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BLACKWATER USA | DAILY BRIEF

Coming Up This Week Wednesday is Earth Day, but a third of the world’s population is stuck inside with some form of lockdown restrictions. Some countries (e.g. Germany, Spain, Denmark) are starting to lift restrictions and reopen businesses this week. LME Commodity Spot Prices Aluminum: $1,482.5/ton Copper: $5,175.5/ton Cobalt: $29,500/ton Gold: $1,688.6/toz COVID-19 Germany began…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

China Chinese markets reopened after the extended Chinese New Year holiday, and proceeded to crash because of worries about the Wuhan coronavirus’s effect on the economy: the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 7.7%. Pres. Xi spoke before a special meeting of the Communist Party’s ruling Politburo Standing Committee about the outbreak. He tried to make it…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

China Hong Kong instituted some extreme measures to block the further spread of the coronavirus outbreak from mainland China, including stopping all trains and flights to Wuhan, banning all official visits to mainland China, and extending school cancellations through Feb. 17th. Hong Kong has already seen five cases of the virus. Australia and France reported…

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

Hong Kong Protesters in Hong Kong are commemorating the student who died yesterday after falling from a ledge in a parking lot that police were trying to clear, and rallying around his memory. Local media confused the situation—and enraged protesters—by publicizing that he died of cardiac arrest. There’s now a serious effort underway to investigate…

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 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

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

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…