Boys, girls are equally good at math, researchers say

While women are underrepresented in STEM fields, it is not because their brains aren’t good at science and math, according to researchers.

The notion that math is a “boys’ subject” does not stand up to hard evidence, according to researchers. A study finds that girls and boys are equally capable of understanding math.

The study, published in NPJ Science of Learning, tested 104 children ages 3 to 10, 55 of whom were girls. The children watched a video explaining basic math concepts such as counting and addition, while the scientists tracked the children’s brain activity using an MRI scanner.

The results indicated no difference between the girls and boys’ brain activity. Both boys and girls appeared equally tuned in to the videos and registered the concepts equally well, according to the researchers. The researchers also examined a math test taken by 97 children ages 3 to 8 and found that the boy and girl test-takers all had equivalent scores.

The study findings run counter to assertions by some male researchers, such as fired Google engineer James Damore, that women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries because men’s brains are inherently better at science and math. Women are in the minority in STEM fields: Only 35.5% of STEM students nationwide in 2015-2016 were women, and women were only 33.7% of PhD-level STEM students. But this study’s authors attribute the gender disparity to cultural expectations and pressures on women to pursue non-STEM fields, and not to lack of skill.

“We see that children’s brains function similarly regardless of their gender so hopefully we can recalibrate expectations of what children can achieve in mathematics,” said Jessica Cantlon, Carnegie Mellon University professor of developmental neuroscience and senior author of the paper.

Scientist undergoes brain operation to cure alcoholism

A disease researcher with a deadly drinking habit credits a brain operation with giving him his life back.

AA Canadian microbiologist who has struggled for years with alcoholism credits a first-of-its-kind brain operation with ending his addiction and giving him his life back. The scientist, Frank Plummer, is the first person in North America known to have received this treatment.

“I’m very excited about the results. It took away my cravings and it made me change my mood, hugely,” he said, adding that without this treatment, “I’d be dead, several months ago.”

Plummer is the former director of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory and oversaw the lab’s response to a SARS outbreak in 2003 and the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. He also oversaw development of a successful vaccine for Ebola.

In 2014, however, he retired due to what his spokesperson called personal reasons.” Problems with alcohol were a factor: He was drinking up to 20 ounces of whiskey every evening, and he experienced liver failure in 2012. Plummer tried counseling and rehab without success.

Plummer underwent the operation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. A neurosurgeon drilled holes into Plummer’s skull and inserted electrodes deep into his brain. The electrodes are attached to a pacemaker-like device that stimulates a brain region, the nucleus accumbens, which is linked to dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is involved in feelings of pleasure, motivation, and addiction cravings.

Nir Lipsman, a neurosurgeon at the centre and one of the researchers behind the experimental treatment, said that the procedure aims to disrupt the neuron circuitry that drives the patient’s addiction. Once the circuitry is altered, the patient will no longer be addicted to alcohol, he said.

Lipsman explained that the procedure may be an option for patients who are severely addicted and have tried all other options without success.

The Amazon is starting to ‘self-destruct,’ scientists warn

The Amazon needs a major intervention, a scientific magazine warns.

Only a major reforestation will save the Amazon rain forest from a complete ecosystem death, warns the leading scientific journal Science Advances. In an editorial, researchers Thomas Lovejoy and Carlos Nobre wrote that forest fires and deforestation are rapidly depleting the ecosystem’s ability to sustain itself, to the point where massive human intervention will be needed to save it.

“Although 2019 was not the worst year for fire or deforestation in the Amazon, it was the year when the extent of fires and deforestation in the region garnered full global attention,” the authors wrote. “The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we.”

The authors noted that the Amazon is a vital link to the global water cycle and provides crucial storage of enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. As the rain forest disappears, much of its stored water and carbon dioxide are released to the atmosphere. The carbon release further exacerbates climate change worldwide, and every country in South America except Chile would lose substantial amounts of freshwater, the authors said.

Deforestation now affects around 17% of the Amazon basin. The basin has historically been able to produce its own rainfall, due to the dense tree and foliage cover. But widespread forest depletion within the eastern and southern Amazon, in particular, hamper rainfall production for the entire basin, according to the authors. The added that human-caused global warming is already reducing rainfall throughout the region.

