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Vox Sentences: On the 3rd day, Trump condemns racism

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Trump explicitly condemns white supremacism after deadly violence in Charlottesville this weekend; the US announces a new trade probe into China; rhetoric between the US and Venezuela heats up.


It took Trump a while to condemn white supremacy

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Today President Trump explicitly condemned the groups of white supremacists who participated in violent marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, two days after protests there turned deadly. [NYT / Glenn Thrush]
  • The statement came after Trump was criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike for his initial, tepid comments on the violence. Rather than explicitly condemn white supremacists and Nazi demonstrators, Trump appeared to cast blame on both them and counterprotesters alike. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • White supremacists actually celebrated Trump’s initial speech, seizing on the fact that the president didn’t specifically condemn them. The founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer called Trump’s first speech “really, really good,” concluding, “God bless him.” [HuffPost / Dominique Mosbergen]
  • White nationalists have long been vocal of their support of Trump, and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke tweeted at the president this weekend, reminding him of that support. Duke went on another Twitter rant after Trump’s second speech today, complaining the president was pandering to the media. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • However vocal Republican leaders have been about the president’s rhetoric, they’ve stopped short of refusing to work with Trump on his policy agenda. [Politico / Nancy Cook]
  • The news of the past few weeks is being reflected in the president’s approval rating, which hit a new low in a Gallup poll released today. [Gallup / Frank Newport]

The US is walking a fine line with China

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • On Monday, President Trump signed a new executive order to jump-start an investigation into China’s trade practices — specifically allegations that China is stealing the intellectual property of US companies. [CNN Money / Patrick Gillespie and Jeremy Diamond]
  • The investigation will be conducted by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who oversees trade negotiation. Lighthizer’s probe could take years, and ultimately could result in the US taking additional action including taxing on Chinese imports. [Financial Times / Shawn Donnan]
  • The main reason for the investigation is China’s intellectual property and cybersecurity laws, which require US tech giants like Amazon and Apple doing business in China to share sensitive codes and encryption with the government. The US government has long been fielding complaints from US companies over theft of software. [Washington Post / Ana Swanson]
  • At the same time, US officials are walking a fine line with China, and are stressing the new investigation is not the first steps of a trade war. The US needs to keep good relations with the country as China’s economic sanctions on North Korea go into effect today as well, to deter that country’s nuclear provocations. [CNBC / Jake Novak]
  • In other big trade news to watch this week, US officials will start to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, with a special focus on the auto industry and the US trade deficit with its southern neighbor. [Reuters / David Lauder]

Maduro seizes on Trump’s “military action” comments

Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images
  • On a trip to South America today, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that while Trump would prefer a peaceful solution to the chaos in Venezuela, all options — including military action — are on the table. [Associated Press]
  • On Friday, at the end of a week where he was threatening United States military involvement in North Korea, President Trump had suggested the potential of military intervention in Venezuela. [NYT]
  • The South American country’s economy is cratering, and it is in the middle of a rapidly escalating political and economic crisis as President Nicolás Maduro takes steps to consolidate his power. More than 100 people have died in protests and clashes with the government that have turned violent. [Agence France Presse]
  • Two weeks ago, Maduro ignored international pressure and went ahead with a self-ordered election for a new constituent assembly, with the goal of rewriting Venezuela’s constitution. [The Guardian / Sibylla Brodzinsky]
  • Besides the US, other South American countries are pushing back as well; Peru's president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, recently called Maduro a dictator and removed the Venezuelan ambassador to Peru. Kuczynski and Peruvian officials have said they won’t recognize Maduro’s newly formed legislature as legitimate. [Reuters / Mitra Taj]
  • It appears Maduro is already trying to turn Trump’s threat to his advantage, holding an anti-imperialist rally protesting the American president. [Reuters / Hugh Bronstein]

Miscellaneous

  • A rogue squirrel that chewed through electrical equipment is the culprit behind 82,000 liters of spoiled milk at a Vancouver cheese factory. The milk was tossed, but the squirrel remains on the loose. [Vancouver Sun / Harrison Mooney]
  • A group of DC cab drivers switched to electric vehicles a few years ago, only to find out that there are no electric charging stations in the city. With the lack of available power, it’s very difficult for them to turn a profit. [WAMU / Martin Di Caro]
  • In 1943, the US War Department made a short propaganda film about Americans resisting anti-Semitism and racism that went viral after this weekend’s events in Charlottesville. [The Atlantic / Robinson Meyer]
  • A proposed project to build a “garden bridge” across the Thames River in London and fill it with thousands of plants is no more, after Mayor Sadiq Khan blasted it as unnecessary spending. [The Guardian / Nadia Khomami]
  • Kid Rock is running for Senate in Michigan, but state law may bar him from using his well-known stage name on the ballot. [Inside Elections / Nathan Gonzales]

Verbatim

  • “In an unusual event, satellites have detected a sizable wildfire burning in Greenland." [NASA officials to BuzzFeed / Zahra Hirji]
  • “Fifteen years ago, when I started to guide in the region, there was not a river where I would hesitate to have a drink of the water. Nowadays there are only rivers in remote areas, where I know there are no cows above me, where I will drink.” [Serge Bonnafoux to WSJ / Ben Collins]
  • “Famously indestructible, a fruitcake has withstood a century in the coldest, windiest, and driest place on Earth. Wrapped in paper and the remains of a tin, the fruitcake is in ‘excellent condition,’ according to the trust, and looks and smells almost edible.” [National Geographic / Christine Dell'Amore]
  • “But at Ailes-era Fox News, the point was no longer to project a sense of well-being or calm, it was to instill panic and fear, and blonde hair was practically a prerequisite for delivering it.” [The Cut / Amy LaRocca]
  • “Charlottesville is the place where Thomas Jefferson and James Madison talked about freedom of speech. But this was a day of shouting, not listening.” [NYT / Hawes Spencer]

Watch this: How Trump’s Charlottesville response emboldens white supremacists

By refusing to take a side on the violence in Charlottesville, Trump has taken a side. [YouTube / Dara Lind, Liz Scheltens, Mallory Brangan, and Liam Brooks]


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