Feb 22, 2019

USDA has given farmers $7.7 billion to counter effects of trade war

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Department of Agriculture has disbursed a total of $7.7 billion in aid to farmers in an effort to counteract the negative effects of retaliatory tariffs stemming from President Trump's trade war, which have driven down prices and decreased profits, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Low commodity prices have been gouging U.S. farmers' bottom lines for years, exacerbated by increasing agricultural competition from Russia and Brazil. But Trump's trade war is adding salt to the wound, with farmer bankruptcies in the Midwest swelling to decade highs as the dispute with China continues to go unresolved.

Go deeper: Grading the impact of Trump's China tariffs

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.