The basin is responding by changing in fundamental ways, they wrote: lengthier and hotter dry seasons, and the trees increasingly being replaced by tree species that favor drier climates.

Rocket attack in Iraq kills U.S. defense contractor

Iraqi violence claims another American life.

A U.S. defense contractor died Friday in northern Iraq from a rocket attack that also injured several U.S. troops and Iraqi personnel, the Pentagon said. The statement did not specify how many were injured or how serious the injuries were, but it said that the attack occurred on an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk.

Up to 30 rockets were fired at the facility, which hosts both U.S. and coalition troops. The U.S. personnel are among the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops that are still stationed in Iraq.

A statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the U.S.-led mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said that Iraqi security forces are leading the response and investigation. According to Reuters, security forces have found a launchpad for Katyusha rockets inside an abandoned vehicle near the base.

The U.S. military does not reveal the names of contractors killed in Iraq.

Iraq has witnessed increased violence since October, when mass protests broke out against government corruption, unemployment, and inadequate public services. Many civilian protesters died in subsequent clashes with government forces.

A series of attacks against Iraqi military bases occurred earlier this month, as well. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed these attacks on Iranian proxies and warned against any further violence against U.S. or coalition forces.

“We must also use this opportunity to remind Iran’s leaders that any attacks by them, or their proxies of any identity, that harm Americans, our allies, or our interests will be answered with a decisive U.S. response,” Pompeo said on Dec. 13.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Kirkuk attack.

 

The Best Travel Apps, Period

We noted which apps require pay, so if we don’t mention it, it’s free and available to iOS or Android users, unless otherwise noted.

Yes, there is an app for too many things to count, indeed, just about anything! And since we’ve been talking about travel, decided to dig around in a few easy applications to help you with sleeping over, flying, dining, navigating and safety. We noted which apps require pay, so if we don’t mention it, it’s free and available to iOS or Android users, unless otherwise noted.

Flying
• Dealray
It’s $9.99 per month that will help you find inexpensive flight deals, alerts you to big price decreases, sales and error fares. Sorry, this one is iOS, but no Android.

• Freebird
Once you record your flight on this site, they will alert you if the flight is delayed by four or more hours or canceled. You can also book a new flight on any airline; one-way fees start at $19.

• Skiplagged
This is a fun app that helps you find one-way tickets with a stopover. The fun starts at the stop over location because you aren’t returning to the plane for your original destination. This is an option usually less expensive than a non-stop flight.

Dining
• Grab
Who has these good ideas? This app looks at restaurant menus inside the airport, map them for you and in some cases, even helps you order in advance so you can grab and go on your race to the gate. Today, it lists over 170 restaurants at 17 US airports.

• HappyCow
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian and you enjoy travel you must download this app! It will find restaurants for you in over 10,000 world cities. London, New York City, and Moldova and they provide very brief menu descriptions as well as customer reviews. There is a cost of $3.99.

• Velocity
Velocity tells you where all the hot restaurants are located, and you can also pay your bill or share it with your dining partner. They are working on adding the most popular spots for an exciting nightlife in Gstaad and Verbier in Switzerland as well as Aspen, Colorado.

Hotels
• AsYouStay
This app helps ease some of the pressures of making sure you check in by 3 pm and out by noon. The app owners have partnered with over 50 properties in New York City and about a dozen more in South Beach, Miami. Coming soon, Chicago and San Francisco.

• Chatnbook
iOS is available today, and Android is still in testing, but this app lets you load your travel details and once you do the app will deliver properties which meet your specifications. If you tap on the right symbol (green thumbs up), your chosen hotel will contact you directly with their best rates.

• Dayuse.com
If you have an extended layover, this app helps you book a room for just a few hours so you can grab a hot shower, nap or just clean up a tad. Their 3,000 hotels usually offer as much as 75 percent off standard nightly rates.

• Hostelworld
The purpose of this a is to bring single travelers together in either boozy events, private rooms or having fun at communal activities.

• Oasis
Oasis offers a variety of luxury short term apartment rentals in about two dozen locations. Rio, Miami, and Milan to name a few and you will have 24/7 concierge service to help with tour bookings, restaurant and theater tickets.

• Roomer
Substantial discounts on hotel rooms from other travelers who have had to unexpectedly had to cancel their trips. You can expect discounts of about 30 to 80 percent. And if this has happened to you, sell your reservation here as well.

