FROM Alexander Kliment
Syria pushes US-Russia relations to new low Another airstrike today killed at least 15 people on the rebel-held side of Aleppo, a besieged city that hasn’t seen humanitarian assistance since last July. Talks between the US and Russia have failed to produce a ceasefire, despite pleas from Pope Francis, as accusations of war crimes are circulating at the United Nations.
EU Follows US in Imposing Russia Sanctions A day after the US announced its fourth round of sanctions on Russia, the European Union weighed in with its own list of assets freezes and visa bans on senior Russian military and political figures. The EU is Russia's largest trading partner. With oil and gas such a priority for Europe, will the US–EU alliance hold? Alexander Kliment is Director of Russia Research for the Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm in New York City.
IMF Pledges Billions in Loans to Help Ailing Ukraine After three weeks of urgent negotiations, the International Monetary Fund has agreed to provide $18 billion in loans to the interim government of Ukraine. President Obama welcomed the deal during his trip to Europe, saying it would bolster democratic reform. "So it's a concrete signal on how the world is united with Ukraine as it makes tough choices at an incredibly difficult time." Alexander Kliment is director of Emerging Markets Strategy for the Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm in New York.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.