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Daily Brief: Europe Awaits Brexit Details in May's Speech

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September 22, 2017

Daily News Brief

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Europe Awaits Brexit Details in May's Speech

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will call on Europe to be "creative" (BBC) in a Friday speech in Florence that will spell out her government's positions on Britain's exit from the European Union.

May is expected to propose a two-year transitional deal to begin after the country's exit in 2019, which could see payments to the bloc totaling up to $24 billion, and the signing of a permanent trade agreement. She is also expected to propose greater legal protections for EU citizens (FT) residing in the United Kingdom. EU leaders say they have been waiting since May triggered Brexit negotiations in March (AFP) to hear details of her plan for a withdrawal deal. 


"On the continent expectations are not too high; most await crab-like progress, six months into exit talks," Alex Barker and Mehreen Khan write for the Financial Times.

"Any deal that does not satisfy the EU when it comes to its citizens could conceivably squeak through by majority vote in the European Council, but it is hard to see the European Parliament, which wields a veto, acquiescing," Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes write for the Guardian.

"In the short term, EU officials have been panicked over whether the UK will live up to the commitments in the current [multiannual financial framework], which runs to 2020. The financial offer that May is expected to propose in Florence would barely keep the current plan on track," David M. Herszenhorn and Quentin Aries write for Politico

Take a Closer Look at Pressing Global Issues

Take a Closer Look at Pressing Global Issues

From child marriage to Kurdish independence, CFR's new Facebook Watch series, Our World, Explained, explores global flashpoints with expert analysis and insight. 'Like' our show page on Facebook to be notified of new episodes each week!



Pyongyang Threatens Hydrogen Bomb Test Over Pacific

North Korea's foreign minister, while in New York, said North Korea may test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific (Yonhap) after its leader Kim Jong-un warned U.S. President Donald J. Trump that he would "pay dearly" for threatening the country in a UN speech on Tuesday.

John Delury looks at the risks of Trump's tough talk on North Korea in Foreign Affairs.

PHILIPPINES: President Rodrigo Duterte said he would have his own son killed (AFP) if drug trafficking allegations against him prove true and that he would protect the police who would carry out the order from prosecution.


Telia to Pay $1 Billion Over Uzbek Bribery

Swedish telecommunications firm Telia agreed to pay nearly $1 billion in fines (WSJ) to U.S. and Dutch authorities to settle charges of bribes paid to an Uzbek official (RFE/RL) reported to be the daughter of former dictator Islam Karimov.

AFGHANISTAN: The U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan said in a new report that the $70 billion and sixteen years the United States has spent training Afghan forces (WSJ) has been undermined by poor planning and oversight, and improper methods.

Daniel Byman and Steven Simon discuss ending the war in Afghanistan in Foreign Affairs.


UN Team to Probe Islamic State War Crimes in Iraq

A new UN team will help Iraq investigate possible war crimes (DW) committed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have driven out the militants (RFE/RL) from all of their major urban strongholds in Iraq, leaving them only small pockets of control.

TUNISIA: Tunisia's navy has rescued seventy-eight migrants stranded at sea for three days off the country's eastern coast, which is increasingly being used for migrant crossings (Reuters) as Libya's coast guard cracks down on such attempts.


Kenya Delays Election Rerun

Kenya's electoral commission has pushed a rerun of an August presidential election ordered by the Supreme Court by nine days to October 26 (Al Jazeera). The new date puts the vote within five days of the sixty-day deadline given by the court (Daily Nation).

MALI: Rival separatist and pro-government groups in northern Mali signed a new cease-fire (Reuters) with UN, government, and international mediators in the capital of Bamako. 


Trump Praises Erdogan in New York Meeting

U.S. President Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "a friend" in a Thursday meeting between the two in New York, adding that he is "getting very high marks" running a country in a difficult part of the world (Bloomberg). The comments came despite international condemnation for Erdogan's crackdown on civil society after a failed coup attempt last year.


Fifteen Dead in Dominica From Hurricane Maria

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Caribbean island of Dominica said at least fifteen people have died (BBC) and another twenty remain missing after Hurricane Maria hit earlier this week.

NORTH AMERICA: Top negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada will meet in Ottawa on Saturday to resume talks on rewriting their free trade agreement (Bloomberg).

CFR's Shannon K. O'Neil writes in Americas Quarterly that it's time to face the myth that NAFTA cuts U.S. jobs.


Facebook to Share Russian Ads With Investigators

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said his company will turn over some three thousand Russia-linked political ads to a congressional committee probing Kremlin interference (NYT) in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

More than sixty-four thousand people in the United States died from drug overdoses in 2016 (VOA), a 21 percent increase from a year earlier. A new White House commission on combating drug addiction said the death toll is equal to "September 11th every three weeks."

This CFR Backgrounder looks at the toll of the U.S. opioid epidemic

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