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Happening Today: China Tariffs, Trump Jr., Juul, Conan, ‘It 2’

What to Know

  • Trump's latest tariff hike on Chinese goods took effect Friday and Beijing said it would retaliate, escalating the battle over
  • The young models and the candy-colored graphics that helped propel Juul to the top of the e-cigarette market are gone
  • Conan O'Brien has made peace with a man who heckled him not from the crowd but the courts

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US Hikes Tariffs on Chinese Goods, Beijing Vows Retaliation

President Trump's latest tariff hike on Chinese goods took effect Friday and Beijing said it would retaliate, escalating a battle over China's technology ambitions and other trade strains. The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. China's Commerce Ministry said would take "necessary countermeasures" but gave no details. The increase went ahead after American and Chinese negotiators began more talks in Washington aimed at ending a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and shaken global financial markets. American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations. The talks were due to resume Friday after wrapping up with no word on progress.

Richard Burr Takes GOP Fire Over Trump Jr. Subpoena

Republicans lashed at fellow GOP Sen. Richard Burr for his committee's subpoena of President Trump's son, a move that suggested the Russia investigation is not "case closed" as some in the party insist. Trump said he was "very surprised" at the move. The revolt by some against the Senate intelligence committee chairman comes after The Associated Press and other news outlets reported the panel is calling in Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions about his 2017 testimony to the panel as part of its probe into Russian election interference. But the issue of re-calling Trump's son laid bare the conflict inside the president's party over whether probes involving Russian election meddling are still merited. It's the first known subpoena of a member of Trump's immediate family and a new sign that the Senate panel is continuing with its own two-year-long investigation, even after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's call from the Senate floor on Tuesday to move on.

Juul's 'Switch' Campaign for Smokers Draws New Scrutiny

The young models and the candy-colored graphics that helped propel Juul to the top of the e-cigarette market are gone. In their place are people like Carolyn, a 54-year-old former smoker featured in new TV commercials touting Juul as an alternative for middle-age smokers. "I don't think anyone including myself thought that I could make the switch," Carolyn says, sitting in a suburban living room as piano music quietly plays in the background. The tagline: "Make the switch." Under intense scrutiny amid a wave of underage vaping, Juul is pushing into television with a multimillion-dollar campaign rebranding itself as a stop-smoking aid for adults trying to kick cigarettes. But the strategy is raising concerns from anti-smoking experts and activists who say the company is making unproven claims for its product. On Thursday, six anti-tobacco and health groups called on the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates e-cigarettes, to investigate Juul's marketing efforts across TV, radio and other formats.

Conan O'Brien Settles Joke-Theft Lawsuit Weeks Before Trial

Conan O'Brien has made peace with a man who heckled him not from the crowd but the courts. O'Brien and several co-defendants, including his writing staff, agreed to settle a 2015 lawsuit with California writer Robert Kaseberg, who alleged the talk-show host stole five jokes from his Twitter feed and blog for O'Brien's monologues on his TBS show, "Conan." Attorneys for both sides filed documents in federal court announcing a deal had been reached about three weeks before a trial that would have seen O'Brien, his sidekick Andy Richter and other famous names called to the stand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The joke-theft case was rare from the start, and O'Brien also gave it an unusual ending, explaining why he settled at length in a column in Variety rather than opting for the confidentiality common in Hollywood lawsuits. O'Brien insists that he and his staff had never heard of Kaseberg, his blog or his Twitter account before the lawsuit, and did not steal any jokes. But he did not want "a farcical and expensive jury trial in federal court over five jokes that don't even make sense anymore."

The Killer Clown Is Back: See the New 'It 2' Trailer

Prepare to be creeped out... again. Warner Bros. released the first trailer for the eagerly anticipated sequel "It 2." In the Stephen King horror Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain plays the grown up version of Beverly Marsh, who returns home decades after the terrifying events in "It." Chastain encounters the current tenant... whom is not quite what she seems. The trailer also includes other adult members of the 'Losers' club from the first film, including Chastain's "Dark Phoenix" co-star James McAvoy, and 'SNL' alum Bill Hader. "It 2" hits theaters September 6.

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