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News

February 24, 2017

Trump Vows Military Build-Up, Hammers Nationalist Themes

By Emily Stephenson & Steve Holland | Reuters

President Donald Trump said he would make a massive budget request for one of the "greatest military buildups in American history" on Friday in a feisty, campaign-style speech extolling robust nationalism to eager conservative activists.

U.S. Changes Rules of Engagement for Mosul Fight in Iraq

By Susannah George & Balint Szlanko | Associated Press

U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Browning juggled phone calls on an overstuffed sofa in a small village south of Mosul. His counterparts in the Iraqi army's 9th Division were pushing toward western Mosul, just a few miles away and were coming under mortar fire from the Islamic State group as they moved on a power station.

More from WPR: Will the Battle for Mosul Validate Obama’s Counter-Extremism Strategy?

Bannon Vows a Daily Fight for ‘Deconstruction of the Administrative State’

By Philip Rucker & Robert Costa | The Washington Post

The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump’s nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration is in an unending battle for “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

By Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa | The New Yorker

What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election—and what lies ahead?

The Americas

News

February 24, 2017

Mexico Rejected U.S. Plan on Third-Country Deportees

By Christopher Sherman | Associated Press

The Mexican government made clear to visiting U.S. emissaries that it will not accept deportees from third countries under any circumstances, the interior secretary said Friday.

Peru's President Set to Talk Tough to Trump During U.S. Visit

By Franklin Briceno & Joshua Goodman | Associated Press

When Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski becomes the first Latin American leader to visit Donald Trump at the White House on Friday it will be a chance for the U.S. president to hear some straight talk about how his anti-trade and anti-immigrant rhetoric is alienating some of America's closest allies.

More from WPR: With a Strong Economy and New President, Is Peru Ready to Modernize?

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Can Mexico Block Trump’s New Deportation Rules?

By Adam Chandler | The Atlantic

The administration’s plan to force undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. largely hinges on America’s increasingly tense relationship with its southern neighbor.

Europe

News

February 24, 2017

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Africa

News

February 24, 2017

South Africa Anti-Immigrant Protests Erupt in Capital

By Nqobile Ntshangase | Associated Press

Police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon Friday as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in South Africa's capital, while President Jacob Zuma condemned anti-foreigner violence and appealed for calm.

The Nigerian president's month-long medical leave overseas has empowered his deputy to attack the country's problems with an energy that has surprised observers and led some to suggest he should stay in charge for good.

Middle East & North Africa

News

February 24, 2017

Islamic State Car Bomb Kills Dozens in Northwest Syria

By Angus McDowall & Humeyra Pamuk | Reuters

An Islamic State car bomb killed more than 40 people on Friday in a Syrian village held by rebels, a war monitor said, a day after the jihadist group was driven from its last stronghold in the area.

Opinion

February 24, 2017

The Politics of Historicide

By Richard N. Haass | Project Syndicate

The Islamic State has made a point of destroying cultural artifacts that it deems insufficiently Islamic, but it is hardly the first group or state to take aim at the past. In fact, the eradication of statutes, manuscripts, and paintings occurs with a frequency that is as understandable as the practice is perverse.

Asia-Pacific

News

February 24, 2017

For decades, North Korea could count on China as a loyal ally despite the erratic behavior of the ruling Kim dynasty. But by this week, things may have gone too far, with North Korea unleashing a tirade in which it deployed some of the most damning insults in its playbook, accusing China of “dancing to the tune of the U.S.” and “styling itself as a big power.”

China's government has named a trade specialist as its new commerce minister and appointed a new head of its top economic planning body as part of a Cabinet reshuffle that comes amid a slowing economy and the threat of increased trade friction with President Donald Trump's administration.

Pakistan Army Launches First Nationwide Anti-Terrorism Operation

By Pamela Constable | The Washington Post

When the Pakistan army announced that it was launching a nationwide military operation to “indiscriminately” eliminate the threat of terrorism from the land, the adverb had a precise and politically loaded meaning.

