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Biden to announce new Chinese tariffs; Michael Cohen returns to the stand

President Biden puts on a United Auto Workers t-shirt in Belvidere, Ill. on Nov. 9, 2023. Biden on Tuesday is announcing new tariffs on imports of Chinese goods, including electric vehicles.
Scott Olson
Getty Images
President Biden puts on a United Auto Workers t-shirt in Belvidere, Ill. on Nov. 9, 2023. Biden on Tuesday is announcing new tariffs on imports of Chinese goods, including electric vehicles.

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Today's top stories

President Biden will announce new tariffs on $18 billion of Chinese imports today. The goods affected include electric vehicles, semiconductors and medical products. The administration says the move is meant to protect key American sectors and adds that China is using unfair trade practices. Biden will also keep in place the tariffs that former President Donald Trump placed on China during his presidency.

  • On Up First, NPR's Asma Khalid says it's diplomatically tough for Biden to roll back those Trump-era tariffs, even though some Democrats warned at the time that they could hurt the American economy. That's because China hasn't improved trade practices, so there isn't incentive for Biden to change course — especially in an election year. Industries affected by tariffs also tend to get used to them and operate with them baked into their plans, an Obama-era U.S. trade representative tells Khalid. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv today. The unannounced visit comes less than a month after Congress passed a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine. Blinken is expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and emphasize Washington's commitment to Ukraine as Russia steps up its attacks. Ukrainian troops are struggling to repel a new Russian offensive along the northeastern border.

  • NPR's Joanna Kakississ says emergency workers attempting to evacuate civilians from these areas have described the situation as "scary and chaotic." Thousands of civilians have fled the area, which means Ukraine is now moving troops to the northeastern front — and it doesn't have troops to spare

Michael Cohen, the key prosecution witness in Trump's hush-money case, will undergo cross-examination today as he returns to the stand in New York. Cohen, formerly Trump's personal lawyer, confirmed two key details on the stand yesterday: That the former president knew about the $130,000 settlement negotiation to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels from revealing an alleged affair and that he directed Cohen to make that payment because of the 2016 election.

  • Trump's lawyers will likely highlight Cohen as a convicted liar to debunk his testimony today. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and lying to tax authorities, and later for lying to Congress during the Russia investigation. "That's a lot of lying, and I'm sure the defense will make hay of that today," NPR's Andrea Bernstein tells Morning Edition.

Life advice

/ Cha Pornea for NPR
Cha Pornea for NPR

How often do you rely on your GPS to get you where you need to go? I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag without GPS. People with no sense of direction like me can change, though. Plus, people who have a good internal compass may have a deeper connection to the world around them, according to neuroscience professor Hugo Spiers. Try some of this advice to boost your navigation skills:

  • Turn off your GPS and get lost on purpose. This will help you get comfortable moving around in the world without a map.
  • Use landmarks — ideally ones that are large and far away — to orient yourself.
  • Understand how your city is laid out. For example, Washington, D.C., is divided into four quadrants with streets that run north-south, east-west and diagonally.
  • Use your memories of locations as tricks to help you remember where you are. 

Picture show

Slick Rick is known for his eyepatch and the crowns he often wears.
/ Atsuko Tanaka/American Museum of Natural History
Atsuko Tanaka/American Museum of Natural History
Slick Rick is known for his eyepatch and the crowns he often wears.

Flavor Flav's clock. Nicki Minaj's Barbie pendant. Slick Rick's crown and eyepatch. Ghostface Killah's eagle cuff. These famous hip-hop symbols are currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as part of an exhibit called "Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry."

See photos of some of the items on display and read about how hip-hop bling grew up and evolved with the genre.

3 things to know before you go

  1. Steve Burns didn't set out to inspire a generation of children when he auditioned for his role in Blue's Clues. He wasn't even the studio's first choice. Here's how one little girl's enthusiasm changed the course of his life
  2. Federal Aviation Administration regulations require all passengers to be able to evacuate a plane in 90 seconds if needed. A bill in the House would require the agency to reconsider those standards and take into account real-world conditions, like the shrinking size of airplane seats.
  3. Melinda French Gates, one of the world's wealthiest philanthropists, is resigning as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has helped lead the foundation since its start in 2000.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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