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Showing posts from May, 2018

US Imposes Tariffs on the EU, Mexico, and Canada

US President Donald J. Trump’s administration announced on May 31 that it will no longer exempt Canada, Mexico, and the European Union from previously announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This means tariffs—25 percent on imports of steel and 10 percent on imports of aluminum—will go into effect at midnight on June 1. The decision will strain US ties with some of its closest allies and has already sparked retaliation.

North Korea’s Other Kim Comes to New York

North Korean Gen. Kim Yong-chol was seated barely a few feet away from Ivanka Trump at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on February 25. The world’s attention was focused firmly on them amid signs of a thaw in relations between North and South Korea. The two did not exchange a word.

Trump Calls off Date with Kim Jong-un

US President Donald J. Trump on May 24 abruptly called off a June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The highly anticipated summit—one frequently touted by Trump himself—was to be held in Singapore.

“I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote to Kim. “Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

With Summit Off, United States Needs to Think Through its North Korea Strategy

US President Donald J. Trump’s administration must use the opportunity presented by the president’s decision to scrap his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to think through its strategy on North Korea, according to the Atlantic Council’s Robert A. Manning.

Congolese Opposition Leaders Join Forces

Two prominent Congolese presidential hopefuls, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington on May 23, announced that they were joining forces against the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s longtime president Joseph Kabila.

Venezuela’s Sham Election

Nicolás Maduro is expected to be re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20 in an election that most experts agree is a sham the United States and several Latin American countries have refused to recognize, and the European Union wants suspended until the conditions are suitable to organize a free and fair vote.

Why North Korea is Not Libya

Can Muqtada Al-Sadr And The United States Be Friends?

Amid the uncertainty that has followed the Iraqi parliamentary elections on May 12 one thing is clear: formerly anti-US Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s list is the top vote-getter.

Sadr is trailed by Iran-backed Shia militia leader Hadi al-Amiri in second place and current Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in third according to the unofficial results that are subject to change in the upcoming days.

North Korea Threatens to Pull the Plug on Trump-Kim Summit

North Korea has threatened to cancel the highly anticipated summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in light of what it called “provocative military disturbances with South Korea,” North Korea’s state news agency reported early on May 16 local time. The Trump-Kim summit is set to be held in Singapore on June 12.
All You Need to Know As The United States Prepares to Open its Embassy in Jerusalem The United States will on May 14 become the world’s first nation to have an embassy in Jerusalem.

The US Embassy will be formally relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—the two cities are about an hour’s drive apart. US President Donald J. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka; son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will be part of the US delegation in attendance at the ceremony. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be present, too.

On December 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The decision is a controversial one.
Iraq Votes: Expect Uncertainty Iraqis will vote on May 12 in their first election since the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). With nearly 7,000 candidates vying for 329 seats in parliament, no single political alliance is expected to emerge with an outright majority. As a consequence, the days after the vote will be marked by desperate attempts to cobble together a ruling coalition.
George W. Bush Warns Against Isolationism Former US President George W. Bush, accepting the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished International Leadership Award in Washington on May 10, warned of the dangers of isolationism and said it is critical that the United States step up to the responsibilities of global leadership.

Bush also made a pitch for securing a program started on his watch that has saved the lives of more than thirteen million people in Africa who are suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Scaparrotti: Preserve the Alliance The United States and NATO must take steps to preserve the unity of the transatlantic alliance in the face of a “complex and dynamic security environment,” said Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, supreme allied commander Europe and commander, US European Command.
Howard Schultz's Venti Call to Action Amid questions about the “moral leadership of America,” Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Corporation, said in Washington on May 10 that business leaders must realize that the onus is on them to step up to the plate.

“Businesses and business leaders must understand that we are living at a time where the rules of engagement for a public company are very, very different than they’ve ever been, because we must pick up the slack and, unfortunately, the lack of responsibility of the political class,” Schultz said.
North Korea Releases Three US Prisoners US President Donald J. Trump announced in a Twitter post on May 9 that North Korea has released three American prisoners.

Trump said the three men, all US citizens of Korean descent, were freed during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang on May 9.
A Brief History of Sanctions on IranUS President Donald J. Trump is expected to announce his decision on May 8 on whether to continue to waive sanctions on Iran or pull the United States out of a multilateral nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.

Here’s a quick look at the history of sanctions on Iran.
Trump Quits Iran Nuclear Deal US President Donald J. Trump on May 8 pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal saying the agreement did not satisfactorily address the Islamic Republic’s ability to build a nuclear bomb or limit its “malign activity.” He also signed a memorandum to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
The United States Gets Tough With South Sudan US President Donald J. Trump’s administration, expressing displeasure with the government in South Sudan, has started a comprehensive review of its aid programs to that country.
Where Does the P5+1 Stand on the Iran Nuclear Deal?US President Donald J. Trump is expected to reveal his decision on May 8 as to whether he will extend key sanctions waivers on Iran. A failure to do so would effectively take the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the Iran nuclear deal—which it signed with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran in 2015. 
Are Israel And Iran Headed To War? Early in the morning on April 9, missiles streaked through the Syrian sky toward the Tiyas (T-4) air base in Homs province, northeast of Damascus. Besides Syrian forces, the base hosts Russians and Iranians, members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force. Several Iranians were killed in the strikes.