Connect with us

World News

Embattled at Home, Trump Finds Himself Isolated Abroad, Too

Published

on


BRUSSELS — With U.S. cities burning and the coronavirus still raging, killing more people than in any other country, President Donald Trump also has growing problems overseas. He has never before been so isolated and ignored, even mocked.In Europe, after years of snubs and U.S. unilateralism, America's traditional allies have stopped looking to him for leadership, no longer trust that this president will offer them much and are turning their backs on him.That was evidenced most obviously this week by the decision of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, not to attend the Group of 7 meeting that Trump wanted so badly in Washington this month to show that the virus was behind him and the world was returning to normal.Merkel cited the lingering threat of the virus, but a senior German official who spoke on the condition of anonymity made clear that she had other reasons to decline: She believed that proper diplomatic preparations had not been made; she did not want to be part of an anti-China display; she opposed Trump's idea of inviting the Russian president, Vladimir Putin; she did not want to be seen as interfering in U.S. domestic politics.And she was shocked by Trump's sudden, unilateral decision to pull out of the World Health Organization.The divide between Trump and European allies was widening even before U.S. cities were convulsed by rioting. But the chaos on American streets, viewed from abroad, has only reinforced a sense that the conflicts that Trump seems to sow have caught up with him.As Trump threatens to call in the military against his own citizens, he has become a president that some of America's closest allies prefer to keep at arms' length, unsure of what he will do next and unwilling to be dragged into his campaign for reelection."Leaders in allied nations now think that criticizing Trump is to their advantage," said Marietje Schaake, a former Dutch European legislator, especially now with the unrest in U.S. cities and demonstrations supporting those protests in many European cities, including Amsterdam.Even the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles, felt bold enough Tuesday to say that Europe is ''shocked and appalled" by the police killing of George Floyd. He condemned an ''abuse of power" and "an excessive use of force" and urged the United States to act "in full respect of the law and human rights."On Monday, as if to underline the U.S. president's isolation, it was to the Russian president, Putin, that Trump placed a call, in which the two men discussed the virus, trade and "progress toward convening the G-7," the White House said.Trump invited Putin to the meeting, according to the Kremlin. But if it happens at all, there are doubts that Putin would accept being invited solely as a guest, having been kicked out of the club for his annexation of Crimea and support for insurrection in eastern Ukraine.Trump also called President Jair Bolsonaro, the hard-right leader of Brazil, on Monday."It all shows just how out of touch Trump is with allies," said Julianne Smith, a former Obama official now with the German Marshall Fund in Washington. "This is a man isolated at home and abroad. He is trying to find friends in other places, knowing that relations with traditional allies are bad. But there are serious strains even with the authoritarians he admires, like Xi Jinping and even Putin."Trump "continues to believe allies can be abused and mistreated and that he can order them around and at the same time count on them," Smith said. "He doesn't understand that while the U.S. is powerful, it doesn't always call the shots."Merkel's refusal to come to Washington "says a lot about how fed up multiple leaders are around the world, who have seen how little return they've gotten on the investments they made into a relationship with Trump," she said.With the virus and the riots, she added, "now there is a sense of America's weaknesses being exposed, and a feeling that the emperor has no clothes."The threads unraveled quickly. As late as Thursday, European and U.S. officials say, Trump's plans for a Group of 7 summit meeting in Washington were being negotiated with member countries and looked likely to go ahead. Then, Friday, Trump suddenly announced that he was pulling the United States out of the WHO, more than two weeks before his own stated deadline for the decision.As so often in the past, on issues like unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal or the Paris climate accord or the Open Skies treaty or the sudden ban on air travel from Europe, Trump ignored the views of allies or did not consult them at all.The WHO decision was a surprise to allies, and Merkel quickly said that she would not attend the proposed summit meeting.Since then, both Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada have come out publicly against bringing Russia back into the Group of 7."For the British and Canadians to say no publicly is highly unusual," given their closeness to the United States, said Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister. "They might disagree in private, but I would have thought they'd be the last to take issue publicly with him on something he cares about."As for Merkel, he said, given the lack of preparation, "the Germans suspected it was just a photo op with Trump in the White House."Despite allied concerns, the Group of 7 matters, and plans for the meeting were going ahead given a general desire to come up with strong positions on Hong Kong and to try to influence Washington's policies on the virus, said Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution.But after the WHO announcement, Merkel decided that "if you're going unilateral, I'm not going to be there to support you," Wright said. "The allies all think he's all over the place and they'll try to avoid him."Ulrich Speck, a German analyst, said that "Merkel has given up any pretensions that she as a German chancellor has to work with an American president no matter who it is." Merkel is a multilateralist in her soul, Speck said, "and she's been hurt by him often, they don't get along and they disagree on many policies," including open confrontation with China.Merkel remains committed to European engagement with Beijing. With Germany taking over the European Union presidency next month, she is trying to strike a European investment deal with China and wants to preserve an EU-China summit scheduled for Leipzig in the autumn."The G-7 is a Trump show, with no negotiation," Speck added. "The old G-7 is gone. For Trump it's not multilateral in spirit but unilateral, just a meeting to serve one purpose — his reelection."President Emmanuel Macron of France has a more traditional French view, especially toward building an improved relationship with Russia, despite Crimea, given its proximity to the European Union, said Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute of International Relations."In France toward Trump is a mix of sadness and anger," Gomart said. "Our main ally refused to exercise leadership during the corona crisis and is every day more provocative toward its allies and is creating divisions that are very actively exploited by China."After nearly four years, Trump has no diplomatic accomplishments, Gomart said, listing failures on North Korea, the Middle East, a deterioration of relations with China and no improvement of relations with Russia. Instead, Macron believes that Trump has damaged European security through his unilateral abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal as well as nearly every arms control agreement with Russia."Macron, to his credit, has at least tried with Trump," said William Drozdiak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has just published a book on Macron, based on a series of interviews with him, called "The Last President of Europe." But he is not trying so hard now.To have "an American leader rejecting all these international institutions and agreements is outrageous for Europeans like Merkel and Macron who have multilateralism in their DNA," he said.Merkel has traditionally avoided trips to the United States after April in presidential election years, Drozdiak noted."She knows that any event," he said, "Trump will spin as if the others are implicitly endorsing him, and that's the last thing she wants to do."She was so uncomfortable, Drozdiak said, that she told. Macron, "Be my guest, be the interlocutor, I don't want to be in the room with the guy."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company



