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Gordon Sondland is a hotelier and major donor to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Since July 2018 he has served as United States Ambassador to the European Union (EU) despite no prior experience in diplomatic relations or foreign policy. He has also come under fire for costly taxpayer funded renovations to the Ambassador's residence in Brussels.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - FEBRUARY 28: President Donald Trump shows off a hat that says "Make Counties Great Again" before signing an Executive Order to begin the roll-back of environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration February 28, 2017 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. The Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS, the Waters of the U.S. rule, has been unpopular with some farmers, housing developers and energy companies. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald J. Trump’s surprise announcement that he will seek to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sent shockwaves around the world yesterday and roiled the financial markets. Whether those tariffs get implemented is open to debate. Many believe the reality show theatrics with which he made the announcement were intended to distract from the accelerating scandals that are engulfing his White House.

But if he really intends to enact the tariffs, which are opposed by many in his administration, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Trump campaigned on the promise of “America First” and many of his actions in the first year of his presidency have been designed to deliver on that campaign slogan.

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[DIGEST: Reuters, New York Times]

A defining referendum on Britain’s European Union (EU) membership is now underway. Voters will be asked a single question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” Those who favor leaving, or “Brexit,” claim Britain’s continued membership renders it toothless and at the mercy of bureaucrats in Brussels.  Those who favor remaining insist Britain can only maintain its influence as part of a larger bloc of like-minded countries. Worldwide, markets are spooked that a vote to leave would have a devastating impact across Europe, with global spill-over effects.

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This is a developing story, and we will continue to update as more information comes in.


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DIGEST (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post)

As reported in the New York Times, long lines are forming at ATMs across Athens. Withdrawals per account are limited to 60 euros a day--about $66. The banks have been closed for a week now, and there’s no indication of when they might reopen. In fact, Greek banks may be afraid to open their doors because skittish depositors might try to withdraw everything they can, or risk losing it all (as many in nearby Cyprus did during its last bank crisis).

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