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China Tariffs | Afghanistan Eid Cease-Fire? | Colombia's Duque Sworn In


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. August 8, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA U.S. Details New Round of China Tariffs The United States said it will impose a second round of tariffs on Chinese goods later this month, escalating a trade war between the world’s largest economies. The list of products, worth $16 billion, will be subject to 25 percent duties (USTR). China has already pledged to retaliate with duties on an identical amount (SCMP) of U.S. goods. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the new tariffs, on items including motorcycles and antennas, are “part of the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology.” Following a first round of U.S. duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods in July, Beijing retaliated with equivalent tariffs (CNN) on U.S. products. Both governments have indicated the trade war would escalate in the coming weeks. ANALYSIS “A stalemate appears the most likely endgame, with new American and Chinese tariffs staying in place for months or even years,” Keith Bradsher writes for the New York Times. “[American] consumers are seeing higher prices on a variety everyday products, and a range of US businesses—from cranberry farmers to yacht sellers—say they're hurting as a result of Trump’s trade policies," Claudia Koerner writes for Buzzfeed. CFR’s Brad W. Setser examines the makings of a U.S.-China trade war. This CFR Backgrounder explores whether the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy is a threat to global trade. CFR Quiz: World War II This week’s test: How much do you know about the major events of World War II, from Normandy to Nagasaki?   PACIFIC RIM Malaysia’s Ex-Prime Minister Hit With New Charges Former Prime Minister Najib Razak was indicted on three counts (Nikkei) of money laundering related to transfers of some $10 million. The charges are part of an ongoing investigation into corruption at the 1MDB state development fund. Najib has already been charged with bribery and breach of trust (Star). SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Afghan Government Aims for Eid Cease-Fire Ahead of an expected cease-fire with Taliban militants during the Eid al-Adha holiday, a spokesperson for the government’s peace negotiations council said that “everybody wants a permanent cease-fire” (Tolo). Council officials also said peace talks are underway in several provinces. President Ashraf Ghani called an earlier cease-fire during Eid al-Fitr, in June, a success.   In Foreign Affairs, Barnett R. Rubin writes that great powers can end the war in Afghanistan. BANGLADESH: The Commonwealth secretary-general, Patricia Scotland, begins an eleven-day Asia trip (Daily Star) with talks in Dhaka today. The trip also includes stops in Sri Lanka and Brunei (Commonwealth). This CFR Backgrounder looks at the role of the Commonwealth after Brexit. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA German Auto Giant Halts Iran Business German auto manufacturer Daimler dropped plans with an Iranian firm to produce Mercedes-Benz trucks (Reuters) in Iran after the United States reimposed sanctions on the country yesterday. Several other European firms are also expected to suspend their business in Iran. editors lay out what to know about the return of U.S. sanctions on Iran. ISRAEL: French President Emmanuel Macron canceled a November visit to Israel (Ynet) without providing an explanation. The announcement comes several months after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called off a scheduled visit to the country. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Ethiopia Makes Peace With Rebel Group The government agreed to end hostilities (France 24) with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a rebel group it had previously designated a terrorist organization, in a deal with the OLF’s exiled leader. For decades, the group has fought a low-level insurgency aimed at self-determination for members of the Oromo ethnic group. CFR’s Michelle D. Gavin discusses Ethiopia’s long political transition. MOZAMBIQUE: The government approved contracts with several foreign energy firms and its national oil company to begin exploring offshore oil fields (Reuters) believed to hold enough reserves to supply Britain, France, Germany, and Italy for two decades. EUROPE Turkish Delegation Heads to Washington A delegation headed by Turkey’s deputy foreign minister is set to meet with U.S. officials about ongoing bilateral tensions, including the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. The Turkish lira plunged further this week after the Trump administration announced it may end Turkey’s duty-free access (VOA) to the U.S. market. SWITZERLAND: A heatwave across Europe has caused a mass die-off of fish (BBC) in the Rhine River as high temperatures have decreased oxygen levels in the water. AMERICAS Colombian Hard-Line Leader Sworn In New President Ivan Duque vowed to push for “legality, entrepreneurship, and equity” as he was sworn in yesterday (Colombia Reports). Duque has said he will only continue negotiations with Marxist rebels (FT) begun by his predecessor if the group unilaterally declares a cease-fire. VENEZUELA: State oil company PDVSA has been transferring oil between tankers at sea and loading oil tankers in Cuba to avoid having its vessels seized (Reuters). The firm has suffered an exodus of workers and seizures of some facilities as payment to ConocoPhillips for a $2 billion arbitration award. UNITED STATES California Wildfire May Burn for Weeks Local authorities said the 450-square-mile Mendocino Complex wildfire, one of seventeen fires across the state, is expected to burn (CBS) through the end of August. Yosemite National Park has been closed indefinitely (VOA) due to another fire in and around the park.