News Tidbits For March 12, 2018

Source: The New York Times

United States trade partners are resorting to persuasion, threats, personal appeals and diplomatic leverage to obtain exemptions from new American metal tariffs. A trade war is in nobody’s interests: it could lower living standards globally and reduce the World Trade Organization to insignificance.

In the United States, the steel industry supports Trump’s policy, but others are worried. Farmers, for example, in the Midwest, are concerned that retaliation from other countries could hurt their exports.

According to Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, the new tariffs could disrupt the whole global trade system.

Source: The New York Times

China’s leaders have apparently forgotten the lessons their fathers learned from Mao’s cultural revolution: the danger of concentrating power in an impregnable leader. The approximately 3,000 delegates of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, voted almost unanimously on Sunday to end a two-term limit on the presidency, meaning Xi Jinping will govern for the rest of his life.

Source: The New York Times

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys he is willing to negotiate with the United States on abandoning his country’s nuclear weapons. Mr. Kim also said he would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while such talks were underway, they said.

President Trump reacted with guarded optimism to the news, which could go a long way to remove the tension from one of the world’s major confrontations.

In May, if all goes as planned,  Mr. Trump plans a face-to-face negotiation with the North Korean Dictator — the first time an American president has ever spoken with the leader of that country — to persuade the North Koreans to denuclearize.

British Playgrounds Bringing Back Risk to Build Resilience

Source: The New York Times

Educators in Britain, after decades spent trying to minimize risk for children, are now cautiously trying to provide it. According to them, this signals the end of a trend to overprotect children. Experts claim that a limited exposure to risk provides experiences that are essential to childhood development and help build resilience and grit.

Plastic playhouses are giving way to two-by-fours, crates and loose bricks. The schoolyard got a tire swing, and workbenches with hammers and saws. Sand pits, used less frequently in the past because of the danger of hidden glass or animal feces, are back in use, to counter the “sterilization of play.”

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