Explainer: What’s at stake in U.S.-China trade talks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, second from left, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, third from left, and Chinese Vice Premier and lead trade negotiator Liu He, second from right, pose for a photo before the opening session of trade negotiations at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing this week as Chinese and American negotiators try to hammer out a trade deal to ease a trade war and avert an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for March 2.

The governments of the world’s two largest economies have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle for months as Washington presses Beijing to address long-standing concerns over Chinese practices and policies around industrial subsidies, market access and intellectual property rights protections.

Here is a look at the key issues in the talks and their implications:


After years of steadily rising U.S. trade deficits with China and U.S. complaints that Beijing has systematically obtained American intellectual property and trade secrets through coercion and outright theft, the Trump administration last year demanded fundamental changes to China’s economic model to allow U.S. companies to compete on a more level playing field. These include an end to policies that Washington claims effectively force U.S. companies to transfer their technologies to Chinese partners and full protection for American intellectual property rights.


At the most basic level, a dominant position in future high-technology industries, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. China is determined to upgrade its industrial base in 10 strategic sectors by 2025, including aerospace, robotics, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and new-energy vehicles. U.S. officials say they do not have a problem with China moving up the technology ladder, but they do not want it to happen with stolen or unfairly obtained American know-how. They argue that China’s massive support for state-owned enterprises is leading to overproduction, making it hard for U.S. companies to compete on a market-driven basis.


Chinese officials generally view the U.S. actions as a broad effort to thwart the Asian country’s inevitable rise to a dominant position in the global economy. They deny that China requires or coerces technology transfers, saying that any such actions are commercial transactions between American and Chinese firms. At the same time, China is looking to make a deal with President Donald Trump to ease U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and to directly reduce the trade imbalance between the world’s two largest economies through increased purchases of U.S. goods, including soybeans and energy. Beijing has also taken some steps to open up to more imports, including lowering tariffs on imported cars and allowing foreign companies in some sectors to own a majority of their operations in China.


Trump has imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of imported goods from China so far – a 25 percent duty on $50 billion worth of machinery, semiconductors and other technology-related products, and 10 percent tariffs on a broader, $200 billion range of goods that includes many chemicals, building materials, furniture and some consumer electronics. Thus far, Trump has spared many consumer goods, including cellphones, computers, clothing and footwear from tariffs. But if no deal is reached by March 2, the United States is scheduled to raise tariffs on the $200 billion in goods from China to 25 percent from 10 percent. Trump said on Wednesday that a delay was possible.


Yes. China has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods, including soybeans, beef, pork, seafood, whiskey, ethanol and motor vehicles. Beijing also has imposed tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on another $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, including liquefied natural gas, chemicals, frozen vegetables and food ingredients. So far, Beijing has spared imports of U.S. commercial aircraft largely made by Boeing Co. Since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to pursue the current round of talks, China has also suspended tariffs on U.S.-made autos and has resumed some purchases of U.S. soybeans.


China has pledged to make its industrial subsidy programs compliant with World Trade Organization rules and nondistortive to markets, but has offered no details on how it will achieve this, sources told Reuters. It’s unclear if that will be enough to satisfy U.S. negotiators, but that indicates China may be willing to address those American concerns.

The two sides seemed far apart on industrial subsidies and forced technology transfer when they met in late January, though they indicated some progress had been made around intellectual property rights issues.

A key U.S. demand is creating a mechanism for regular reviews of China’s progress on following through on any reform pledges that it makes, a plan that would maintain a perpetual threat of U.S. tariffs.

China has also offered to make purchases of over $1 trillion worth of goods over the next six years, including of agricultural and energy products as well as industrial goods.


Trump has been optimistic about a deal, saying on Wednesday that the talks were going “very well”. But he indicated in his State of the Union address on Feb. 5 that big spending by China on American goods would not be enough for a deal. Any new trade deal with China “must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit and protect American jobs,” he said in the address.