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Militant Groups Forge Ties as Pakistan Havens Remain

By Ahmed Rashid | Financial Times (subscription required)

Pakistan's army and the civilian government are not on the same page. They have different agendas towards the militant groups which makes establishing a united front difficult. The failure of the state to adopt a common strategy and a believable narrative is emboldening the terrorists, weakening the state and making solutions harder to find.

Insurgency and Repression in Myanmar

By Lynn Kuok | Foreign Affairs (subscription required)

Since October 9, 2016, 66,000 Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, have fled Rakhine State in the country’s west and entered neighboring Bangladesh. Today, they are not fleeing Rakhine Buddhists, with whom they first clashed in May 2012. They are fleeing their own government.

North Korea’s Palace Intrigue

By Jean H. Lee | The New York Times

Last week, Mr. Kim’s estranged older half brother, Kim Jong-nam, died in Malaysia, the apparent victim of a nerve-agent attack in the Kuala Lumpur airport. The Malaysian police named several suspects, including a North Korean diplomat. Many South Koreans, without needing proof, are calling it a political assassination directed by Kim Jong-un. North Korea denies that.

United States

News

February 24, 2017

Mexico Rejected U.S. Plan on Third-Country Deportees

By Christopher Sherman | Associated Press

The Mexican government made clear to visiting U.S. emissaries that it will not accept deportees from third countries under any circumstances, the interior secretary said Friday.

Trump Vows Military Build-Up, Hammers Nationalist Themes

By Emily Stephenson & Steve Holland | Reuters

President Donald Trump said he would make a massive budget request for one of the "greatest military buildups in American history" on Friday in a feisty, campaign-style speech extolling robust nationalism to eager conservative activists.

U.S. Changes Rules of Engagement for Mosul Fight in Iraq

By Susannah George & Balint Szlanko | Associated Press

U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Browning juggled phone calls on an overstuffed sofa in a small village south of Mosul. His counterparts in the Iraqi army's 9th Division were pushing toward western Mosul, just a few miles away and were coming under mortar fire from the Islamic State group as they moved on a power station.

More from WPR: Will the Battle for Mosul Validate Obama’s Counter-Extremism Strategy?

Bannon Vows a Daily Fight for ‘Deconstruction of the Administrative State’

By Philip Rucker & Robert Costa | The Washington Post

The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump’s nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration is in an unending battle for “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

Peru's President Set to Talk Tough to Trump During U.S. Visit

By Franklin Briceno & Joshua Goodman | Associated Press

When Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski becomes the first Latin American leader to visit Donald Trump at the White House on Friday it will be a chance for the U.S. president to hear some straight talk about how his anti-trade and anti-immigrant rhetoric is alienating some of America's closest allies.

More from WPR: With a Strong Economy and New President, Is Peru Ready to Modernize?

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

By Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa | The New Yorker

What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election—and what lies ahead?

Can Mexico Block Trump’s New Deportation Rules?

By Adam Chandler | The Atlantic

The administration’s plan to force undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. largely hinges on America’s increasingly tense relationship with its southern neighbor.

News

February 23, 2017

President Trump’s developing plan to defeat the Islamic State may lead to significant alterations in the Syria strategy that Trump inherited from Obama, including a reduction or elimination of both long-standing U.S. support for moderate opposition forces fighting against the Syrian government and the use of Syrian Kurdish fighters as the main U.S. proxy force against the militants.

More from WPR: Trump’s Real Challenge in the Middle East: Don’t Follow Russia and Iran

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday told Guatemalans not to waste their money trying to get to the United States illegally, detailing how his department was cracking down on undocumented immigrants and would speed up deportations.

Opinion

February 23, 2017

Trump, Tillerson and the Resource Curse

By David Pilling | Financial Times (subscription required)

A Donald Trump presidency means not so much draining the swamp as handing over the swamp to the crocodiles.

The Shallow State

By David Rothkopf | Foreign Policy (subscription required)

Forget the conspiracy theories. Something much more dangerous is seeking to gut our government and change the character of our society.

