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India, Top Buyer of US Almonds, Hits Back With Higher Duties

India, the world’s biggest buyer of U.S. almonds, raised import duties on the commodity by 20 percent, a government order said, joining the European Union and China in retaliating against President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum.

New Delhi, incensed by Washington’s refusal to exempt it from the new tariffs, also imposed a 120 percent duty on the import of walnuts in the strongest action yet against the United States.

The move to increase tariffs from Aug. 4 will also cover a slew of other farm, steel and iron products.

It came a day after the European Union said it would …read more

US First Lady Visits Migrant Children at Texas Detention Center

Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to a Texas facility Thursday to get a first-hand look at some of the migrant children sent there by the U.S. government after their families entered the country illegally.

The first lady’s stop at Upbring New Hope Children’s Center in McAllen came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating these families. She may also visit a second facility later in the day where children housed in cages were seen by The Associated Press last week. Trump had come under pressure to stop the practice, including from …read more

White House to Propose Education, Labor Department Merger, Reports Say

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to propose a merger of the Education and Labor departments, according to several media reports.

The plan, which could be announced as early as Thursday, would be part of a broad overhaul of the federal government with the goal of merging duplicative programs and eliminating others the administration considers unnecessary.

The proposal, first reported by Education Week, would allow the administration to concentrate vocational training programs in one place.

The plan was developed in response to a directive Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney issued to federal agency leaders more than a …read more

Park Service Gives Initial OK to ‘Unite the Right’ Rally

An organizer of last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia has been granted initial approval to host another rally in August, this time in the heart of the nation’s capital.

The National Park Service says it has approved an application for a “Unite the Right” anniversary rally to be held in front of the White House. Other details are still being finalized.

Organizer Jason Kessler’s application describes it as a “white civil rights” rally. He says he wants elected officials in Washington to know that the violence that killed a woman and injured others in Charlottesville was provoked by what he’s …read more

US, Russia Locked in Battle Over Human Rights Narratives

Russia wasted no time in seeking to exploit the U.S. decision Wednesday to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, putting forward its candidacy for a seat on the Geneva-based body and casting the American exit as a reflection of Washington’s new unilateralist approach to global affairs.

European diplomats say their Russian counterparts — as well as Russian state media outlets — pounced quickly to portray the Kremlin as the defender of multilateralism and to couch the U.S. decision as a retreat not only from human rights but as part of a Washington bid to force international organizations into subjugation.

“Apparently, the …read more