The president’s advisers say he will not soften his demands that China make structural reforms on intellectual property and related issues. The United States rebuffed some initial offers by China last spring to increase purchases of U.S. goods, choosing instead to proceed with tariffs.


The two sides could report some progress toward a deal and may extend the March 2 deadline to keep negotiating, as often happened during talks last year to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. A stalemate on core structural issues would be viewed as a negative sign, and investors would brace for higher tariffs. Trade negotiations often go down to the wire, so a final outcome is not likely before the end of February, and any agreement will need the approval of Trump and Xi. The two presidents have no meeting planned before the March deadline.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Additional reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Four hospitalized, police eye more arrests after Portland clashes

Protesters of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer clash with protesters from anti-fascist groups during a demonstration in Portland, Oregon, U.S. June 30, 2018, in this still image taken from video from obtained from social media. MANDATORY CREDIT. Bryan Colombo/via REUTERS

By Miesha Miller

(Reuters) – Clashes between anti-fascist and right-wing militants in Portland, Oregon on Saturday sent four people to the hospital including a police officer and led to at least four arrests, authorities said.

Police seized knives, clubs and pepper spray after running battles between members of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group and counterprotesters who had initially faced off at a downtown park. Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson is running for the U.S. Senate.

“We seized numerous weapons early on, and interceded and separated people when necessary,” Portland Deputy Police Chief Bob Day said in a statement late on Saturday.

“However, once projectiles, such as fireworks, eggs, rocks, bottles and construction equipment were thrown and people were injured, we ordered people to disperse,” Day said.

Officers used rubber ball grenades, pepper spray and pepper balls to clear the crowds from streets around a downtown park, police said.

Four people were taken to local hospitals, one of whom suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said. One officer suffered what was described as a non-serious injury from being hit by a projectile.

Police said more arrests may follow on charges including disorderly conduct, assault, theft, robbery and reckless burning after detectives review video of Saturday’s confrontations.

The four people arrested on Saturday were taken into custody in connection with criminal investigations that began before Saturday’s protests, police said.

(Reporting by Miesha Miller in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Paul Simao)

Ex-U.S. NSA employee pleads guilty to taking classified documents

Ex-U.S. NSA employee pleads guilty to taking classified documents

By Dustin Volz and John Walcott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former U.S. National Security Agency employee pleaded guilty on Friday to illegally taking classified information outside the spy agency that an intelligence official said was later stolen from his home computer by Russian hackers.

Nghia Hoang Pho, who worked in the NSA’s elite hacking unit, retained U.S. government documents containing top-secret national defense information between 2010 and March 2015, the Justice Department said.

Pho, a 67-year-old U.S. citizen born in Vietnam, faces up to 10 years in prison. He is not being held by authorities as he awaits his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 6, 2018, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

A U.S. intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Pho was the same NSA employee who had been identified in media reports for using Kaspersky Lab antivirus software on his home computer. Some U.S. officials have said software from the Moscow-based company allowed Russian intelligence agencies to pilfer sensitive secrets from the United States through Pho’s computer.

The Department of Homeland Security in September ordered federal agencies to start removing Kaspersky software from their computers. U.S. officials have said the firm either has ties to Russian intelligence or is forced to share information held on its servers with Russian officials. Kaspersky has repeatedly denied the allegations but acknowledged its software in 2014 took NSA code for a hacking tool from a customer’s computer before its chief executive, Eugene Kaspersky, ordered the code destroyed.

The court documents do not appear to make mention of Russian intelligence agencies or Kaspersky Lab. The connection was first reported by the New York Times.

The intelligence official declined to comment on whether Pho knew the software he was using at home was vulnerable.

Pho is at least the third NSA employee or contractor to be charged within the past two years on counts of improperly taking classified information from the agency, breaches that have prompted criticism of the secretive NSA.

A federal grand jury indicted former NSA contractor Harold Martin in February on charges alleging he spent up to 20 years stealing up to 50 terabytes of highly sensitive government material from the U.S. intelligence community, which were hoarded at his home.

In June another NSA contractor, Reality Winner, 25, was charged with leaking classified material about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to a news outlet. She pleaded not guilty.