• TripHappy
And happy is what you’ll be when this app finishes dissecting 37 million pieces of data and spits out the best places and hoods for you to stay in during your travels. Then you can sort your results by rating or price.

Navigation
• Cool Cousin
We don’t know about you guys, but none of our cousins are very cool. LOL. But this application sure is cool! Collections of “off-the-beaten-path” recommendations from residents in 14 destinations. A mixologist in London and an artist in Paris are two fun examples. You can expect to see some trendy suggestions here!

• Sidekix
While it may not be the shortest route, this app will give you the best walking instructions that will meet your preferences and interests. It is currently prepared for us in over 100 prime cities, and more are being added every week.

Driving

• Rideways
By entering your trip destinations and times, you can schedule a “rideway,” which is owned by Priceline to book a taxi, train or bus in over 500 worldwide cities. It’s a more cost-effective way to travel.

• Turo
This app lets you rent automobiles from owners. You may have known it as RelayRides; it’s prior name. It’s available for both US and Canadian users. You can search for any desired vehicle and likely find it for a much lower rate than a rental agency. Europe has recently been added to their service area.

• Wingz
Book your travel methods here in over a dozen metropolitan US cities. You know in advance the cost, the name of your driver and if you have a favorite, you can request him or her. All drivers have been checked out via their DMV records.

Health and safety
• Binaural
Who knew there was an app to help us fight jet lag? This app uses binaural beats, which are sounds that many cultures have relied upon for hundreds of years to relax. These repeated “beats” can improve learning and focus, reduce anxiety and relax your mind.

• Geosure
For whatever area you are in, the app can report a personal safety score, environmental threats, health risks, political threats and information about thefts and assaults in the area via crowdsourcing. It is a location-sensitive app.

• My Panda
This app tells you the level of security via GPS. It was founded shortly after the Paris terror attacks in 2015. In some locations, it will also direct you to the nearest police station and a one click option to call them.

Small Towns for Big Vacations

Cheer for the Chatham Anglers baseball team at Veterans Field, then enjoy a Cape Codder on,Chatham Bars Inn’s porch.

The bright lights of big cities are great, but America’s smaller communities offer some of the most breathtaking scenery and richest cultural experiences in the country. Here are just a few of our favorite small town getaways across the nation. (Pictured is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, Colorado).

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Located on the front doorstep of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is perfect for family getaways. Shop for everything from homemade taffy to moonshine along its picturesque main street, and take in 360-degree views from the Gatlinburg Space Needle that towers 40 stories above town. Zipline from the top of a mountain at the new Anakeesta theme park, and go from the mountain to the sea at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. In nearby Pigeon Forge, cool off at Dollywood Splash Country and Theme Park, and check out other attractions such as the Alcatraz East Crime Museum and the Titanic Museum Attraction.

Vernal, Utah

As the gateway to Dinosaur National Monument, Vernal, Utah proudly claims its title of Dinosaurland. Fly fish or raft the Green River, boat Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area, camp and cliff dive at Steinaker State Park and Red Fleet State Park, and horseback ride, fish, mountain bike or just relax at Red Canyon Lodge.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos in northern New Mexico is nestled high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is home to Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO site that is among the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. Hike or ski at Ski Taos, shop for authentic Native American art on the historic town plaza, experience Taos’ famous art culture at its museums and savor New Mexico’s famous chile-based cuisine at any number of restaurants in town.

Fredericksburg, Texas

Settled by German immigrants in 1846, Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country has one of the best Oktoberfests in the nation. In the spring bluebonnets cover fields, and in the summer the area wineries and orchards attract visitors. Learn about Fredericksburg’s most famous son, Admiral Chester Nimitz, at the National Museum of the Pacific War, and about the United States’ 36th president at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, the “Western White House.” Take a cooking class at Fischer & Wieser’s Culinary Adventure Cooking School, enjoy a local beer downtown and pamper yourself at Fredericksburg Herb Farm’s spa after shopping Fredricksburg’s charming main street.

Chatham, Massachusetts

The seaside town of Chatham on the elbow of Cape Cod has public beaches perfect for playing and seashell collecting, as well as quiet inland freshwater ponds for kayaking and swimming. Its charming main street is lined with local shops and restaurants, and on Friday summer nights the Chatham Bandstand is hopping with live big band music. Cheer for the Chatham Anglers baseball team at Veterans Field, then enjoy a Cape Codder on Chatham Bars Inn’s porch.

