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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