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Kim in China | New Syrian Constitution | Honduras Rights Abuses


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 19, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Kim Meets Xi as U.S. Suspends Military Drills Kim Jong-un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (Korea Times) on Tuesday. It was the North Korean leader’s third visit to China, in which Kim was expected to discuss his recent summit with U.S. President Donald J. Trump over nuclear arms. A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said the purpose of the meeting was to “facilitate regional peace and stability” (Yonhap). Meanwhile, a Pentagon spokeswoman announced Monday that the United States has suspended planning for joint military exercises with South Korea (DOD) that were to be held in August, a concession Trump offered Kim at the summit. Trump had called the drills expensive and “provocative” (AP). ANALYSIS “Beijing was happy with the results [of the Trump-Kim summit] because essentially the two sides agreed to what they have been promoting all along, which is this idea of a dual suspension where North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the United States suspending its military exercises,” says CFR's Patricia Kim. “[Trump's] decision advances China’s goal of weakening U.S. alliances with South Korea and Japan, which are key to Washington’s ability to project power and influence in the region. Beijing now has more fodder to push back against U.S. operations in the South China Sea and East China Sea as well,” Bonnie S. Glaser and Oriana Skylar Mastro write for Foreign Affairs. “Under the banner of 'Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,' North Korea has exercised a grand strategy to fundamentally change the security structure in the region. The purpose is to realize its long-term goal of unifying Korea under North Korea’s terms, as well as the immediate objective of maintaining the Kim family regime,” Cheon Seong Whun writes for the Asian Institute for Policy Studies. PACIFIC RIM Japan Nears Casino Legalization A bill to legalize casinos backed by the government (Nikkei) was passed by Japan’s lower house on Tuesday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party hopes to extend the current session of parliament, set to close on Wednesday (Japan Times), in order to move the bill through the upper house. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Afghanistan Reports Few Casualties During Truce The health ministry said that the only casualties reported during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, during which both the government and Taliban declared a cease-fire (Tolo), were from two bombings in Nangarhar Province that killed forty-three people. INDIA/PAKISTAN: Outgoing UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that India and Pakistan have for two years refused his requests for unconditional access (Dawn) to the Kashmir region, leaving his office to monitor rights abuses in the area remotely. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Foreign Representatives Discuss New Syrian Constitution Russian, Iranian, and Turkish envoys are meeting in Geneva alongside Syrian opposition representatives to discuss setting up a committee that would draft a new constitution (Al Jazeera). UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura said he does not expect a “major breakthrough” at the meeting, held under UN auspices. ISRAEL: Former minister Gonen Segev was accused by the Shin Bet security service of spying for Iran (Haaretz). The former lawmaker, who had been living in Nigeria in recent years, is under arrest. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Ethiopia PM Calls State Acts ‘Terrorism’ New Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, when asked in parliament about detainees accused of acts of terrorism who had been released from prison, responded that “torturing, putting people in dark rooms, is our act of terrorism” (BBC), referring to the country’s security forces. He also accused government officials of “using force unconstitutionally to stay in power.” CFR's Michelle D. Gavin looks at Ethiopia's long political transition. MOZAMBIQUE: At least thirty-nine people have been killed by suspected Islamist militants in northern Cabo Delgado Province since May, according to Human Rights Watch. More than one thousand others were reported displaced by the attacks. EUROPE Macron Announces Economic Liberalization Measures French President Emmanuel Macron presented a bill to ministers that would ease regulations on smaller businesses (FT). The bill would introduce an online platform to streamline registration for new businesses (Reuters). TURKEY: The U.S. Senate passed a major defense spending bill that would block the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey (RFE/RL) if Ankara goes ahead with purchasing a missile defense system from Russia. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the move “goes against the soul of strategic partnership” (Hurriyet). AMERICAS U.S. Echoes Amnesty’s Calls for Honduras Accountability Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged President Juan Orlando Hernandez to hold Honduran security forces accountable for alleged abuses. The comments, at a Washington meeting, followed rights group Amnesty International’s release of a report on abuses after Orlando’s contested election (AP). This CFR Backgrounder looks at the role violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle plays in driving asylum seekers to the United States. UNITED STATES China Calls U.S. Tariff Threats ‘Blackmail’ President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion in goods from China (NYT), bringing the total amount on which he has threatened duties to $450 billion, almost the entire value of goods sold by China to the United States last year. China vowed that it would take "comprehensive quantitative and qualitative measures" in retaliation (Bloomberg). Aaron Friedberg discusses U.S.