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Kazakhs Under Threat in China’s Xinjiang Camps
Yesterday, ethnic Kazakhs from China’s Xinjiang province told reporters in Astana, Kazakhstan of abuses endured by their Kazakh relatives living in China. In an open letter on Facebook, a group of ethnic Kyrgyz from Xinjiang have urged Kyrgyzstan President Jeenbekov to assist with the release of their captured relatives living in “reeducation camps” in China. The writers say that there are at least 50,000 ethnic Kyrgyz have been detained en masse in camps in Xinjiang. Located in the far west, Xinjiang is a key hub in China’s Belt and Road initiative. Experts worry that China is persecuting this minority to exploit the area for infrastructure development such as the new $6B airport expansion program in Xinjiang. Human Rights organizations have called attention to abuses such as forced abortions, constant surveillance, and reeducation camps.
- Eurasianet: Kyrgyzstan: Officials muted in first words on Xinjiang crackdown
- The Times of Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan president urged to help release ethnic Kyrgyz from China ‘reeducation camps’
- Azer News: China steps up investments in Kazakhstan
- Reuters: Hundreds of scholars condemn China for Xinjiang camps
- NPR: ‘They Ordered Me To Get An Abortion’: A Chinese Woman’s Ordeal In Xinjiang
- South China Morning Post: Global coalition of scholars calls for added pressure on China over Uygur internment camps in Xinjiang
Trump ‘helps’ May Sell Brexit Deal
On Sunday British Prime Minister Theresa May and all 27 European Union leaders agreed to a Brexit plan, which outlines the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. PM May has yet to secure the backing of the UK Parliament, which will vote on the deal next month. Some in Parliament favor exiting without a deal; while others hope that rejection of the deal would trigger a second referendum. Analysts caution that exiting without a trade deal could send global markets into turmoil. Yesterday, while talking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn, President Trump cast doubt on PM May’s Brexit deal, questioning whether the UK would still be able to trade with the US after the exit.
- Reuters: Tory MPs to back May’s deal if she gives timetable for departure
- BBC: Reality Check: Is Trump right about the Brexit deal?
- The Guardian: Theresa May rejects Donald Trump’s criticism of Brexit deal
- Bloomberg: Brexit’s Plan B Has a Fatal Flaw
- Vox: Why Brexit is tearing the United Kingdom apart
US Renews Tariff Threats ahead of G20 Summit, Trump & Xi to Meet on Sidelines
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal yesterday, President Trump said that he is “highly unlikely” to ease the upcoming tariff package on $200B worth of Chinese goods. The tariff levels will rise to 25% from 10%, and President Trump has threatened to levy additional tariffs on other goods such as iPhones and laptops. Presidents Trump and Xi are expected to meet later this month on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Experts worry that the chances of the two presidents resolving their escalating trade war grow increasingly slim.
- Business Insider: Chinese President Xi faces potential ‘humiliation’ in shaky G20 trade
- BBC: Trump renews China tariff threats ahead of G20 summit
- The Japan Times: Trump and Xi to meet Saturday on sidelines of G20 summit, report says
- Wall Street Journal: Trump Expects to Move Ahead With Boost on China Tariffs
- South China Morning Post: Trump and Xi to reach trade war ‘truce’ at G20, says Hong Kong
- The Australian Financial Review: G20: How Washington and Beijing could manage their conflict
- The Guardian: Investors hope for trade war ceasefire at G20 summit
Azov Sea: Ukraine Approves Martial Law, Nikki Haley Denounces Russia
Earlier today Ukraine’s parliament approved martial law following Russian aggression in the Azov Sea. Yesterday, during an emergency UN Security Council session, outgoing US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley denounced Russia’s “outlaw act” toward Ukraine. The Azov is an industrial, agricultural, and trade lifeline for Ukraine. A 2003 agreement established shared Ukrainian and Russian control and guaranteed open access for ships. In 2014 Russia annexed Crimea, took over the main Kerch Strait, and built a low bridge connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. Russia used the bridge to install security patrols and detain Ukrainian boats. Ukraine accuses Russia of militarizing the Azov Sea. Russia says it’s defending its sovereign territory.
