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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

Syria The situation in northern Syria continued to devolve, with rising global concern about Turkey’s brutal offensive against the Kurds. Russian military police are reportedly patrolling the area between Turkey’s military and the Syrian troops that came north to prevent clashes—and/or fill the vacuum. Meanwhile, VOA reports that the U.S. is rushing diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire…

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

Brexit The EU issued an ultimatum to PM Johnson to leave northern Ireland in the EU customs union, or leave it with no deal. PMs Johnson and Varadkar (of Ireland) are meeting today to try to reach an agreement, and Johnson said he was “still cautiously optimistic.” Russia Yesterday’s NYT had a great report on Russia’s shadowy…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Syria Facing backlash from Kurds and their sympathizers for handing northern Syria over to Turkey, Pres. Trump vowed to “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it does anything “off limits” to the Kurds (which it probably will). Trump’s administration says the U.S. withdrawal will only involve a small number of troops in northern Syria—as…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week The Swedish Academy will announce this year’s Nobel Prize winners today, and award the prizes on Thursday. Pres. Trump thinks he deserves one “for a lot of things,” but also complained that the system is rigged against him. The U.S. and China resume trade talks on Thursday and Friday in Washington….

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

U.S. The Economist had a good opinion piece that explains why it’s a big deal that Pres. Trump may have pressured a foreign leader to investigate a rival’s son. In short: “In a country as corrupt and vulnerable as Ukraine the link between American support and investigating the Bidens—you give us dirt on Joe and we’ll…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week Tuesday is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and China has massive celebrations planned. MilitaryTimes is eagerly watching a parade on Tuesday that will show off China’s ever-modernizing arsenal of next-generation weaponry—perhaps including the Dongfeng 41 nuclear-capable missile that can reach the U.S. in under five minutes. Because…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Hong Kong This weekend’s protests in Hong Kong have been rowdier than usual, and police struggled to disperse the minority that got violent with pepper spray and tear gas. Pro-democracy protesters rebuilt some of the “Lennon walls” that police tore down last week; they’ll probably be torn down again. China The Economist printed a highly critical…

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…