-China rivalry on the President's Inbox podcast. President Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin a process to establish a Space Force (CNN) as a sixth branch of the armed forces. GLOBAL UN Says 44,000 People Forced From Homes Daily The United Nations said that a record 68.5 million people have been displaced from their homes due to conflict or persecution (DW). Crises in Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo raised the number in 2017.         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: June 19, 2018 at 10:09PM

Family Separation | Afghan Cease-Fire | Conservative Wins in Colombia


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 18, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA UN Condemns U.S. Policy of Migrant Family Separations UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein condemned the U.S. policy of separating migrant parents from their children at the border as "unconscionable" in remarks on Monday, calling the practice "abuse" against children (USA Today). Democratic lawmakers protested the policy over the weekend and visited detention facilities, as some Republicans echoed their criticisms (WaPo). The administration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump said two thousand children had been separated from their parents in six weeks between April and May, after the administration announced a "zero-tolerance" policy in which it would prosecute undocumented border crossers for illegal entry (NYT). The House of Representatives is expected this week to vote on two Republican-drafted bills, both of which would have children detained in facilities along with their parents (WSJ) or else released to relatives. ANALYSIS "A decades-old court settlement bars the U.S. government from jailing migrant children. Until recently, the result was that families who crossed the border seeking asylum were often released into the U.S. while their cases are pursued," Louise Radnofsky, Michelle Hackman, and Alicia A. Caldwell write for the Wall Street Journal. "Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen expressed alarm that 300,000 would-be border crossers are apprehended yearly. But this is a stark drop from just 18 years ago, when more than 1.6 million were stopped. At the same time, more people are now leaving the U.S. to return to Mexico than arriving from Mexico," Mona Charen writes for the National Review. "While [former White House advisor Steve] Bannon and others see the hardline policy as a way to motivate Republican supporters of the president ahead of midterm elections in which control of Congress is up for grabs, Democrats have also seized on it as a sign of how they see Mr Trump repeatedly violating American norms and values," Shawn Donnan writes for the Financial Times. PACIFIC RIM Three Reported Dead in Japan Quake More than three hundred others were injured after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck Osaka Prefecture Monday morning (Japan Times). SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Taliban Reject Cease-Fire Extension in Afghanistan The Taliban rejected a call by President Ashraf Ghani to extend a cease-fire observed during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, saying in a statement that the militants will resume operations against “foreign invaders and their internal supporters” (WaPo). Two attacks in Nangarhar Province that killed at least forty people (Tolo) over the weekend were attributed to the Islamic State, which the government had excluded from the truce. INDIA: The government announced that a cease-fire in place in Kashmir since mid-May (Hindustan Times) for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan will be discontinued. It was the first such truce in the region in more than a decade and a half. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Libyan Oil Corporation Warns of Damage to Facility The National Oil Corporation said a militia attack at the Ras Lanuf terminal (FT) has halved its oil storage capacity at the port. The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, announced an offensive on Sunday (Al Jazeera) against the militia. YEMEN: Witnesses reported air strikes on the airport in Hodeidah (AP) as the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore Yemen's exiled government battles to take control of the port city, a lifeline for most Yemenis. CFR’s Global Conflict Tracker follows the conflict in Yemen. