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Daily Brief: France Extends State of Emergency After Nice Attack Kills Dozens

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July 15, 2016

Daily News Brief

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France Extends State of Emergency After Nice Attack Kills Dozens

President Francois Hollande announced that France's state of emergency, set to expire July 26, will be extended for three months following the attack on a Bastille Day parade in the southern city of Nice that killed at least eighty-four people. Hollande also said that France would increase its role in the international coalition fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State (France 24). The assailant drove a truck through crowds of spectators on a beachfront promenade; U.S. and Russian citizens are amongst the dead (NYT). No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and police sources said the perpetrator was a Frenchman of Tunisian origin with a record of committing common and violent crimes, though he was not known to intelligence services (Guardian). The attack is the third major terror incident in France in nineteen months. 


"As with the killing of 49 people in a nightclub in Florida last month, investigators will want to establish the degree to which Isis or any other group might have been involved as soon as possible. This is not a mere detail but crucial to understanding the continuing threat. There is a vast range of possibilities: from direct commission, organisation and execution through to the most tenuous connection via ideological inspiration over the internet," Jason Burke writes for the Guardian.

"There was no mention of the attack on the Islamic State’s Amaq channel on the encrypted telephone app Telegram, which serves as the group’s news wire. Numerous accounts that support the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and others that back Al Qaeda praised the deadly truck rampage. Accounts from Islamic State supporters featured graphics and online posters depicting the attack and the militant threat to Europe. One account showed an image of the Eiffel Tower engulfed in flames, next to the words 'Paris Burns and the Islamic State Grows'," Rukmini Callimachi writes for the New York Times.

"The tragic deaths of over 80 people celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice will keep border issues front and centre. The truck driver who ploughed through a crowd in what French President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act held French and Tunisian dual nationality, according to news reports. But that won’t prevent intensified fears about Europe’s frontiers. Like the attacks in Paris last November and those in Brussels in March, the latest atrocity could deepen divisions within Europe about welcoming refugees from the Middle East, as well as accentuating the divide between the right and left in politics," Richard Beales writes for Reuters Breaking Views.


China Calls on Japan to Stop "Interfering" in South China Sea Dispute

China's premier, Li Keqiang, has told Japan to stop what he called its interference in the dispute over sovereignty in the South China Sea. Li spoke at a regional summit in Mongolia in which a Hague tribunal's ruling against many of China's claims drew comment from many leaders. China has refused to recognize the ruling (Reuters).

This CFR InfoGuide lays out China's maritime disputes.

CHINA: Quarterly economic growth of 6.7 percent was slightly higher than market expectations (WSJ) though economists said to expect deceleration ahead, including the fallout from the Brexit vote and flooding in the Yangtze River Economic Belt.


U.S. Official: Sri Lanka War Crimes Investigation Faces Confidence Issues

International participation in a special court to investigate war crimes during Sri Lanka's civil war is necessary (Reuters) due to decreasing confidence in national courts, top U.S. human rights official Tom Malinowski said in Colombo. The United States and Western nations have called for an investigation into the alleged killings of thousands of minority Tamils in the final period of the war in 2009 (Daily Mirror).

KYRGYZSTAN: President Almaz Atambayev has endorsed a billboard campaign (Eurasia) that has criticized the spread of conservative Islam. Atambayev said it was important to resist "an imposition of foreign culture."


U.S. Military to Continue to Seek More Troops in Iraq

Army General Joseph Votel said that the U.S. military will seek additional troops in Iraq even as U.S. President Barack Obama announced an extra 560 this week (Reuters). Meanwhile in Iraq, thousands of Iraqis defied a ban on protests deemed "a terrorist threat" and rallied in Baghdad against sectarianism and corruption (Al Jazeera).

YEMEN: Representatives from the military wing of Houthi rebels, who control the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, will go Kuwait to resume UN-mediated peace talks (Al Jazeera) even as the Saudi-backed Yemeni government threatens a boycott.


UN: Half of Girls Worldwide Out of School Are in Sub-Saharan Africa

Fifteen million girls and ten million boys of primary school age will never attend school (Reuters), according to a new report from a UN agency, which said that half of those girls are in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Meighan Stone, president of the Malala Fund, discusses how policymakers can address girls' education worldwide in this CFR interview.

MOZAMBIQUE: A new report implicates North Korean diplomats in smuggling of rhino horns in Mozambique (Guardian).


Major U.S. Bank CEO Dimon Discusses Brexit Fallout

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said it could take years for the bank to properly "adjust to the new reality" of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (FT). Dimon made the comments in a call with analysts about the bank's quarterly results.

CFR's Sebastian Mallaby writes that new UK Prime Minister Theresa May must contain the damage from Brexit (WaPo).


Cost of BP 2010 Gulf Spill Reaches $61.6 Billion

Oil giant BP released its final estimate of the cost of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (WaPo); the $61.6 billion tab represents one-third of the market capitalization of the company before the spill.

CARIBBEAN: U.S. commercial banks are cutting their ties with Caribbean financial institutions over stricter banking controls and the fear of fines (Miami Herald) in an effort to "de-risk" their operations. Saint Lucia's prime minister said that countries are chartering planes to fly out loads of cash.

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