Tallahassee, Florida

What Tallahassee, Florida, lacks in beaches it more than makes up for in Florida culture and adventure. Grab a plate of Ernestine Fryson’s famous fried catfish and hushpuppies while experiencing the best of the blues at the Bradfordville Blues Club, zip line through a cypress swamp at the 52-acre Tallahassee Museum, paddle one of Tallahassee’s five rivers and swim in one of the world’s largest freshwater springs at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

Durango, Colorado

Tucked in the southwest corner of Colorado, the Victorian mining town of Durango near Mesa Verde National Park is a family-friendly adventure-sports playground. Mountain and road biking, kayaking and rafting the Animas River, hiking the San Juan Mountains and skiing and snowboarding at nearby Purgatory Resort are a few favorite adrenalin-fueled pursuits here. At night, enjoy casual fine-dining and local brewpubs downtown, which is filled with local shops. Take the steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton, some 50 miles to the north through breathtaking mountain scenery, and enjoy any number of community events that take place in town throughout the year, including January’s Snowdown and May’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.

Cody, Wyoming

Named for Buffalo Bill Cody, Cody is steeped in Wild West history. Just 30 miles from the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Cody celebrates the West with the century-old Buffalo Bill Center of the West that details Plains Indians cultures, the area’s natural history, Western firearms and art. At the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center, learn about the Japanese-Americans who were interned here during the Second World War. Watch cowboys and cowgirls test their skills at Cody Stampede rodeo events, and camp under the starts at Buffalo Bill State Park.

Lodi, California

Perfect for couples, this small city 40 miles south of Sacramento plays a big role in California’s wine industry. Lodi has become a destination for wine lovers who are especially interested in production, and with more than 113,000 acres of vineyards that include Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi is called the Zinfandel Capital of the World. More than 85 wineries including Michael David, Berghold and Lucas call Lodi home and have tasting rooms. Lodi is also known for its olive production, some of which may be sampled at Olive Drop Olive Oil. Enjoy the grounds, rooms, restaurant and spa at Wine & Roses and stroll Lodi’s downtown that’s filled with local shops and tasting rooms. On Thursdays, May through August, downtown streets are closed for Lodi’s extensive farmers market.

Bentonville, Arkansas

Sam Walton opened his small 5&10 store on Bentonville’s town square in 1950, and today that storefront is the Walmart Museum that highlights the times and growth of one of world’s largest companies. Walton’s daughter, Alice, funded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that opened in 2011, a free museum that features treasures such as Gilvert Stuart’s “George Washington” (the portrait that appears on the $1 bill) and Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” (pictured). Bentonville’s woods have become a mecca for mountain bikers, and art ranging from the contemporary found at 21C Museum Hotel to folk art at Terra Studios has made Bentonville a weekend destination for a wide range of visitors.

Scientists try to revive coral reefs with fish-enticing audio

Audio sounds that attract fish could help breathe new life into dead coral reefs.

Loudspeakers that play sounds intended to attract fish are helping to bring dead coral reefs back to life, according to a paper published recently in Nature Communications. The paper’s authors said that they hope that their findings could lead to efforts undo much of the mass destruction of coral that has been taking place throughout the world’s oceans in recent decades.

In the paper, the researchers described placing underwater loudspeakers at locations in a zone of ocean water north of Australia. Each site was within a formerly vibrant coral reef that had largely died out.

The speakers played sounds associated with healthy, vibrant reefs; the researchers intended for fish to hear these recordings and flock to the sites to breed. Their plan worked: The sites that had the speakers saw 50% increases in both the numbers of fish and numbers of fish species.

New fish populations won’t directly create more coral, but they can encourage new coral growth as the fish clean reef surfaces and create more spaces for corals to grow, the researchers said. Andy Radford, a paper coauthor from the University of Bristol, said that efforts such as this one to boost fish populations can be important parts of larger initiatives to bring lost coral ecoysystems back to life.

“If combined with habitat restoration and other conservation measures, rebuilding fish communities in this manner might accelerate ecosystem recovery,” said Radford.