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: August 08, 2018 at 10:14PM

Iran Sanctions | California Wildfires | Saudi Row With Canada


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. August 7, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA EU Looks to Thwart U.S. Sanctions on Iran The United States reimposed a first set of sanctions on Iran yesterday, a move President Hassan Rouhani called “psychological warfare” (Al Jazeera). Meanwhile, the European Union’s top diplomat vowed to shield European companies from any effects of the sanctions and to encourage more business with Iran. The executive order signed by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, which restricts Iran’s purchases of U.S. banknotes (Bloomberg) and targets trade in gold, carpets, pistachios, and automobiles, comes three months after the U.S. decision to withdraw from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal that included sanctions relief for Iran. The European Union, which says Iran (BBC) has lived up to its conditions under the nuclear deal, announced a blocking statute to protect European firms from reinstated sanctions. ANALYSIS “At some point demands for policy change become regime change. U.S. policy toward Iran is at this point. This is a 21st century siege. What will matter most is the degree to which China, India and others are willing to buy Iranian oil and risk U.S. wrath and sanctions,” tweets CFR President Richard N. Haass. “[Iran’s] economic situation is expected to deteriorate further when the US imposes sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, the government’s vital source of income, and transactions with the central bank in November,” Najmeh Bozorgmehr and Monavar Khalaj write for the Financial Times. editors lay out what to know about the return of U.S. sanctions on Iran. UNITED STATES California Wildfire Now Largest in State’s History The Mendocino Complex wildfire, which has been burning for eleven days (Sacramento Bee) in northern California, grew to cover more than 280,000 acres on Monday. The fire is one of eighteen (LA Times) burning across the state. In Foreign Affairs, scientists discuss the immediate risks climate change poses to public health. PACIFIC RIM Thousands Homeless in Wake of Indonesia Quake Thousands of local residents on the tourist island of Lombok slept in tents Monday night after two earthquakes struck the area (AP) in one week. At least 114 people died in the quakes. PHILIPPINES: Inflation in the Philippines reached 5.7 percent last month, the country’s highest in more than five years, putting pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates (Nikkei). SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA EU Urges Calm Amid Dhaka Protests EU envoys in Bangladesh have expressed concern over the involvement of school children and young people (Dhaka Tribune) in protests and violent clashes over road safety in Dhaka. The demonstrations were sparked by the deaths of two students hit by a speeding bus (CNN) last week. PAKISTAN: The man accused of raping and killing six-year-old Zainab Amin in January was handed a death sentence (Dawn) for the murder of two other girls. Zainab’s death sparked widespread outcry. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Saudi Arabia Escalates Row With Canada Some fifteen thousand Saudi students studying in Canada on government scholarships will be withdrawn from their programs (Globe & Mail) and sent to other countries, a senior Saudi official said. Additionally, Saudi Arabian Airlines announced it will cancel all flights to Toronto as of next week. The moves come after Canada’s foreign ministry criticized the arrests of Saudi women activists. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Zimbabwean Police Arrest Opposition Leaders Police charged nine leaders from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change with inciting supporters to carry out an unlawful demonstration (Herald) last week as Zimbabweans awaited the results of a general election. Six people died in clashes with police (BBC) during the demonstration. CFR’s John Campbell discusses the likely way out of Zimbabwe’s election crisis. KENYA/TANZANIA: Top officials in the East African countries, alongside victims’ families, commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the al-Qaeda bombings of their U.S. embassies. The attacks killed 224 people (AFP), mostly Africans. EUROPE African Workers Killed in Italy Truck Crush The deaths