News Timeline: June 2018


June 1 – North America / East Asia / Europe / Latin America / Global:
The United States President Donald Trump imposes trade tariffs on the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, which include a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum sent to the U.S. The Trump Administration cites national security as a reason for the tariffs. The critics and opponents of the tariffs dismiss this argument by saying that these countries are the U.S. main allies with military cooperation. They also warn that the tariffs will raise prices on a wide variety of products for American consumers. The move angers the allied countries that are preparing retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. goods.[1]
(June 15): President Donald Trump imposes 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of variety of Chinese goods. Trump says the tariffs are necessary to punish China for its unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft. The critics of the tariffs worry that the tariffs will hurt American businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers and will lead to trade wars. China vows to retaliate.[2]
(June 22): The European Union imposes retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods worth $3.1 billion. These products include bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and orange juice. Also Mexico imposes its tariffs on products ranging from steel to blueberries and bourbon.
(July 1): Canada calls the U.S. tariffs illegal and unjustified and implements retaliatory 25 percent tariffs on U.S. metal products and 10 percent on more than 250 various products, such as beer kegs, whiskey and orange juice.[3]
Basic ideas explained: trade wars, tariffs and protectionism
U.S. top trading partners

June 1: Europe: ITALY
After inconclusive parliamentary elections in March and months of negotiations, Italy forms a coalition government with two election main winners, the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the right-wing League. The new Prime Minister is Giuseppe Conte who is an independent and a compromise choice. During the campaign, these two anti-establishment parties promised to pull Italians out of poverty by providing a basic income for the poor, given that the recipients actively look for a job, reforming the pension system, and cutting taxes. Both parties are also strongly anti-immigrant, calling for more EU help for Italy, which is the main destination for migrants from North Africa, and deportations of 500,000 undocumented migrants. They also want the European Union to stop the austerity measures and the renegotiation of Italy’s debt.[4] The 2008 financial crisis was devastating for Italy. Its economic growth only now reaches the pre-recession levels, the unemployment is still at over 10 percent, and the government debt has reached 130 percent of national output (second highest in the EU after Greece).[v5]
Italian economy in charts
Populism explained

June 12 – Europe: MACEDONIA / GREECE
Macedonia and Greece agree to Macedonia’s new name, the Republic of North Macedonia. Macedonia was formed as a new country after the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991, but Greece consistently blocked its recognition because of its name. One of Greece’s provinces that borders Macedonia has the same name and Greece has feared Macedonia’s possible territorial ambitions. When Macedonia became a candidate for membership in the EU and the NATO, Greece blocked the start of negotiations. At the United Nations, Macedonia was admitted under the provisional name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM, also used by the European Union, the Council of Europe, and NATO. If the new name is approved by the Macedonian people in a referendum and approved by the Greek parliament, this will conclude a 27-year long dispute between the two countries.[6]
Background of the dispute

June 12 – North America / East Asia:
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in the first summit meeting between the leaders of the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). They sign a joint agreement that includes security guarantees for North Korea and a pledge from the North Korean leader of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, although it does not set any timetable. The statement also includes a recovery of remains of US soldiers’ from the time of the Korean War. However, the document does not contain any substantial information on how the denuclearization will happen and how it would be verified. Some see the summit as a step in the right direction, while the critics see it as legitimizing the North Korea’s regime without addressing its gross human rights violations. However, the sanctions will not be lifted until North Korea completes promised denuclearization. Right after the summit, U.S. President Donald Trump makes a surprising announcement that the U.S. will discontinue joint military exercises with South Korea calling them “provocative” and will withdraw troops stationed in the Korean Peninsula. The statement is seen as a concession to North Korea.[7]
Trump-Kim Summit explained in short
North Korea in 9 charts

June 14 – South Asia: INDIA
India’s capital New Delhi is battling extreme temperatures and unusually high air pollution levels, which are about nine times higher than normal. The residents are encouraged to stay indoors and the authorities are sprinkling water throughout the city.[8] India is home to six of ten cities in the world with the worst air pollution, which includes New Delhi. According to the World Health Organization, about a quarter of deaths from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer can be attributed to air pollution. [9]

June 14 – Africa: UGANDA / GLOBAL
Ugandan inventor Brian Gitta creates a device called Matibabu that tests for malaria that challenges the old method requiring drawing blood that has also proven to be unreliable. Gitta’s method clips onto a patient’s finger and a sensor using a red beam of light detects changes in the color, shape and concentration of red blood cells – all of which are affected by malaria. The diagnosis is ready within minutes. The Matibabu method does not require a specialist to operate. Brian Gitta has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for the Matibabu device.[10]
Matibabu Malaria App (Video: 3:08 min)


[1] Heather Long. “Trump has officially put more tariffs on U.S. allies than on China.”
The Washington Post. 31May 2018. Web. Accessed 3 July 2018.
[2] “Trump puts 25% tariff on Chinese goods.” BBC News. 15 June 2018. Web. Accessed 3 July 2018.
[3] Ibid 2.
[4] “Italy’s populist coalition: What you should know.” BBC News. 1 June 2018. Web. Accessed 5 July 2018.
[5] The International Monetary Fund. The World Economic Outlook Database: Italy. April 2018. Web. Accessed 5 July 2018.
[6] “What’s in a name? Macedonian parliament backs change.” RTE. 21 June  2018. Web. Accessed 21 June 2018 from
[7] “Trump Kim summit: US president hails deal after historic talks.” BBC News. 11 June 2018. Web. Accessed 8 July 2018 and “Was The Singapore Summit Just A Stunt For TV Cameras?” NPR. Morning Edition. 12 June 2018. Web. Accessed 9 July 2018.
[8] “India Delhi residents choke as dust blankets capital.” BBC News. 14 June 2018, Web. Accessed 18 June 2018.
[9] Tom Miles. “These are the world’s most polluted cities.” The World Economic Forum. 3 May 2018. Web. Accessed 19 June 2018 from
[10] “Ugandan wins Africa prize for bloodless malaria test.” BBC News. 14 June 2018. Web. Accessed 9 July 2018.