jan. 2028, according to the newly signed law.

“During my inaugural address, I vowed to end private prisons, because they contribute to over-incarceration, including those that incarcerate California inmates and those that detain immigrants and asylum seekers,” Newsom said in a statement. “These for-profit prisons do not reflect our values.”

The Adelanto Detention Facility, which is one of the nation’s biggest privately-run immigration detention centers, will be phased out under the new law.

This past summer, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released a report that found “egregious violations of detention standards” at the Adelanto Detention Facility, including “nooses in detainee cells, improper and overly restrictive segregation, and inadequate detainee medical care.”

Mario, a 31-year-old Mexican immigrant who wished to only be identified by his first name to avoid government attention, was happy about the news. He was detained for six months at Adelanto, which he described as “a form of psychological torture and even abuse,” adding that the “conditions there were horrible.”

“The key word here is ‘for-profit,'” he told NBC News. “That means they will make sure they maximize profits and they are willing to cut back on things like medical services and even food.”

GEO Group, a for-profit prison company with dozens of facilities in California including the Adelanto Facility, previously has stated that the bill “works against the state’s Proposition 57 anti-recidivism goals approved by the voters,” referring to a ballot proposition passed in 2016 to reduce the number of people who were re-incarcerated in the state.

The company reported revenues of $2.33 billion in 2018, up from $2.26 billion in 2017. The facilities have been criticized for employing immigrants for as little as $1 a day.

California Assemblymember Rob Bonta, who authored the bill, describe Newsom’s action as a “truly historic moment for California.”

“By ending the use of for profit, private prisons and detention facilities, we are sending a powerful message that we vehemently oppose the practice of profiteering off the backs of Californians in custody, that we will stand up for the health, safety and welfare of our people, and that we are committed to humane treatment for all,” said Bonta in a statement.

Asked about the impact of the bill on ICE operations, spokesperson Paige D. Hughes said, “The idea that a state law can bind the hands of a federal law enforcement agency managing a national network of detention facilities is wrong. In this situation, ICE will likely have to transfer individuals a greater distance from their arrest location to where they’d be detained.”

But for Lizbeth Abeln of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, who helped push forward the legislation, the bill’s signing was a step forward, as she said during a press conference Friday afternoon.

“People were tired of this ridiculous notion that somehow the city was prosperous because of these private prisons when in fact private prisons prey on vulnerable cities like Adelanto,” she said. “We are joining a national effort, and California is leading this, in which we are going to divest from these abusive systems.”

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Former Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pressured State Department to remove her

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Defying State Department instructions not to testify to Congress today, Marie Yavanovitch said in her scathing opening statement — obtained by NBC News — that the president pressured the State Department to pull her from her post, despite being told she had “done nothing wrong.”

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