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Thirty-One Killed in Nigeria Suicide Attacks Twin attacks carried out by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern Borno State (Premium Times) left an additional forty-eight people injured, according to witnesses. The victims had been celebrating Eid al-Fitr (Vanguard). In Foreign Affairs, Vanda Felbab-Brown discusses the problems with Nigeria's counterinsurgency strategy. ETHIOPIA/SOMALIA: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in Mogadishu, where the pair agreed to "strengthen their brotherly bilateral relations" and enhance their countries’ diplomatic and trade relations (VOA). Abiy is the first Ethiopian leader to visit neighboring Somalia in more than four decades (Bloomberg). EUROPE German Coalition Feuds Over Immigration Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, met separately on Monday over the CSU’s bid to turn asylum seekers registered elsewhere in Europe away at the German border (FT). Merkel has argued that the move, advocated by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, would imperil a consensus on refugee policy at an EU summit in late June. AMERICAS Conservative Wins Colombia's Presidential Runoff Ivan Duque led his leftist opponent 54 to 42 percent (WaPo), with nearly all votes tallied. Duque has called for “structural changes” to a landmark peace deal with Marxist rebels from the FARC rebel group. The right-wing candidate is a protege of former President Alvaro Uribe, who was blocked by term limits (NYT) from running. NICARAGUA: The government of President Daniel Ortega will allow an international probe (CNN) into violence at anti-government protests that have seen dozens of people killed since April, Nicaragua’s Catholic bishops announced. United States Banks Poised to Hand Out Record Investor Payouts The top twenty-two U.S. banks are expected to pay investors a record $170 billion in dividends and stock buybacks. The payout exceeds what they have generated, a first since the 2008 financial crisis, raising fears that they are not keeping enough capital to weather another shock without a taxpayer bailout (FT). GLOBAL Watchdog Warns Over Nuclear Weapons Development There are an estimated 14,465 nuclear weapons in the world, in the hands of nine countries, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which warned of the risks of countries modernizing their aging stockpiles (DW). Some 122 UN states have pledged to abstain from nuclear weapons. This CFR Backgrounder looks at the modernization of the U.S. arsenal.         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: June 18, 2018 at 10:22PM

U.S. Tariffs on China | German Coalition in Doubt | Zimbabwe's Crowded Election


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 15, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA U.S., China Edge Toward Trade War The United States is imposing tariffs of 25 percent on some $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, the White House said, though it did not specify when the new measure would take effect. Several rounds of talks between Washington and Beijing have failed to resolve U.S. complaints (Reuters) over its $375 billion trade deficit with China. Ahead of the Friday announcement, China’s foreign ministry said (AP) that Beijing will “take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests” and retaliate against U.S. protectionism. The White House also said it refined an earlier list of goods to which the tariffs would apply after public hearings (NYT) with business owners and trade groups last month. ANALYSIS “China is by far the biggest test. Unlike the other trade fights, U.S. business has been encouraging President Trump, hoping that the new approach might persuade Beijing to tackle the growing problems they face in China over intellectual property, forced technology transfer, and investment restrictions,” writes CFR’s Edward Alden. “The plan to proceed with tariffs has split the president’s closest advisers, some who believe they are necessary measures to force China to reform, and others who fear the fallout from a trade war and have been pushing for a negotiated solution,” Ana Swanson writes for the New York Times. “Even though econometric models suggest a trade war will not significantly cut global growth, there is a real danger that investors are underestimating the impact of those deadweight losses, and a world with vastly different rules,” Megan Greene writes for the Financial Times. PACIFIC RIM Troop Withdrawal a U.S.-South Korean Matter, Says Seoul Removing U.S. troops from South Korea is not on the table for U.S.-North Korea negotiations, as the matter is one between the United States and South Korea, a senior Blue House official said. The official also said the two countries will soon announce whether they will hold joint military drills (FT) in August. This CFR panel assessed the recent U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Taliban Leader Reportedly Killed in U.S. Strike A U.S. drone strike killed a Pakistani Taliban chief (VOA) in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province on Wednesday, according to unnamed U.S. and Afghan sources. A U.S. military spokesperson confirmed U.S. forces carried out a strike and said the United States is abiding by a government cease-fire (Tolo) with the Afghan Taliban. INDIA: Thousands of mourners attended the funeral (Hindustan Times) of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead (CNN) along with his two bodyguards in Srinagar yesterday. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA UNSC Calls for Yemeni Port to Remain Open The UN Security Council is urging all forces fighting in Yemen’s Hodeidah to keep the city’s port open after Saudi and Emirati forces began an assault on the city (Al Jazeera) earlier this week. The majority of Yemen’s food and humanitarian aid comes through the port. PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Police in Ramallah broke up a protest (Haaretz) against sanctions imposed by President Mahmoud Abbas on Gaza, using tear gas and firing shots in the air before arresting dozens of demonstrators and journalists (Amnesty). SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Nearly Two Dozen to Vie for Zimbabwe’s Presidency Twenty-three candidates have entered the country’s presidential race (Herald), the highest since the country gained independence in 1980. The July election will be the first without Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a military