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Polish Leader Shuffles Cabinet Amid EU Sanctions Threat


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. January 10, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Polish Leader Shuffles Cabinet Amid EU Sanctions Threat Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki replaced nearly half of his administration on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with the European Commission, as relations with the bloc strain over the threat of sanctions on Warsaw. The cabinet shuffle, which analysts say may have been aimed at improving ties with the bloc, included ministers of finance, defense, and foreign affairs. A joint EU-Poland statement called the atmosphere of the Tuesday meeting "friendly," though Morawiecki has not backed down on a judicial overhaul (Politico EU) that the European Union says threatens democracy in the country. Last month, the European Union triggered the process to sanction Warsaw for its recent moves to give politicians greater control over the judiciary (Bloomberg). ANALYSIS "The key question remains: Is this a PR stunt or a fundamental adjustment of the country's approach to governing?" Bartosz Dudek writes for Deutsche Welle. "What's occurring in Poland is parallel to what is occurring in Britain with Brexit. At the core of it, the Polish ruling party is alleging that it is exercising sovereignty and taking [back] control," Agata Fijalkowski said in a CFR interview. "The changing of the guard may be too little too late—the EU and Poland's drawn-out feuds over the rule of law as well as the environment and migration have sowed deep damage and could take months to reverse," Jan Cienski and Joanna Plucinska write for Politico EU.  PACIFIC RIM Reuters Reporters Charged in Myanmar Two Reuters journalists have been charged with violating Myanmar law (NYT) after obtaining what authorities say are state secrets from police. The reporters were investigating allegations of a mass grave in Rakhine State, where a military crackdown has forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee. This CFR Backgrounder looks at the Rohingya refugee crisis. MALAYSIA: The government has signed a deal with the U.S.-based company Ocean Infinity Limited to restart the search for flight MH370 (Star), which went missing in 2014.  SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Trump to Host Kazakh President at White House U.S. President Donald J. Trump will meet with his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, next Tuesday to discuss security and economic cooperation (RFE/RL), according to the White House. The visit comes shortly after Kazakhstan's UN envoy took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. INDIA: The World Bank has predicted that India will be the fastest-growing major economy (Quartz) over the next three years, with projected growth rates of up to 7.5 percent. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Anti-Austerity Protests Swell in Tunisia Demonstrations that began last week over tax hikes and spending cuts in the government's 2018 budget continued on Wednesday in the capital of Tunis (Bloomberg) and other cities. Tunisia seeks to reduce its deficit to meet conditions set out by the International Monetary Fund, which is providing $2.9 billion in loans (CBS/AP). Sarah E. Yerkes discusses democracy in Tunisia after the Arab Spring in Foreign Affairs. ISRAEL: The UN refugee agency has appealed to Israel to not deport some thirty-five thousand Sudanese and Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers (VOA) in the country. The United Nations interviewed eighty Eritrean migrants in Rome who said they were tortured and extorted after being relocated by Israel (UNHCR).   SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA UN Chief Urges DRC to Uphold Election Schedule UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there is a "real risk" (VOA) that the Congolese government will continue to delay a long-awaited presidential election, which was rescheduled for December 2018. President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, had agreed to step down after an election that was initially set for late 2017 but was postponed. In Foreign Affairs, Stuart A. Reid discusses the Democratic Republic of Congo's slide into chaos. ETHIOPIA: Parliament has passed legislation banning child adoption (BBC) by foreigners.  EUROPE Mafia Suspects Arrested in Raids in Italy, Germany Law enforcement in Italy and Germany arrested more than 170 suspects they accuse of running a vast criminal enterprise (DW) involving bread and wine sales, waste recycling, and funeral services. Police seized some $60 million in assets. AMERICAS Tillerson Orders Review of Alleged Cuba Attacks U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will set up an independent board (WSJ) to investigate mysterious physical ailments that more than two dozen U.S. diplomats and their family members in Cuba have suffered. Cuba says there is no evidence (Miami Herald) it carried out an attack. ECUADOR: The foreign minister said Ecuador is looking for a third party to mediate talks on an extradition warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (DW), who has lived in Ecuador's embassy in London since 2012 to avoid arrest. UNITED STATES Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Move to End DACA A San Francisco judge ruled late Tuesday that an Obama-era program to shield unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation must stay in place while legal challenges against President Trump's order to rescind it are ongoing (BBC). Trump told lawmakers that he is willing to negotiate a deal (NYT) that would offer citizenship to millions of undocumented individuals. A former arms control advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama said a new proposal by the Trump administration would loosen constraints on nuclear weapons (Guardian) and develop a new type of nuclear warhead for submarine-launched ballistic missiles.         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: January 10, 2018 at 11:01PM