World leaders heading home after the weekend G20 might be justified in breathing brief sighs of relief. Unlike at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit two weeks ago, the heads of state were able to agree on a joint communiqué. A landmark meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping was claimed a success by both sides, avoiding further escalation of their trade war – at least for now.
When Vladimir Putin opened a new bridge linking Crimea to the rest of Russia across the Azov Sea in May, Russian officials said it was intended to integrate the disputed peninsula – seized by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014 – into Russia's transport infrastructure. By limiting ships transiting the Kerch Strait beneath the giant central span of the bridge, however, it also gave the Kremlin the ability to control maritime access to an area of water roughly the size of Switzerland.
Nov 26 When Vladimir Putin opened a new bridge
linking Crimea to the rest of Russia across the Azov Sea in May,
Russian officials said it was intended to integrate the disputed
peninsula – seized by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014 – into
Russia's transport infrastructure. By limiting ships transiting
the Kerch Strait beneath the giant central span of the bridge,
however, it also gave the Kremlin the ability to control
maritime access to an area of water roughly the size of
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting on Saturday afternoon, Chinese diplomats arrived unexpectedly at the Foreign Ministry of host Papua New Guinea. Angry at Papua New Guinea’s support for American wording in the meeting’s final communiqué, they only left after police were called, Australian and other media reported.
For Donald Trump’s first foreign trip since Americans voted in the midterm elections, the bleak weather in Paris appears to have matched the diplomatic mood. The U.S. president seemed subdued during his visit to mark the centenary of the truce that ended World War One, and insulted many Europeans when rain and traffic were cited as the reason for cancelling one of his visits to an American war cemetery. | Video
As the U.S. midterm election results highlight the nation's deep political divide, global affairs columnist Peter Apps looks at the dilemma for G20 leaders trying to find the best way to deal with President Donald Trump's foreign policy. | Video
When it comes to defining America’s quandary on Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump’s description is mercenary in the extreme. If Washington doesn’t stay close to Riyadh and sell it arms, he told reporters in the Oval Office this weekend, the Saudis will turn to Moscow or Beijing instead. Given that, he seemed to be suggesting, the United States should just keep its plans for a $110 billion arms deal and the 450,000 jobs he says it would bring.
From unconvincing alibis on visiting cathedrals to highly public revelations of their personal details, a new generation of Russian and other assassins and spies are being publicly identified – and often ridiculed – in ever-growing numbers. But there is nothing funny about their antics, nor the way in which a growing number of states appear not to care if they or their agents are exposed. The world’s increasingly repressive dictatorships – not just Russia, but China, Saudi Arabia and others – are tightening their grip at home and overseas, and espionage and murder have become more central than ever to the playbook.
If Britain genuinely wanted a good last-minute Brexit deal, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt should probably not have compared the European Union to the USSR.
Four years after World War Two, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was asked to reflect on what would have prevented the conflict. The greatest mistake after World War One, he said, was not to properly resource the League of Nations, the international forum of countries created in 1919. Doing so “would have saved us all.”