coup (VOA) last year. In Foreign Affairs, John Rapley examines Zimbabwe’s post-Mugabe era. DRC: The Angolan government is in regular talks (Africa News) with Congolese President Joseph Kabila about a potential political transition in the DRC, President Joao Lourenco said. Kabila’s term was set to end in late 2016 but his government has repeatedly postponed elections. EUROPE Germany’s Merkel Challenged Over Refugee Policy The political coalition backing Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing uncertainty after the interior minister, from the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party, said authorities should be allowed to turn away unauthorized immigrants (BBC) at the border. On Thursday, Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the CSU held separate emergency meetings (DW) on the matter. TURKEY: The brother of a ruling party lawmaker and three other people were killed in a clash (Middle East Eye) during a campaign stop in the mainly Kurdish town of Suruc. The government claims the perpetrators (Anadolu) sympathized with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party. AMERICAS Argentina’s Lower House Backs Abortion Bill Argentine lawmakers voted 129–125 (Guardian) to allow abortion in the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy. If the bill passes in the upper house, Argentina would become the third Latin American nation, after Cuba and Uruguay, to legalize abortion. NICARAGUA: Business in the capital city of Managua effectively halted yesterday (LAHT) amid a general strike in protest of a recent crackdown on demonstrators by President Daniel Ortega’s government. UNITED STATES Thousands Protest Migrant Family Separations People in dozens of U.S. cities marched yesterday in protest of new border security policy by which migrant children are separated from their parents (NYT) and held in detention facilities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned in a Thursday speech that having children does not give immigrants immunity from arrest and prosecution (NBC) for illegally crossing the border. This CFR event looked at the status of U.S. immigration reform. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will visit Brazil, Ecuador, and Guatemala (AP) later this month. Pence said he will address Venezuela’s ongoing humanitarian crisis and recovery efforts in Guatemala following a recent volcanic eruption that killed scores of people.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. 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Date: June 15, 2018 at 10:05PM

Defining Denuclearization | An Ethiopian Navy? | Antarctica's Melting Ice


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 14, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA U.S. Outlines North Korean Sanctions Relief Conditions U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea will not receive sanctions relief until it demonstrates it has achieved complete denuclearization. He also noted that the use of the term “complete” in an agreement between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un implies Pyongyang’s dismantling of its nuclear program must be verifiable and irreversible. The top U.S. diplomat made the comments (Korea Times) after meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking his own summit with Kim (Nikkei) to discuss Japanese abductees in North Korea and that peace in the region (NYT) would only happen if “all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles” belonging to the North are destroyed. ANALYSIS “[South Korean President Moon Jae-in] was probably more comfortable with the vague language about peacebuilding and a new relationship than some of the people in the U.S. were [because] he’s of the philosophy as well that you need to slowly build trust with North Korea in order to encourage it to let go of its weapons,” said CFR’s Patricia M. Kim. “Trump faces a huge challenge in selling a turn in U.S.-North Korea relations as an historic accomplishment. The best way to do that will be for Pompeo and his team to roll up their sleeves and get back to work, together with our allies, to make a real peace on the Korean Peninsula,” writes CFR’s Scott A. Snyder. “North Korea’s definition of denuclearization is vague and often includes references to U.S. nuclear weapons in the region. Though the United States removed the last of its nuclear weapons based in South Korea in the early 1990s, the country remains under the protection of the U.S. nuclear arsenal,” Kelsey Davenport writes for Time. PACIFIC RIM Cambodia Rebukes U.S. Sanctions on General The foreign affairs ministry condemned new U.S. sanctions (VOA) on General Hing Bun Heang, head of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, over human rights abuses, saying the move is based on “groundless accounts” (Phnom Penh Post). SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Dozens Killed in Afghanistan Despite Cease-Fire At least thirty government forces across six Afghan provinces were reported killed yesterday as a government cease-fire with the Taliban began (Tolo). An Interior Ministry spokesperson said security forces were defending against militant attacks. This CFR event looked at U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. INDIA: The foreign ministry called a new UN report (PTI) on human rights violations in Kashmir “overtly prejudiced” for its accusation that Indian forces in the disputed territory killed and wounded civilians (Reuters) through excessive use of force. