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China hits back with new tariffs on US meat, wine and fruit

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BEIJING — China said it is imposing new tariffs on meat, fruit, wine and other products from the United States as retaliation against taxes approved by US President Donald Trump on imported steel and aluminium.

The Chinese finance ministry said in a statement that the new tariffs would begin this Monday. The announcement follows warnings Chinese officials have made for several weeks in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

The statement on the ministry website said it was a countermeasure in response to a previous US move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

China’s Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said it would increase the tariff rate on pork products and aluminium scrap by 25 per cent. It said it would also impose a new 15 per cent tariff on 120 other imported US commodities, including almonds, apples and berries.

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The tariffs mirrored Mr Trump’s 25 per cent charge on imported steel and 15 per cent hike on aluminium.

Although in violation of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, the US measure went into effect on March 23, which has severely undermined China’s interests, according to the statement from Beijing.

Trump also announced separate plans to slap tariffs on nearly $50 billion in Chinese imports. Mr Trump’s planned tariffs were partly aimed at punishing Beijing for allegedly stealing American technology and pressuring US companies to hand it over.

But the Chinese response could end up hurting American farmers, many of whom are from regions that voted for Mr Trump in 2016.

AP/Reuters

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3 die as building collapse near Delhi, dozen more people feared trapped

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NEW DELHI — At least three people have confirmed died after a six-storey building collapsed and fell on another building in Greater Noida near New Delhi of India on Tuesday night.

The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) team has recovered three bodies from under the debris of the building that collapsed in Greater Noida’s Shah Beri village.

Bodies of two people were first recovered from the remains of the four-storey building at around 1:15 am. Six hour later, a third body was recovered. A woman is among those who died in the collapse.

At least a dozen more people including children are feared trapped in the debris,the police say.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate and the police to monitor relief and rescue activities along with the NDRF team.

The agitated locals say though the buildings collapsed at around 8:30 pm, the police reached the spot almost an hour after they were informed.

Meanwhile, three people, including the man who owned the under-construction site, have been arrested, police said.

Eighteen families lived in the building in the Shah Beri village, according to reports.

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