of twelve African migrant workers in southern Italy yesterday followed another crash (DW) over the weekend in which four farm workers were killed. After the first incident, a local union leader said farm laborers would strike on Wednesday to demand better working conditions. UK: Britain’s main prosecuting agency is expected to file an extradition request (Guardian) to Moscow for two Russian suspects accused of a nerve agent attack in England that killed one person and injured three others. AMERICAS Nicaraguan Human Rights Group Closes Amid Threats The nongovernmental Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights, which has reported on a crackdown by security forces in recent months of anti-government protests, said it is closing its offices (AFP) over safety concerns. The group said staff would still work remotely. BRAZIL: A federal judge ordered Roraima State’s border closed to Venezuelan refugees until the state can provide “humanitarian” conditions, though government lawyers are appealing the order. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have entered Brazil through Roraima (Reuters) in recent years. This CFR Backgrounder examines Venezuela’s humanitarian and political crisis.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: August 07, 2018 at 10:05PM

Venezuela Drone Attack | Iran Sanctions | Zimbabwe Election Violence


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. August 6, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Venezuela Hunts for Drone Attackers Venezuelan authorities arrested six people (AP) as part of their search for the perpetrators of an assassination attempt against President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday. Maduro, who had been addressing a military parade in Caracas, was unharmed in the drone attack. At least one local group claimed responsibility for the explosions on social media, though Maduro alleged that right-wing opponents, Colombia, and the United States were behind the incident (NYT). Seven people were injured in the attack (Guardian), according to Venezuela’s information minister. The interior minister said the military knocked one of the drones off course while the other crashed into an apartment building. ANALYSIS “Unpopular Maduro looked keen to project himself as fully in charge of Venezuela’s military, long a powerbroker, when he addressed its National Guard from a major Caracas avenue on Saturday. Then it all went terribly wrong,” tweeted Reuters’ Alexandra Ulmer. “It’s an excellent distraction to the grave political and social crisis that Venezuelans are living through,” Rocio San Miguel said in an interview with Bloomberg. “This will be used again to place blame on the opposition and place blame on foreign governments that have supported the opposition,” Fabiana Perera of Foreign Policy Interrupted said in an interview with CTV News. UNITED STATES U.S. to Reinstate Iran Sanctions The White House is expected today to detail new sanctions on Iran (RFE/RL) targeting its industries and purchases of U.S. banknotes that would go into effect on Tuesday. U.S. sanctions on Iran were lifted following a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement but are set to return after the Trump administration withdrew from the deal. PACIFIC RIM Scores Killed in Indonesia Quake Indonesia’s national disaster agency expects the death toll from a Sunday evening earthquake, now at ninety-eight, to rise as rescuers search (AFP) among thousands of destroyed buildings. The 6.9-magnitude earthquake off the islands of Lombok and Bali was the second deadly quake (Guardian) in a week. CAMBODIA: Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power for thirty-three years, rejected criticism of a July 29 election in which his party won all 125 seats in parliament. He said he would stake his own life (AFP) on the legitimacy of the vote. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghan Suicide Attack Three NATO soldiers from the Czech Republic were killed and several Afghan and American servicemembers were injured in a suicide attack (VOA) in Parwan Province, north of Kabul. The Taliban claimed it carried out a “tactical blast” against a U.S. military convoy in Parwan’s capital. In Foreign Affairs, Barnett R. Rubin writes that great powers can end the war in Afghanistan. BANGLADESH: A vehicle carrying U.S. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat was attacked by a group of armed men as she left the home (Dhaka Tribune) of a local advocacy group leader in Dhaka; Bernicat was unharmed (U.S. Embassy). MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Envoy Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador to the country, recalled its envoy in Canada, and announced a freeze on new trade and investment transactions over what it called interference in its domestic affairs. The move appears to be in response to a tweet (CBC) by Canada’s foreign ministry raising concern over the recent arrests of Saudi women activists. EGYPT: Hamza bin Laden, son of late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has married the daughter (Guardian) of Egyptian 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, according to his family. They said the pair may be living in Afghanistan. