WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Trump announces $50-billion in China tariffs, threatens further levies if Beijing retaliates
U.S. President Donald Trump set his trade war sights on a different target today, announcing tariffs on US$50-billion of Chinese imports. Trump said in a statement that a 25-per-cent tariff would be imposed on a list of strategically important imports, and he would take further measures if Beijing struck back. China quickly released details on the retaliatory tariffs it plans to impose on U.S. goods. Chinese officials say they will slap duties on 545 U.S. products on July 6, including farm products, autos and seafood, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
For Nomura economist Lewis Alexander, the event will signal the beginning of a negotiation process, but, if things get emotional, the situation could go south in a hurry. (subscribers)
Supreme Court upholds provincial law societies’ right to reject graduates from proposed Christian law school
In one of the most widely watched freedom of religion cases in Canadian history, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of provincial law societies to reject the graduates of a proposed Christian law school. At the heart of the case was a rule at Trinity Western University, of Langley, B.C., that prohibits students from having sex outside of heterosexual marriage. Law societies of British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia had refused to accredit the proposed law school, arguing that to do so would be to endorse discrimination, which would hurt the justice system’s reputation.
The court has been a strong defender of freedom of religion since the Charter of Rights took effect in 1982, Sean Fine writes. But the Trinity Western case was more complicated than most because it pitted religious freedom against same-sex rights, and the court has done much to expand those rights, too,
Japan cancels the sale of Canadian wheat after genetically modified plants found in Alberta
Japan has stopped the sale of Canadian wheat after genetically modified plants, which are not authorized for commercial production in Canada, were found growing in Alberta. The discovery, made last year, was revealed this week. Officials say none of the wheat made it into the commercial system and pose no food-safety risk, but they don’t know when the plants began to grow, or why.
The incident raised questions about possible trade disruptions, Ann Hui writes. In 2013, after the discovery of genetically modified wheat on a field in Oregon, several countries blocked U.S. imports. Another discovery in 2016 led to a similar block.
CREA cuts home sales forecast, May sales fall 16.2% from year-earlier levels
Weaker home sales in Ontario and B.C. have led the Canadian Real Estate Association to lower its national forecast for this year. CREA now expects 2018 home sales to fall 11 per cent to 459,900 units, compared with a year earlier. In March, it had predicted that decline to be 7.1 per cent. It also says home sales in May hit a seven-year low as they fell 16.2 per cent from a year ago. Stricter mortgage rules, foreign buyers taxes and rising interest rates are all considered to be factors.
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Share prices extended their slide across the globe after U.S. President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese goods, while oil prices plummeted 3 per cent over signs that supply may soon rise. Energy and material stocks weighed on Canada’s main stock index. The S&P/TSX composite index finished down 14.54 points at 16,314.42. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.83 points to 25,090.48, the S&P 500 lost 3.07 points to 2,779.42, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.66 points to 7,746.38.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL
McDonald’s is getting rid of plastic straws in its British and Irish outlets, replacing them with paper, and will be testing an alternative to plastic ones in some of its U.S. restaurants later this year. The move comes as fast-food companies are facing pressure from customers and environmental activists to stop using plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and harm marine life. Earlier this month, A&W Canada announced it would be replacing plastic straws with paper ones at its eateries by the end of the year.
Oh, to have one more pint with dad
“My father was not a declarative person. He never tried to impose his will, beliefs or opinion on anyone; he was a gentle soul. He dispensed his wisdom in bite-sized morsels. If I was struggling with a problem as a young man, he seldom told me what to do. He would ask me questions instead. His skillful inquiries often led me to the answer for which I was looking. I’ll tell you, it’s a helluva shock to wake up one day and realize that voice of reason and knowledge is no longer there.” - Gary Mason
Need temporary relief from a global trade headache? Try local retail therapy
“And while locally made goods do often cost more, consider the many scandals currently being handled by Amazon, which sells 43 per cent of everything bought online. The world’s biggest online retailer has been accused of suppressing unions in Germany, violating labour laws in China and creating such a hostile work environment that packers in its U.K. warehouses fear taking their legally allowed bathroom breaks – huge inventories, low prices and free shipping come with hidden costs.” - Denise Balkissoon
In the oil game, play Trump’s Tweets, not the market
“Mr. Trump seems to have wrecked any notion that the Saudis are in charge of the oil game. He is evidently calling in his chits. The Saudis, along with the Israelis, sought Mr. Trump’s help to box in Iran, the Saudis’ great rival in the Middle East power struggle. The Saudis lobbied hard for the Americans to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and crank up the sanctions. That’s exactly what happened, and now it’s payback time. Mr. Trump doesn’t do freebies.” (subscribers) - Eric Reguly
Could your loved ones figure out your finances if you died? If you’ve got accounts at various banks, investment firms and insurance companies, each becomes a puzzle for your family or survivors, Rob Carrick writes. They have to locate the account and find out how much is in it. A new online service called Onist (pronounced “honest”) offers a way to put all your financial information in one secure place and share it to whatever degree you want. The cost is $100 a year, with a 30-day free trial.
LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE
The scoop on summer reads: the 46 coolest books of the season
Nail-biters, tearjerkers, mind-benders, page-turners – there’s something for everyone to read this summer. The Globe’s top reads include books best stuffed in a travel bag, literary blockbusters for the beach, brainy books to blow your mind and cookbooks to devour this summer. (subscribers)
Sonia Scurfield, only Canadian woman to have name engraved on Stanley Cup, dead at 89
Born Sonia Onishenko, she married Ralph Scurfield in Edmonton in 1954. He was one of the founding owners of the Flames when they brought the team to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980. His wife took it over after he died in an avalanche while heli-skiing in 1985. The Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989 and, as a co-owner, Sonia Scurfield’s name was added to hockey’s holy grail.