Stories We’re Watching
Venezuela Blackout Enters Second Day, Maduro Blames US
Venezuelan authorities have cancelled classes and public sector work as the country enters its second day of total power blackouts. According to the country’s minister of electricity, the blackout began yesterday due to complications at a hydroelectric dam. However, embattled President Maduro has blamed the local opposition as well as the US government for the outage. Regional analysts explain that while power outages are common throughout the country, the scope of the recent blackout is unprecedented in terms of scale and duration.
- WSJ: Venezuela Blackout Stretches Across Country, Closing Schools …
- Reuters: Venezuela shuts schools, businesses as blackout enters second day
- VICE: Venezuela suffered a nationwide blackout — and the regime thinks …
- The Guardian: Venezuela: ‘country has stopped’ as blackout drags into second day
Turkey Threatens to Go Ahead with Safe Zone
Turkey’s Defense Minister has vowed to go ahead with a proposed, controversial ‘safe zone’ along the Turkish Syrian border despite warnings from the US not to do so. Turkish authorities have repeatedly insisted on the need for a safe zone to ‘manage’ the US-allied Kurdish forces operating in the region. Turkey has also threatened to proceed with the purchase of Russian air defense systems despite warnings that doing so would violate its NATO agreement and would likely incur US sanctions.
- Atlantic Council: Eight Years
- Bloomberg: Turkey Vows Unilateral Syria ‘Safe Zone’ If US Talks Fail
- Financial Times: A caliphate ends but the spectre of Isis lives on
- Reuters: Turkey and U.S. head for showdown over missile contracts
China Praises Huawei for Lawsuit Against US Government
Earlier today, China’s Foreign Minister expressed public support for Huawei’s case against the US government. The telecom firm filed a lawsuit against the US government yesterday alleging that an equipment ban was unconstitutional. The company’s CFO is also suing the Canadian government over her detention, claiming that the arrest violated her rights. Since the ban and the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities, Huawei has conducted an ambitious messaging campaign aimed at countering the US’s claims that the equipment poses security vulnerabilities.
- WSJ: Beijing Applauds Huawei for ‘Refusing to Be Victimized Like a Silent …
- CNN: Huawei is under siege, and now it’s going on the offensive
- The Guardian: China warns US of ‘all necessary measures’ to protect Huawei
Pakistan Launches Crackdown on Extremist Groups
Pakistani authorities have launched a widespread crackdown on extremists groups following a high-profile standoff with India in the disputed Kashmir region. So far, more than 120 individuals have been detained, and hundreds of ‘schools’ and ‘hospitals’ have been taken over by the government. Regional analysts have expressed shock over the scope of disinformation circulating on social media in the wake of last month’s suicide attack which killed over 40 Indian officers. Security experts warn that unchecked proliferation of ‘fake news’ exacerbated the deadly escalation between the two nuclear powers.
- The Guardian: Pakistan launches major crackdown on extremist groups
- CBC: Pakistan cracks down on militants, takes control of religious schools
- The Atlantic: India’s and Pakistan’s Lies Thwarted a War—For Now
Manafort Sentenced to 3 years, 11 months for Bank & Tax Fraud
Yesterday, Paul Manafort was sentenced to 3 years, 11 months in prison for bank and tax fraud. Although the prosecution declined to request a specific sentence, opposition lawmakers have expressed outrage over the sentence length, and some have called into question the partiality of the courts. Manafort faces a separate sentencing in DC later this month. Insiders expect Manafort to seek a presidential pardon.
- The Atlantic: The ‘Otherwise Blameless Life’ of Paul Manafort
- CNN: Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison, far short of expectations
- NPR: Manafort And Cohen Are Going To Prison But Will Trump Intervene?
From Deep State Radio
FP Interrupted: WOMEN AND POWER
It’s International Women’s Day, in Women’s History Month. Let’s celebrate women! Indeed. But let us also be cognizant that the celebration of women on one day should not eclipse the much-needed work of breaking down the paradigms and reforming the institutions, and mindsets, that have held women back. That is especially true today, amid the rise of strongmen across the globe; men who have shown hostility to empowered women. We’re having none of it. That’s why this is the power issue. CONTINUE
DEEPTECH SPECIAL EDITION: ATTACK OF THE KILLER APPS
Google and Apple have drawn widespread criticism this week for refusing to drop Saudi’s controversial Absher app. Among the 150+ services available on Absher, is the option to control women. Male ‘guardians’ use the app to monitor, track, and control the education, financial transactions, employment, and international travel of their female ‘wards.’ The app even sends convenient notifications whenever women try to exit the country via border checkpoints. Critics allege that the app perpetuates and facilitates the Kingdom’s oppressive, sectarian patriarchy. Just yesterday, three dozen countries—including all 28 members of the EU—rebuked the Kingdom over its detention and alleged sexual abuse of ten detained women’s rights activists. Some Saudi women have defended the app’s ability to make routine transactions easier. CONTINUE