- Deutsche Welle: Ukraine lawmakers approve martial law as Russia chided at UN
- Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty: Russia Warns Against New U.S. Missile Deployments In Europe
- Axios: Poll: Germans overwhelmingly want closer ties to Russia and China
- NPR: Ukraine Parliament Approves Martial Law After Naval Skirmish With Russia
- Axios: Nikki Haley denounces Russia’s “outlaw act” toward Ukraine
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Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to FBI Special counsel Mueller’s team, Papadopoulos Begins Prison Sentence
In a court filing yesterday, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said that President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort repeatedly lied to the FBI and special counsel investigators in breach of a plea agreement. Manafort signed the deal in September when he pleaded guilty to two criminal charges. Legal experts say this development highlights the aggressive approach taken by Mueller and some are speculating whether or not the president will pardon Manafort. Regardless, Manafort is now unlikely to have a commuted sentence. George Papadopoulos, another one Trump campaign official, began serving his prison term yesterday. Papadopoulos was also found to have lied to the FBI.
- BBC: Paul Manafort breached plea deal by lying – Special Counsel Mueller
- Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty: Former Trump Adviser Goes To Prison For Lying About Contacts With Russians
- HuffPost: Paul Manafort Secretly Met With Julian Assange Multiple Times
Trump Dismisses His Own Administration’s Fourth National Climate Assessment
Over the weekend the Trump administration released the second volume of a new climate change report, which warns that failure to offset climate warming could result in the loss of “hundreds of billions of dollars” annually. President Trump confirmed on Monday that he had seen the report and read some of it. But, he told reporters in front of the White House that he did not believe it. The report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment, involved 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading climate scientists. The report found that climate change would take an outsize toll on the economy, public health, national security, and trade.
- BBC: Trump on climate change report: ‘I don’t believe it’
- Axios: Trump says he doesn’t believe his administration’s climate report
- Government Executive: Trump Administration Quietly Releases Intact 13-Agency Climate Change Report
- Vox: Trump White House issues climate change report undermining its own
From Deep State Radio
EARLY ACCESS PODCAST: EVERYTHING IS EASIER WHEN YOU’RE STUPID
When Donald Trump was presented with the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in the US elections (of which he was Exhibit A) he said, “I don’t believe it.” When presented with proof of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s role in ordering the murder of Jamal Khashoggi he said, “I don’t believe it.” When presented with his own government’s assessment of the catastrophic costs of climate change he said, you guessed it, “I don’t believe it.” Who needs rose-colored glasses when you have your head that far up your own narcissism? Is this a canny strategy or is Trump our Maroon-in-Chief? Kori Schake offers Henry the IVth, Part 1 as one of her Tiara-of-Optimism worthy examples. Mieke Eoyang and Emily Brandwin are not quite so sanguine but all discuss this phenomenon as well as Russia & Ukraine, Brexit, our self-inflicted border crisis and more! Tune in!
PODCAST: WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE AXIS OF ASSHOLES?
Trump has forged an indelible bond not with our allies nor with the American people (a majority of whom can’t stand him) but with a group of really bad men worldwide who are not just evil, they’re creeps. Vlad. Bibi. Duterte. And of course, now topping that list Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Trump’s defense of MBS and his indefensible crimes–from murder to torture–and his and MBS’s strategy has counted on the rest of the world not caring for long about those crimes. But in Europe, governments are standing up to the Saudis and against the US position. And soon this going gap, between most of the nations of the west and Trump and his Axis of Assholes, may be on display at the upcoming G20 meeting. Kori Schake, Mieke Eoyang, Rula Jebreal and Emily Brandwin discuss what to expect from Trump, MBS and their not-so-nice friends. Listen here