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Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Hong Kong Hong Kong police allowed a demonstration by the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front—for the first time since August—and an estimated 800,000 protesters turned out for it (police say they only counted 183,000 attendees). Either way, it’s the largest rally in Hong Kong in months. Afghanistan Afghanistan’s election commission met with stakeholders about results…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Mexico U.S. Attorney General  Barr met with Mexico’s Pres. AMLO yesterday to discuss the idea of designating drug cartels as terrorist organizations. AMLO has resisted the idea, since a designation would infringe on his autonomy in Mexico, and it sounds like Pres. Trump actually listened: he put the idea on hold today, at Mexico’s request,…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

China The U.S. House passed “the Uighur bill” 407-1. The bill would require the U.S. president to condemn discrimination against Muslims in China, call for the closure of “reeducation” camps in Xinjiang, and impose sanctions on a member of China’s politburo for the first time (in this case, Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo). China denounced…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Afghanistan The Asia Foundation released results from its annual “Survey of the Afghan People,” which found that Afghans are more optimistic than they were last year about some things: e.g., 36.1% think the country is “going in the right direction,” vs. 32.8% last year. The biggest changes in respondents’ reasons for optimism appeared in questions…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Iraq PM Mahdi resigned Friday, following protests in southern and central Iraq that led to 400+ deaths—and after Iraq’s top Shia leader called for a change in government. Iraq’s parliament approved PM Mahdi’s resignation, but it’s not clear what will happen next. The constitution seems to assign the government a caretaking role for 30 days,…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Hong Kong Hong Kongers are voting for district councilors today, and it’s shaping up to be the largest election in the territory’s history. The media are characterizing it as a referendum on Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her handling of the ongoing political crisis, although Lam isn’t on the ballot, and election results won’t affect…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Commodity Prices Gold: $1,463/oz LME Copper: $5,951/ton LME Aluminum: $1,827/ton Coming Up This Week China celebrates Singles Day—the biggest shopping frenzy of the year—today. Alibaba has already sold $24 billion worth of goods in just the first nine hours of the day, and is on track to blow way past last year’s record haul of…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Mexico Mexican officials are still insisting that this week’s brutal massacre of Mexican-American women and children could’ve just been a case of mistaken identify amidst a gang war—which is probably politically more palatable than the idea that cartels attacked a religious family that spoke out about them. Authorities are still investigating what actually happened. U.S….

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Hong Kong Junius Ho, a rambunctious pro-China politician in Hong Kong, was stabbed in the chest by a man who poised as a supporter to get close to him for a picture. Ho survived, and is currently probably in better shape, who was whisked away for questioning. Ho was likely targeted for his outspoken pro-Beijing…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Russia Facebook removed three networks of accounts linked to “Putin’s chef,” U.S.-sanctioned troublemaker Yevgeny Prigozhin. The dismantled accounts were apparently designed to sow fake news in Africa—Madagascar, the Central African Republic, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Sudan and Libya—as practice for meddling in the U.S. election in 2020. Bolivia The…