Trump’s halt to WHO funding prompts condemnation as coronavirus cases near two million – Reuters


WASHINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to halt funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic prompted condemnation on Wednesday from world leaders as recorded global infections approached the 2 million mark.

 

Source: Trump’s halt to WHO funding prompts condemnation as coronavirus cases near two million – Reuters

Trump asks NATO allies for help with Iran after years of bashing the alliance : The Conversation


President Trump’s speech about Iran wasn’t just aimed at that country or the US. He also targeted NATO allies, urging members of the alliance to step up and help US efforts in the Middle East.

Source: Trump asks NATO allies for help with Iran after years of bashing the alliance : The Conversation

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of violations, Russia says peace plan on track – Reuters


BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused Turkey on Thursday of launching a large land offensive targeting three villages in northeast Syria despite a truce, but Russia said a peace plan hammered out this week was going ahead smoothly.

 

Source: Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of violations, Russia says peace plan on track – Reuters

Turkish paper: CIA had recording of Saudi prince demanding Khashoggi be ‘silenced’


ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish newspaper reported on Thursday CIA director Gina Haspel signalled to Turkish officials last month that the agency had a recording of a call in which Saudi Arabia’s crown prince gave instructions to “silence” Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump vows ‘severe punishment’ for Saudi Arabia if Khashoggi was killed


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said in a CBS interview on Saturday that there would be “severe punishment” for Saudi Arabia if it turns out that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

 

Source: Trump vows ‘severe punishment’ for Saudi Arabia if Khashoggi was killed

Trump rails against ‘unfair’ trade at G7 leaders summit | Reuters


LA MALBAIE, Quebec (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump railed against trade practices he called unfair to the United States at a Group of Seven nations summit where leaders agreed on Saturday to fight protectionism and reform the World Trade Organization.

“We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing,” Trump said at a press conference shortly before leaving the gathering of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan. “It’s going to stop now or we’ll stop trading with them (other nations).”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged differences between the United States and the six other members of the G7 remained, but said a joint statement on trade was expected to be issued at the end of the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

 

Source: Trump rails against ‘unfair’ trade at G7 leaders summit | Reuters

Trump’s Art of Unpredictability Starts to Backfire Overseas – Bloomberg


As a businessman, U.S. President Donald Trump saw strength in his willingness to keep multiple balls in the air and change approach as they fell. In international relations, that unpredictability may be proving a liability.

In recent days, Trump’s sudden policy reversals on everything from tariffs to nuclear non-proliferation have prompted complaints from allies and rivals alike. Such flexible negotiating tactics — laid out in Trump’s 1987 book “The Art of the Deal” — have led them to question America’s reliability as a negotiating and, in some cases, security partner.

With defense ministers from around the world convening Friday for the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore, questions around U.S. reliability are likely to rival familiar concerns about China’s growing military assertiveness.

“A lot of delegates will be asking the questions they started asking last year about U.S. consistency and its determination to carry on a full defense of the rules-based international order,” said John Chipman, director general of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, which organizes the event at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.

Read a QuickTake on how Trump is treating trade as a national security issue

Trump’s moves have put long-standing alliances under strain and created opportunities for China — which has already displaced the U.S. as the top trading partner for most Asian nations — to conduct outreach of its own. Amid U.S. tariff threats in April, China and Japan held their first trade negotiation in eight years.

Fresh in the minds of delegate are Trump’s decisions to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, abandon a trade ceasefire with China, remove exemptions for some allies on steel and aluminum tariffs, and cancel — and then revive — his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The summit moves blindsided two key Asian allies: South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had just returned from Washington, and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe.

“I’m lost” when it comes to Trump, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said during a speech in Brussels on Thursday, just before the U.S. confirmed it would impose new steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Depleted Credibility

 

Source: Trump’s Art of Unpredictability Starts to Backfire Overseas – Bloomberg