Israel and Iran attacks show countries moving closer to full-blown war | Vox


Two unprecedented attacks on Wednesday night, one by Iran and the other by Israel, shows the perennial enemies’ shadow war is coming out into the light.

That threatens to turn the growing conflict into a full-blown war in the Middle East.

Source: Israel and Iran attacks show countries moving closer to full-blown war – Vox

South Korea Has Reassessed the Value of its American Alliance

China’s idea of the perfect Korean settlement is simple: North Korea should denuclearize completely in return for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from the peninsula.

In one stroke, China would solve the problem of its tiresome neighbor’s outsize military ambitions and capabilities and—more importantly for Beijing—reduce Washington’s influence and interest in northeast Asia.

This was doubtless the deal which Kim Jong-un was encouraged to negotiate by Xi during his visit to Beijing in late March 2018. And, of course, this was what Kim was thought to mean by “phased, synchronized measures to achieve peace [and] the issue of the denuclearization of the peninsula.”

This is also the settlement which would alarm the Japanese and, once upon a time, would have appalled Seoul.

But Seoul’s view has changed significantly.

Source: South Korea Has Reassessed the Value of its American Alliance

China’s Lock on Prescription Supply a Weapon in Trump’s Trade War | US News


Two pillars of Trump administration policy – combating the soaring prices for prescription drugs and equalizing the U.S. trade imbalance with China – appear to be on a collision course, drug and foreign policy experts say.

That’s because the key ingredients for so many essential drugs, from antibiotics and birth control pills to treatments for cancer, depression, high cholesterol and HIV/AIDS, are purchased from China, says Rosemary Gibson, co-author with Janardan Prasad Singh of a new book called “ChinaRx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.”

China has exclusive manufacturing agreements for drugs for anesthesia, cancer and HIV/AIDS, along with other medicines that “we use every day, not only in hospitals but in our own medicine chests,” Gibson says, adding that China is now the world’s only source of antibiotics, including the main ingredient in vancomycin, a treatment of last resort that is used by patients who are suffering from infections that are resistant to other treatment.

Source: China’s Lock on Prescription Supply a Weapon in Trump’s Trade War | Best Countries | US News

United States ‘ups the trade ante’ with attack on China’s ‘Orwellian’ demands on airlines, analysts say | South China Morning Post


The White House on Saturday condemned China’s Civil Aviation Administration for ordering 36 foreign carriers, including US airlines, to remove references on their websites or in other material that suggested Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were part of countries independent from China.

The White House said the demands were “Orwellian nonsense” and US President Donald Trump “will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens.”

Source: United States ‘ups the trade ante’ with attack on China’s ‘Orwellian’ demands on airlines, analysts say | South China Morning Post

Bolton pushing to eliminate White House cyber job | POLITICO


While Bolton has advocated a more aggressive cyber strategy against U.S. adversaries than past administrations — for example, talking about a “retaliatory cyber campaign against Russia” — he has also told staff that he intends to reorganize the entire NSC (National Security Council). Those “changes could include combining higher-level director positions,” according to a memo Fox News cited last month.

Losing the cyber coordinator post “would be a tremendous disappointment,” said Kiersten Todt, who managed former President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity commission and is now resident scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security.

Source: Bolton pushing to eliminate White House cyber job – POLITICO

Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on US protection | TheHill


“It is no longer such that the United States simply protects us, but Europe must take its destiny in its own hands. That’s the task of the future,” she said during a speech honoring French President Emmanuel Macron, according to Agence France-Presse.

Macron echoed Merkel, saying European nations should not allow “other major powers, including allies” to “put themselves in a situation to decide our diplomacy [and] security for us.”

Source: Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on US protection | TheHill

Demand for Mueller ‘scope’ memo threatens principles of proper DOJ oversight | TheHill


There are important limits on Congressional oversight, particularly when it comes to ongoing federal criminal investigations. Those limits have clearly been exceeded by a recent request from two individual members of Congress.

Last month, two individual House members, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and demanded an unredacted copy of his August 2, 2017 memo to special counsel Robert Mueller outlining the scope of the allegations within the DOJ criminal investigation at the time of Mueller’s appointment in May.

Source: Demand for Mueller ‘scope’ memo threatens principles of proper DOJ oversight | TheHill

GOP has few takers for 2020 convention | TheHill


The cities that have rejected hosting duties insist Trump and today’s divisive politics are not factors in their decisions. They instead cite high security costs and disruptions in the normal flow of business and traffic.

But Trump is almost certainly a factor in some cities’ decisions to opt out.

Source: GOP has few takers for 2020 convention | TheHill

Dick Cheney: Restart enhanced interrogation programs | POLITICO


Former Vice President Dick Cheney has long defended the post-9/11 tactics even as the national climate shifted over the years. Congress has since banned them.

“I think the techniques we used were not torture. A lot of people try to call it that, but it wasn’t deemed torture at the time,” he told Maria Bartiromo.

“People want to go back and try to rewrite history, but if it were my call, I’d do it again.”

Source: Dick Cheney: Restart enhanced interrogation programs – POLITICO

White House official mocked ‘dying’ McCain at internal meeting | TheHill


Special assistant Kelly Sadler made the derisive comments during a closed-door White House meeting of about two-dozen communications staffers on Thursday morning.“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said, according to a source familiar with the remarks at the meeting.

Source: White House official mocked ‘dying’ McCain at internal meeting | TheHill