Ocean researchers have been concerned about coral health throughout the world’s oceans in the last few decades, due to widespread deaths of coral in many locales. The main driving force behind coral death is climate change: Ocean water becoming incresaingly acidic as it absorbs larger amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to researchers.

10 Tips for Staying Fit at an All-Inclusive Resort

You’re on vacation, after all. Here are some ways to feel good about keeping your fitness goals even when visiting an all-inclusive resort.

Relax. Really. You’re on vacation, after all. Here are some ways to feel good about keeping your fitness goals even when visiting an all-inclusive resort.

 

 

Approach the Buffet Wisely
Food is typically everywhere at all-inclusive resorts. It’s super hard to say no to an endless supply of calorie-heavy treats. But, you don’t have to deny yourself buffet bliss all vacation long. “You can have a couple days where you can say ‘I’m on vacation and I’m going to eat whatever I want to,'” says Atlanta-based personal trainer and nutrition coach Johnnie Perry. “But the other three days my diet is going to consist of healthy choices — protein, vegetables, fruits and nuts.” Perry suggests starting your day with a breakfast of protein and fats (like fresh fish). “You’ll have more energy and be able to enjoy what’s going on during the day.”

Take a Class
Until recently, I had been too shy to try one of those morning pool workouts — the ones where the most flexible member of the resort staff leads a group of vacationers in a routine of stretching and strength exercises under the stares of a lounging pool crowd. But then I took the plunge, literally, and found out that if I wasn’t actually closer to being able to touch the floor with my palms afterward, at least I jumpstarted my day with some early exercise. And I made some new friends.

Take Morning Walks
If you’re a runner, you know it can be hard to turn out a quick mile running through a bustling resort. Instead, kick the speed down a notch and enjoy a morning walk before breakfast. “Walking at a steady pace helps your body break into its fat stores,” says Perry. “Obviously, walking for five to 10 minutes won’t burn a ton of calories. However, if you build that up to three to six hours during the week of vacation, that’s a recipe for burning some excess fat without stress on the body.”

Bring the Gym With You
If your destination doesn’t offer a full gym, or one with equipment you’re not used to, then pack your own gym. A set of resistance bands is a good place to start. Watch this video for tips on how to pack a well-rounded travel fit kit.

Run on the Beach
Pavement pounders, use a week at the resort to take a break from running on hard surfaces. Running on the uneven beach can help train some of the stabilizer muscles in your feet, ankles and knees. Plus, running in the sand takes a little more effort than running on firm pavement, so you’ll burn more calories during your run.

Drink Water Along With Your Cocktails
Have a glass of water with every alcoholic drink. Alcohol dehydrates the body. When you dehydrate the body, it wants electrolytes, in the form of sodium, which leads to bad food choices like fries.

Ride a Bike
The resort’s stable of bikes might not be as well-maintained as yours at home. But, some resorts will offer guided tours that are safe (no cars whizzing by), and what could be better than seeing paradise by bike? And this article from Penn State University explains why biking is a great, low-impact exercise choice for the whole family.

Try a New Sport
If you get bored lying by the pool, run down the beach and take out a kayak or a paddle board for 30 minutes. Most all-inclusive beach resorts include watersport rentals with your stay. Resort staff would make sure weather and water conditions are safe, so this week at the resort is a good time to try something new. And most resorts will happily help you make reservations for guided, active excursions like snorkeling or kayaking off the resort property.

Use the Resort Gym
If your fitness routine includes working out at your local gym, you may walk a few circles around the resort’s fitness center trying to decide where to begin your workout. The resort’s equipment almost certainly will be different, and some equipment (like fitness bands, for example) may be completely missing. During your vacation, think about modifying your routine with bodyweight exercises to hold you over until you get back to your local fitness center. Perry suggests getting in a full-body workout every other day, with each workout lasting 35-45 minutes.

Make It a Rest Week
Yes, that’s right. Resting actually can help you build fitness. If you’re feeling stressed and a bit worn out from your early-morning workout routine, look at a week of vacation as an opportunity to give your body and mind time to recover. This article from Bicycling makes the case that taking a week off from your workout routine is helpful in the long run. “Your body is not going to forget,” says Perry. “It’s vacation. You’re supposed to enjoy yourself. One week off isn’t going to hurt you.”

