National News

5 things for April 2: China, DACA, Gaza, Teacher walk outs, Sinclair

Posted April 2, 2018 6:28 a.m. EDT

— April's here! That means showers, flowers and...taxes. If you haven't filed yet, hey, there's no shame in needing a little brush-up on how it all works. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

Chinese tariffs

It looks like the trade war everyone is trying to avoid just got a little closer to reality. The Chinese government said tariffs on about $3 billion worth of US imports are going into effect today, hitting 128 products including fruit, nuts, pork, steel pipes and recycled aluminum.

This is a direct response to President Trump slapping China (and a few other countries) with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Trump says the tariffs were imposed because of national security issues, while China says they are a violation of global trade rules. Even though top US and Chinese officials have been holding talks to cool the trade tensions, the back-and-forth may not be over yet: Trump has also threatened tariffs on $50 billion worth of other Chinese goods.

DACA

In a series of tweets on Sunday, President Trump again called for an end to the Democratic filibuster and said there will be no deal with Democrats on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, also known as DACA. That's not particularly new -- Trump has proposed and rejected all kinds of offers related to the program. However, in the same two Easter Sunday tweets Trump made two serious threats: One, to urge Republicans to use the "nuclear option" in the Senate to pass "tougher laws." That would allow a simple Senate majority to move forward with a vote instead of the current rule, which requires 60% of lawmakers to agree before voting.

His second serious threat was to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he called Mexico's "cash cow." A caravan of Central American migrants are currently crossing Mexico to reach the US border, and their journey prompted Trump to accuse Mexico of lax border control.

Gaza

Violence on the Israeli-Gaza border killed at least 17 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400 on Friday, with more protests and bloodshed spilling into the weekend.

This latest round of clashes between Palestinians and Israelis is specifically timed: Hamas has called Palestinians to a weeks-long protest, due to culminate as the US embassy in Israel relocates to Jerusalem in mid-May. This move reflects President Trump's decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital -- a move that has riled many Palestinians. Yesterday, Pope Francis used his Easter Sunday address to call for "reconciliation for the Holy Land," in an apparent reference to the ongoing conflict.

Teacher walk outs

Teachers from Oklahoma, Kentucky and other states are walking off the job Monday and holding rallies in their state capitals to pressure lawmakers. Inspired by the West Virginia strike in which teachers demanded and got a pay raise from state leaders, a wave of other states are taking similar action. Teachers in Oklahoma are rallying for more education funding and higher salaries, and those in Kentucky will be marching over a controversial pension bill and the state budget.

Sinclair Broadcast Group

A series of promos recorded on local news stations across the country got a lot of negative attention this weekend. Stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group all recorded and aired spots featuring their anchors reading the same scripted speech, calling out "fake stories" and "personal bias" in other news organizations. A video showing the eerie similarities between all of the promos -- which the station called messages of "journalistic responsibility" -- went viral, sparking ridicule and concern. Sinclair, known for its right-leaning politics, is the biggest owner of local television stations in the United States, owning or operating 173 of them.

Breakfast Browse

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The Dames did it!

The Notre Dame women's basketball team claimed the NCAA title over Mississippi State with a thrilling, buzzer-beating 3-pointer. On the men's side, Michigan and Villanova face off in the final tonight.

Legendary 'Hill Street Blues' and 'NYPD Blue' producer dies

Steven Bochco was 74.

Apple unveils new gadgets, including updated iPads and Apple Pencils

All of the convenience of regular notepads and pencils, at a hundred times the price!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen a florist for the royal wedding

Thank GOODNESS, we were all so worried.

What it's like inside the world's quietest room

On a Monday morning? Man, it probably feels like heaven.

$150,000: That's how much Donald Trump's presidential campaign spent on Amazon purchases from 2015 to 2016, according to a CBS report. The company is now catching the President's ire amid claims it doesn't pay its fair share of shipping costs and taxes.

"These poor children, I'm afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul."

Conservative rocker Ted Nugent, speaking this weekend on a nationally syndicated radio show called "The Joe Pags Show," about Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivors, whom he also called "mushy-brained children."

And finally...

Easter's over, but gorgeous egg art is forever

Ever wonder how those intricate Ukrainian dyed eggs are made? It takes a little wax, a steady hand and a LOT of patience. (Click here to view)