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA South Sudanese Rivals Sign Power-Sharing Deal Under the deal signed by both sides yesterday (AP), President Salva Kiir will remain in office, rebel leader Riek Machar will return to the vice presidency, and top offices will be distributed among the rival parties, as well as six other groups. ZIMBABWE: The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said security forces have beaten and arrested dozens of its supporters (FT) since President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared victory in last week’s disputed election. Amnesty International called the arrests a “vicious campaign” to suppress dissent. CFR’s Michelle D. Gavin discusses the violence that has marred Zimbabwe’s election. EUROPE Russia Names American Actor as U.S. Envoy Moscow announced that action-movie star Steven Seagal will serve as an unpaid special representative to improve relations with the United States (NYT). Seagal has called President Vladimir Putin a personal friend. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul discussed relations between Washington and Moscow on this episode of the President’s Inbox podcast. PORTUGAL: The temperature reached a record 116 degrees Fahrenheit (FT) in central Portugal while much of the rest of the country felt temperatures above 104 degrees. Some 1,600 firefighters were deployed to combat thirty blazes over the weekend. AMERICAS Brazilian Party Nominates Imprisoned Lula Brazil’s Workers’ Party announced on Saturday that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is serving a twelve-year prison sentence for corruption, will be its presidential candidate (NYT) in an October general election.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: August 06, 2018 at 10:06PM

Turkey Sanctions | Google in China | Saudi Activists Arrested


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. August 2, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Turkish Currency Plunges Following U.S. Sanctions The Turkish lira fell to a record low after the United States announced sanctions on Turkey’s justice and interior ministers yesterday over the detention of an American pastor Ankara accused of terrorism and espionage. Turkey called on the United States to reverse the decision (WSJ), which escalates one of the worst disputes between the NATO allies. The move will prevent the ministers from doing personal business with U.S. entities and freeze any U.S. assets they have. The lira has lost a quarter of its value (FT) against the U.S. dollar this year. The pastor, Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey (CNN) for more than two decades, was arrested following a failed 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ANALYSIS “The dangerous thing about Andrew Brunson’s unjust legal detention is not just Turkey’s  hostage diplomacy and the subsequent rift with the US but how the Erdogan regime spins the whole matter as a religious war between Islam and Christianity,” tweets Nervana Mahmoud. “President Trump has expended significant political capital working to win the freedom of pastor Andrew Brunson, an American detained in Turkey for nearly two years now on baseless espionage and terrorism charges. Trump is right to do so, but he and his administration also have a moral obligation to come to the aid of three State Department workers facing a similar plight,” write CFR’s Henri J. Barkey and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman in the Washington Post. “Turkey’s strategic geography, NATO membership, and centrality to several U.S. regional objectives make the relationship one worth preserving,” Amanda Sloat writes for Foreign Affairs. PACIFIC RIM Reports: Google Preparing Censored Search Engine Google has prepared a version of its search engine that blocks search terms (Intercept) blacklisted by Beijing in a potential bid to return to the Chinese market, according to reports citing sources close to the project. Google exited China (NYT) in 2010 to protest censorship and hacking. Google declined to confirm (CNN) the project. THAILAND: The Thai economy could lose $1.26 billion (Nikkei) due to decreased tourism in July and August as thousands from China canceled their travel plans following a shipwreck that killed dozens of Chinese tourists. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Khan’s Swearing-In to Be ‘Completely National’ Event Imran Khan, set to become Pakistan’s next prime minister, will have no foreign dignitaries (Dawn) at his oath-taking ceremony next week, according to a party spokesperson. In Foreign Affairs, C. Christine Fair writes that the military was behind Khan’s victory. BANGLADESH: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered financial compensation (Dhaka Tribune) to the families of two students killed when a bus drove into a crowd in Dhaka earlier this week. Their deaths have sparked mass protests in the city. