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Showing posts from October, 2018

Angela Merkel Will Not Seek Re-Election as Germany’s Chancellor in 2021

Germany’s Angela Merkel, viewed by many as a staunch defender of the liberal world order and a bulwark against the rising tide of populism in Europe, has decided to step down as leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in December and not run again for the chancellorship in 2021. Merkel, who dominated European politics for the past thirteen years, has been chairwoman since 2000 and chancellor since 2005.

“I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin on October 29.

Brazil Swings Right With Election of Jair Bolsonaro as President

For the first time since the early 2000s, Brazilians have elected a president that does not belong to the Workers’ Party (PT).

On October 28, Brazilians elected as their president Jair Bolsonaro, a populist former army captain who has served as a member of the Chamber of Deputies representing the state of Rio de Janeiro since 1991. Bolsonaro, who belongs to the Social Liberal Party (PSL), defeated his PT rival, Fernando Haddad, in a runoff election after a highly contested election. Bolsonaro won 55.1 percent of the votes against 44.9 percent for Haddad.

Why is a Caravan of Central American Migrants Fleeing to the United States?

The Trump administration is expected to deploy at least 800 troops to the US-Mexico border in response to a caravan of an estimated 5,000 migrants from Central America that is heading north.

In an October 25 tweet, US President Donald J. Trump wrote that he is “bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!”

Trump Right to Call Out Russia, But is Quitting an Arms Control Treaty the Answer?

If there is one thing most arms control experts can agree on it is this: Russia has for many years been violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Another thing they agree on: US President Donald J. Trump’s intention to walk away from the treaty signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 has created the impression that it is the United States that is at fault.

US Pastor's Release Signals a New Chapter in US-Turkey Ties

A Turkish court on October 12 freed from house arrest a US pastor whose case had severely strained ties between Washington and Ankara—NATO allies.

Pastor Andrew Brunson was arrested in 2016 and convicted on terrorism charges in relation with a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Brunson has denied the charges.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Resigns

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s resignation on October 9 caught many, including some within US President Donald J. Trump’s Cabinet, by surprise. She will leave the post at the end of the year.

Led by Leftists Since 2003, Brazil Could Soon Get a Far-Right President

Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has been compared to Donald J. Trump, won the first round of the presidential election in Brazil on October 7, but fell just short of the majority required to avoid a second-round runoff. The former army captain will face left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) candidate, Fernando Haddad, in a runoff on October 28.

Western Nations Go On the Offensive Against Russian Cyberattacks

Western governments on October 4 unleashed a torrent of accusations against Russia saying its intelligence agency was responsible for cyberattacks on inquiries into Olympic doping, a former spy’s poisoning, and the downing of a commercial aircraft in 2014.

South Sudan’s First Vice President Optimistic About Peace, But No One is Buying It

On a visit to the Atlantic Council in September 2016, South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai had a clear message for his interlocutors in Washington: “What we tell them is, ‘Look, there is peace. Let us not allow that to collapse.’”

Deng spoke even as the death toll in South Sudan’s civil war steadily mounted. The war, which broke out in December 2013, was triggered by the bitter rivalry between South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and his on-again-off-again First Vice President Riek Machar. A new study backed by the US State Department concluded that at least 382 900 people have died since 2013; millions have been displaced.

So Much for US-Iran Amity

US President Donald J. Trump’s administration said on October 3 it was terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran. Announcing the decision, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted “the absolute absurdity” of remaining in the treaty given the prevailing high tensions between the United States and Iran.

Meet the New NAFTA: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Canada agreed, moments before the clock ran out on a September 30 deadline, to sign on to a trade agreement between the United States and Mexico that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new agreement will be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA.

A Modernized NAFTA

The new trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico “modernizes” the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and lifts a cloud of uncertainty that has lingered over the past several months, according to Earl Anthony Wayne, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program.