The Art of Foreign Policy

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Almost two years after Great Britain voted to leave the Europeans Union with its Brexit vote, some political leaders in another key country in Europe are making ramblings that they're unhappy. There are signs that Italy's place in the EU and use of the Euro currency could be tenuous. 

That prospect sent world financial markets falling earlier this week, but not everyone is overly concerned. 

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Dissent came quickly this week within the Republican Party after President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced he wished to appoint C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo to the top diplomatic post.  Republican Senator Rand Paul announced he would oppose that appointment, as well as that of Gina Haspel, who Trump named as his choice to lead the C.I.A..  Republicans hold the narrowest of margins in the Senate, so Paul’s objections could place the appointment in peril.

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Korea is on the minds of many around the world this month. But for the first time in a while, it is not the threat of war between the north and the south that dominates our minds. In fact, North Korea and South Korea’s relationship is experiencing a rare thaw as the Winter Olympics play out in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The opening ceremonies featured teams from both countries marching into the stadium under a unified Korean flag, and the women’s hockey team playing in the winter games includes players from both the north and the south.

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A pro-Islamic State group sought to tie a bomb explosion in New York City to last week’s announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement from the Trump Administration set off protests around the globe, many targeting U.S. embassies in Muslim-majority nations. 

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President Trump’s trip to Asia continues through the weekend as he addresses trade and economic links with world powerhouses such as China, even as Republicans back in the United States debate the tax cut measure working its way through the Senate.

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Supporters of independence in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region have taken to the streets, blocking roads and calling for a general strike to protest a crackdown by the country's central government.  The regional government has backed the the strike effort, which came after a contested independence referendum.  The Spanish government opposed the vote and police in some areas fought with citizens who were trying to cast ballots.

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Another week, another set of controversies in the Trump Administration. The week closed with the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the naming of a new communications director, and continued friction between the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That all came on the heels of President Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 Summit - a trip that dominated headlines. But it was the lack of dominance on the part of the U.S. that drove the media frenzy back home, a departure from previous summits where American presidents drove much of the discourse.