Source link

قالب وردپرس

World News

Downing Street advertises for £135k data science 'skunkworks' chief in latest Cummings shake-up

Published

on


Downing Street has placed an advert for £135,000 job to head up "skunkworks" in Number 10, in what appears the latest in Dominic Cummings' shake-up of Whitehall. The new job will be responsible for a new data science unit in Number 10, aimed to “transform” decision-making in government. A skunkworks is a term originating in America during WWII for a project developed by a small and loosely structured group focusing on radical innovation. The civil service advert says the role will involve leading a new "analytical unit known as ‘10ds" – which stands for "10 Data Science". It says: "The vision of 10ds is a skunkworks type organisation that builds innovative software to allow the PM to make data driven decisions and thereby transform government". Mr Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief aide, is known for his disdain for traditional civil servants. He has said his focus after Brexit will be the establishment of a British version of the US’s Advanced Projects Research Agency (Arpa). He recently instructed government advisers to read a book on Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock, as well as High Output Management by Andrew Grove. While the salary for the new role is advertised as up to £135,000, "outstanding" candidates could get more. The advert says the “newly created role will be responsible for establishing No10's quantitative ability” as well as advising the Prime Minister. It says the job presents an opportunity to work "at the heart' of government. Applications close on July 27. Earlier this year Mr Cummings placed an advert for “data scientists, project managers, policy experts and assorted weirdos” to apply for Downing Street jobs. Mr Cummings used his personal blog to invite applications from “true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole”. In a much-publicised post, he said: “If you want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security, you don’t want more Oxbridge English graduates who chat about Lacan at dinner parties with TV producers and spread fake news about fake news.” Shortly after the blog advert was posted, a new Downing Street adviser Andrew Sabisky quit following reports of his controversial comments on pregnancies, eugenics and race.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

World News

Dalai Lama: We Must Act As One to Preserve Our World

Published

on


This planet is our only home. Environmental experts say that over the next few decades, global warming will reach such a level that many water resources will go dry. So ecology and combatting global warming are very important.

