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Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Brexit John Barrow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, rejected a vote on PM Johnson’s Brexit deal yesterday on a technicality, which means that today lawmakers will vote yes or no on whether they support the deal in principle. It’s awkward because the vote is likely to be close, and even if the deal…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief 2019

Syria The U.S. and Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northern Syria, in exchange for the U.S. dropping new sanctions on Turkey, and the Kurds evacuating a 30 km border area. However, reports say the fighting continues all the same. The Kurds accused Turkey of using napalm and white phosphorus against them, which isn’t…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Brexit The President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, hinted that the Commission would consider granting a delay for Brexit if the UK asked for one. PM Johnson still hopes to force a deal before the Oct. 31st deadline, and seems more willing to make concessions ahead of his Thursday meeting with the EU Council than…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Wagner Group A Foreign Policy Research Institute published a great research piece on Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group—and its tangled links to the Russian government. Pasted below. Afghanistan The NDS announced that the emir of Al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, Asim Umar, was killed in a Sep. 23rd raid in Helmand. AQIS hasn’t confirmed his death, and the…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

China China’s birthday parade today was apparently quite a spectacle, with over 100,000 performers and soldiers taking part. The PLA showed off 16 of the highly anticipated Dongfeng-41 long-range ballistic missiles to much fanfare (note: I’m now reading the missiles would take ~30 minutes to reach the U.S., not five minutes as I saw yesterday)…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Afghanistan It sounds like Afghanistan’s presidential election is actually running pretty smoothly so far, with no major attacks reported yet, and fewer technical challenges than last year’s parliamentary poll. Yesterday, the IEC wasn’t sure how many polling stations would be closed due to security concerns; today we learned that 445 were. Another 5,373 opened as…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

U.S. A new DoD report showed that the suicide rate among active duty U.S. military reached a record high of 24.8 per 100,000 servicemembers last year—vs. 21.9 per 100,000 in 2017. Of 541 military suicides in 2018, 325 took place among active-duty servicemembers (mostly enlisted men). The latest in this “whistleblower” drama is that the…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Impeachment The White House released an unredacted rough transcript from Pres. Trump’s call with Ukrainian Pres. Zelensky, from which everyone saw what they wanted to see: Pres. Trump says it proves he put “no pressure” on Zelensky, and Fox agrees. The Washington Post says it’s a “devastating indictment of our president.” Zelensky himself told reporters yesterday that “nobody pushed…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Impeachment Speaker of the House Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Pres. Trump over these “whistleblower” accusations that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate former VP Biden’s son by withholding aid funds. Trump says he withheld aid to push EU countries into sending their fair share to the Ukraine, and promised to release…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week The UN holds its annual General Assembly this week in New York. Naysaying presidents Xi of China, Putin of Russia, and Maduro of Venezuela won’t attend. The issues certain to get a lot of airtime include: Iran’s troublemaking India’s revocation of Kashmir’s special status New voluntary carbon emissions reduction targets that…