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Syria’s Assad Aims to Keep Hezbollah, Iran Support President Bashar al-Assad said his government will need support from the Lebanon-based party and militant group Hezbollah “for a long time” as it seeks to retake rebel-held territory and that it would not hesitate to provide Iran military bases in Syria (RFE/RL) if requested. This CFR panel examined Iranian influence in Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf. TUNISIA: The International Monetary Fund predicted growth of 2.4 percent (Asharq al-Awsat) for Tunisia this year due to expected boosts in tourism and manufacturing, as well as a strong agricultural season. The fund recently approved a $500 million loan to the country, the central bank’s governor said. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Ethiopia’s Abiy Suggests New Navy Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his landlocked country should look to build up its naval force (BBC), more than two decades after Ethiopia lost its coastline to Eritrea and disbanded its navy. The country recently reached a deal for a stake in the Port of Djibouti, the gateway for the vast majority of its foreign trade. SOUTH AFRICA: Two people were killed in a knife attack (SABC) at a mosque outside Cape Town early today. The assault follows one at a mosque in KwaZulu-Natal Province last month, in which one person died. EUROPE 2018 World Cup Kicks Off in Moscow The international soccer tournament, including teams from thirty-two countries, began in the Russian capital today (TASS). A total of sixty-four matches are set to take place in eleven Russian cities over the next month. SPAIN: Inaki Urdangarin, brother-in-law of King Felipe VI, was ordered to report for a prison sentence within five days of the supreme court upholding a fraud conviction (NYT) against him this week. AMERICAS Haiti Shutters Oxfam Operation Oxfam’s UK branch is being stripped of its status (Reuters) as a nongovernmental organization, the government said yesterday, for violating Haitian law and the principle of human dignity. The move comes after employees of the charity were charged with sexual misconduct while working in Haiti. CHILE: Police raided Catholic church offices (NYT) in two cities yesterday to search for evidence related to allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. UNITED STATES Californians to Vote on Splitting Up Their State State election officials in California said a proposal to split the state (VOA), the country’s most populous, into three had garnered enough support to be included on ballots in November midterm elections. GLOBAL Antarctica’s Ice Loss Tripled in Last Decade Melted ice from Antarctica is dumping two hundred billion tons of water (WaPo) into the ocean and raising global sea levels by a half-millimeter each year, according to a new report in the journal Nature. In Foreign Affairs, Joshua Busby writes that climate change will soon cease to be a faraway threat.         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: June 14, 2018 at 10:09PM

Assault on Yemeni Port City | North America's 2026 World Cup | Boost for South Korea's Moon


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 13, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Arab Coalition Attacks Yemeni Port City A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an assault today to oust Houthi rebels from Hodeidah, the gateway for most of Yemen’s aid and home to some six hundred thousand people, raising fears of an exacerbated humanitarian crisis (ReliefWeb). Saudi Arabia, which backs the government (AP) of exiled President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has accused the rebels, who the coalition says are supported by Iran, of using the port to smuggle weapons (Guardian). The United States has provided military assistance to the coalition (NYT) since it began its fight against the rebels three years ago, though it is unclear what role the United States is playing in the current assault. ANALYSIS “The Saudis intervened in the war three years ago with hopes of a quick victory over the Houthis, who Riyadh says are backed by Iran, but they have instead been dragged into a quagmire. With the assault on Hudaydah, they apparently hope to isolate the rebels, cutting off their supplies of weapons, food and other essentials,” Margaret Coker writes for the New York Times. “The fighting will discourage rather than enable a return to the negotiating table. Yemen will fall even deeper into what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” writes the International Crisis Group. “The Houthis have longstanding ties to Iran—something that helped to spur the Saudi-led coalition’s entry into the conflict into the first place. The potential of regional escalation has been underlined by the recent spate of missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, which the coalition blames on Iran,” said the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Adam Baron. CFR Event: Assessing the Summit Panelists discuss the summit between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Watch today at 12:30 p.m. (EDT).   AMERICAS North American Nations’ World Cup Bid Wins Canada, Mexico, and the United States beat out Morocco in a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup (ESPN). Sixty of the tournament’s eighty games would be played in the United States, while the other countries would host ten games each, according to the bid. ARGENTINA: One of Argentina’s largest labor union groups called for a general strike (Reuters) later this month to protest government economic policy. Last week, President Mauricio Macri’s government struck a $50 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund. PACIFIC RIM South Korean Ruling Party Buoyed in Elections Exit polls showed President Moon Jae-in’s party winning fourteen of seventeen mayoral and gubernatorial posts (Korea Times), as well as ten of twelve open seats in parliamentary by-elections, on Wednesday. The victory is viewed as a boost for Moon (Nikkei) as he has sought increased engagement with North Korea. CHINA: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised North Korea and the United States for “creating a new history” (SCMP) by holding talks between the country’s leaders yesterday and called for sanctions relief on Pyongyang. CFR's Scott A. Snyder writes that the meeting was the message in Singapore yesterday. