Stories We’re Watching
MBS Gets a GOLD SUBMACHINE GUN on Spending Spree in Pakistan, India, & China
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has signed a $10bn petroleum investment deal with China. The announcement comes as MBS concludes his tour of Pakistan, India, and China. The Crown Prince signed deals worth $20bn with Pakistan. Regional analysts believe that MBS is attempting to diversify the Saudi economy beyond petroleum and that he is slowly pivoting away from an overreliance on the longstanding KSA-US alliance. Oh, and Pakistan gave MBS a gold submachine gun.
- WSJ: Saudi Crown Prince Courts China as Counterweight to Critical West
- TIME: The Quick Read on MBS’s Tour of Pakistan, India and China
- CNN: Saudi crown prince gifted golden submachine gun in Pakistan
- Reuters: Saudi Arabia strikes $10 billion China deal, talks de-radicalization with Xi
Iran Launches Massive War Games Drill in Gulf of Oman
Earlier today, Iran launched a three-day naval exercise off the coast of Oman. The exercise is set to include missiles, drones, submarines, and helicopters. Defense analysts point out that Iran’s naval capacity dwarfs the US, but say that the operation is meant to display force. Last week, President Rouhani announced that Iran was willing to improve ties with GCC states. The long-standing rivalry between Saudi and Iran has intensified since President Trump’s surprise announcement that US troops would be withdrawing from Syria.
- Reuters: Iran starts Gulf war games, to test submarine-launched missiles
- Atlantic Council: Iran Seeks Economic Benefits From Syria
- Daily Beast: To Target Israel, Iran’s ‘Suitcase’ GPS Kits Turn Hezbollah Rockets
Erdogan & Trump Discuss US Withdrawal from Syria, 200 US Troops to Remain
Yesterday, Presidents Erdogan and Trump agreed to coordinate efforts around the US troop withdrawal from Syria. Today, the White House announced that 200 US troops would remain in Syria, and Turkish authorities announced the mass arrest of an additional 295 military personnel over suspected Gulen links. Turkey and the US have been at odds over US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria and Turkey’s potential missile purchase from Russia.
- RFE/RL: Turkey Orders Almost 300 Military Personnel Arrested
- WSJ: Trump Shifts Course to Keep 200 Troops in Syria
- Reuters: Turkey’s Erdogan, Trump discussed U.S. withdrawal from Syria in phone call
Voter Fraud Forces New Congressional Election in Southern US State
North Carolina’s election board has ordered a new election for a state congressional seat following a high-profile investigation into absentee-ballot fraud. The Republican candidate was accused of hiring an operative who collected and then failed to mail in the ballots. Although the US Republican Party has repeatedly expressed concerns over individual voter fraud, no party official has commented on this case. Just last week, the Democrat-led House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on election security.
- TIME: Why North Carolina’s Election Fraud Hurts American Democracy
- The Economist: North Carolina orders a fresh vote in the ninth district
- BBC: Election re-run in North Carolina after voter fraud inquiry
- The Atlantic: North Carolina Had No Choice but a Congressional-Election Do-Over
Maduro Closes Border with Brazil Ahead of Tomorrow’s Showdown
Venezuelan President Maduro has closed the country’s border with Brazil ahead of tomorrow’s showdown over humanitarian aid. Maduro has threatened to close Venezuela’s border with Colombia to block the delivery of the aid, most of which is food. Last week, interim President Guiado gave Maduro until Saturday to release the much-needed aid—or else. Instead, Maduro has used the state’s security forces to execute and detain protestors. In addition to a military showdown, rival concerts are expected later today–one produced by philanthropist Richard Branson and the other by embattled President Maduro.
- NPR: Venezuela Heads Into Showdown Over Food Aid
- Vox: President Maduro’s forces clash with Venezuelans in aid showdown
- BBC: Venezuela aid: Genuine help or Trojan horse?
- CNBC: Venezuela’s Maduro closes border with Brazil, says Colombia could be next
From Deep State Radio
FP INTERRUPTED: Trade War, Trade Peace
It started in January 2018. Trump hit China with a $53 billion tariff on steel and aluminum. Next, he hit Chinese solar panels and washing machines. When September 2018 rolled around, he handed Beijing a $200 billion tariff bill. China reciprocated with its own tariffs on U.S. goods, such as soybeans. A trade war was born. READ MORE
DEEPTECH: Gender Bias in STEM, Catfishing NATO Troops, China’s Genetic Surveillance, & More!
New research about women in STEM finds that over 40% of women leave fulltime STEM positions a year after becoming a parent. Researchers point to pervasive gender bias and structural problems within the field, but say that the problem goes beyond retention. Even women who stay employed full-time in STEM face gender bias in promotion and performance evaluations. Male managers are more likely to be promoted, mentored, and rated as more competent than women with the exact same resume. Another obstacle is lack of mentors. Sheryl Sandberg has called out senior supervisors who refuse to mentor or even meet alone with female colleagues: “If you’re going to have dinners, then invite women and men and behave appropriately. If you’re not going to have dinners with women, then don’t have them with men.” Some analysts have dubbed it the ‘Pence Protocol’ since the VP also refuses to dine alone with women. Despite study after study after study, many men still deny or downplay the discrimination. CONTINUE
BLOG: America’s System Is Rigged, The Democrats Answer Isn’t Socialism, It’s Fixing What’s Wrong With Capitalism
The problem is not socialists. They have no place in US politics and won’t. The problem is not capitalism. It worked well to make American the economic powerhouse of the world. The problem is rigged capitalism–which for 40 yrs the GOP has engineered with the help of some Dems.
Our system has been hijacked by the rich and powerful to serve them. With wages at effectively the same level as more than 4 decades ago and the minimum wage at effectively the same level as 6 decades ago, while the 1 percent get richer, everyone else is left behind. CONTINUE