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Iran to Hold Military Drill in Hormuz, Says U.S. Iran is expected to soon carry out a military exercise in the Persian Gulf meant to demonstrate the country’s ability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz (CNN), a major shipping lane, according to U.S. officials. A Central Command spokesperson said the United States will work with its partners to ensure the “free flow of commerce in international waterways.” There were no immediate reports on whether Iran had responded to the U.S. assertions. CFR’s Amy Myers Jaffe discusses policing international sea lanes. SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi authorities arrested two prominent women activists (HRW) who have campaigned against guardianship laws that restrict women’s movement. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Zimbabwe Security Forces Kill Protesters Security forces opened fire on opposition protesters in the capital of Harare, killing at least three people, days after the country’s first election since longtime leader Robert Mugabe’s ouster. Protesters claimed ruling party officials may be delaying election results (WaPo) to steal the election. CFR’s John Campbell discusses President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s charm offensive ahead of elections. DRC: Four people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo tested positive for the Ebola virus (SABC) just days after the country declared an outbreak in the country’s northwest over. This CFR Backgrounder looks at Ebola outbreaks in Central and West Africa. EUROPE EU to Boost Migration Aid to Morocco A European Commission spokeswoman said the body is prepared to up its financial assistance to Morocco to stem the flow of migrants (EUobserver) transiting on their way to Spain. AMERICAS Colombia Fails to Reach Peace Deal With ELN President Juan Manuel Santos says his government failed to reach a cease-fire deal with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a Marxist rebel group. Santos said he hopes his successor, Ivan Duque, will build on the progress (France24) between the two sides to reach an agreement. VENEZUELA: Business executive Jose Manuel Gonzalez Testino, a dual U.S.-Venezuelan citizen, was arrested at a Miami airport on charges he bribed Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA (Reuters) in exchange for favorable treatment. The case is part of a U.S. Justice Department probe into bribery. UNITED STATES U.S. to Scale Back Missions in Africa The head of U.S. Africa Command submitted plans to relocate hundreds of U.S. troops in Africa and draw down special forces on the continent (NYT) in line with the Trump administration’s defense strategy focusing on China and Russia. GLOBAL Catholic Church Revises Teaching on Death Penalty Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church’s official teachings (WaPo) to say that capital punishment is “inadmissible” and that the church should work toward its abolishment.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: August 02, 2018 at 10:07PM

Facebook Fake Pages | U.S.-China Trade War | Russian Journalists Killed in CAR


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. August 1, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Facebook Uncovers Disinformation Operation Social media giant Facebook said it shut down thirty-two fake pages and accounts yesterday that were part of a “coordinated inauthentic campaign” to spread politically divisive material ahead of U.S. midterm elections in November. The pages, which included titles such as Aztlan Warriors and Black Elevation, had some 290,000 followers (Wired). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the activity was similar to that of campaigns carried out by Russian firm Internet Research Agency before the 2016 U.S. presidential election but that the company had not yet identified who was behind the operation. A White House spokesperson said (NYT) the Trump administration “will not tolerate foreign interference into our electoral process.” ANALYSIS “Similarities [with earlier campaigns] included language patterns that indicate non-native English and consistent mistranslation, as well as an overwhelming focus on polarizing issues at the top of any given news cycle with content that remained emotive rather than fact-based,” writes the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which has partnered with Facebook on an election watch program. “It's entirely possible that there are many others out there that the company may not be particularly confident about and for which it is not ready and willing to disclose that they are disinformation operators,” former Facebook advisor Dipayan Ghosh said in an interview with National Public Radio. “They post whatever they need to create a following, then try to hype up partisan divisions that already exist in the US. The playbook isn’t new, everyone is just getting better at it,” tweets the New York Times’ Sheera Frenkel. CFR Quizzes This week’s test: How much do you know about immigration in the United States?   PACIFIC RIM China Warns U.S. Against Tariff ‘Blackmail’ The foreign ministry said China will retaliate with countermeasures if the United States escalates a trade war between the countries. The United States is reportedly considering more than doubling (Bloomberg) planned tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. CFR’s Brad W. Setser looks at the backstory of the U.S.