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Council on Foreign Relations Daily News Brief
July 25, 2014

Top of the Agenda

Obama Meeting Central American Leaders on Migration Crisis

U.S. president Barack Obama is set to urge the leaders of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to halt the surge of young, often unaccompanied migrants arriving in the United States, while offering assistance to address underlying factors driving the emigration (WSJ). Ahead of their Friday meeting at the White House, the leaders asked Congress for economic assistance, and attributed the violence partly driving the flight of young people (WaPo) to narco-trafficking to the United States. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is weighing a proposal to screen youth in Honduras to determine whether they meet refugee or humanitarian criteria for entering the United States (NYT).

Analysis

"It is important to impose harsher penalties for 'coyotes' or smugglers, since this has become a very lucrative business for organized crime, according to recent reports by Prensa Libre and Emisoras Unidas. It is also important to communicate to Indigenous leaders in sending communities why crossing illegally into the U.S. is a crime (both in Spanish and in different Mayan languages)," writes Juan Carlos Zapata for Americas Quarterly.

"While the surge in unaccompanied children has received a lot of media attention, the number of apprehensions of children who are accompanied by a parent or guardian has increased at a far faster clip, nearly tripling (160% increase) in less than a year," writes the Pew Research Center.

"None of these is more important than pervasive weaknesses in the basic institutions of the rule of law [in Latin America]—the police, the prosecutors, the courts and the prisons. Trust in the criminal-justice system remains low: majorities of the population in almost every country in the region have little or no faith in it," writes the Economist.

 

PACIFIC RIM

Beijing Mulls Fossil Fuel Policy

Senior Chinese officials are debating a cap on coal use as they formulate the country's next five-year plan. Coal use would be pegged to economic growth and energy demand, which could allow an increase in emissions for years (NYT).

CFR's Global Governance Report Card classifies China as a "laggard" in climate change policy.

SOUTH KOREA: South Korean president Park Geun-hye on Friday rejected Japanese efforts to mend relations (Korea Times) that were conveyed by Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe in an official visit to Seoul (SCMP).

 

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

India Summons Pakistani Envoy over Mumbai Attacks Trial

India on Friday lodged a protest with Pakistan's deputy high commissioner in New Delhi over repeated delays in the trial of seven Pakistanis charged with participating in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai (Hindu).

CFR's Daniel Markey reports on mounting Indian and Chinese security concerns as the United States draws down from Afghanistan.

PAKISTAN: Citing a terrorism threat, Pakistan's interior ministry announced on Friday that the military will oversee law and order in the capital of Islamabad for three months, (Express Tribune).

 

MIDDLE EAST

West Bank Protests Escalate as U.S. Presses Truce

Thousands of Palestinians marched near Ramallah late Thursday,clashing with Israeli security forces (Ma'an) after blasts killed sixteen people seeking refuge at a UN school in Gaza (NYT). Meanwhile, the United States pushed Israel and Hamas to consider a temporary cease-fire, during which time they could negotiate a longer-term deal (Haaretz).

CFR's Elliott Abrams weighs in on the roles of the EU and UN Human Rights Council.

SYRIA: A UN convoy bearing humanitarian aid crossed into Syria from Turkey Thursday night in defiance of Damascus. The shipment comes a week after the Security Council approved a resolutionauthorizing cross-border aid deliveries without the government's consent (AFP).

This CFR Global Conflict Tracker assesses the situation in Syria after three years of civil war.

 

AFRICA

Missing Air Algérie Flight’s Wreckage Found

France dispatched a military unit in Mali to secure the crash site of the Air Algérie flight that went missing early Thursday with 166 on board (France24), President Francois Hollande said. The crash has been preliminarily attributed to weather conditions.

SUDAN: Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who fled to the U.S. embassy in Khartoum after facing apostasy charges, has met Pope Francis on Thursday in Italy (BBC).

 

EUROPE

Australia Bids to Secure MH17 Crash Site

Australia Bids to Secure MH17 Crash Site

Australia is nearing a deal with Ukraine to allow its police to assist aDutch-led mission that would secure the MH17 flight's crash site (Guardian), Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said Friday. Meanwhile, Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk was expected to resign (Reuters), and the United States accused Russia of firing artillery at Ukrainian military positions across the border (FT).

Analysis and background on the Ukraine crisis is provided by this regularly updated CFR Global Conflict Tracker.

POLAND: The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday found that Poland was complicit in the CIA's rendition and torture program (EUObserver). The court has cases against Lithuania and Romania onsimilar allegations on its docket.

 

AMERICAS

Venezuelan Intelligence Chief Arrest on U.S. Drug Charges

Authorities in Aruba arrested former Venezuela intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal at the request of U.S. law enforcement officials, who suspect him of assisting the Colombian rebel group FARC's drug trafficking activities (LAT).

JAPAN: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe embarked on a five-nation Latin America tour (Asahi Shimbun) on Friday to bolster ties in the region. Abe's trip comes on the heels of Chinese president Xi Jinping's tour of the region.

 

 

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