Stories We’re Watching
Europe Reacts to US Midterm Elections
World leaders are having mixed reactions to the results of the recent US midterms. Many in Europe, like German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas, seem to have written off a Trump-led US completely. Minister Maas stated that no matter the election outcome, President Trump’s discourse would remain unchanged. Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, struck a more hopeful tone, saying he was inspired by the Americans who chose hope “over fear.”
- BBC: Mid-term elections: How the rest of the world saw it
- Daily Beast: The World Ponders the United States of Confusion
- CNBC: European lawmakers give their verdict on the US midterms
- Vox: The world was watching the 2018 midterms. Here’s how some countries responded
China and Russia React to US Midterm Elections
In China, the reaction to the US midterm elections been largely pessimistic since many held a dim view of the election before the results were announced. Many Chinese analysts predicted that regardless of the outcome of the election, there would be no fundamental change in trade or military ties between China and the US since both the Democratic and the Republican Parties were in unity against China. In Russia, the reaction was equally dark. Yesterday, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said that US-Russia relations with cannot get much worse.
- Quartz: China fears the trade war is the one thing Democrats will back Trump on
- Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty: ‘Can’t Get Much Worse, Probably Won’t Get Better’: Kremlin On U.S. Ties After Elections
- Defense One: America’s Place in the World Was on the Ballot. It Lost.
British MPs likely to vote against Brexit deal
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has indicated that British Prime Minister Theresa May will lose a Commons vote on the Brexit deal. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, but has yet to reach an agreement with Brussels. Prime Minister May has stated that nearly 95% of a Brexit deal is agreed, but the two sides have yet to agree on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- BBC: David Davis: MPs will ‘probably’ vote against Brexit deal
- Business Standard: MPs may vote against Theresa May’s deal, says former Brexit Secretary
- Express: Brexit LIVE: Brexiteers’ FURY at May over new deal – It’s single market
- The Guardian: Brexit: Hunt says he is ‘confident’ UK and EU will reach deal within
Australia’s Marshall Plan: $1.45B Pacific Development Fund
In an apparent attempt to create an Australian Marshall Plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the creation of a multi-billion dollar fund for Pacific island nations.The announcement comes amid China’s International Trade Expo. The $1.45B plan will include grants and loans for infrastructure amid a strained relationship between China and Australia. Analysts believe the timing of this announcement is meant to challenge China’s growing influence in the Pacific.
- Financial Times: Australia counters China’s sway with A$2bn Pacific package
- BBC: Australia ramps up Pacific spending amid China debate
- ABC Australia: Scott Morrison reveals multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development
- The Guardian: Scott Morrison to reveal $3bn in Pacific funding to counter Chinese
- The Sydney Morning Herald: Be alert not alarmed on China in the Pacific
- Reuters: China shuns rivalry in Pacific as Australia says ‘this is our patch’
China’s exports are still soaring despite the trade war
Despite the ongoing US trade war, Chinese imports and exports increased last month. Exports jumped nearly 16% in October compared to last year’s data. October was the first full month that President Trump’s $200B tariffs were in effect. Financial analysts had initially predicted gains, albeit much more modest ones. Many caution that the surge is the result of a stocking up effect since US tariffs will rise from 10% to 25% in December. Economists have highlighted that China’s economy has been incredibly export dependent, but is now shifting to high levels of investment.
- Politico: Midterm results won’t deter Trump on China trade war
- Wall Street Journal: Trump’s Tariffs Have Fully Kicked In—Yet China’s Exports Grow
- CNBC China’s exports and imports both grow more than expected in October
- CNN: China’s exports are still soaring despite the trade war
- Council on Foreign Relations: China Should Import More
- Financial Times: China exports to US grow despite Trump’s tariffs
Jeff Sessions out as US Attorney General
Yesterday President Trump fired US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, less than 24 hours after midterm election results were announced. No replacement has been announced, but President Trump’s appointee for acting attorney general has caused widespread outcry. As acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff, will take full command of the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference. Mr. Sessions had recused himself. Early reports indicate that President Trump is considering former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to replace Jeff Sessions.
- NPR: What Will Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Mean
- CBS News: What Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has to do with Mueller’s
- TIME: Meet the New Acting Attorney General, a Republican Party Loyalist
- CNN: Trump considering Christie, Bondi for attorney general
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: COULD IT BE THE ELECTION’S TWO BIGGEST LOSERS WERE DONALD TRUMP AND…ROBERT MUELLER?
Donald Trump said the mid-terms were a huge success (they weren’t), that he did better than other presidents during their first mid-term elections (he didn’t), that he had the touch of gold and only those who ran away from him suffered (not true). On the other hand, he still has a job today and Jeff Sessions doesn’t. That’s right, within hours of the election results coming in, the president flipped the script and started to put the squeeze on the Mueller investigation. What does that mean for the immediate future, the rule of law in America, our general level of nausea and anxiety. David Sanger of the NY Times, Mike Tomasky of the Daily Beast and Laura Rosenberger, former top campaign aide to Hillary Clinton join us to discuss. You should join too!
DEEPTECH: US MARINES ARE DEVELOPING A LASER CROWD CONTROL WEAPON THAT CAN MELT SKIN
The US Marine Corps’ solicitation for a new a vehicle-mounted laser system ended Wednesday. The Marines are funding the development of a new weapon for crowd control, the Scalable Compact Ultra-short Pulse Laser System (SCUPLS), which is capable of producing “sustainable and controllable plasma at range”. SCUPLS is classified as a non-lethal crowd control weapon capable of “full scalable thermal ablative effects through common natural clothing (i.e., fabric, denim, leather, etc.) at minimum distance of 100 meters”. . . continue