Mark Lauria

U.S. Senate Backs Massive Arms Sales To U.A.E. After Trump Veto Threat

On 9 December, the United States Senate backed President Donald Trump’s high-tech arms deals to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), following his veto threat against resolutions seeking to block them. Although introduced by Democratic Senators Robert Menendez, Chris Murphy, and Republican Senator Rand Paul, two procedural votes were mainly partisan, […]

Dozens Confirmed Dead In ‘Brutal’ Attack In Western Ethiopia

Dozens of people were confirmed dead in a “brutal” terrorist attack in the West Wellega Zone of Ethiopia. It occurred after government forces left unexpectedly on 1 November. Following their departure, survivors said rebels identifying themselves from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) arrived and claimed authority to the area. According […]

Renewed Fighting In Nagorno-Karabakh Threatens U.S.-Backed Truce

Renewed fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region has threatened a recent agreement brokered by the United States. Tensions escalated within minutes after the agreement took effect at 8:00am when Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenian forces of shelling villages in the Terter and Lachin areas. Authorities in […]

Myanmar Insurgents Say They Kidnapped Ruling Party Candidates

Western Myanmar insurgents claimed responsibility for kidnapping three candidates from State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). On 14 October, armed Arakan Army (AA) operatives overran a campaign event in southern Rakhine. When speaking with Agence France Press, witness and NLD supporter Thant […]

EU Leaders To Insist On Tough Enforcement Powers In Brexit: FT.I

Last Thursday, European Union leaders met in Brussels to discuss enforcement for a prospective Brexit trade deal, skeptical of United Kingdom promises. Chief Brexit negotiator Micheal Barnier was expected to ensure support for “level playing field” guarantees through the same rights enabling E.U. retaliation against Britain if they breach previous […]

Afghan President Arrives In Qatar Amid Peace Talks

On Monday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Qatar amid peace talks for a bilateral meeting with Qatari leaders, neglecting to include Taliban officials in the discussion. Last month, the Afghan government and Taliban agreed to reduce violence and potential power-sharing in Afghanistan. However, violence has continued since these negotiations […]

“China Will Keep Opening Up”: Chinese Relations On The World Stage

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Counselor and senior diplomat Wang Yi said Monday that the country will continue opening its economy to the world. Along with expanding access to foreign investors, Wang said that China has shortened the Negative List, which details entities restricted or prohibited to international firms. […]

The Chinese flag (red, with one large yellow star and four smaller stars surrounding it in the left corner) flaps against a cloudy sky.

Belarus Opposition Appeal To E.U. Fails To Unblock Sanctions

Belarusian opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s appeal to the European Union failed to overturn blocked sanctions against individuals within President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime. Citing requirements for unanimous decision on foreign policy, top diplomat Josep Borrell said, “[T]he required unanimity was not reached.” On Monday, only Cyprus of the 27 E.U. members […]

Belarus Leader Entreats Putin For Support As Crackdown Fails To Dispel Protests

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko entreated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support at the Black Sea Sochi resort on Monday, as crackdown measures fail to dispel protests. Putin responded with a $1.5 billion dollar loan to Belarus, to refinance earlier loans, as well as gold and foreign exchange reserves depleted last month […]

Brexit Back In Crisis As UK Threatens To Undercut Divorce Pact

United Kingdom and European Union trade talks returned to crisis, amid Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s threat to override the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement he previously signed unless a deal is reached by 15 October. Indicating impatience, his administration drafted the Internal Market Bill on Wednesday. It explicitly violates Brexit, particularly the […]

Baltic States Impose Sanctions On Lukashenko And Other Belarus Officials

The Baltic states imposed travel sanctions on President Lukashenko and 29 other Belarus officials. They were accused of aiding vote-rigging and violence against protesters challenging his landslide election victory over Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on 9 August. His inclusion in the sanctions was intended to prompt other European Union bodies reluctant to […]

Tsikhanouskaya Hopes Dialogue With Belarusian Authorities Will Start Soon

Belarusian presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya hopes to start dialogue with authorities amid controversy over the August 9th election, which many believe was rigged. Belarus’s central election commission cited preliminary results showing a landslide victory for Tsikhanouskaya’s opponent, the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, who received 80% of the vote to Tsikhanouskaya’s […]

Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattarra To Run For Third Term

Last Thursday, Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara announced his plans for a third term. Despite his announcement in March that he would not seek re-election, he declared that the death of his preferred successor, then-Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly in July, and his party’s request to reconsider, prompted him to […]