Trump’s $300bn China tariff threat sends markets into tailspin

Wall Street, Asian markets and oil fall after president’s tweet about placing tariffs on practically all remaining China trade

Donald Trump’s surprise decision to escalate the trade war with tariffs on another $300bn of Chinese goods has sent global financial markets into a tailspin.

After sharp falls on Wall Street in the wake of the US president’s announcement on Twitter on Thursday, Asian share prices plummeted on Friday morning as growing hopes that the world’s two economic superpowers would be able to reach a deal were dashed.

Related: Trump’s threat of new China tariffs sparks backlash from US retailers

Here’s your chart of the day. Trump’s tariffs now cover virtually all of U.S. imports from China.

Good morning from the Asia Pacific. pic.twitter.com/Wz9qNC5wEg

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Britain’s towns and cities will never flourish if ‘local’ is a dirty word | Simon Jenkins

For years, councils have been starved of resources. The resulting crisis in public services is matched by a crisis of democracy

Some people think Britain’s greatest challenge is the impending Brexit. They are wrong. Britain’s greatest challenge is the impending collapse in its local public services. I recently travelled to cities in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The contrast to Britain was stark. Of course surface impressions can be deceptive, but I was struck by the absence of piles of litter, potholed streets, screaming police cars, tacky ads on roundabouts and graffiti. There were also fewer desperate people pleading for money. I felt I was briefly in a civilised continent. The difference is that in continental Europe, these matters are at the discretion of local people, the mayor and electors. As they get richer, they reasonably expect, vote for and pay locally for better services. In Britain they are not allowed to do this. So they get worse.

Over the “austerity” decade since 2010, British government has stripped localities of a great chunk of their centrally supplied resources. What is left is spent on statutory services such as social care, schools and roads. Local government has become an instrument of the centre. Money has steadily dried up for discretionary activities, such as youth clubs, old people’s homes, children’s agencies, drug treatment centres, homeless shelters, libraries, cleaner streets and public gardens. Successive chancellors have treated impoverished councils’ pleas with contempt and cavalier disregard.

Related: Police chief: cuts must be reversed to fix ‘social fabric’ and stop gangs

Related: Austerity to blame for 130,000 ‘preventable’ UK deaths – report

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