-China trade war. THAILAND: The ruling military junta requested that the United Kingdom extradite Yingluck Shinawatra (NYT), Thailand’s last elected prime minister, after she was convicted on negligence charges. The extradition order was reportedly made in early July. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Civilians Killed in Jalalabad Refugee Office Attack At least fifteen people were killed in an attack on a government refugee office (NYT) in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, prompting the Afghan national army to take over security in the area. Local officials said the self-proclaimed Islamic State was likely behind the attack (Tolo). In Foreign Affairs, Barnett R. Rubin writes that great powers can end the war in Afghanistan. INDIA: The Reserve Bank of India raised a key interest rate (Nikkei) for the second time in two months following four and a half years with no increase. The move comes amid rising concerns over inflation. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Migrant Return to Libya May Be Illegal, Says UN The UN refugee agency said a Monday operation by an Italian vessel, in which it reportedly rescued 108 migrants on the Mediterranean and returned them to Libya (Guardian), their country of departure, may have violated international law prohibiting the transfer of people to places where they would be in danger. SYRIA: The Japanese government said it will “utilize every network” to secure the release (Japan Times) of a Japanese journalist believed to have been kidnapped in Syria in 2015 following the release yesterday of a video appearing to show him. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Russian Journalists in CAR Killed Three Russian journalists working on a documentary film about a private Russian security firm in the Central African Republic were killed in an ambush (RFE/RL) on Monday, their news outlet reported. ANGOLA: Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, failed to appear in court (Reuters) for questioning by prosecutors about her time running state oil company Sonangol. If dos Santos misses two more summons, she could face arrest. EUROPE Turkey’s Erdogan Decries U.S. Threats President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that “threatening remarks will not earn anyone anything.” The statement comes after the United States demanded that Turkey release a jailed American pastor (Hurriyet) and the U.S. Congress passed legislation that could halt the sale of fighter jets to the NATO ally. In Foreign Affairs, Amanda Sloat discusses how to save the U.S.-Turkey relationship. UK: Amnesty International said a member of its staff was targeted in a “sophisticated surveillance campaign” by a foreign government it believes is hostile to its human rights advocacy work. AMERICAS All Passengers Survive Mexico Plane Crash An Aeromexico airliner that took off in the northern state of Durango yesterday was hit by a gust of wind and lost speed, forcing it to crash. All 103 passengers escaped the plane (AP) before it caught fire. The pilot is in critical condition due to burns, the state governor said. BRAZIL: Police announced that the country’s three largest fuel distribution companies are under investigation for price-fixing at gas stations (Reuters). The announcement comes two months after a strike by truck drivers over soaring diesel prices paralyzed much of the country.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: August 01, 2018 at 09:58PM

North Korean Weapons | Pakistan Bailout Plan | Syria's Daraa


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. July 31, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Images Show Construction at North Korean Missile Site Satellite imagery appears to show the construction of new buildings (WSJ) at a missile production site outside of Pyongyang, raising concerns that North Korea is moving ahead with weapons development weeks after a summit between the U.S. and North Korean leaders that was focused on denuclearization. The images, which were captured by the San Francisco-based Planet Labs and analyzed by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, appear to show two buildings on land at the Sanum-dong missile plant that was vacant as of early June. Several U.S. media reports citing unnamed officials say U.S. spy agencies have detected the construction of new missiles (WaPo) at the facility. Officials have yet to comment publicly on the reports. ANALYSIS “The Trump administration needs a denuclearization road map that outlines the order in which nuclear dismantlement will take place and the corresponding concessions it is willing to provide in return for each step,” Duyeon Kim writes for Foreign Policy. “Diplomacy can work if the administration is ready to give up on its maximalist goals and engages in the give and take of compromise with North Korea—and if Trump and Pompeo accept that negotiations will be drawn out and difficult, not a quick, easy win,” Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky write for the Washington Post. “The international community must push the North to seize the moment, stop wasting resources on nuclear weapons and missile development, and launch a comprehensive economic-reform program. Vietnam should be its model,” Lee Jong-Wha writes for Project Syndicate. PACIFIC RIM Australian Archbishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Case Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, who is accused of failing to report cases of child sexual abuse. Wilson said he had planned to stay in office while appealing his conviction (SMH) but decided there was “too much pain and distress” caused by his doing so. