Venezuela To Raise Gas Prices To Combat Smuggling

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Venezuela will raise prices at the pump in an effort to curb gas smuggling to neighboring countries.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Monday that "gasoline must be sold at an international price to stop smuggling to Colombia and the Caribbean."

Oil is one of Venezuela's main exports, and the cost of gas in the country hasn't increased in years.

But hiking gas prices has proven controversial in the past. In fact, dozens were killed in 1989 when violent protests erupted after the price of gas rose 90 percent.

Maduro said citizens with their state-issued "fatherland card" can still receive subsides at the pump for at least the next two years. 

But many have refused the identification cards, alleging it's a way for the government to keep tabs on its citizens.

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Several People Dead After Highway Bridge Collapses In Genoa, Italy

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A highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, collapsed Tuesday, killing several people. 

Italy's deputy transport minister said in a television interview that at least 22 people have died and eight more are injured. He said those numbers are likely to rise.

Some 20 vehicles were involved. 

The collapse happened as a strong storm moved through the area. 

Italian State Police said relief workers are on site. 

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The ‘Right Way’ To Do Trade Internationally May Not Always Be Obvious

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Which is better, free trade or protectionism? The answer: It depends.

The debate brings to mind President Truman's quip, "Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, 'On one hand, on the other.'"

So, in that spirit: "On one hand," if you are a steel plant worker who is out of a job because cheap foreign steel is flooding the U.S. market, protectionism probably looks good. "On the other hand," as a consumer, you might think free trade is a way to go if it means paying less for a foreign car or even a can of Coke.

SEE MORE: Understanding Tariffs, The Bane Of International Trade

Those are micro examples: free trade vs. protectionist tariffs also brings up a macroeconomic issue: the trade balance. If the U.S. imports more goods and services than it exports, there is a trade deficit — something that President Trump frequently tweets about. On the other hand, if the U.S. exports more than it imports, there is a trade surplus.

Mr. Trump sees a dollar spent outside the U.S. as a dollar lost. But many economists, no matter how many hands they have, do not worry a lot about running a trade deficit. They argue that when Americans buy foreign goods — let's say from China — they pay with dollars. Those dollars eventually come back to the U.S. in the form of investments

That can be a sizeable chunk of change headed back to the U.S. The trade deficit was $568 billion in 2017, up from $505 billion in 2016. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 showed the dangers of run-away trade wars. 

In 1922, the U.S. passed tariffs averaging 40 percent, and European countries retaliated. Then came Smoot-Hawley, hiking them by another 20 percent. Then came more retaliation. U.S. trade with Europe fell by about two-thirds and overall global trade declined by similar levels before the tariffs were reduced in 1934.

That extreme example would seem to argue for free trade. However, free trade can have downsides like trade deficits and job losses. A basic example: A shirt made in a country where labor is cheaper will sell for less in the U.S. than a domestic-made shirt. That means more shirts will be imported into the country than are exported out. And, before long, shirt manufacturers in the U.S. will lay off workers while foreign shirt plants will hire workers. 

Where does public opinion come down on the debate cheap shirts or laid off workers? On one hand, on the other. Pew Research found that Americans' views of tariffs being imposed between the United States and some of its trading partners tilt more negative than positive.

Forty-nine percent say tariffs will be bad for the country, and 40 percent say they’ll help. Eleven percent say they don’t know. One thing’s for sure, the free trade vs. protectionism is not going away any time soon — if ever — and anyone who has all the answers usually doesn't.

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Firefighter Dies Battling Largest Fire In California History

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A firefighter died battling the Mendocino Complex fire in Northern California Monday. 

Fire officials didn't release his name, but said he died at a hospital after getting injured at the scene of the blaze.

The record-breaking Mendocino Complex fire is made up of two separate fires that had collectively spread across more than 349,000 acres as of Monday evening. 

One of those fires — the River Fire — is already 100 percent contained. But the Ranch Fire, which is the larger of the two, is still growing. 

Crews expect to have that blaze completely contained by the start of September. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

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West Virginia Impeaches All 4 State Supreme Court Justices

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West Virginia lawmakers have voted to impeach all four of the state's Supreme Court justices.

The votes came a week after the state's House Judiciary Committee approved 14 articles of impeachment against the four judges. They're facing a number of charges, including authorizing the overpayment of senior judges, lavish spending on renovations to their court offices and private use of state resources.

The justices will now have to stand trial in the state Senate. The high chamber lawmakers will decide if the judges should be removed from office. 

The court previously had five justices, but one pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and resigned last month

Lawmakers have until the end of the day on Tuesday to trigger a special election to fill the court vacancies. After that, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice would have to appoint new judges. 

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Counter-Terrorism Officers Investigating Westminster Car Crash

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London police arrested a man Tuesday who they say crashed his car into the security barriers outside the Palace of Westminster. 

The collision reportedly happened around 7:30 a.m. local time. London Ambulance Service said it took two people to the hospital, but their injuries aren't considered critical. 

Counter-terrorism officers are leading the investigation into the incident, but officials say they're "keeping an open mind."

The Palace of Westminster is home to the U.K.'s Parliament. Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords are currently not in session.

The BBC reports officials bolstered security around the building following a 2017 attack on the nearby Westminster Bridge. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

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West Virginia Impeaches 3 Of 4 State Supreme Court Justices

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West Virginia lawmakers have voted to impeach three out of four of the state's sitting Supreme Court justices as of 8:45 Central Time Monday evening. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports the judges were named in 14 articles of impeachment "for their roles in lavish spending on court office renovations, the personal use of state resources, and the overpayment of other judges." 

Democrats on the state's House Judiciary Committee approved the articles last week. 

The court previously had five justices but one pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and resigned last month. 

Lawmakers have a deadline of Tuesday, 11:59 p.m., to trigger a special election to fill court vacancies. After that time, West Virgina Gov. Jim Justice would have to appoint new justices. 

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Some Google Apps Might Be Tracking Your Data Without Your Permission

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Turning off location settings might not stop Google from tracking where you go. 

According to an Associated Press investigation, many Google services still log a user's location even when certain privacy settings are turned on. 

Google says users can control what information the company tracks by turning location history off. 

But the AP says some Google apps store a user's timestamped location data without asking. If users want to prevent that data from being stored, they'll have to turn off a second setting called "Web and App Activity." The outlet estimates this affects about two billion users with devices running Google's Android operating system and hundreds of millions of iPhone owners who use Google's map app.

In a statement to the AP, Google seemed unfazed by the report. The company said, "We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time."

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President Trump Signs $717 Billion Defense Authorization Bill

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President Donald Trump signed the 2019 federal defense bill into law Monday.

The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act allots $717 billion for defense efforts. It raises military pay by 2.6 percent and will provide funding to repair or replace old tanks, planes, ships and other equipment.

It'll also provide a personnel boost. Trump said at the signing ceremony, "With this new authorization, we will increase the size and strength of our military by adding thousands of new recruits to active duty."

One focus of the bill was cracking down on China's influence in the U.S., including tightening reviews on Chinese investment in America.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the harsher measures concerning China.

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