The Wider World

A ban on Chinese apps owners

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (Shutterstock).

A ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of the popular apps TikTok and WeChat was ordered on Thursday by President Donald Trump. The executive orders will go into effect in 45 days.

The ban would probably apply to Apple and Google app stores, although some legal experts raised doubt about the legality of such moves. Earlier, the president suggested he might impose a deadline of Sept. 15 for the owners of the apps to sell them to an American firm.

Privacy, censorship and national security issues are said to be at the heart of the dispute. TikTok is an application for the posting of brief videos, and WeChat is a platform for messaging, social media and electronic payment. It has an estimated 1 billion active users, mostly in China.

Jobless claims at 1.186 million

The U.S Department of Labor reported Thursday that 1.186 people applied for unemployment benefits during the week ending Aug. 1. That’s a decrease of 249,000 for the previous report. Additionally, the number of continuing claims is at 16.1 million, a decline from 844,000. However, the lapse of the $600 weekly-added jobless benefit may affect the purchasing power of claimants.

On Friday the Labor Department will release the monthly figures for July. It’s estimated that the report will show 1.6 million more jobs, a decline from June’s gain of 4.8 million and May’s of 2.7. The unemployment rate for last month was 11.1 percent, an historically low number.

In the news: Beirut explosion inquiries

  • Sixteen people were arrested in Beirut, Lebanon on Thursday in connection with the explosions that killed 137 people and injured thousands. Highly volatile fertilizers that ignited are believed to be the cause of the catastrophe.
  • A slight decline of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was reported Thursday by Johns Hopkins University. Overall, there are have been 19,021,922 cases worldwide, of which 4,882,270 cases in the U.S. Global deaths are at 713,813, of which 160,091 are Americans.
  • An estimated 20 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. drink some alcohol in the first trimester and over 10 percent say they have committed “binge drinking” then. Almost 5 percent – one in 20 – reported drinking some alcohol in the second and third trimester, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • A second test for COVID-19 on Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine came back negative on Thursday. An earlier test revealed him to be positive for the coronavirus. Both tests preceded the protocol to meet President Trump in Cleveland.
  • Two compilations of presidential poll results both show a small narrowing of the margin between the challenger and the president. RealClearPolitics.com has presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 49.1 to 42.7, a spread of 6.4 points. Fivethirtyeight’s compilations show Biden with 50 percent and Trump with 42.5 percent, a difference of 7.5 percent.

Sports: Angels and the Clippers each get victories

  • Angels 6, Mariners 1: Shohei Ohtani may be done as a pitcher but he can still hit. He slammed a second inning homer and the Halos went on to improve their record to 5-8, rising to third in the AL West. Max Stassi also homered and Tommy LaStella had two hits in the win. Dylan Bundy (2-1) had a rare complete game, working nine innings and yielding just four hits and one run.
  • Clippers 126, Mavericks 111: Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and Paul George added 24 as the Clips improved to 46-22.
  • Rockets 113, Lakers 97: A second straight loss for the Western Conference leaders. The Lakers again fell behind early and stayed behind. Kyle Kuzma scored 21 and Anthony Davis 17 for LA (51-17). LeBron James did not play.

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