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Daily Brief: Trump Touts Asia Tour as Success


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. November 14, 2017 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Trump Touts Asia Tour as Success U.S. President Donald J. Trump departed the Philippines to return home after a twelve-day tour to five Asian countries, skipping the plenary meeting of the East Asia Summit. On Twitter, Trump wrote that after his visits, U.S. trade partners "know that the rules have changed" and that trade deficits must be reduced (Bloomberg). Trump also wrote he plans to make a "major statement" upon his return to Washington. While in Manila on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised concern over rights abuses (Reuters) against Rohingya refugees in Myanmar and extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, issues largely avoided by leaders at the summit. ANALYSIS "In addition to the fact that Trump's meeting with [Philippines President Rodrigo] Duterte probably hurt the cause of human rights in the Philippines, it is unclear whether the meeting achieved anything substantial on key issues including the South China Sea," writes CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick. "Trump ­focused primarily on tough talk about trade, terrorism and North Korea's nuclear program, while saying little about chronic ­human rights abuses in a region that is home to some of the world's most brutal authoritarian regimes," David Nakamura and Emily Rauhala write for the Washington Post. "Trump's sharp criticism toward China [at the APEC summit]—in sharp contrast to what he had just said during his three-day visit to Beijing—actually deepened anxiety in the Asia-Pacific region. It reaffirmed for the world that Trump is a man who will change his position and tone instantly for convenience and his own interests," Charlotte Gao writes for The Diplomat. PACIFIC RIM American Detained Attempting to Enter North Korea South Korean police have detained a Louisiana man (Korea Times) who tried to cross the Korean border into the North without a permit for what local authorities called "political purposes." The incident came after a North Korean soldier successfully defected to the South (WaPo), though he was shot by soldiers from the North and is now hospitalized.   SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Dozens of Afghan Security Forces Dead in Taliban Attacks An estimated seventy police officers and five Afghan soldiers have been killed (NYT) in a series of militant attacks on more than a dozen police posts in Afghanistan's south and west over the last two days. A police spokesman said Taliban assailants used night-vision goggles, lasers, and a stolen police truck to carry out the attacks. CFR's Courtney Cooper argues that now is the right time to talk to the Taliban.  MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Lawmakers Declare U.S. Support in Yemen Unauthorized The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution declaring U.S. assistance to a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen was not authorized under existing legislation (Politico). The resolution acknowledges the Pentagon's sharing of targeting information and refueling warplanes for the coalition. SYRIA: More than fifty people in a rebel-held town in Aleppo Province have died in air strikes believed to have been carried out by the Syrian government or Russia (BBC). The town is part of a so-called de-escalation zone established by Russia, Iran, and Turkey earlier this year.  SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Zimbabwean Military Warns It May Intervene Zimbabwe's top military chief said on Monday his forces will "not hesitate to step in" in "matters of protecting" the country amid political turmoil in President Robert Mugabe's government (NYT). The general said Zimbabweans are "extremely disturbed" by Mugabe's recent purge of officials from the ruling party. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: UN-backed peacekeepers in sub-Saharan Africa have lost enough weapons and ammunition (Al Jazeera) over the past twenty years to supply an army, according to a new report by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. EUROPE May Accuses Putin of Political Interference UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russian President Vladimir Putin's government on Monday of election meddling, saying it planted "fake stories" to "sow discord in the West" (BBC). May also said Russia has repeatedly violated the airspace of European countries. CFR's Shannon K. O'Neil writes that upcoming Mexican elections are vulnerable to Russian interference. FRANCE: The gender equality minister has announced the government is considering setting an age (BBC) below which all sex would be considered rape, as part of an anti-sexism and sexual violence bill to be introduced next year. AMERICAS S&P Declares Venezuela in Default The credit ratings agency S&P has declared Venezuela in default after the country missed an interest payment to investors (Bloomberg), while another agency declared the state oil company in default. A meeting between government negotiators and creditors in Caracas on Monday lasted just a half hour. CFR's Michael P. Dempsey writes in The Hill that the U.S. public should not ignore the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. SOUTH AMERICA: The trial of former soccer officials from Paraguay, Peru, and Brazil charged with racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud (BBC) began in New York on Monday. UNITED STATES Justice Dept. May Appoint Second Special Counsel The Justice Department said Monday it is considering appointing a special counsel to investigate allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation (NYT) were tied to a decision by the Barack Obama administration to approve a Russian nuclear agency's purchase of a company that had access to uranium in the United States. Exports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia to the United States fell to a thirty-year low (Bloomberg) last month as the kingdom has restricted supply in a bid to raise prices.  GLOBAL Report: Governments Upping Social Media Manipulation Online manipulation and disinformation campaigns played "important" roles in elections (RFE/RL) in at least eighteen nations last year, according to a new report by the research and advocacy group Freedom House.         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: November 14, 2017 at 11:04PM