WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators are pledging to work quickly to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, a 23-year-old pact that President Donald Trump has called the worst trade deal in history.
The first round of NAFTA renegotiations talks were wrapped up Sunday. The three countries said they planned to meet again in Mexico Sept. 1-5, in Canada late next month and back in the United States in October.
They did not offer details on the five-day talks.
The negotiations are likely to prove contentious. U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer declared Wednesday that the United States “is not interested in a mere tweaking” of NAFTA and will seek an ambitious rewrite of a deal the Trump administration blames for hundreds of thousands of lost U.S. factory jobs.
NAFTA did away with most barriers, including tariffs, on trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Trump and other NAFTA critics say the agreement encouraged manufacturers to move south of the border to take advantage of lower-wage Mexican labor. Lighthizer said the U.S. wants a revamped agreement to do more to ensure that products are made in NAFTA trade bloc and specifically in the United States.
The Canadian and Mexican negotiators agree that NAFTA needs to be updated, but they have defended it as an economic success story for expanding trade between the three countries.
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said at the start of the Washington talks that he hoped differences could be narrowed in the next round of negotiations.
This story about a Nazi who lives in a bedroom suburb of Rochester, Honeoye Falls, is tragicomedy:
“No Nazis in our neighborhood,” read the words emblazoned in large, bold type across the tops of the fliers, which also show a picture of a group of demonstrators carrying tiki torches on the campus of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville the night of Aug. 11. One man carrying a torch near the bottom right corner of the image is circled.
The fliers identify the circled man as Jerrod Kuhn and claim that he is a “leading figure with the Daily Stormer, an avowedly neo-Nazi website around which local groups have been organizing to promote anti-Semitism, white supremacy and violence against LGBTQ communities.”
Speaking early Wednesday afternoon outside his Honeoye Falls residence, Kuhn staunchly denied being a neo-Nazi, calling the assertion “a crazy accusation.”
“I’m not a neo-Nazi. I don’t belong to a German workers’ party from 1933,” he said. “… I’m a moderate Republican.”
I guess that settles it. The swastika was just a decoration. The whining continues:
Kuhn said the fliers have ruined his life and that, after they were posted around the village, he and members of his family have received death threats. Law enforcement has been made aware of the threats, said Kuhn, but he thinks he’ll probably have to move out of the area.
“I can’t live in this community anymore. I’m in the process of figuring out what I’m going to do,” he said. “I’m 21 years old and now my life is over in this area.”
I don’t condone death threats, but I do want to point out that his life is not over in the same way that Heather Heyer’s is.
A Wilmington, N.C. resident has been repeatedly hanging a white flag on the gun of a statue of a Confederate soldier this week, despite attempts from neighbors to take it down, according to WWAY3 News.
The resident, Andrew Bopes, said he has been hanging the flag because he doesn’t understand why the statue is still there and gets tired of walking past it every day going to work and coming home.
“It doesn’t have too much of an effect on me except my empathy,” he told WWAY3. “There is no context as to why it’s displayed. It’s a participation trophy for someone on the wrong side of history. It needed some context and the white surrender flag gives it context.”
A local neighbor has been taking the flag down when he sees it up and told the TV station that since there’s “a lot going on in our nation right now” the flag could cause things to “escalate in this area and we don’t need that to happen,” the neighbor, Chris Dobrusky, said.
Communities across the country have grappled over what to do with monuments and statues commemorating the Confederacy in the wake of a violent white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee turned violent last weekend when white supremacists gathered to rally against the statue’s removal. A man associated with the white nationalists allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman.
A majority of Americans think President Donald Trump’s response to violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was not strong enough, according to a poll released Wednesday.
According to the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 52 percent of respondents said Trump’s response was not strong enough, while 27 percent thought it was sufficient.
Just 19 percent of Republicans thought Trump should have taken a stronger position, while 59 percent thought his response was strong enough.
Among Democrats, on the other hand, 79 percent of respondents thought Trump’s response wasn’t strong enough, while 10 percent thought it was sufficient.
In his initial response, Trump condemned violence from “many sides” in a statement he did not clarify until two days later, when he condemned white supremacists, neo-Nazis and hate groups by name. In an off-the-rails press conference on Wednesday, however, he again reversed position, returning to equivocal rhetoric blaming “both sides” that white supremacists hailed as an improvement.