The Islamic State's Greatest Wish: U.S. Combat Forces in Syria

By Daniel R. DePetris | The National Interest

Speeding up the liberation of Raqqa by placing U.S. troops on the ground, bringing them closer to the frontlines, and perhaps doing some of the combat alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces, is not only unnecessary for the success of the operation, but a gift to ISIS propagandists who are struggling to keep the group’s morale from plummeting.

The Americas

News

February 24, 2017

Mexico Rejected U.S. Plan on Third-Country Deportees

By Christopher Sherman | Associated Press

The Mexican government made clear to visiting U.S. emissaries that it will not accept deportees from third countries under any circumstances, the interior secretary said Friday.

Peru's President Set to Talk Tough to Trump During U.S. Visit

By Franklin Briceno & Joshua Goodman | Associated Press

When Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski becomes the first Latin American leader to visit Donald Trump at the White House on Friday it will be a chance for the U.S. president to hear some straight talk about how his anti-trade and anti-immigrant rhetoric is alienating some of America's closest allies.

More from WPR: With a Strong Economy and New President, Is Peru Ready to Modernize?

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Can Mexico Block Trump’s New Deportation Rules?

By Adam Chandler | The Atlantic

The administration’s plan to force undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. largely hinges on America’s increasingly tense relationship with its southern neighbor.

News

February 23, 2017

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday told Guatemalans not to waste their money trying to get to the United States illegally, detailing how his department was cracking down on undocumented immigrants and would speed up deportations.

Brazil's foreign minister resigned from his post Wednesday night, citing undisclosed medical reasons. Jose Serra, who was named to the job last May, said in a letter to President Michel Temer that he needed at least four months to recover from a disease he did not identify

Argentine President Mauricio Macri started an official state visit to Spain on Wednesday and was received with a display of full military honors at the Royal Palace. Following a meeting with King Felipe, the president left for Congress where he addressed a full house.

Europe

News

February 24, 2017

Estonia has marked its 99th anniversary of its declaration of independence with more than 1,000 troops from eight NATO nations parading and presenting military hardware on Friday, including two U.S. Abrams tanks that were displayed to the public for the first time.

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

By Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa | The New Yorker

What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election—and what lies ahead?

News

February 23, 2017

Former I.M.F. Leader Sentenced for Embezzlement

By Raphael Minder | The New York Times

Rodrigo Rato, a former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was convicted on Thursday on charges of misusing the funds of a Spanish bank that he led to near-collapse. He was sentenced to four and a half years in jail.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri started an official state visit to Spain on Wednesday and was received with a display of full military honors at the Royal Palace. Following a meeting with King Felipe, the president left for Congress where he addressed a full house.

An Azerbaijani soldier was killed in an artillery attack by Armenian forces Wednesday, according to the Defense Ministry. In a statement, the ministry said the soldier, Hanoglan Halilov, got killed in the occupied Karabakh region when Armenian forces opened artillery fire on Azerbaijani emplacements.

Opinion

February 23, 2017

Africa

News

February 24, 2017

South Africa Anti-Immigrant Protests Erupt in Capital

By Nqobile Ntshangase | Associated Press

Police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon Friday as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in South Africa's capital, while President Jacob Zuma condemned anti-foreigner violence and appealed for calm.

The Nigerian president's month-long medical leave overseas has empowered his deputy to attack the country's problems with an energy that has surprised observers and led some to suggest he should stay in charge for good.

Ethiopia and South Sudan signed nine cooperation agreements on Friday as part of an ongoing visit by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, who arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday. 

February 23, 2017

Somalia's New President Appoints Prime Minister

By Abdi Guled | Associated Press

Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Thursday appointed a political newcomer as the prime minister, shortly before departing to Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip since his inauguration. Somali-born Norwegian national Hassan Ali Khaire, a former executive of British energy explorer Soma Oil & Gas, was appointed as prime minister.

More from WPR: Can Somalia’s New President Fix Its Myriad Problems?

16 Rebels Killed in Fighting With Army in Congo's East

By Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro | Associated Press

Congo's army has killed at least 16 former members of a rebel group after they re-entered the country's east, the military's spokesman said Thursday. Fighting near Rutshuru began Wednesday and by Thursday the army had captured 68 former M23 rebels and 39 others surrendered, said Maj. Ndjike Kaiko.