For example, my country, Tibet, is the ultimate source of water in Asia. Rivers including Pakistan’s Indus, India’s Ganges and Brahmaputra, China’s Yellow River, as well as the Mekong, flow from Tibet’s plateau. So we should pay more attention to the preservation of Tibetan ecology. This is not only for the interest of 6 million Tibetans but all people in this region. In the past, when I was flying over Afghanistan, there were clear signs that what used to be lakes and streams were already dry. I feel that Tibet also may become like that soon. Regarding Tibet’s political matters, I have already retired. But regarding Tibet’s ecology and very rich culture, I’m fully committed.

We human beings have these marvelous, brilliant minds. But we are also the biggest troublemakers on the planet. Now we should utilize our brains with compassion, and a sense of concern. This is why one of my commitments is promotion of deeper human values.

From birth, we rely on others, particularly our mothers. From then, each individual’s existence entirely depends on a community, because we are a social animal. Community is the source of our happiness, so we must take care of the community. So now, in modern times, the concept of humanity is one community. East, west, north, south: everyone is interdependent. The modern economy has no national bound­aries. Therefore, now we need a sense of oneness of all 7 billion human beings. In the past, many problems were created because of too much emphasis on our differences, such as nationalities and religions. Now, in modern times, that thinking is out of date. We should think about humanity, about the whole world.

We must listen to scientists and specialists. Their voices and knowledge are very important. And religious people should pay more attention to scientists rather than just pray, pray, pray. In the ancient Nalanda Buddhist tradition, which we Tibetans follow, everything is investigated and not accepted by faith alone. If through reasoning we find some contradiction, even in Buddha’s own words, then we have the right to reject them. From childhood, I was always engaged in a lot of debate. Our thinking was based not in faith but reasoning.

Buddha himself was not born in a palace but under a tree. He attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. When he passed, it was under a tree. One of the rules during our monsoon retreat is that we should not cut down anything green. So this shows that Buddha himself paid attention to green issues.

Hours, minutes and seconds: time never stands still. We also are part of that nature. The past is important, but already past. The future is still in our hands, so we must think about ecology at the global level.

This essay is adapted from his recent TIME 100 Talk





Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

World News

Downing Street advertises for £135k data science 'skunkworks' chief in latest Cummings shake-up

Published

on


Downing Street has placed an advert for £135,000 job to head up "skunkworks" in Number 10, in what appears the latest in Dominic Cummings' shake-up of Whitehall. The new job will be responsible for a new data science unit in Number 10, aimed to “transform” decision-making in government. A skunkworks is a term originating in America during WWII for a project developed by a small and loosely structured group focusing on radical innovation. The civil service advert says the role will involve leading a new "analytical unit known as ‘10ds" – which stands for "10 Data Science". It says: "The vision of 10ds is a skunkworks type organisation that builds innovative software to allow the PM to make data driven decisions and thereby transform government". Mr Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief aide, is known for his disdain for traditional civil servants. He has said his focus after Brexit will be the establishment of a British version of the US’s Advanced Projects Research Agency (Arpa). He recently instructed government advisers to read a book on Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock, as well as High Output Management by Andrew Grove. While the salary for the new role is advertised as up to £135,000, "outstanding" candidates could get more. The advert says the “newly created role will be responsible for establishing No10's quantitative ability” as well as advising the Prime Minister. It says the job presents an opportunity to work "at the heart' of government. Applications close on July 27. Earlier this year Mr Cummings placed an advert for “data scientists, project managers, policy experts and assorted weirdos” to apply for Downing Street jobs. Mr Cummings used his personal blog to invite applications from “true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole”. In a much-publicised post, he said: “If you want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security, you don’t want more Oxbridge English graduates who chat about Lacan at dinner parties with TV producers and spread fake news about fake news.” Shortly after the blog advert was posted, a new Downing Street adviser Andrew Sabisky quit following reports of his controversial comments on pregnancies, eugenics and race.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Trending