1. The US Treasury not to name China as a currency manipulator
In a report to Congress, the United States Treasury has decided not to name China, or any other county, as a manipulator of currency. This is coming after repeated claims from the current administration that China has been manipulating its currency in the hopes of inflating its economy.
China has long been accused of manipulating its currency in order to keep their costs of exports down, thus undercutting companies around the world. This also makes the costs of imports more expensive, increasing the sales of Chinese made goods. With all the current talk of trade wars and economic struggles between the US and China, currency manipulation has been near the top of the Trump administration’s list of complaints about China. This may be in an effort to try and ease economic tensions between China and the United States, but at what cost? If this current trend of currency manipulation continues, the Chinese economy will only continue to artificially inflate itself and the economies around the world. If it reaches critical mass, it could be deleterious to the world’s economy.
2. Conflict flairs up in Gaza
After repeated attempts at peace, the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is back.
This week Israel has initiated 20 airstrikes in Gaza after a rocket, coming from Hamas, hit a home in Beersheba. This is just another act of war, conducted against Israel that the terrorist group Hamas has been responsible for.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have been preparing for war for weeks now, even starting roadblocks and evacuating border towns. Tensions have always been high between these two factions, but attacks seem to be coming at an increasing rate. There has been multinational support for ceasefire’s headed by the Egyptians, but none seem to be working. Attacks are likely to continue as both sides see themselves as the rightful owners of the Gaza strip.
3. South Korea wants sanction relief for North Korea
South Korean president Moon Jae is calling for a reduction in the sanction imposed on North Korea.
President Moon Jae called for this easing of sanctions only after once North Korea showed tangible steps toward denuclearization. This is a positive sign that both North and South Korea are looking to build a relationship. However, it may not be a positive outcome if the plan is enacted.
North Korea is notorious for empty promises. If they do the minimal amount to show “tangible” evidence that they are denuclearizing, Moon would want sanctions reduced. This is not full denuclearization, but rather tangible steps towards denuclearization. This means that if sanctions are reduced, and North Korea can get an influx in their economy, that may be all they need to finish off their nuclear program and we would be worse off then when we started these peace talks. Until North Korea fully decides to rid their country of any nuclear capabilities, they remain a liability and should not be shown relief in the form of reduced sanctions.
4. Putin Claims ISIS is back on the attack
Putin has claimed that ISIS has captured more than 700 people from a refugee camp in the region of Deir-al Zor Syria. This area is said to be controlled by US-backed forces. Of the captives, Putin says that several US and European nationals were taken, hostage. Demands have been put out and if not meet ten people a day will be executed.
The United States military is skeptical of these claims citing that there are reports of an attack on a camp in that region, but those reports do not support the large numbers claimed by the Russian president. There has also been no evidence of US nationals being in that region.