Top 10 Most Beautiful Colleges in the United States

When picking a university one should go for a good mixture of setting and study. Consider the layout of the buildings and the aesthetic of the quad.

When picking a university one should go for a good mixture of setting and study. Consider the layout of the buildings and the aesthetic of the quad. Can yourself studying here for the next four years? Do you want to go somewhere with ornamented footpaths? Or architecture that will make your heart melt? It’s important to consider these things and to know where to find them so we’ve completed a list just of the 10 most beautiful colleges in the country.

10. Pepperdine University in California
You wouldn’t be alone if you confused this Malibu campus for indulgent resort on the coast. This specific campus was built in 1972 so students could catch a glimpse of the layered landscape that meets the Pacific Ocean on their way to class. Definitely a place to consider applying.

9. University of Hawaii at M?noa
What’s not to love about a college in Hawaii? Hawaii is easily one of the most beautiful states in the country so it should be no surprise that it is home to one of the most beautiful colleges as well. The statue university in M?noa stands out for it’s beachside campus and its views of nearby volcanoes (something you won’t see at any other college in the states).

8. University of Chicago in Illinois
There are many lovable colleges in the prairie state, but none stood out as much as the University of Chicago. In Hyde Park rests this architectural salute to the Gothic era. This stand out university even played home to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

7. Tulane University in Louisiana
This college offers a beautiful mix of palm trees and evergreens. At Tulane you will get an unwavering New Orleans vibe which makes it a college worth considering.

6. College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts
This university is in one of the smallest states in the United States but it is one of the most vied for. Massachusetts is home to some of the most beautiful colleges around like Harvard and Williams. But it’s the College of Holy Cross that stands out above the rest. This breathtaking campus is suspended on a hill overlooking Worcester and is known as one of the best landscaped schools in the country.

5. St. John’s Santa Fe in New Mexico
This Southwestern campus is a satellite campus of Maryland’s St John’s College. It resides near the base of Monte Luna and serves up students a mountain view that is unmatched.

4. Kenyon College in Ohio
Ohio is known for it’s small liberal arts schools. But Kenyon is known for being beautiful. Regal masonry populates the dorms and administration buildings next to a sprawling rural setting at this university.

3. Lewis & Clark in Oregon
This university is named for the famous explores that cross the country on foot, Lewis and Clark. It resides in a quaint Portland neighborhood that encases it with plunging hills and Douglas Firs.

2. Southern Methodist University in Texas
The splendid entrance of Southern Methodist University is lined with greenery and trees. It offers visitors a hint of what’s inside without giving away what lies ahead–fresh cut lawns, stone buildings, and Wes Anderson-like symmetry.

1. Colgate University in New York
There are so many universities in New York that it’s hard to decide which exemplifies the state the most. From the buzzing and urban Columbia University to the sprawling landscapes of Cornell, it offers a bit of everything. But Colgate offers a bit more than all the rest with it’s rustic look. The campus rests in the middle of untouched forests, hill, and lakes.

China and Trump announce ‘Phase One’ trade deal

The China-U.S. trade war is now drawing to a close, Chinese and U.S. officials said.

President Trump and China announced initial agreement Friday on ending the China-U.S. trade dispute that has persisted through the last two years of Trump’s presidency. This “phase one” deal would have both nations substantially reduce tariffs and would boost China’s import of U.S. agricultural goods.

The United States will cut its tariff rate to 7.5% on $120 billion worth of Chinese imports, while keeping the existing 25% tariff in place on another $250 billion, according to an announcement from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. He said that per the deal, the United States will scrap plans to impose another round of 15% tariffs on an additional $156 billion of imports, which would have gone into effect Sunday. Lighthizer said that the United States has also won concessions from China on intellectual property, technology transfer, financial services, and currency.

“President Trump has focused on concluding a Phase One agreement that achieves meaningful, fully-enforceable structural changes and begins rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship,” he said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that he expects Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to sign the agreement in the next few weeks. Kudlow called the agreement “an enormous first step” and said that it represents “an opening of China.”

Chinese officials said that they will accept increased agricultural imports from the United States but added that the specifics of this part of the deal will be released at a later time.

The two nations will still need to address certain other issues in a future “phase two” agreement, another administration official said. Those issues include cross-border data transfers, data localization, and cyber intrusions, among others.

Trump tweeted that negotiations on Phase Two will begin immediately.