Sunday had a somewhat ominous feel to it, from a geopolitical perspective, anyway.
As promised, protesters flooded into the streets of Hong Kong again as tens of thousands came out for a re-run of Wednesday’s demonstrations. On Saturday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the controversial extradition bill at the heart of the tensions, but that’s not enough.
Critics want the bill withdrawn and have demanded Lam resign. Black-clad demonstrators chanting “Retract” charted the same route protestors traversed on Wednesday. “The [extradition bill] is just being delayed. It’s not the matter of what, it’s a matter of when”, opposition politician Claudia Mo said. “So I am comin’ out.”
Yes, Claudia is “comin’ out”. And so were a lot of other people.
Meanwhile, India made it official. The country slapped higher tariffs on 28 products from the US including apples, almonds, chickpeas and walnuts. The duties are “worth” (depending on how you define that) $217 million.
On Friday, reports suggested that after a year of delays pending negotiations with the Trump administration, New Delhi had decided to move ahead with the planned levies.
The last straw for India was Trump’s decision to officially yank India’s GSP status, which spared around $5.7 billion in Indian imports from duties in 2017.
As detailed Friday, this is bad news for America’s almond and apple growers, who expressed more than a little consternation last summer when the debate heated up in earnest. This is just more unwelcome blowback from Trump’s insistence on fighting a multi-front trade war with allies and foes alike.
India called the decision “necessary in the public interest”.
Speaking of wars – the shooting kind – the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported Sunday that the country’s atomic energy agency is all set to chat with the press on Monday about plans for Tehran to move even further towards non-compliance with the nuclear deal.
Obviously, Iran isn’t particularly enamored with the idea that it should be obligated to comply with an agreement that was unilaterally scrapped by one of the only two parties to the deal that actually matters. Europe’s efforts to preserve the agreement have been admirable but, c’est la vie.
“In the next newsletter of the Atomic Energy Agency about the technical steps taken by Iran to reduce its nuclear liabilities, tomorrow, representatives of the domestic media will visit the manufacturing process at the Arak heavy water plant”, ISNA said. You can read the full post here.