Stories We’re Watching
Brexit: EU & UK Negotiators at Impasse Over Customs Union & Backstop
EU-UK talks collapsed earlier today, a week before British MPs vote on plans to prevent a no-deal exit. This latest round of talks has centered on trade agreements and the Irish backstop. So far, Theresa May’s government has refused to release the details of a no-deal tariff package. In the event of a no-deal exit, British exporters would automatically incur tariffs on exports to the EU on March 29. Trade analysts and economists warn that a no-deal scenario would likely launch the UK into a deep recession.
- Reuters: EU says ‘difficult’ Brexit talks unlikely to yield swift deal
- Financial Times: Government postpones outlining no-deal Brexit tariff plans
- The Guardian: No-deal Brexit would plunge UK economy into recession
- NPR: Automakers In The UK Warn A No-Deal Brexit Could Cause Huge
Another Female Minister Resigns Over Trudeau Corruption Scandal
A second member of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet has resigned over an ongoing scandal involving SNC-Lavalin, one of the country’s top construction firms. The former attorney general, who was also the country’s first indigenous justice minister, alleges the Trudeau administration improperly pressured her to drop corruption charges against the firm and then demoted her for failing to do so. The case has generated outcry because of Trudeau’s past statements of support for feminism and indigenous rights.
- Bloomberg: Women Are Abandoning Trudeau’s Team Over the SNC-Lavalin
- The Economist: Why Justin Trudeau is in trouble
- NYT: Trudeau’s Ex-Adviser and Close Friend Testifies in Political Crisis
- The Guardian: Justin Trudeau’s cabinet rallies behind him after second resignation
North Korea Begins Rebuilding Missile Launch Site
North Korea has begun rebuilding the Sohae long-range missile launch facility, according to commercial satellite imagery and intelligence reports. The site had been partially dismantled following last year’s US-North Korea summit in Singapore. Military analysts warn that, when rebuilt, the site is capable of launching satellites for North Korea’s ICBM program. Although North Korea hasn’t conducted any nuclear or missile tests since November 2017, weapons experts caution that the uptick in construction could indicate plans to resume testing.
- CSIS: After Hanoi Summit: Rebuilding of Sohae Launch Facility
- WSJ: North Korean Launch Site Is Being Built Back Up Again
- CNN: Satellite images show activity at North Korean missile site, analysts say
- Reuters: North Korea rebuilds part of missile site as Bolton warns of more
UN to Rebuke Saudi over Human Rights Violations
Earlier today, UN Human Rights Commissioner called on Saudi Arabia to release women being held for protesting women’s treatment in the Kingdom. Amnesty International reports that the women have been held incommunicado on charges of ‘harming the country’s interests.’ The detained women are believed to have been tortured and sexually abused since their initial arrest last May. Saudi prosecutors have denied reports of torture but have also refused to provide evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, Google has refused to remove Saudi’s Absher app which allows male ‘guardians’ to monitor and control the movement, education, employment, and financial transactions of women under their ‘care.’
- Reuters: UN rights boss seeks freedom for Saudi women activists
- Haaretz: Saudi Arabia Faces First-ever Censure at UN Rights Forum
- CNBC: Google won’t remove a Saudi app that lets men track women
- The Independent: UK and US bombs caused nearly 1000 civilian casualties in Yemen
Guaido Calls for Massive Public Sector Strikes
Yesterday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado met with public sector union leaders to organize massive strikes aimed at ousting the Maduro administration. Maduro has used the country’s vast public sector to maintain control, and the strikes have the potential to cripple the already-devastated country. Maduro has called for counter protests and has expelled the German ambassador over his role in helping Guaido return to the country.
- WSJ: Trump, Unpopular Elsewhere, Has Lots of Fans in Venezuela
- BBC: Venezuela crisis: Maduro vows to defeat ‘crazed minority’
- Reuters: Venezuela’s Guaido vows to paralyze public sector
- Bloomberg: Heavily Armed Soldiers Aborted a Plan to Enter Venezuela by Force
From Deep State Radio
WASHINGTON FOR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: THE PODCAST THAT ALMOST DROVE AMERICA’S SWEETHEART TO DRINK: A CONVERSATION WITH VALERIE BERTINELLI
It’s not often that America’s Sweetheart exclaims “this conversation is going to drive me to drink.” That’s the sign of a fiery conversation about Trump, politics and giving back. Valerie Bertinelli has graced our tv screens as an actress and as a food personality. Valerie is also a passionate critic of this administration and that’s where things got interesting. In this podcast, Valerie talks politics, dream 2020 candidates, twitter clap backs, dog & cat spooning and of course birthday meals (it’s Valerie, there had to be food talk.) Join us for a funny, candid wide ranging conversation with Valerie Bertinelli.
PODCAST: LESSONS OF HANOI
David Sanger was in Hanoi for the failed negotiations between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. He recommends the food, the US approaches to the negotiation not so much. Apparently, leaving it to two megalomaniacal leaders who think they have the skill to land a deal that their negotiators weren’t even close to is a bad idea. David discusses the trip and its consequences with Ed Luce of the Financial Times and Rosa Brooks of Georgetown University Law School. Tune in!
PODCAST: TIME FOR A TIME OUT FROM THE SAUDIS?
Jared Kushner is in charge of the US relations with the Saudis (among others). How’s that working for us? Is he the one giving the Saudis the thumbs up that they can abuse human rights to their hearts content without any consequences if they only accept his hare-brained scheme for Middle East Peace (which will never happen)? Is it time for a new approach? And what about the Congressional investigations into Trump? Bibi’s indictment? Brexit? Ed Luce of the Financial Times and Rosa Brooks of Georgetown University Law School join host David Rothkopf to discuss all this and more. Essential listening. Join us!