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Daily Brief: Nuclear Disarmament Activists Win Nobel Peace Prize

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October 6, 2017

Daily News Brief

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Nuclear Disarmament Activists Win Nobel Peace Prize

A Geneva-based coalition of activists behind the first-ever international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons (WaPo) has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced Friday.

The group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, was behind the push for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was approved by the United Nations in July and has been signed by least fifty-three member states (NYT). The decade-old coalition, which has branches in more than one hundred countries, was modeled on earlier movements to ban land mines. The coalition's executive director said the group aims to signal to nuclear-armed states (WSJ) that it is "unacceptable to threaten to kill civilians."


"The choice amounted to a blunt rejoinder to the world's nine nuclear-armed powers, which boycotted the negotiations and denounced the treaty as a naive and dangerous diversion," Rick Gladstone writes for the New York Times.

"The Nobel committee's decision comes as the U.S. president, Donald Trump, has threatened to decertify and unravel the Iran nuclear deal, which could trigger a second nuclear standoff in the midst of the North Korea crisis," Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Jon Henley write for the Guardian.

"No one with any connection to reality could seriously believe that the governments of China, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia will simply abandon their nuclear weapons because public opinion has turned against them," Carl Bildt writes for Project Syndicate.

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!



China Donates Weapons to Philippines

China has donated $22 million in rifles, ammunition, and sniper scopes (SCMP) to the Philippines' police forces, the second such shipment this year (Reuters). U.S. lawmakers blocked a sale of assault weapons to the Philippines last year.

CAMBODIA: The Interior Ministry has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court requesting that the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party be dissolved before elections next year (Phnom Penh Post). The party leader was arrested in September on charges of treason. 

CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick says the White House appears uninterested in the crackdown in Cambodia.


Pakistan Warns India Over Targeting Nuclear Facilities

The foreign minister said Thursday that "nobody should expect restraint" (Dawn) from Pakistan if India targets its nuclear installations. India's air force chief said earlier this week that his aircraft could destroy Pakistan's facilities.

UZBEKISTAN: The Uzbek government has recalled some workers from seasonal forced labor (HRW) in cotton fields, according to a workers' rights group. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev acknowledged forced labor (RFE/RL) at this year's UN General Assembly, a first by an Uzbek leader.


U.S. Military Halts Some Exercises in Gulf

The U.S. military said it has halted some exercises with allies in the Gulf in light of the ongoing boycott of Qatar (AP) by four Arab nations. An air force spokesman said the United States has opted out to respect "inclusiveness and shared regional interests."

IRAQ: Following a visit to Tehran, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will close the border with Iraqi Kurdistan (VOA) in retaliation for its independence referendum last month.

CFR's Amy Myers Jaffe discusses oil geopolitics in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Nigerian Senate to Probe State Oil Firm

Nigerian lawmakers have launched an investigation of the state-owned oil company after a letter by the country's oil minister alleging that contracts worth $26 billion (BBC) were awarded without due process was leaked earlier this week.


Spanish Court Suspends Catalan Parliament

Spain's Constitutional Court has suspended a Monday session of Catalonia's parliament during which Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was set to present the results of an independence referendum (WSJ) opposed by Madrid. The parliament defied a similar order to hold the vote.

Pablo Beramendi discusses Catalonia's push for independence in a CFR interview. 

POLAND: At least two women's rights groups reported that their offices were raided by police (Guardian) on Wednesday after demonstrating this week against restrictive abortion legislation.


Twenty-Two Dead in Central America After Tropical Storm

Authorities have blamed Tropical Storm Nate (Reuters) for at least twenty-two deaths this week in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Louisiana has declared a state of emergency (AP) ahead of the storm's expected landfall on Sunday.

BRAZIL: The president of Brazil's Olympic Committee, who led Rio de Janeiro's successful bid to host the 2016 summer games (BBC), was arrested as part of a probe into a vote-buying scheme to secure the games for Rio. 


Report: Russian Hackers Stole NSA Cybersecurity Material

Hackers working on behalf of the Russian government stole highly classified material from the U.S. National Security Agency after one of its contractors put the material on his home computer and used antivirus software from the Russia-based firm Kaspersky Lab, according to the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump is expected to announce next week that he will decertify the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran but will not yet recommend reimposing sanctions (WaPo)

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