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Friday, November 16, 2018

"The Anglophile Drama": How the U.S. and U.K. are partners in chaos - by Ben White and Aubree Eliza Weaver

This happened when populists like 
Farage and Trump called for Brexit
A little thought bubble as we head into the weekend and the short Thanksgiving week. Morning -Money" spent some time over the last several days in Washington and New York with a variety of executives who are sifting through the 2018 midterm election results and trying to make some sense of the path of U.S. politics.

Many are trying to figure out where America is headed with a growing schism between a metro-area dominated, more highly educated electorate trending toward the Democrats and smaller town and rural voters sticking with President Donald Trump and the GOP and embracing the president’s hardline trade and immigration policies and his culture war appeals.

Consensus among these executives (and frankly among anyone else) is that American politics is a directionless wreck with no path forward on anything from health care to education to retirement savings to climate change and gun violence and long-term fiscal deficits. One British banker mused about how he’s never seen the U.S. so screwed up or derelict on the world stage.

Then he stopped himself almost immediately to say how the U.K. really wasn’t any better with no consensus on how to deal with Brexit, a potential end to Prime Minister Theresa May’s tenure, a civil war inside the Conservative party and a plunging pound. It remains largely unclear in the U.K. whether May’s softer Brexit plan will somehow survive or no deal will emerge leading to a hard Brexit or a new referendum will take place to reverse Brexit entirely.

Tensions in the U.S. and U.K. are different in many ways but they share commonalities of fractured politics and deep divisions on fundamental identities as either insular and nationalistic or more globally integrated and diverse. We got no revelatory insight in these conversations beyond a morbid sense that only grave and immediate crisis that cannot be ignored will jolt either nation into clarity. And maybe not even then.

Happy thoughts for your Friday!

Read more: How the U.S. and U.K. are partners in chaos - POLITICO

Thursday, November 15, 2018

US-Saudi Relations: U.S. sanctions 17 for role in hideous murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi - a US smokescreen to protect business interests with Saudis?

Khashoggi murder:  Business as usual between US and Saudi Arabia
The U.S. Treasury will announce today 11/15/2018 sanctions on 17 Saudis for their role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a source familiar with the administration's plans.

Those to be sanctioned include Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as the Saudi Consul General Mohammed Alotaibi, the source said.

The sanctions will be implemented under the Global Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions over human rights abuses, the source said.

Among others facing sanctions are Maher Mutreb, an aide to Qahtani who has appeared in photographs with Prince Mohammed on official visits this year to the United States and Europe.

Note EU-Digest: The US sanctions announced by the Trump Administration are an indication the US Administration "has accepted the confusing explanations and statements" about the hideous murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi by the Saudi Government in the Saudi Istanbul consulate", and as such concludes, "case closed and business as usual",  between the US and Saudi Arabia . 

U.S. sanctions 17 for role in killing of Saudi journalist Khashog

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Britain and E.U. Agree on a Plan for Brexit - by Stephen Castle

British and European Union officials reached a long-awaited draft agreement on Tuesday on Britain’s troubled withdrawal from the bloc, opening the way for a high-stakes meeting of Prime Minister Theresa May’s most senior ministers to consider the plans, the prime minister’s office said.

Cabinet ministers will have a chance to review the draft text before a critical meeting of the full cabinet at 2 p.m. Wednesday, the prime minister’s office said.

After months of deadlock over the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc, the presentation of the draft agreement is a moment of truth for Mrs. May, who is desperate to avoid a chaotic and disorderly “no-deal” Brexit. But she cannot be assured of support from hard-line Brexiteers in her cabinet, whom she may need to face down.

n the worst case, defections from the cabinet or an outright rejection of the pact could threaten her leadership.

Monday, November 12, 2018

US Economy: Dow plunges by more than 600 points in massive market sell-off - by Lucy Bayly

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank by more than 600 points Monday, dragged down by a tumble in Apple and Amazon shares, mounting geopolitical concerns, and a strengthening dollar.

The S&P also stumbled, falling by 2 percent after shares in Goldman Sachs sank by more than 7 percent amid reports that Malaysia is seeking a multimillion-dollar refund from the investment firm for its role in the country’s 1MDB state fund money-laundering scandal.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 2.8 percent.

Apple had pulled down tech stocks early Monday after Lumentum, a key supplier to the Cupertino-based giant, said it was cutting its outlook for the second quarter of 2019 based on lower forecast production volume for one of its major clients.

Tobacco stocks also had a bad day, tumbling double digits on news that the Food and Drug Administration is mulling a ban on menthol cigarettes.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

France: World War I commemoration: Macron rebukes nationalism at commemoration = by David Jackson

Bells tolled across France and Europe on Sunday as President Donald Trump and other global leaders gathered to honor the dead of World War I and heed its harsh lessons to prevent conflicts.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has criticized Trump's "America First" foreign policy, decried excessive "nationalism" at the root of World War I and successiven

"Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism," Macron told a gathering of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Trump.

 “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying, ‘Our interest first, who cares about the others?=

Hosting an event to mark the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I, Macron told fellow leaders they have a "huge responsibility" to defeat modern forces that threaten a "legacy of peace" from the two world wars of the past century. know there are old demons coming back to the surface," the French president said. "They are ready to wreak chaos and death."

Macron did not refer specifically to Trump, who occasionally frowned during the speech.

Trump did not respond to Macron publicly. During a speech later Sunday at a World War I-era cemetery,

Trump praised the French leader for hosting the event he called;"very beautiful" and "well done."

In defending "America First," Trump has often said the United States needs to address its own needs. air."

Read more: France -World War I commemoration: Macron rebukes nationalism at commemoration

Saturday, November 10, 2018

EU Economy: British economic growth tipped to be slowest in Europe next year, but rest of European Economies also slowing down - by Richard Partington

The euro area of 19 countries including Germany, France and Italy is forecast to slow from a growth rate of 2.1% this year to 1.9% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020, as the wider region enters a period of weaker growth following the strongest year of the past decade in 2017.

It comes as the wider global economy is unsettled by Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China and Europe, which have reduced demand for manufactured goods and stifled business investment.

Despite the weaker outlook for the British economy, growth figures have shown Britain managing a better performance than the eurozone over recent quarters.

Statistics due on Friday are expected to show UK economic growth of 0.6% for the third quarter. Economists at HSBC believe Germany is likely to record its first drop in quarterly economic output, of 0.1%, for more than three years.

In the IMF’s latest health check on the region, it warned the European economy would probably run into turbulence in the next few years.

The Washington-based fund said all likely Brexit outcomes would have a negative cost for the economy, although it warned a no-deal scenario would have the biggest downsides.

“No-deal Brexit would lead to high trade and non-trade barriers between the UK and the rest of the EU, with negative consequences for growth,” it said.

The IMF also warned the populist Italian government to tackle its high levels of government borrowing before time runs out.

Read more: British economic growth tipped to be slowest in Europe next year | Business | The Guardian