And in 2013, former contractor Edward Snowden pilfered secrets about NSA’s surveillance programs and shared them with journalists. He now lives in Moscow.

Pho, of Ellicott City, Maryland, took both physical and digital documents that contained “highly classified information of the United States,” including information labeled as “top secret,” according to court records unsealed Friday. He was aware the documents contained sensitive information and kept them at his residence in Maryland, the records said.

Asked for comment, Pho’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, said, “Any conversations regarding this case will be made in the courtroom during the sentencing.” He declined to comment further.

Officials at the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The NSA, whose main mission is gathering and analyzing foreign communications for potential security threats, is based at Fort Meade, Maryland.

(Reporting by Dustin Volz and John Walcott, additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)

Nepal bank latest victim in heists targeting SWIFT system

Nepal bank latest victim in heists targeting SWIFT system

By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – A bank in Nepal is the latest victim in a string of cyber heists targeting the global SWIFT bank messaging system, though most of the stolen funds have been recovered, two officials involved in the investigation confirmed on Tuesday.

Hackers last month made about $4.4 million in fraudulent transfers from Kathmandu-based NIC Asia Bank to countries including Britain, China, Japan, Singapore and the United States when the bank was closed for annual festival holidays, according to Nepal media reports.

All but $580,000 of the funds were recovered after Nepal asked other nations to block release of the stolen money, Chinta Mani Shivakoti, deputy governor of the Central Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), told Reuters.

Brussels-based SWIFT said last month that security controls instituted after last year’s $81 million theft from Bangladesh’s central bank helped thwart some recent hacking attempts, but it warned that cyber criminals continue to target SWIFT customers.

SWIFT or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is a co-operative owned by its user banks. It declined to comment on the NIC Asia Bank hack, saying it does not discuss specific users.

Representatives with NIC Asia Bank, one of dozens of private banks in Nepal, were not available for comment.

The chief of Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau, Pushkar Karki, confirmed to Reuters that his agency was investigating the theft.

KPMG is also involved in the investigation, according to Nepali media reports. KPMG representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The central bank intends to release guidelines on how to thwart such incidents after investigations are completed, according to Shivakoti.

“The incident showed there are some weaknesses with the IT department of the bank,” Shivakoti said.

SWIFT said in a statement on Tuesday that it offers assistance to banks when it learns of potential fraud cases, then shares relevant information with other clients on an anonymous basis.

“This preserves confidentiality, whilst assisting other SWIFT users to take appropriate measures to protect themselves,” it said.

“We have no indication that our network and core messaging services have been compromised,” SWIFT added.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma, additional reporting by Jeremy Wagstaff in Singapore and Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Matthew Lewis)

Bangladeshi probe panel’s chief says SWIFT responsible for cyber theft

Bangladesh central bank

DHAKA (Reuters) – A Bangladesh government-appointed panel investigating the theft of $81 million from the country’s central bank has found that SWIFT, the international banking payments network, committed a number of mistakes in connecting up a local network, the panel head said on Sunday.

“We have shown that SWIFT made a number of errors that made it easy for the hackers,” Mohammed Farashuddin, a former governor of the Bangladeshi central bank, told reporters.

He said SWIFT, a cooperative owned by 3,000 financial institutions, could not escape responsibility as it had connected its network to the central bank’s new real time gross settlement (RTGS) system launched in October for domestic transactions.

“SWIFT is responsible for the heist of Bangladesh Bank as it approached the central bank for the installation of RTGS real time gross settlement,” Farashuddin said.

SWIFT has already rejected allegations made by Dhaka that it had been at fault, saying its financial messaging system remained secure and had not been breached by the hackers during the attack on Bangladesh Bank.

The hackers broke into the computer systems of the central bank in early February and issued instructions through the SWIFT network to transfer $951 million of its deposits held at the New York Federal Reserve Bank to accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Most of the transactions were blocked but four went through amounting to $81 million, prompting allegations by Bangladeshi officials that both the Fed and SWIFT had failed to detect the fraud.