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA U.S. Opposes Pakistan Bailout Proposal U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Monday interview that there is “no rationale” for the International Monetary Fund to bail out Pakistan (CNBC) if that money then goes to Chinese bondholders. Pakistan’s new government, inheriting debt to China, is expected to soon request the country’s thirteenth bailout (Dawn) from the IMF. CFR’s Alyssa Ayres discusses Pakistan’s expected foreign policy under Imran Khan. TAJIKISTAN: The self-proclaimed Islamic State claimed the killings of four foreign tourists who were run over by a car while cycling (NYT) and then stabbed. The Tajik government blamed the attack (RFE/RL) on a banned local Islamist party and said one assailant was trained in Iran. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Trump Offers to Meet With Iranian Leadership U.S. President Donald J. Trump, during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte yesterday, said he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (WaPo) anytime and without preconditions. The statement came days after Trump appeared to threaten Iran. SYRIA: Government forces have reclaimed territory in the province of Daraa that was controlled by an Islamic State affiliate, meaning the regime now has full control (Guardian) of the southern areas where protests against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011. In Foreign Affairs, Suha Maayeh and Nicholas A. Heras discuss the fall of Daraa. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Malian Presidential Election Could Go to Runoff President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and candidate Soumaila Cisse, a former finance minister, are likely headed toward a runoff (Reuters) following a Sunday election, Cisse’s party said Monday. A presidential spokesperson said Keita was ahead in vote tallies but that a runoff was possible.  NIGER: U.S. Africa Command confirmed that it began armed drone missions (AP) over Niger earlier this year as part of ongoing operations against extremists in the country. EUROPE France’s Macron Faces No-Confidence Vote Lawmakers from the far-right Republicans party and the Socialist Party introduced motions of no confidence (DW) against President Emmanuel Macron for mishandling allegations of assault by a presidential aide. A no-confidence vote would likely be unsuccessful, as Macron’s party holds a majority in the lower house. UK: In a new report, UK lawmakers accused aid groups of “abject failure” to address sexual abuse by employees across the sector. The parliamentary committee launched an inquiry (Guardian) following reports of sexual misconduct by Oxfam staff working in Haiti. AMERICAS U.S. Penalizes Nicaraguan Government The White House said it is revoking or restricting U.S. visas (White House) for top Nicaraguan officials implicated in recent violence against anti-government protesters and is cutting equipment sales to Nicaragua’s security forces. It also announced $1.5 million in additional funding for human rights groups and independent media in the country. MEXICO: Hundreds of top-ranking government officials are expected to take pay cuts (WSJ) when President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office in December. Analysts say the move could spur an exodus from institutions such as the central bank. CFR’s Shannon K. O’Neil discusses the potential for a blow-up between Trump and Lopez Obrador. UNITED STATES Australia, Japan, U.S. Team Up on Indo-Pacific Investment The three countries said they will invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific in a bid to counter China’s rising influence (Bloomberg) across Asia through its Belt and Road Initiative. Secretary of State Pompeo said the United States will help the region keep its people “free from coercion or great power domination.” In Axios, CFR’s Alyssa Ayres writes that Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy doesn’t stack up to that of Beijing.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: July 31, 2018 at 10:02PM

Zimbabwe Votes | Indian Citizen List | Italy's Conte in Washington


