While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 23

US President Donald Trump signs trade sanctions against China in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 22, 2018.
US President Donald Trump signs trade sanctions against China in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 22, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

Trump puts China on notice for US$50 bln worth of tariffs 

US President Donald Trump on Thursday (March 22) announced his intent to impose up to US$60 billion (S$79 billion) worth of tariffs on China, sparking fears of a trade war. 

Initiating the process, he signed a directive for a Section 301 action on China. Section 301 authorises the President to take all appropriate action, including retaliation, to force a foreign government to change practices that the US deems unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burden or restrict US commerce.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Trump said of the tariffs: “The word I want to use is reciprocal... If they charge us, we charge them the same thing.”


Trump's lead lawyer John Dowd for federal Russia probe resigns

President Donald Trump’s lead lawyer in the US investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election said on Thursday (March 22) he had resigned.

“I love the president and wish him well,” Washington attorney John Dowd told Reuters in an e-mail. 

The resignation was first reported on Thursday by the New York Times, citing sources, including one who said Trump was increasingly ignoring Dowd’s advice.  


Skripals' mental capacity may be compromised after nerve attack, court hears

A nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia may have left them with compromised mental capacity and it is unclear whether they will recover, a British judge said on Thursday (March 22) in a ruling.

The Skripals were found slumped on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4 and British Prime Minister says they had been deliberately targeted with a nerve toxin by Russia, a charge Moscow rejects.

On Thursday, a London court granted permission for blood samples to be taken from the Skripals for examination by chemical weapons inspectors to confirm the conclusion of Britain's Porton Down military research laboratory.


Charles Lazarus, who founded Toys 'R' Us retailer, dies at 94

Charles Lazarus, who combined supermarket-style service with touches of whimsy in creating Toys "R" Us Inc., a retail success that fought high debt and fierce competition, died last week. He was 94.

He died Thursday (March 15) in Manhattan, Michael Goldstein, a close friend who was the company's former chairman, said in a phone interview.

From the first Toys "R" Us outlet, opened in 1957 in the Maryland suburbs near his hometown of Washington, Lazarus stuck to a winning formula of high volume, discounted prices and cookie-cutter predictability.


Football: Manchester United agree to terminate Ibrahimovic’s contract 

Manchester United released Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the remainder of his contract on Thursday (March 22), freeing up the 36-year-old Swedish striker to complete an expected move to American side LA Galaxy. 

“Manchester United confirms that it has agreed to the termination of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with immediate effect,” United said in a statement. 

“Everyone at the club would like to thank Zlatan for his contribution to the team since his arrival and wishes him well for the future.”