Bangladeshi police and a bank official said earlier this month that the central bank became more vulnerable to hackers when technicians from SWIFT connected the new bank transaction system to SWIFT messaging three months before the cyber theft.

The local Daily Star newspaper quoted Farashuddin as saying that SWIFT failed to implement 13 security measures in the installation of the system.

Farashuddin is due to submit his final report to the government in the next few days.

A spokeswoman for SWIFT said she had no immediate comment to make.

In a letter to users dated May 3, SWIFT told its bank customers that they were responsible for securing computers used to send messages over its network.

(Reporting by Serajul Qaudir; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Stealing food not a crime if you really need it in Italy

ROME (Reuters) – Stealing a little food should not be considered a crime if you really need it, Italy’s highest court has ruled.

Ukrainian national Roman Ostriakov was living rough in the northern Italian city of Genoa in 2011 when he was caught trying to steal some cheese and sausage worth 4.07 euros ($4.71) from a supermarket.

He was found guilty of theft and sentenced to six months in jail and a handed a 100-euro fine.

The state prosecutor appealed the sentence on a technicality, arguing that he should not have been found guilty of theft, but rather attempted theft, because he had been caught before he had left the supermarket premises.

But Italy’s Supreme Court annulled the verdict.

“The condition of the accused and the circumstances in which he obtained the merchandise show that he had taken the little amount of food he needed to overcome his immediate and essential requirement for nourishment,” it said in a written ruling.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer)

Chinese National’s Seed Theft in Iowa Exposes Vulnerability

File photo of a U.S. and Iowa state flag are seen next to a corn field in Grand Mound, IOWA

ARLINGTON, Iowa (Reuters) – Tim Burrack, a northern Iowa farmer in his 44th growing season, has taken to keeping a wary eye out for unfamiliar vehicles around his 300 acres of genetically modified corn seeds.

Along with other farmers in this vast agricultural region, he has upped his vigilance ever since Mo Hailong and six other Chinese nationals were accused by U.S. authorities in 2013 of digging up seeds from Iowa farms and planning to send them back to China.

The case, in which Mo pleaded guilty in January, has laid bare the value — and vulnerability — of advanced food technology in a world with 7 billion mouths to feed, 1.36 billion of them Chinese.

Citing that case and others as evidence of a growing economic and national security threat to America’s farm sector, U.S. law enforcement officials are urging agriculture executives and security officers to increase their vigilance and report any suspicious activity.

But on a March 30 visit to Iowa, Justice Department officials could offer little advice to ensure against similar thefts, underlining how agricultural technology lying in open fields can be more vulnerable than a computer network or a factory floor.

“It may range down to traditional barriers like a fence and doing human patrols to making sure you get good visuals on what’s occurring,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, head of the Justice Department’s national security division, said when touring Iowa State University.

But agriculture sector executives say fences and guards are not feasible, due to the high cost and impracticality of guarding hundreds of thousands of acres.

Tom McBride, intellectual property attorney at Monsanto — one of the firms whose seeds were targeted by Mo — said it safeguards its genetically modified organism (GMO) technology by protecting its computers, patenting seeds and keeping fields like Burrack’s unmarked. Monsanto says it is not considering physical barriers like fences or guards.

The FBI and the U.S. Justice Department say cases of espionage in the agriculture sector have been growing since Mo was first discovered digging in an Iowan field in May 2011. Over the past two years, U.S. companies, government research facilities and universities have all been targeted, according to the FBI.

Although prosecutors were unable to establish a Chinese government link to Mo’s group, the case adds to U.S.-China frictions over what Washington says is increasing economic espionage and trade secret theft by Beijing and its proxies.

A U.S. law enforcement official told Reuters the agency looked for a connection between the Chinese government and the conspiracy carried out by Mo.

“In cases like this, we can see connections, but proving to the threshold needed in court requires that we have documents that the government has directed this,” the official said. “It’s almost impossible to get.”

