May 13, 2019

China has just announced its promised retaliatory action after President Trump's tariff hike.

China said on Monday it will raise tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $60 billion of U.S. goods beginning on June 1, per CNBC. This comes after President Trump last week raised tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

China had previously vowed to respond as Trump also threatened to impose additional tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods. Trump, who said on Friday there is "absolutely no need to rush" on a trade deal with China, on Monday warned China against retaliation, tweeting that the situation "will only get worse!" Brendan Morrow

11:15 p.m.

Ashleigh Bentz wants to make sure every child has a toy that looks just like them.

The Springfield, Missouri, resident was born without a fibula in her right leg, and was also missing bones in her foot and two toes. When she was 2, her leg was amputated and she was fitted with a prosthetic. "I played kickball, sometimes my leg would fall off during kickball, but that's just it," she told KY3.

Bentz is now a certified prosthetic assistant, and wants to make sure that kids who have had limbs amputated don't feel left out. She launched a fundraiser and used the $2,500 in donations to purchase 600 Barbie dolls that either have prosthetics or use a wheelchair. "For there to be a gift that a kid could potentially pick out that looks just like them, that's big," Bentz said.

The dolls have been given to Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, and officials there said they have enough dolls to pass out for several years. Bentz hopes there will soon be a male doll, for full inclusion. Catherine Garcia

10:27 p.m.

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland kept several Trump administration officials in the loop regarding his attempts to get Ukraine to launch investigations that President Trump would later bring up with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, The Wall Street Journal reports.

During a July 25 call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The Journal obtained emails Sondland sent to top officials, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, before that phone call, discussing his push for those investigations.

In a July 19 email, Sondland told Mulvaney, Perry, and others that he spoke to Zelensky and he was "prepared" for Trump's call. Zelensky "will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will 'turn over every stone,'" Sondland wrote. Text messages from the same time show that Sondland was passing along instructions to Zelensky from Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Several officials have testified in the House impeachment inquiry about Giuliani pursuing a shadow Ukraine agenda, which they found disturbing. Others have said in sworn depositions that they overheard Sondland and Trump discussing investigations. Sondland will testify this week in an open hearing before lawmakers. Read more about Sondland's emails at The Wall Street Journal. Catherine Garcia

9:31 p.m.

After a night of violence, riot police entered Hong Kong Polytechnic University early Monday morning, but were met by pro-democracy demonstrators throwing gasoline bombs, preventing them from getting too far.

The protesters have occupied the campus for several days, and on Sunday night, police surrounded the area, ordering them to go. Police have been firing tear gas at demonstrators who are trying to leave the university, and also shot water cannons. The protesters still have control over most of the campus, and the university's president, Jin-Guang Teng, recorded a video message, telling demonstrators he would go to the police station with them to ensure their cases were processed in a fair manner.

Protests started in June, with demonstrators wanting to stop a proposed bill, since withdrawn, that would have suspects arrested in Hong Kong extradited to mainland China. The protests have continued, as demonstrators want to see democratic reforms. Chinese state media has been referring to the protesters as "completely hysterical terrorists." Catherine Garcia

8:47 p.m.

President Trump on Sunday blasted Jennifer Williams, a State Department employee who serves as a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, accusing her of being a "Never Trumper."

"Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement [sic] from Ukraine," Trump tweeted. "Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers who I don't know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!" Earlier this month, Williams testified behind closed doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry, and she is set to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday for a public hearing.

The transcript of Williams' deposition was released on Saturday. Williams testified that during Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, she was listening from the White House Situation Room. Trump asked Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and Williams told lawmakers this seemed "unusual and inappropriate" and "shed some light on possible other motivations" for Trump holding off on giving Ukraine military aid.

Williams also testified that she did review a transcript of Trump's April phone call to Zelensky, ahead of Pence's own conversation with the Ukrainian leader. Trump has called several people who are cooperating with the impeachment inquiry "Never Trumpers," including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman of the National Security Council and acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor. Catherine Garcia

1:02 p.m.

In his first speech since he filed to enter the Alabama primary as a Democratic president candidate, billionaire Michael Bloomberg apologized for implementing a controversial "stop and frisk" policy during his tenure as New York City mayor, The New York Times reports.

Bloomberg was speaking at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn where his former adviser, the Rev. A.R. Bernard serves, as pastor. "I didn't understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities," he said from the pulpit. "I was totally focused on saving lives — but as we know: Good intentions aren't good enough."

The policy gave the New York Police Department the power to stop and question anyone they suspected of a crime, and its enforcement resulted in racial disparities. For example, the Times notes that of the 575,000 "stop and frisks" conducted in 2009, black and Latino people were nine times as likely to be questioned by police, even though they were no more likely to be arrested after being stopped.

Bloomberg had defended the policy until Sunday, which has led to speculation that the speech was an indication that he is indeed serious about jumping into the Democratic presidential primary.

Bloomberg filed to be on the ballot in Alabama, but has not officially entered the race.

After the speech, Bernard reportedly asked the crowd to show some enthusiasm for Bloomberg, though the Times reports that the applause was "tepid." Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

12:44 p.m.

Another week, another box office bomb.

Charlie's Angels underperformed at the box office this weekend by taking in just $8.6 million in its debut, Variety reports. The reboot from Sony starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, and Elizabeth Banks came in behind Ford v Ferrari and Midway, the latter of which opened last week.

This is the third week in a row that a major studio movie based on a well-known property tanked, The Hollywood Reporter notes. Last week, Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining that adapted Stephen King's book of the same name, also opened below expectations with a weak $14 million debut. The week prior, Terminator: Dark Fate lived up to its title by debuting to just $29 million, meaning this version of the franchise likely won't be back as the film is expected to lose around $100 million.

All of this is despite the fact that each of these films received at least decent reviews. Doctor Sleep and Terminator: Dark Fate both earned fresh scores on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning 60 percent or more of critics recommended them, while Charlie's Angels is currently just barely short of that distinction with a 59 percent approval rating. All three were also based on established intellectual property, though as has been clear this year with other bombs like Men in Black: International, that's not always enough to drive increasingly streaming-centric audiences out to theaters.

All eyes once again are on next week's Frozen 2, as the sequel is expected to easily clear $100 million in its opening weekend and continue Disney's year of utter box office domination while many of its competitors are increasingly left out in the cold. Brendan Morrow

12:29 p.m.

Moderate Democrats have gotten bolder in recent weeks, sensing an opening in the party's presidential primaries. Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering jumping into the race and even filed to be on the ballot in Alabama, while former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has officially announced his candidacy.

With former Vice President Joe Biden scuffling a bit, and the failure of any other more centrist candidate aside from South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg to step up and challenge him for those votes, it might seem like a good idea for people like Bloomberg, Patrick, or even Hillary Clinton to throw caution to the wind and run. But FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver isn't so sure, especially in Patrick's case.

Silver points to Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) as candidates with similar pedigrees and positions to Patrick (in that they aren't too far to the center, but also are not strikingly progressive) who have struggled. In an appearance on ABC's This Week on Sunday, Silver suggests that the senators are all perfectly good candidates in a vacuum, but they just can't compete with the bigger names like Biden or Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). As for Patrick? Silver doesn't think he carries the heavyweight reputation to do any more damage than the others who have struggled to make a dent.

Patrick probably doesn't completely disagree with Silver's analysis. He has described his campaign as a "Hail Mary."

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