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. July 30, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Zimbabwe Votes in First Post-Mugabe Election Turnout appeared high as Zimbabweans headed to the polls (BBC) to elect their next president, eight months after longtime President Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup. It is the first time since the country’s 1980 independence that Mugabe is not a candidate. Twenty-three candidates are on today’s presidential ballot (Al Jazeera), including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power following Mugabe’s ouster last year. Alongside Mnangagwa, of the ruling ZANU-PF party, forty-year-old opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa is viewed as a frontrunner. Voters will also cast ballots for parliamentary seats and local offices. ANALYSIS “ZANU-PF has been desperate to paint the picture of a nation holding credible elections for the first time, but little has actually changed from previous votes marred by widespread irregularities,” Simukai Tinhu writes for African Arguments. “Although some international actors may be satisfied to bless an election if it is merely nonviolent, Washington should stand with the people of Zimbabwe by holding their government to its own standards, clearly articulated in Zimbabwe’s constitution,” CFR’s Michelle D. Gavin and Todd Moss write for Foreign Affairs. “As if reading from the same script [as Mnangagwa], the main opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa has also promised to open Zimbabwe up to foreign investors, as well as to remedy the economic malaise that spread like a virus during the Mugabe era,” Gift Mwonzora writes for the Conversation. PACIFIC RIM U.S., Australia Call Out ‘Flawed’ Cambodian Election Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power for thirty-three years, claimed victory in a Sunday election that excluded a prominent opposition party (AP). The White House and Australia’s foreign ministry called the vote a setback to democracy in the country. In World Politics Review, CFR’s Joshua Kurlantzick discusses Hun Sen’s grip on power. NEW ZEALAND: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she will return to work (Guardian) from maternity leave in about a week. Last month she became the second head of state ever to give birth while in office. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Millions in India’s Assam Excluded From Citizen List Some four million people in the border state of Assam who applied for citizenship (Hindustan Times) were not included on a draft national citizen register, prompting fears that authorities plan to deport or detain Bangladeshi migrants. PAKISTAN: Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, said he will take office (Dawn) as prime minister on August 11. Khan’s party won the largest share of votes in last week’s election but fell short of an outright majority. CFR’s Alyssa Ayres discusses Pakistan’s expected foreign policy under Khan. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Dozens of Pro-Morsi Protesters Sentenced to Death An Egyptian court sentenced to death (CNN) seventy-five people, some of whom were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, for assault, resisting authorities, and possession of weapons during a 2013 protest in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. YEMEN: The Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore exiled President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power in Yemen carried out air strikes (DW) against critical water facilities in the port city of Hodeidah, according to the United Nations. The body said the attack could exacerbate “the world's worst humanitarian crisis.” In Foreign Affairs, Daniel Byman argues that the United States should end its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Eritrea, Somalia Restore Diplomatic Ties Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, meeting in the Eritrean capital of Asmara over the weekend, agreed to open embassies (VOA) in each other’s capitals. The countries have not had diplomatic relations for fifteen years. EUROPE Italy’s Prime Minister to Visit White House Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who leads a coalition of far-right and antiestablishment parties, said his meeting today with U.S. President Donald J. Trump will underline a “historic alliance [and] new friendship.” Trump hailed Conte (WaPo) for coming to power on what he called strong immigration policies. SERBIA: The country’s bar association condemned the killing (RFE/RL) of a prominent criminal defense lawyer who served on the team representing former President Slobodan Milosevic during a war crimes trial in the early 2000s. The lawyer was shot near his Belgrade apartment on Saturday. AMERICAS Mexico’s AMLO Lays Out Oil Sector Plans President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, proposed putting $4 billion (FT) into state oil company Pemex to help it boost exploration and build a refinery in Tabasco State to reduce reliance on U.S. imports. Pemex is the world’s most indebted oil company. In Foreign Affairs, CFR’s Shannon K. O’Neil discusses AMLO’s victory and the future of Mexican democracy. NICARAGUA: Humberto Ortega, a former defense secretary and brother of President Daniel Ortega, called on his sibling to stop pro-government paramilitaries (BBC) that have been blamed for violence against demonstrators in recent months of unrest. UNITED STATES Manafort Trial to Begin Tomorrow Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for President Trump, is charged with concealing $30 million (NYT) he received from Ukraine to promote a pro-Russian leader in the country. The trial is the first stemming from the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: July 30, 2018 at 10:04PM