The United Nations needs $4.4 billion by the end of March to prevent catastrophic hunger and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, yet just $90 million has been collected so far, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday.

Schools began to reopen across Guinea on Wednesday after a three-week strike and violent protests that left seven people dead in the capital this week. The protests were in support of a strike by temporary teachers demanding full-time government contracts.

Opinion

February 23, 2017

Boosting South Africa’s Diversity Dividend

By Mohamed El-Erian | Project Syndicate

South Africa will need much more than improved economic governance if it is to reduce inequality and achieve strong growth. In particular, the private sector must deepen its efforts to improve economic inclusion, and capitalize on the well-known benefits of greater diversity in the workforce and the boardroom.

Middle East & North Africa

News

February 24, 2017

U.S. Changes Rules of Engagement for Mosul Fight in Iraq

By Susannah George & Balint Szlanko | Associated Press

U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Browning juggled phone calls on an overstuffed sofa in a small village south of Mosul. His counterparts in the Iraqi army's 9th Division were pushing toward western Mosul, just a few miles away and were coming under mortar fire from the Islamic State group as they moved on a power station.

More from WPR: Will the Battle for Mosul Validate Obama’s Counter-Extremism Strategy?

Islamic State Car Bomb Kills Dozens in Northwest Syria

By Angus McDowall & Humeyra Pamuk | Reuters

An Islamic State car bomb killed more than 40 people on Friday in a Syrian village held by rebels, a war monitor said, a day after the jihadist group was driven from its last stronghold in the area.

Egypt Christians Flee Sinai After a Spate of Attacks

By Ashraf Sweliam & Maggie Michael | Associated Press

Suspected Islamic militants gunned down a Coptic Christian man and stabbed his daughter to death inside his home in northern Sinai, the seventh such killing in a month's time in the restive region, officials and a Christian priest said Friday, prompting hundreds of Christians to flee from the area for fear of being targeted next.

More from WPR: Like Previous Egyptian Leaders, El-Sissi Has Failed to Protect Coptic Christians

Indonesia is hoping to ring up investment deals worth billions of dollars when Saudi Arabia's King Salman and an entourage of 1,500 officials, princes and businessmen visit the Indonesian capital next week.

Opinion

February 24, 2017

The Politics of Historicide

By Richard N. Haass | Project Syndicate

The Islamic State has made a point of destroying cultural artifacts that it deems insufficiently Islamic, but it is hardly the first group or state to take aim at the past. In fact, the eradication of statutes, manuscripts, and paintings occurs with a frequency that is as understandable as the practice is perverse.

News

February 23, 2017

President Trump’s developing plan to defeat the Islamic State may lead to significant alterations in the Syria strategy that Trump inherited from Obama, including a reduction or elimination of both long-standing U.S. support for moderate opposition forces fighting against the Syrian government and the use of Syrian Kurdish fighters as the main U.S. proxy force against the militants.

More from WPR: Trump’s Real Challenge in the Middle East: Don’t Follow Russia and Iran

Iraqi Forces Storm Mosul Airport, Military Base

By Isabel Coles & Stephen Kalin | Reuters

U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces captured Mosul airport on Thursday, state television said, in a major gain in operations to drive Islamic State from the western half of the city.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will co-chair the fifth session of the Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting alongside Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim in the capital Ankara on Thursday, a source in the Prime Ministry said.

Opinion

February 23, 2017

It is hardly a secret that Turkey and Iran are regional rivals along the Sunni-Shiite divide in the Middle East, which only deepened with the failed Arab Spring. Yet rarely has the animosity spilled over into open and bitter verbal sparring.

The Islamic State's Greatest Wish: U.S. Combat Forces in Syria

By Daniel R. DePetris | The National Interest

Speeding up the liberation of Raqqa by placing U.S. troops on the ground, bringing them closer to the frontlines, and perhaps doing some of the combat alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces, is not only unnecessary for the success of the operation, but a gift to ISIS propagandists who are struggling to keep the group’s morale from plummeting.

