U.S.-China Feud Widens, Europe Populists Buoyant

(Bloomberg) --

U.S.-China relations hit a new low this week after President Donald Trump’s administration slapped new tariffs on imports from China and targeted its biggest technology company, Huawei Technologies. Elsewhere, residents in the Iranian capital, Tehran, worry more about feeding their families than the rumors of war with the U.S., and populists hoped to score unprecedented gains in next week's elections to the European Parliament.

Read about those topics and more in this edition of Weekend Reads, and click here for some of Bloomberg’s most compelling political images from the past seven days.

U.S.-China Feud Widens, Europe Populists Buoyant

China Vows ‘People’s War’ as Trade Fight Takes Nationalist Turn
As China’s state media ratchets up the rhetoric in the deepening trade dispute with the U.S., Peter Coy reports on how Trump’s tariffs on China will place a heavier burden on America’s poor and working class.

Boris Johnson Is Slim, Trimmed and Ready to Fight for Power
For a man who has made his name as a comical shambles, Boris Johnson is taking a deadly serious approach to his work. Tim Ross explains how the former foreign secretary is plotting his path to the U.K. prime minister’s office at Number 10 Downing Street.

How a Gold Mine Drama Set This Man on a Path to Lead Australia
For two weeks in 2006, Australia’s news cycle was dominated by the gripping and ultimately successful bid to rescue two men trapped in a collapsed gold mine. Jason Scott reports on how the real-life drama unearthed an unlikely star.

U.S.-China Feud Widens, Europe Populists Buoyant

A Pianist in Sneakers Is the New Rising Force in Europe
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has capitalized on Brexit, formed alliances, and become a liberal voice of Europe. Helene Fouquet and John Hermse explain how Rutte’s knack for finding the common ground between sparring leaders has helped to make him an essential player in the European Union. 

Biden’s Trade Votes Are a Liability In the Rust Belt
Joe Biden has emerged as the Democratic front-runner thanks to his perceived working-class roots and chummy relations with labor leaders. But as Joshua Green reports, the scenario is complicated by his decades-long record of backing free-trade deals that have helped hollow out the manufacturing core in several important electoral states.

Living Off Garbage at the Bottom of World’s Most Unequal Nation
An estimated 6,000 waste-pickers in Johannesburg who live off other people’s garbage in what the World Bank calls the most unequal country on earth shows that poverty remains so ingrained the ruling African National Congress hasn’t been able to narrow the wealth gap since taking power 25 years ago. Pauline Bax explains. 

U.S.-China Feud Widens, Europe Populists Buoyant

In Tehran, Economic Alarm Outweighs Fear of Conflict With Trump
As Trump intensifies pressure on Iran, Golnar MotevalliGlen Carey and Ladane Nasseri show how residents of the capital, Tehran, are more concerned about soaring prices and the lack of government help than the threat of war with America.

Britain’s Businesses Have Already Lost, Brexit or No Brexit
Even before the U.K. has officially left the EU, its economy is hurting. Joe Mayes explains that three years of political uncertainty have left the economy 2.4% smaller than it otherwise would have been, according to a report by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

U.S.-China Feud Widens, Europe Populists Buoyant

Brazil's Bolsonaro Sees a Star Rise in Controversy-Hit Cabinet
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet has delivered more than its fair share of controversy. Gerson Freitas Jr. and Rachel Gamarski reveal how Tarcisio de Freitas, the 43-year-old army engineer at the helm of the ministry, has emerged as one of the few bearers of good news in the administration. 

With Argentine Economy in Decline, Macri Bets on Infrastructure
From new airport terminals to underground roads and elevated railways, Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, an engineer, is rushing to inaugurate infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars over the next few months. As Jorgelina do Rosario reports, that’s just in time for the October election.

Salvini’s Choice: Push to Be Prime Minister Depends on EU Vote
From trying to force an early general election to setting a new course for the populist coalition, John Follain explains that Matteo Salvini’s long quest for the premiership depends on how Italians vote in this month’s European ballot.

And finally...While Populists like Salvini and Nigel Farage are on track for historic gains in the European elections, Andre Tartar and Hayley Warren show in this dataviz analysis of approximately 50 populist parties across the EU that even a strong overall showing is no guarantee of power over legislation or the bloc’s 140 billion-euro annual budget. 

U.S.-China Feud Widens, Europe Populists Buoyant

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