A Chinese embassy spokesman in Washington, Zhu Haiquan, said he did not have detailed information on the Mo case but that China “stands firm” on the protection of intellectual property and maintains “constant communication and cooperation” with the U.S. government on the issue.

On his visit to Washington last September, President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s denial of any government role in the hacking of U.S. corporate secrets.

Mo, an employee of Chinese firm Kings Nower Seed, pleaded guilty to stealing seed grown by U.S. firms Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer and LG Seeds.

Prosecutors say he specifically targeted fields that grow the parent seeds needed to replicate GMO corn. The FBI says it suspects he was given the location by workers for the seed companies, but did not charge any employees.

DuPont Pioneer and LG Seeds declined to comment for this story.

Mo, whose case was prosecuted by the Justice Department as a national security matter rather than a simple criminal case, now faces a sentence of up to five years in prison. Five others charged in the case are still wanted by the FBI and are believed to have fled to China or Argentina. Charges were dropped against a sixth Chinese suspect.


The number of international economic espionage cases referred to the FBI is rising, up 15 percent each year between 2009 and 2014 and up 53 percent in 2015. The majority of cases reported involve Chinese nationals, the U.S. law enforcement official told Reuters. In the agriculture sector, organic insecticide, irrigation equipment and rice, along with corn, are all suspected to have been targeted, including by Chinese nationals, the official said.

Mo Hongjian, vice president of Kings Nower Seed’s parent company, Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group, declined to comment on the case or on the company’s connection with the Chinese government.

The parent firm is privately owned, but says it receives government money for research in “science and technology.”

China bans commercial growing of GMO grains due to public opposition to the technology and imports of GMO corn have to be approved by the agriculture ministry. Still, President Xi called in 2014 for China to innovate and dominate the technique, which promises high yields through resistance to drought, pests and disease.

In January, a Greenpeace report found some Chinese farmers are illegally growing GMO corn whose strains belong to companies including Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer.

Monsanto, which supplies Burrack’s seed, said it can block foreign groups who request to tour their lab and learning center in Huxley, Iowa. For the past few years, Monsanto says it has run its own background checks on Chinese delegations that ask for a tour, and, if they are approved, boosts security to be sure they do not steal anything or take pictures.

In Washington, U.S. senators have called for a review of the $43 billion deal by state-owned ChemChina to buy Swiss seed group Syngenta, which generates nearly a quarter of its revenue from North America.

Acquiring GMO seed and successfully recreating a corn plant would allow Chinese companies to skip over roughly eight years of research and $1.5 billion spent annually by Monsanto to develop the corn, the company says.

Burrack’s farm itself was not targeted by Mo, though he grows the Monsanto parent seed that the Chinese national was digging for. Burrack grows the corn in two fields in front of and behind his house where he can watch them, a small part of his 2,800-acre farm.

He said he is told by Monsanto where and when to plant the parent seed, but has never been told to keep what he is planting a secret.

“What no one seems to understand is that they’re stealing from people like me,” Burrack said. “They’re stealing the research that farmers pay for when they buy Monsanto seed.”

(Reporting by Julia Edwards; Additional reporting by Shuping Niu in Beijing; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Stuart Grudgings)

Trail in cyber heist suggests hackers were Chinese: senator

Bangladesh central bank

By Karen Lema

MANILA (Reuters) – A Philippine senator said on Wednesday that Chinese hackers were likely to have pulled off one of the world’s biggest cyber heists at the Bangladesh central bank, citing the network of Chinese people involved in the routing of the stolen funds through Manila.

Unidentified hackers infiltrated the computers at Bangladesh Bank in early February and tried to transfer a total of $951 million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

All but one of the 35 attempted transfers were to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), confirming the Philippines’ centrality to the heist.

Most transfers were blocked, but a total of $81 million went to four accounts at a single RCBC branch in Manila. The stolen money was swiftly transferred to a foreign exchange broker and distributed to casinos and gambling agents in Manila.

“The hacking was done, chances are, by Chinese hackers,” Senator Ralph Recto told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Then they saw that, in the Philippines, RCBC particularly was vulnerable and sent the money over here.”