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Taliban Calls for U.S. Talks in Eid Message The Taliban’s leader said the militant group’s aim is to force foreign troops out of Afghanistan and that it seeks direct dialogue (Tolo) with the United States. Ahead of a cease-fire the group agreed to follow during the Muslim holiday Eid (Reuters), deadly attacks by Taliban militants were reported yesterday (Tolo) in Faryab and Ghazni Provinces. PAKISTAN: The rupee reached a record low (Dawn) against the U.S. dollar in market trading yesterday following devaluation by the central bank. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Iraqi Cleric Announces Alliance With Pro-Iran Bloc Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shia cleric behind the bloc that won the most seats in recent parliamentary elections, announced the formation of a coalition with the pro-Iran political bloc (Al Jazeera) that came in second in last month’s vote. Sadr has traditionally been opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq. This CFR panel examined Iranian influence in Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Ebola Outbreak ‘Stabilizing’ But Not Over, Says WHO The head of the World Health Organization, in the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday, said the fast deployment of an experimental vaccine and effective management of confirmed Ebola cases were behind the stabilization of an outbreak in the country’s northwest (Reuters). Twenty-seven people have died in the outbreak. This CFR Backgrounder looks at Ebola outbreaks in Central and West Africa. CAR: The International Criminal Court ordered the release of former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba after he was acquitted by an appeals court last week (France 24). In 2016, the court found Bemba guilty of crimes committed by his private army in the Central African Republic in 2002–2003. EUROPE Greece, Macedonia Resolve Decades-Old Name Dispute Greece and Macedonia reached a deal for the latter to be renamed North Macedonia (Ekatherimini), potentially ending a twenty-seven-year dispute that has kept Macedonia out of the European Union and NATO. Greece has long objected to the country’s name, saying it implied the neighboring country had a claim to Greek territory (AP) with the same name. IRELAND: The country will hold a referendum in the fall on whether to remove a constitutional prohibition (Irish Times) on blasphemy. UNITED STATES Fed Expected to Raise Interest Rates After two days of meetings, the Federal Reserve is expected today to increase its target rate (NYT) by a quarter of a percentage point. The move would put the rate at its highest since the 2007–2008 global financial crisis. NATO ally Norway asked the United States to deploy seven hundred marines (DW) to its northern region, where it shares roughly 120 miles of land border with Russia. Just over three hundred U.S. marines have been on rotation in the area since last year.         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: June 13, 2018 at 10:13PM

A Trump-Kim Deal | U.S. Office Opens in Taiwan | Progress in Sudan's Darfur


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 12, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Trump, Kim Sign Joint Declaration U.S. President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed a joint agreement (White House) during a historic meeting in Singapore in which Pyongyang committed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In a concession to Kim, Trump announced the United States would no longer hold war games with South Korea (WaPo), calling such military exercises provocative and inappropriate in light of diplomatic efforts with Pyongyang. The U.S. president said economic sanctions on North Korea will remain in place. The joint statement does not lay out a timetable or next steps (NYT) for the dismantling of North Korea’s weapons programs. South Korean President Moon Jae-in hailed the summit as a historic event (Straits Times) helping to dismantle “the last remaining Cold War legacy on Earth.” ANALYSIS “The Singapore summit statement is essentially aspirational: no definitions of denuclearization, no timelines, no details as to verification. What is most troubling about all this is that the United States gave up something tangible, namely, U.S.