It wasn’t long ago that Germany’s Angela Merkel was anointed as the last defender of liberal Western values. She was even expected to hold America’s Donald Trump to account. But that vision died with her announcement that she supported prohibiting Muslim women from wearing a “full veil” face covering.
The UK’s vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) has taken the world by surprise. There has been much debate about what it means, if anything, to America. Whatever the outcome, which will not be known for years, it shouldn’t undermine America’s resolve to grow exports and expand our global leadership.
Last month’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union gives control over trade policy back to British officials, who are now faced with the difficult task of creating new domestic institutions and formulating trade and other international economic policies. Some of their immediate work is obvious.
British voters delivered a shock to global markets on June 23rd. with their 52-48 percent vote to leave the European Union. When the turmoil subsides, more sober-minded Brits may come to regret their decision to abandon their four-decade membership in the continental-sized common market.
The NATO-Russia Council met in Brussels for the first time in nearly two years. “We are not afraid of dialogue,” announced alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Alas, the talks didn’t get very far. Afterward he explained: “it was reconfirmed that we disagree on the facts, on the narrative and the responsibilities in and around Ukraine.” Indeed, he added, “there were profound disagreements.”
American voters face a dizzying array of 2016 presidential candidates — 21 at last count. Their positions on economic issues likely will command voters’ greatest interest. Historically, unless the country is at war, foreign policy has not been an issue of great interest during presidential elections. But this time may be different as two critical issues weigh on the minds of many Americans.
After a bruising political battle, Congress has passed Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which sets out a framework for President Obama to negotiate trade agreements and have Congress vote yes or no on them, without any amendments. First up in the queue will almost certainly be the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12 nation trade pact that has been under negotiation for the past few years, and is almost complete.
It should not have come as a surprise that the majority of Greek voters opted not to accept more externally-imposed austerity by voting “no” in the Sunday, July 5th referendum. The election pollsters once again were proven wrong. It was not a close race with Greeks who wanted to remain in the Eurozone and add more to the country’s obviously untenable debt burden.
The Polar Code, an international regime covering a range of shipping-related matters for vessels operating in polar waters, was adopted by the International Maritime Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations headquartered in London, England. Effective January, 1, 2017, the rules regulate navigation in waters in and around the Arctic and Antarctica, and include ship design, construction and equipment; operational and training concerns; search and rescue; and the protection of the unique environment and eco-systems of the polar regions.
The grand coalition of the Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU and the center-left SPD has been troubled by internal disagreements, but there is little chance that either the Merkel’s bloc or the Social Democrats might force an early election. The results of state elections held since the government was formed after the 2013 elections have highlighted a growing tide of euroskepticiscm.
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