Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Trump offers to meet with North Korea leader under the right conditions. Even says he would be “honored” to meet him. (Washington Post)
Why the sweet talk about one of the world’s most noxious humans?
Comment: My guess is that Trump and his aides are trying to give Kim Jong Un a face-saving way out, even as the US ratchets up the pressure. Trump would never meet with Kim unless the deal itself was already set.
It’s all a long shot in any case. Everything hinges on China, and the only reason China will pressure Pyongyang is the now-credible fear that, if Beijing does not act, Washington will.
Who knows if the whole thing will disintegrate? Still, Trump and his team have handled this carefully, so far, and have managed to assert leverage from threats that were simply impossible under Obama and the Bush administration (which was tied down in Iraq).
To put it simply: Trump is coupling his coercive diplomacy with a carrot.
The UK will not enter into “a briefing war” with the European Commission over Brexit talks, Tory sources have said.
It follows reports in a German paper of repeated clashes between Theresa May and Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a Downing Street dinner.
EU sources claimed UK misunderstanding of the talks process, and ignorance about how Brussels works, could lead to no deal being agreed on the UK’s exit. –BBC
Comment: These will be complicated, difficult negotiations. Each is a huge trading partner of the other. But the EU does not want to set an example that it is easy to leave the union. Nor does it want to see EU nations, currently living in the UK, forced out.
◆ Dozens of Putin’s opponents killed over the years. USA Today says those “cast suspicion on Vladimir Putin”
What do they have in common? They are among 38 prominent Russians who are victims of unsolved murders or suspicious deaths since the beginning of 2014, according to a list compiled by USA TODAY and British journalist Sarah Hurst, who has done research in Russia.
The list contains 10 high-profile critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, seven diplomats, six associates of Kremlin power brokers who had a falling out — often over corruption — and 13 military or political leaders involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, including commanders of Russian-backed separatist forces.. –USA Today
Comment: Looks like a previous leader passed along his advice.
◆ Why are US corporate earnings so high when the economy looks weak, CNBC asks. Short Answer: International Earnings in a strong global economy.
◆ How is Europe’s problem with Islamic terror going? Not Well.
◆ Just heard Elvin Bishop singing “I’m Old School,” with the great line,
Don’t send me no email.
Send me a female.