-South Korea military exercises, in exchange,” tweets CFR President Richard N. Haass. “In its quest for autonomy and non-interference by outside powers, a unified Korea may decide to terminate the alliance with Washington, viewing American troops as the antithesis to Korean national identity and unity. Under this scenario, a unified Korea that takes a decidedly pro-China approach to its foreign and security policy can be a sign of post-U.S. primacy in Asia,” Ji-Young Lee said in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review. “Kim Jong-un does not appear to have reciprocated U.S. concessions. This is concerning given North Korea’s track record of pocketing concessions rather than delivering quid pro quos,” writes CFR’s Scott A. Snyder. “A nuclear agreement with North Korea is not a single transaction—or if it is, it will fail. It must be the start of an effort to change relations between our two countries, and to change the relationship between the regime in North Korea and both the international system and its own people,” writes CFR’s Elliott Abrams. PACIFIC RIM U.S. Office in Taiwan Draws Rebuke From China The opening of what the United States is calling the American Institute in Taiwan (NYT), viewed as a de facto embassy, will have a negative impact on bilateral ties, the Chinese foreign ministry said. The U.S. assistant secretary of state for education and culture attended the institute’s inauguration (State Dept). Washington abandoned diplomatic recognition (AFP) of Taiwan in 1979 in favor of Beijing. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Monsoon Rains Kill Twelve in Bangladesh Tens of thousands of people are to be evacuated (Reuters), the government said, as heavy rains triggered landslides (Dhaka Tribune) near the border with Myanmar. At least two of the twelve people reported killed were members of the Rohingya ethnic minority who had fled Myanmar. Kate Cronin-Furman discusses the persecution of the Rohingya in this CFR interview. AFGHANISTAN: President Ashraf Ghani met with Pakistan’s army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, in Kabul to discuss implementing a bilateral plan for Afghan peace (Tolo). The meeting comes after Kabul and Islamabad agreed to deploy liaisons to each other’s countries to monitor militants’ movements. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA UN Calls for Probe Into Suspected Russian Strikes in Syria At least forty-seven civilians, including a first responder, were reportedly killed in an attack last week on the rebel-held town of Zardana (BBC), north of Idlib. Moscow said the reports on the strikes have “nothing to do with reality.” IRAQ/SYRIA: The U.S.-led coalition fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State carried out 225 air strikes in May (VOA), a 300 percent increase from two months earlier. The coalition has estimated that there are fewer than three thousand Islamic State militants left in the two countries. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Sudan’s Darfur ‘Radically’ Improved, UN Says UN and African Union forces could dramatically reduce their numbers in Sudan’s Darfur region (AP), the UN peacekeeping chief said yesterday, as he said the area “has changed radically for the better.” The peacekeeping force there was established more than a decade ago. EUROPE Spain Accepts Migrant Boat Refused by Italy A German charity ship carrying more than eight hundred migrants rescued in the Mediterranean was expected to dock in Valencia (Guardian) after Italy’s new interior minister, the far-right Northern League’s Matteo Salvini, refused the ship permission to dock in his country. In Foreign Affairs, Erik Jones discusses the fall and rise of Salvini. TURKEY: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed economic growth (FT) of 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, saying the expansion is based on “strong macro foundations.” The new growth figures come amid investor concerns the economy is overheating. AMERICAS U.S. Extradites Former Panamanian Leader Ricardo Martinelli, a former president of Panama facing corruption and political espionage charges, fled to the United States in 2014 and had been living in Miami (LA Times). BRAZIL: The Brazilian economy loses more than $75 billion a year (Bloomberg), or 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), to costs associated with crime, including public and private security and imprisonment, according to a new government study. UNITED STATES Sessions Rolls Back Asylum Eligibility Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that fears of domestic violence or threats from organized crime groups will generally not qualify immigrants for asylum (WaPo) in the United States. The statement goes against a 2016 Justice Department decision in which a Salvadoran woman was granted asylum eligibility based on domestic violence. This CFR Backgrounder looks at the U.S. immigration debate. The head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said his agency is opening a new office to investigate immigrants suspected of using fake identities (AP) to obtain citizenship. GLOBAL IMF Chief Warns of ‘Clouds’ Over Global Economy Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said risks to the global economy that she had warned about last year are rising (Bloomberg), in an apparent reference to escalated trade war threats among allied nations at a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Quebec over the weekend. CFR’s Stewart M. Patrick discusses the rift between the United States and its allies at the G7 summit.         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: June 12, 2018 at 10:05PM

A Fractious G7 | Preparing for Singapore | Jordan to Get Gulf Aid


