Today’s quick hits, October 18, 2019

Remove tariffs, says China (Business Insider): Beijing expects the United States to remove all retaliatory tariffs as part of any final agreement to end the Sino-U.S. trade war, said a Commerce Ministry spokesman, casting doubt on resolving the trade dispute and on U.S. expectations of large farm exports to China.

Winged winery workers (San Francisco Chronicle): To protect wine grapes in the Napa Valley from damage by “pest birds” such as starlings, house finches, and red-winged blackbirds, falconer Rebecca Rosen sends 10 falcons aloft from sunrise to sundown — “like dogs in the air” — on behalf of her winery clients.

Universal school lunch helps students (Wiley): English and math test scores of New York City middle school students improved at schools that served free lunch to all students, report researchers, who called universal meals an “extraordinarily cost-effective” way to boost academic performance.

U.S. is free of virus (USDA): A 20-year campaign has made the United States the first country to eradicate the plum pox virus, a serious disease that affects plums, almonds, peaches, and other stone fruit.

West Virginia governor got tariff aid (AP): The USDA sent a trade war payment of $125,000 to a farming operation owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a billionaire businessman and the richest person in the state.