Longtime President Evo Morales has fled to Mexico, leaving behind a deeply divided country and an unclear line of succession. For now, the military appears to be a major arbiter of political power.
Morales’s alleged manipulation of the October 20 presidential election sparked weeks of widespread protests. Demonstrators, including members of the national police, called for a rerun and an independent audit as opportunists looted and vandalized property.
Source: Bolivia’s Power Vacuum: What to Know | Council on Foreign Relations
Judges at the international criminal court (ICC) have authorized a full-scale investigation into allegations of mass persecution and crimes against humanity that forced at least 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh.
The ruling, which sets a significant precedent in expanding the jurisdiction of the war crimes court, is the second move against Myanmar this week at international tribunals in The Hague.
Source: War crimes court approves inquiry into violence against Rohingya | World news | The Guardian
North Korea ratifies the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), a multilateral agreement whose dozens of signatories have committed to halting the spread of nuclear weapons and technology and promoting peaceful cooperation on nuclear energy. North Korea built its first nuclear facilities in the early 1980s.
Source: North Korean Nuclear Negotiations: A Brief History
President Donald Trump this week laid out his most direct case yet for staying the course in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, he boasted that his “America First” policies had delivered stronger-than-expected economic growth and new jobs for millions of Americans, despite the disruption caused not only by his trade war with China, but also by the tariffs he has imposed on close U.S. allies in Europe.
While most coverage of the speech focused on Trump claiming credit for leading an economic “boom,” it was more revealing in capturing how the president thinks about economic statecraft overall—and how he misconstrues it.
Trump misunderstands American economic strength, the leverage it gives him over U.S. partners as well as adversaries, and what the best approach is when the United States feels the rules of the road are not in its favor.
Source: Trump’s Boasts of an Economic ‘Boom’ Are Misplaced and Misguided
It is a strategy that President Donald Trump has deployed throughout his life, as instinctive and natural to him as the act of breathing: Villainize whoever is blocking his way.
Distasteful as Trump’s taunts might be, ridiculing adversaries has been the blunt-force instrument that propelled his political rise, with the president turning people into targets of scorn.
As the impeachment fight enters its public phase, though, Trump faces a quandary.
His go-to move may be inadequate in this moment for the very same reason the impeachment threat is so grave. There may be too many accusers who believe he shook down Ukraine, too many people who find fault with his behavior for the president to smack with a rhetorical mallet.
Source: Trump’s Long List of Impeachment Enemies – The Atlantic
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are both proposing wealth taxes as a part of their bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The taxes are an effort to close the growing wealth gap in the United States. Here’s a look at what wealth looks like in the United States:
As a whole, American households have seen their wealth, also called net worth, grow 58% from a low of $68 trillion, or $577,000 per household, in the first quarter of 2009 to $107 trillion, or $881,000 per household, in the second quarter of 2019, based on an inflation-adjusted dataset from the Federal Reserve.
Due to the increase in value of investment assets commonly held by higher income groups, the top 20% of income earners have seen their net worth grow 78% since the recession. Their share of the nation’s wealth grew from 64% to 72% during that period. At the same time, the bottom 20% of income earners have seen their wealth drop by 30%.
Source: Wealth in America: Inequality Persists in Household Wealth | America 2020 | US News
Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to the West last month that the widening chaos in Libya after almost a decade of war should have been obvious: “A flow of migrants went through Libya to Europe,” he said in an interview, recalling the displacement of refugees that has reached crisis levels in recent years. “They have what they were warned about.”
This week, The New York Times documented the deployment into Libya of Russian mercenaries. While Moscow denies its involvement, the situation mirrors tactics it has successfully employed in Syria and Ukraine to gain influence in chaotic war zones by dispatching private forces Putin can disavow until the point of victory.
Source: Russia Positioning Itself in Libya to Unleash Migrant Crisis Into Europe | World Report | US News
The impeachment process that took a dramatic and public turn this week may well not end up with President Donald Trump being ousted from office early next year. But it might make the difference in Trump losing his job in November.
While support for impeachment and removal of Trump from office has remained relatively stagnant since mid-October, with a bare plurality supporting impeachment and conviction, there are signs that the process is damaging Trump in his second battle to stay in office – next year’s elections.
Source: For Democrats, It’s Mission: Impeachment | America 2020 | US News
The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, whom President Donald Trump called “bad news” before firing her, will be in the spotlight on Friday when she testifies at the second day of televised impeachment hearings.
Source: Ousted ‘bad news’ U.S. ambassador to Ukraine to testify in Trump impeachment probe – Reuters
It epitomized U.S. air power during the Cold War, was used extensively by the U.S. in Vietnam and was still in active service decades later. But now, the iconic F-4 Phantom II fighter-bomber is flying into the sunset.
Only a few dozen Phantoms remain in active service around the world out of 5,195 built during a 20-year production run that started in the 1950s.
The American ones, flown by the Air Force, Navy and Marines, are all gone, many of them having been shot down in their final roles as target-practice drones. Those still in use by foreign air forces are slated for retirement in the near future.
Source: Disappearing Phantom: Iconic jet nears end of service – Stripes