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. June 11, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA G7 Summit Prompts War of Words Between U.S., Allies The future of the U.S. role in the Group of Seven (G7) forum for leading industrialized nations was thrown into doubt over the weekend as Washington and its allies continued to trade barbs after a summit concluded in Quebec. U.S. President Donald J. Trump refused to sign a joint communiqué (FT) that called on G7 countries to strive to reduce trade barriers and assailed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak” (Hill). Top White House economic and trade advisors said that Trudeau, who rebuked the U.S. move to impose tariffs on an allied nation, had stabbed the United States in the back. Germany and France vowed to still back the joint statement, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying that world leaders should be “serious and worthy of our people” (Politico). ANALYSIS “Trump seems amazed to discover that the European Union (gross domestic product: $17.1 trillion), Japan ($4.8 trillion) and Canada ($1.6 trillion)—which together produce more than the United States ($19.3 trillion)—will not be pushed around as easily as the contractors he has gotten used to stiffing,” CFR’s Max Boot writes for the Washington Post. “The isolation of the United States serves to reinforce China’s narrative that the United States is an unreliable partner, and it helps advance Beijing’s goals of weakening governance mechanisms like the G-7 that don’t include China,” Bonnie S. Glaser writes for the New York Times. “While polls show that opposition to tariffs is strong, both Trump and Bernie Sanders made waves during the 2016 primaries arguing that the United States has been badly served in its negotiations with foreign nations,” Jay Cost writes for the National Review. PACIFIC RIM Moon, Trump Speak Ahead of Singapore Summit South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart, President Donald J. Trump, held a last-minute phone call (Yonhap) on Monday, a day before a highly anticipated meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Both Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore yesterday (Korea Times). In Foreign Affairs, Isaac Stone Fish and Robert E. Kelly argue that North Korea is ultimately China’s problem. VIETNAM: Demonstrators in Hanoi and several other cities on Sunday protested a government proposal to offer foreign investors ninety-nine-year leases on Vietnamese land (BBC), a move they see as a bid to offer land to China. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Kabul Bombing Targets Rural Development Ministry At least a dozen people were killed in a Monday suicide attack (Tolo) outside the government ministry building, which came two days after the Taliban said it will participate in a government cease-fire (NYT) during the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr. No group has claimed the attack. INDIA/PAKISTAN: Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands and exchanged greetings (PTI) yesterday in the Chinese city of Qingdao, where the discordant neighbors were participating in a summit (RFE/RL) of the China- and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional economic and security bloc. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Gulf Nations Pledge Aid to Jordan Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates pledged $2.5 billion in assistance (Al Jazeera) to the country after austerity measures, including recent prices hikes and a draft income tax law, spurred mass protests that led to the resignation of the prime minister earlier this month.  IRAQ: A Baghdad depot holding paper ballots from a May 12 general election (WSJ) caught fire yesterday, days after a panel of judges was appointed to oversee a recount of all votes. Most of the ballot boxes were not burned, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Egypt, Ethiopia Signal Progress on Nile River Dispute Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, said Egypt’s share of Nile water will be preserved (Reuters) as his country pushes ahead with construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, a $4 billion hydroelectric power project. SOMALIA: The Pentagon identified a U.S. soldier (VOA) killed in Somalia last week as Staff Sergeant Alexander Conrad. U.S. special forces came under attack on Friday while fighting to establish a “permanent combat outpost” as part of operations against the militant group al-Shabab. This CFR Backgrounder looks at the international peacekeeping force fighting al-Shabab in Somalia. EUROPE Ministers in Berlin to Discuss Ukraine Conflict Foreign ministers from France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine meeting today are expected to discuss deploying UN peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine (RFE/RL). More than ten thousand people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists since mid-2014. ITALY: The new interior minister, from the right-wing Northern League, refused a German charity ship carrying more than six hundred rescued migrants permission to dock in Italy (BBC) and said that Malta should accept the ship. In Foreign Affairs, Erik Jones discusses the fall and rise of Northern League leader Matteo Salvini. AMERICAS Mexican Leftist Candidate Widens Lead, Poll Shows Presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador appeared to widen his lead to nearly seventeen points (Reuters) ahead of a July 1 election. The poll, published yesterday, found 37 percent of respondents support Lopez Obrador. CUBA: Cuba sent investigators to the home of a U.S. embassy official (Guardian) who said she felt ill after hearing “undefined sounds” in her Havana residence, but investigators said they did not find any potential source of the sound and were not given access to the home. UNITED STATES Putin Welcomes Trump’s Call to Rejoin G7 Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would meet with President Trump (NYT) “as soon as the American side is ready” and that Russia would be an asset in the Group of Seven (G7), from which it was expelled in 2014 (AP) after its annexation of Crimea. Trump said on Friday that Moscow should be invited back into the forum.         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: June 11, 2018 at 10:03PM