Beijing was quick to denounce the comments by Recto, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and a former head of the Philippines’ economic planning agency.

The suggestion that Chinese hackers were possibly involved was “complete nonsense” and “really irresponsible,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters.

Recto said he couldn’t prove the hackers were Chinese, but was merely “connecting the dots” after a series of Senate hearings into the scandal.

At one hearing, a Chinese casino boss and junket operator called Kim Wong named two high-rolling gamblers from Beijing and Macau who he said had brought the stolen money into the Philippines. He displayed purported copies of their passports, showing they were mainland Chinese and Macau administrative region nationals respectively.


Wong, a native of Hong Kong who holds a Chinese passport, received almost $35 million of the stolen funds through his company and a foreign exchange broker.

The two Chinese named by Wong “are the best lead to determine who are the hackers,” said Recto. “Chances are… they must be Chinese.”

The whereabouts of the two high-rollers were unknown, Recto added, saying the Senate inquiry “may” seek help from the Chinese government to find them.

Recto also questioned the role of casino junket operators in the Philippines, saying many of them have links in Macau, the southern Chinese territory that is the world’s biggest casino hub. “There are junket operators who are from Macau, so it (the money) may find its way back to Macau,” he said.

A senior executive at a top junket operator in Macau told Reuters there was “no reason” to bring funds from the Philippines to Macau.

“This seems more like a political story in the Philippines,” he said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The U.S. State Department said in a report last month that the gaming industry was “a weak link” in the Philippines’ anti-money laundering regime.

Philrem, the foreign exchange agent, said it distributed the stolen $81 million to Bloomberry Resorts Corp, which owns and operates the upmarket Solaire casino in Manila; to Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, which is owned by Wong; and to an ethnic Chinese man believed to be a junket operator in Manila.

Wong has returned $5.5 million to the Philippines’ anti-money laundering agency and has promised to hand over another $9.7 million. A portion of the money he received, he said, has already been spent on gambling chips for clients.

Solaire has told the Senate hearing that the $29 million that ended up with them was credited to an account of the Macau-based high-roller but it has managed to seize and confiscate $2.33 million in chips and cash.

(Writing by Andrew R.C. Marshall; Additional reporting by Farah Master in Hong Kong; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Slain American Missionary Celebrated

An elderly American missionary stabbed to death in Haiti last week has been remembered as a champion of those in need and a tireless worker for spreading the truth and love of Jesus Christ.

George Knoop, 77, a former Chicago area teacher before becoming a missionary to Haiti, was attacked inside his home in the Haitian capital May 13th.  Friends say that Knoop was able to make a cell phone call after the attack but was unable to speak; by the time they reached the home he was dead.

Officials say they have no suspects in the murder.  Investigators say the incident was likely a crime of opportunity as a computer was stolen from the home and the murder weapon was a knife that had been in the home.

“I studied the Bible with him and he helped me a lot,” Charles Ronald said at the memorial.  “He was generous, helping people, paying for their school, their rents, their food.”

Pastor Larry McCarthy of Moody Church Chicago, who was Knoop’s pastor, said that when the retiree moved to Haiti he sold his home, his TV, his car and his clothes so he could spend everything helping the people of Haiti recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake that left more than 200,000 people dead.

Teenagers Arrested For Central Park Assaults

Five children under 16 have been arrested by the NYPD after a mugging spree in New York’s Central Park.

The five children, including a 12-year-old and 13-year-old, are facing charges of robbery, assault and attempted assault.

The gang attacked a 31-year-old man on Monday morning, beating him with a stick and punching him in the face when he refused to give them all the money in his wallet.  The group then attacked two female joggers and stole their iPhones and iPods.

The only suspect named by police was 16-year-old Angel Munoz.  Police say that Munoz and one of the 14-year-old assailants turned themselves in to police after discovering they were the subject of a manhunt.

The victims then identified the other suspects from lineups conducted at an NYPD precinct.