Apr 11, 2017

Xi gives Trump the gift of coal


On April 7, as Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met at Mar-a-Lago, Chinese bureaucrats issued an order telling traders to send North Korean coal cargoes back from where they came. Reuters says in a scoop that it has tracked a dozen cargo ships headed from China to North Korea's main west coast port of Nampo, full or mostly full. At the same time, after importing no U.S. coking coal from 2014 through 2016, China bought 400,000 metric tons by the end of February, Reuters said.

Why it matters: China is North Korea's main trading partner, and coal is North Korea's main export. By turning back the cargoes, China is sending a sharp signal of unhappiness with Kim's flaunting of his ballistic missile technology, which experts think might achieve the ability to hit the continental US within two years. The surge in US imports makes the message even clearer.

Get smarter: What the coal politics won't do is change Kim's missile policies. To get there, China and the US will have to somehow jointly reassure the skittish and youthful Kim that he will not be the victim of regime change.

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History's largest lockdown leaves Indian workers stranded, afraid

A migrant worker on the move with his child, in Gurugram, India. Photo: Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty

Few moments better capture the world into which we've slipped than the decision of one man to order 1.4 billion into lockdown.

Why it matters: India’s three-week lockdown is the largest ever attempted, and it sparked South Asia's greatest migration since partition in 1947. While the economic effects could be devastating, the public health crisis it's intended to fend off could be more destructive still.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 782,319 — Total deaths: 37,582 — Total recoveries: 164,565.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 161,807 — Total deaths: 2,953 — Total recoveries: 5,595.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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First U.S. service member dies from coronavirus

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

The Pentagon on Monday announced the death of a member of the New Jersey National Guard who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's the first U.S. service member — active, reserve or Guard — to die from the virus, according to the Pentagon. The guardsman passed away on Saturday after being hospitalized for the novel coronavirus on March 21.