Asia-Pacific

News

February 24, 2017

For decades, North Korea could count on China as a loyal ally despite the erratic behavior of the ruling Kim dynasty. But by this week, things may have gone too far, with North Korea unleashing a tirade in which it deployed some of the most damning insults in its playbook, accusing China of “dancing to the tune of the U.S.” and “styling itself as a big power.”

China's government has named a trade specialist as its new commerce minister and appointed a new head of its top economic planning body as part of a Cabinet reshuffle that comes amid a slowing economy and the threat of increased trade friction with President Donald Trump's administration.

Pakistan Army Launches First Nationwide Anti-Terrorism Operation

By Pamela Constable | The Washington Post

When the Pakistan army announced that it was launching a nationwide military operation to “indiscriminately” eliminate the threat of terrorism from the land, the adverb had a precise and politically loaded meaning.

Indonesia is hoping to ring up investment deals worth billions of dollars when Saudi Arabia's King Salman and an entourage of 1,500 officials, princes and businessmen visit the Indonesian capital next week.

Rare scandal was swirling around Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday as he was forced to deny involvement in a shady land deal by a religious school. That led Abe on Friday to pledge he would resign if any wrongdoing was uncovered.

Opinion

February 24, 2017

Militant Groups Forge Ties as Pakistan Havens Remain

By Ahmed Rashid | Financial Times (subscription required)

Pakistan's army and the civilian government are not on the same page. They have different agendas towards the militant groups which makes establishing a united front difficult. The failure of the state to adopt a common strategy and a believable narrative is emboldening the terrorists, weakening the state and making solutions harder to find.

Insurgency and Repression in Myanmar

By Lynn Kuok | Foreign Affairs (subscription required)

Since October 9, 2016, 66,000 Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, have fled Rakhine State in the country’s west and entered neighboring Bangladesh. Today, they are not fleeing Rakhine Buddhists, with whom they first clashed in May 2012. They are fleeing their own government.

North Korea’s Palace Intrigue

By Jean H. Lee | The New York Times

Last week, Mr. Kim’s estranged older half brother, Kim Jong-nam, died in Malaysia, the apparent victim of a nerve-agent attack in the Kuala Lumpur airport. The Malaysian police named several suspects, including a North Korean diplomat. Many South Koreans, without needing proof, are calling it a political assassination directed by Kim Jong-un. North Korea denies that.

News

February 23, 2017

North Korean State Media Say China Dancing to U.S. Tune

By Eric Talmadge | Associated Press

North Korea's state-run news agency issued a tough critique of China on Thursday, suggesting Beijing's criticism of the North's recent missile test and suspension of imports of North Korean coal are tantamount to the actions of an enemy state "dancing to the tune of the U.S."

China's commerce minister decided at the last minute to postpone an official trip to the Philippines on Thursday to sign about 40 joint projects worth billions of dollars, sources at the Philippines trade and finance ministries said.

A Philippine court issued an arrest warrant on drug charges Thursday for an opposition senator and former top human rights official who is one of the most vocal critics of President Rodrigo Duterte and his deadly anti-drug crackdown.

Malaysia is considering expelling North Korea’s envoy to the Southeast Asian nation or shutting its embassy in Pyongyang, as tensions escalate over the killing of the estranged half brother of the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, a senior government official said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will co-chair the fifth session of the Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting alongside Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim in the capital Ankara on Thursday, a source in the Prime Ministry said.

Opinion

February 23, 2017

Asia's Other Revisionist Power

By Jennifer Lind | Foreign Affairs (subscription required)

China is not the only revisionist power in the U.S.-Chinese relationship. Since the end of World War II, the United States has pursued a strategy aimed at overturning the status quo by spreading liberalism, free markets, and U.S. influence around the world.

China’s Weapons of Trade War

Project Syndicate

A trade war would undoubtedly hurt both sides. But there is reason to believe that the U.S. has more to lose. If nothing else, the Chinese seem to know precisely which weapons they have available to them.

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