China

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

Wuhan's public health authorities say they are in a "state of war" as they quarantine the Chinese city in an attempt to halt the spread of a never-before-seen strain of coronavirus.

"Strictly implement emergency response requirements, enter into a state of war and implement wartime measures to resolutely curb the spread of this epidemic," urged a committee of Wuhan's top officials. "Homes must be segregated, neighbors must be watched."

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

A newly identified strain of coronavirus has killed at least 17 people in China and caused hundreds of confirmed infections, the Hubei provincial government said Wednesday, citing the latest figures from hard-hit Wuhan and other cities.

Six-year-old Florence Widdicombe was writing notes on Christmas cards to her school friends in South London when she discovered that one card had already been written on.

"We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China," it said in English, written in all capital letters. "Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization."

Port Tampa Bay

2019 was a busy year for Port Tampa Bay. Florida’s largest port set a record for cruise passengers and welcomed cargo ships from Asia.

CEO Paul Anderson said direct service to Shanghai, Singapore and other Asian ports has been a priority since he was hired in 2012. The service’s launch coincided with a trade war between the Trump Administration and China, which included tariffs and prolonged negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement.  

A Chinese businesswoman who was incarcerated for eight months for trespassing at President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach club was transferred Wednesday from a federal lockup to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation to China.

Yujing Zhang, 33, was moved to the Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven after being held at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Broward County following her sentencing last week, according to an ICE website.

It was not clear when Zhang, who faces a removal proceeding, would be deported to China.

A Shanghai businesswoman who was convicted of unlawfully entering President Trump's private Mar-a-Lago resort while carrying a bag full of electronics is headed to jail for eight months.

Yujing Zhang, 33, was convicted of trespassing at Trump's Florida club and lying to federal agents.

Zhang's bizarre trial, in which she chose to represent herself, lasted all of two days before she was found guilty on both counts.

The Commerce Department has issued a list of 28 state security bureaus and tech companies in China that it says are being used to suppress the country's Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities – a move that blocks them from doing business with U.S. firms.

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS / Associated Press

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is one of China’s biggest critics in Congress.

In the last three weeks, he called out China for using U.S. academic visa programs as “a weapon against us,” warned that the Chinese government’s internet propaganda campaigns are “subtle and sophisticated but no less effective,” and warned that Bejing will try to impose a “Macau-style system of government in Hong Kong” in response to ongoing democracy protests.

Tom Hudson

A yellow line on the floor in one of Andres Ochoa's warehouses is the difference between struggling with higher costs and competing for new customers.

The line denotes a Foreign Trade Zone inside the warehouses of SAP USA Truck and Auto Parts in Miami. The zone has shielded SAP from the trade war between the U.S. and China.

"A free trade zone means that product has entered the country without having duties or tariffs paid, and it's being held in a bonded facility," Ochoa said. "There's that line that separates everything."

BILL OXFORD / GETTY IMAGES

A bill that would halt employment-based immigration from any countries other than India or China is headed back to the floor of the U.S. Senate next week.

If it passes, immigration policy experts estimate that for the next 10 years or so, Indian nationals, as well as a small number of Chinese nationals, would be the only foreign workers able to obtain green cards through employment — a move that would crush U.S. businesses seeking other talented foreign employees.

Miami Herald file

A controversial institute focusing on Chinese language and culture at Miami Dade College is shutting down after it became an issue in the institution's tumultuous presidential search.

Like other similar programs around the country, Miami Dade College's Confucius Institute has been criticized as a tool for spreading communist propaganda for the Chinese government. Although the institute opened in 2010, it has been thrust into the spotlight recently as the college's presidential search started, stopped and then started again.

President Trump has promised to help the Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian, the devastating storm that has decimated parts of the island nation.

The United States is not only concerned about the Bahamian people, but also the national security implications if China steps in to help fill the country's vast needs, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Parts of the Bahamas are only about 50 miles off the coast of Florida, raising concerns about the potential for such a powerful economic and political adversary to gain a greater foothold in such proximity.

Leo Correa / AP

COMMENTARY

Here’s a dirty little secret about Amazon deforestation that liberals prefer you overlook: the slash-and-burn may be ugly under right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, but it was bad when leftists controlled the rainforest, too. Under former President Dilma Rousseff, the liberal darling who ruled Brazil from 2011 until her impeachment in 2016, Amazon deforestation actually increased.

In no way does that excuse Bolsonaro’s reckless efforts to accelerate the trend – which in 2019 have resulted in an alarming 85 percent rise in Amazon fires that have destroyed more than 7,000 square miles of rainforest. What it points out is that Brazil, left or right, is and largely has been a lousy steward of an emerald ecosystem known as the lungs of the earth.

The U.S. used to send a lot of its plastic waste to China to get recycled. But last year, China put the kibosh on imports of the world's waste. The policy, called National Sword, freaked out people in the U.S. — a huge market for plastic waste had just dried up.

Where was it all going to go now?

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