The survey was conducted from a sample of 1,125 adults from Aug. 14–15, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. Party affiliation results were taken from a sample of 859 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Tied House will feature food from an ex-Longman & Eagle chef
The new restaurant next to Schuba’s, the bar and concert hall at the corner of Belmont and Southport, should open early next year, according to co-owner Adam Thurston. However, customers will get a sneak preview of Tied House’s menu when staff begins serving food from a truncated menu in September inside Schuba’s, 3157 N. Southport Ave. Schuba’s old restaurant, Harmony Grill, closed in January as crews demolished it to make room for Tied House. Thurston has also revealed that former Longman & Eagle executive chef Matt Kerney is developing the new restaurant’s menu as a consultant.
Kerney, who left Longman in January, brings aspirations of wowing Lakeview with the type of elevated cuisine that he said the neighborhood hasn’t seen. While he will be a bit more restrained compared to what he served at Longman & Eagle in Logan Square, he still expects to test the locals’ tastebuds. They won’t serve veal brains, but sweetbreads aren’t out of the question. The menu and the cocktail list will showcase Midwestern ingredients.
When demolition began, Thurston and his team thought it would be six to eight weeks before opening the new restaurant; they intended to keep Harmony’s old kitchen. However, inspectors discovered mold which forced a demolition and pushed the opening back to next year: “It has to be done right,” Thurston said.
The restaurant’s name is a callback to the building’s history as a Schlitz tied house, serving beer only from that brewer. Five years ago, the 114-year-old building earned distinction as a Chicago historic landmark. Tied House is connect to Schuba’s and will be two levels. There will be a bar and outdoor seating downstairs. The massive courtyard will feature a fireplace and space for horseshoes. The space takes up 4,800 square feet with 359 seats upstairs and 159 downstairs. Patrons won’t need an event ticket to hang out, and the extra room will reduce crowds that gather before shows inside Schuba’s narrow bar area. Curbed Chicago featured one of the renderings in June. Gensler is handling the space’s design.
Schuba’s has been an independent venue since 1988, and concerts bring a captive audience that needs to be fed. While Harmony Grill had its following, Tied House won’t use frozen products and will be a little bit more adventurous (they still want to be family friendly). Thurston thinks the neighborhood has an appetite for better food. Kerney wants to cultivate regulars who will dine at Tied House two or three times a week. Also, Kerney said will not be musical puns on the menu. The appetizers won’t be called “the openers.”
Thurston knows music fans will draw a parallel to Schuba’s/Tied House and Dusek’s/Thalia Hall in Pilsen. The scale of the project in Lakeview is a bit smaller, but Thurston has high hopes of making a big impact on the neighborhood. Come back in the coming weeks for more updates.
Leo Varadkar’s Irish waitress didn't recognize him at first
An Irish college student who is spending her summer as a restaurant hostess in Chicago waited on an unlikely guest earlier this week when Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar stopped by for dinner. The 20-year-old woman didn’t recognize Varadkar at first and took to Twitter to tell her story, much to the delight of folks following the encounter back in Ireland. Emma Kelly has been in Chicago for two and a half months and works as a hostess at Barcocina, 2901 N. Sheffield Ave., in Wrigleyville
Kelly placed Varadkar, the most-powerful politician in her native land, on the wait list and then sat him at a tiny table. Varadkar needed a table for three. Voters elected him as PM in June.
A coworker had to tell Kelly that she had exiled the Irish PM to tiny table. Before Kelly apologized and posed for the photo posted above, they moved him to a bigger table. Kelly told an Irish radio talk show host, Ryan Turbidy, that the PM ordered shrimp tacos and sautéed cauliflower. Despite Kelly’s embarrassment, Varadkar was impressed by her and the restaurant.
Thanks Emma. The food & service was gr8. Enjoy the rest of your J1
Kelly said she’s studying biomedical science at Maynooth University in Ireland. Since the incident, she said her friends and family have been making fun of her back home, adding that she’s in Chicago for fun and will also travel the country. She was taken aback and didn’t expect to see the Irish PM outside of the country, but she’s thankful that Varadkar was understanding.