Stories We’re Watching
Venezuela’s Maduro Bans Opposition Parties, Wins in Landslide “Elections”
Yesterday, Venezuela held local elections amid low voter turnout, a ban on opposition parties, and an ongoing economic crisis. The government of incumbent Nicolas Maduro secured more than 90% of the posts. Next month President Maduro begins his second six-year term. On the campaign trail, President Maduro accused the US of seeking to “divide” his country. Sunday’s vote was called by the Constituent Assembly, the newly-established legislative body which stripped Venezuela’s opposition-led legislature of its authority in 2017.
- Financial Times: Will Russia keep its $6bn promise to Venezuela?
- South China Morning Post: President Nicolas Maduro’s grip on Venezuela tightens, warns
- Reuters: Few Venezuelans turn out for municipal elections amid crisis
- Voice of America: Maduro’s Party Wins Venezuela’s Local Elections
- Deutsche Welle: Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Putin: United by oil, isolation
PM Theresa May Delays Brexit Vote after EU Court Rules UK Can Cancel Decision
The European Court of Justice has ruled the UK can cancel Brexit without the permission of the other 27 EU members—a day before British House of Commons were set to vote on PM May’s Brexit deal. Shortly after the court’s announcement, PM May announced that the vote would be delayed and that she would instead return to Brussels to negotiate further with the EU. On PM May’s announcement, both the British pound and US stock market sank.
- BBC: Brexit ruling: UK can cancel decision, EU court says
- The Guardian: Brexit deal: May admits she would have lost vote by large margin
- The Independent: Brexit: Irish PM says deal with EU cannot be renegotiated, as Theresa
- Bloomberg: May to Delay Vote on Brexit Deal to Avoid Huge Defeat
- NPR: What’s Next For Brexit?
Global Markets Down amid US Stock Selloff, Oil prices Slip
Global markets were down today amid growing uncertainties over the US-China trade war truce, the delayed Brexit vote, and weakening global growth. Stocks in the US and Europe dropped after British PM May delayed Commons’ Brexit vote. The US dollar weakened, and the price of oil slid further despite OPEC’s agreement last week to cut production. Markets in Asia were down: Japan revised down its economic projections, and trade data out of China indicates sharper 4th quarter decreases than projected.
- Investor’s Business Daily: Dow Falls Over 150 Points, As Apple’s Sell-Off Deepens On Court Loss
- Nasdaq: Oil falls nearly 2 pct on stocks sell-off, pares OPEC deal gains
- Reuters: Dow, S&P dogged by growth worries; techs help Nasdaq bounce
- Wall Street Journal: Investors Pile Into US Dollar
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China Summons US & Canadian Ambassadors, State Media Warns of ‘Grave Consequences’
Chinese state media have denounced the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder. Huawei is China’s (and the world’s) largest telecom equipment manufacturer. US officials allege that Huawei used a shell company to bypass US sanctions on Iran. Analysts caution that Meng’s detention is further exacerbating the relationship between China, Canada, adhe US. Over the weekend, China’s Foreign Ministry summoned US and Canadian ambassadors to call Meng’s detention “extremely egregious” and to demand the US to “immediately correct its wrong actions.” China and the US have a history of tension regarding intellectual property and espionage. Citing such concerns earlier this year, US officials warned Americans not to buy Huawei phones.
- Gizmodo: China Warns of ‘Grave Consequences’ Over Arrest of Huawei Executive
- Politico: Tech wary of Huawei fallout harming trade
- NPR: China Summons US Ambassador Over Arrest Of Huawei CFO
- Reuters: Chinese state media distance Huawei arrest from US trade talks
US Senators React to CIA’s Khashoggi Transcript
An anonymous source who was briefed on the CIA investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has said that the transcript undermines the Saudi’s shifting narrative of the event. After the briefing, the source concluded that the murder was unambiguously organized and carried out by the highest levels in Riyadh. US Senators have called on the Trump administration to take a tougher line on Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors have expressed frustration over failed attempts to extradite the Saudi suspects. Analysts predict the recording to increase pressure on the Trump administration to link Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the murder.
- Haaretz: Kushner ‘Advised’ Saudi Crown Prince After Khashoggi Killing
- CNN: ‘I can’t breathe.’ Jamal Khashoggi’s last words disclosed in transcript, source says
- Daily Beast: Jamal Khashoggi’s Last Words Were ‘I Can’t Breathe’: CNN
- Saudi Gazette: No extradition of suspects in Khashoggi case: Al-Jubeir
- Voice of America: Saudi Refusal to Extradite Khashoggi’s Killers Vexes Turkey
Mueller Investigations Updates: Cohen, Manafort Filings Paint Grim Picture for Trump Family
Over the weekend, President Trump responded via Twitter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, calling the process a ‘Witch Hunt’. On Friday the special counsel filed a sentencing memo for Michael Cohen (the president’s former personal lawyer) and a document detailing multiple lies told to prosecutors by Paul Manafort (the president’s former campaign manager). Legal analysts say that Friday’s filings indicate that, in regards to meetings with Russians and hush payments, President Trump may have violated campaign finance law.
- Vox: Trump responds to Mueller’s damning new filings: “NO COLLUSION”
- The Atlantic: Manafort, Cohen, and Individual 1 Are in Grave Danger
- Bloomberg: Mueller Weaves Trump, Manafort and Cohen Ever Closer
- Slate: The Art of the Plea Deal
From Deep State Radio
BLOG: TRUMP MUST BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE: UNDERSTANDING THE SCOPE OF THE MOST SWEEPING HIGH LEVEL SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY
So, in the wake of today’s revelations via new court filings by federal prosecutors, we know this: Russian government representatives reached out to the Trump campaign in 2015 and undertook multiple initiatives and had multiple points and series of contacts with Team Trump for the next couple years.
It’s not just the Trump Tower meeting. It’s not just the interactions with Wikileaks. It’s not just the Russian ties to Cambridge Analytica. It’s not just Konstantin Kiliminik, a Russian agent working hand in hand with campaign chair Paul Manafort. CONTINUE
BLOG: MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN; A PRINCE WHO SHOULD NOT BECOME A KING
In the fall of 1989, Saudi Arabia played acrucial role in officially ending the Lebanese Civil War that began in 1975 and almost destroyed the already brittle republic. Almost thirty years later, a young, impetuous and aggressive Saudi ruler has been concocting diabolical ways to reignite the Lebanese conflict by opening a new front in the regional proxy wars between Saudi Arabian and Iran. READ MORE