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Daily Brief: Worldwide Condemnations, Condolences for Orlando Attack

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June 14, 2016

Daily News Brief

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Worldwide Condemnations, Condolences for Orlando Attack

The UN Security Council, foreign governments, religious leaders, and civil society organizations issued condemnations of Sunday's attack at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left fifty people dead. Repudiations of the attack and condolences came from (Al Jazeera) Pope Francis, Afghanistan's chief executive, Iran's foreign ministry, and Turkey's deputy prime minister (LA Times), among others. A Chinese state-run newspaper published excerpts (Global Times) from a letter from Chinese LGBT rights organizations condemning "terrorism and all forms of violence based on sexual orientation." U.S. authorities continue to investigate the motivations of the shooter, Omar Mateen, who is increasingly seen as a "lone wolf" gunman.


"There needs to be some type of civil society program or organization that provides an 'off-ramp' where law enforcement can direct people like Mateen. This would be a program for individuals who they don’t think should be kept on their radar as an imminent threat. So, in Mateen’s case, this program could have stepped in between the time the FBI closed its investigation and the Orlando attack. This type of organization would be embedded in civil society and deal with individuals who are on the verge of going down the path that we know can lead to violence," Karen J. Greenberg says in a CFR interview.

"Firearms killed over 13,000 Americans last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a figure which more than doubles when suicides are included. It has long befuddled America’s allies that a rich and civilized nation that regularly seeks to keep the peace around the globe seems incapable of reining in access even to military-style weaponry at home. Lobbyists at the National Rifle Association have somehow persuaded politicians that the right to bear arms embodied in the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment is sacrosanct in a way other elements of the Constitution are not," Richard Beales writes for Reuters.

"In countries where large and highly-capable militant armies exist, governments lack the homeland security and law enforcement infrastructure needed to prevent mass-fatality attacks as successfully as been the case for the United States. The innocent victims of terrorism within these countries suffer so greatly, because they try to create a life among ongoing insurgencies and civil wars, cannot rely upon the state to protect them, and then are killed by terrorists searching for the least well-defended populations, in order to spread fear and elicit recruits. Few of these eighty-two attacks were covered by Western media, and even those (like myself) who try to understand terrorism probably knew of only a dozen of them," writes CFR's Micah Zenko in this blog post. 


Philippines Condemns Execution of Canadian Hostage by Islamists

Outgoing Philippines President Benigno Aquino condemned the execution of a Canadian hostage (Reuters) by the Al Qaeda-linked militant group Abu Sayyaf in the southern province of Sulu. The execution was the second of a Canadian by the same group since April (Guardian).

SINGAPORE: Officials announced announced that Singapore had achieved self-reliance in water supply through expanded catchment areas, desalination projects, and water recycling. Singapore has a contract to buy more than half its water from Malaysia, where a drought (Bloomberg) has reduced supply.


Pakistan Army Major and Afghan Police Officer Killed in Border Clash

A Pakistani army major died of his wounds (Dawn) and an Afghan police officer was killed in an exchange of gunfire at the Torkham border crossing (NYT). The clashes follow objections from Afghan border guards over Pakistan's construction of a gate at the crossing.

INDIA: A state-run Chinese newspaper published an op-ed (Global Times) saying India's bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which U.S. President Barack Obama has endorsed, would make a nuclear race with Pakistan "inevitable" and that such development could jeopardize China's national interests.

This CFR Backgrounder discusses the nuclear capabilities of China, India, and Pakistan.


Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund Blames Goldman Sachs for Losses

The Libyan Investment Authority is suing U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs, saying it was misled when the bank helped the fund invest more than $35 billion in 2007 (WSJ). The Libyan fund claims $1.2 billion in losses and says that the U.S. investment bank profited $200 million off the transaction (NYT).

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Some 250 families have moved into the first Palestinian planned city in the West Bank, which urban planners expect to be home to 600,000 when construction finishes in five years (AP). Rawabi, spearheaded by Palestinian-American developer Bashar Masri, is twenty-five miles north of Jerusalem.


Ethiopia, Eritrea Trade Blame for Border Clash

The neighboring countries each accused the other of initiating a border skirmish (BBC) Sunday which reportedly left casualties, though neither government has released figures. A 1998 to 2000 war between the two countries left tens of thousands of soldiers dead (NYT).

This CFR Backgrounder discusses authoritarianism in Eritrea and remaining tensions with Ethiopia.

UGANDA: The Ugandan military will withdraw (WSJ) its three thousand troops from a U.S.-backed initiative against rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic. A military spokesman said that "international support has not been enough" for the mission (Africa News).


EU Envoy to Turkey Resigns

The EU's top envoy to Turkey, Hansjoerg Haber, resigned (Reuters) after he was summoned by the Turkish foreign ministry over comments he made that were critical of Turkey's handling of the migration deal with the bloc.

CFR's Steven A. Cook discusses Turkey's relationship with its neighbors in this event.

FRANCE: President Francois Hollande called the killing (BBC) of two police employees by an assailant claiming allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State "unquestionably a terrorist act." France is on high alert as the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament is underway, and authorities arrested ten fans following clashes in Marseille that injured thirty-five people (WSJ).


Supporters of Venezuelan Leader Sue Opposition

The head of a government task force assembled to verify signatures on a vote to recall President Nicolas Maduro called the collection a "big fraud" and filed a lawsuit with Venezuela's Constitutional Court (El Universal).


IEA Sees Market Balance in 2017

The International Energy Agency said that global oil supplies will move closer to a balance in the second half of the year following production drops in Canada, Nigeria, and elsewhere (WSJ).


Clinton Calls on Saudi Arabia, Qatar to Halt Citizens Financing Extremists

Hillary Clinton called on (NYT) Saudi Arabia and Qatar to prevent their citizens from donating to Islamic charities that funnel funds to extremist groups.

Track and compare the presidential candidates' counter terrorism and foreign policy views with CFR's interactive, The Candidates and the World.

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