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Why has the United States' highest-level visit to Taiwan for four decades sparked such anger from Beijing? Here is a recap of the key issues surrounding the delicate relations between the US, China and Taiwan.

Elliot Abrams appointed special envoy to Iran

Brian Hook, US special envoy, who has been overseeing the last 3 and a half years of US hostility towards Iran has resigned. No official reason has been announced for his resignation.

Op-Ed: America has lost global credibility over COVID-19 response

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. reaching 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

US changes to episodic troop deployment in Norway

In the past the US has seen multi-year deployment of troops into Norway for year-long alpine training. The US deployment that has been increased over the years as more US marines are sent to Norway.

Amid Germany troop pullout, Pompeo seeks friendly faces to east

As President Donald Trump orders US troops out of Germany and faces a tough re-election battle, his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, is heading to friendly climes in Central and Eastern Europe.

World's most trafficked animal gives Trump new way to hit China

A petition from environmentalists to reprimand Beijing for illegally trading in an endangered species could ultimately bar U.S. imports of any wildlife from China amid heightened concerns about the role animals play in pandemics.

As China tensions soar, US embraces Taiwan with visit, but cautiously

Eager to find a foil for China, US President Donald Trump's administration is stepping up support for Taiwan, although a high-level visit to the island shows it is still treading carefully on an especially explosive issue.

China-US ties plunge further over Hong Kong sanctions

China on Saturday slammed the United States for imposing "barbarous" sanctions in response to Beijing's crackdown in Hong Kong, capping a dramatic week of deteriorating relations between the world's two biggest economies.

Saudi airstrikes in north Yemen kill at least 10 civilians

Saudi-led airstrikes targeting northern Yemen killed at least ten civilians while wounding another 12 on this Thursday. The attacks hit a number of residential areas in al-Jawf.

UN set for showdown over US Iran arms embargo push

The UN Security Council is set next week to roundly reject a US resolution to extend an Iranian arms embargo, diplomats say, setting up a lengthy showdown with repercussions for the Iran nuclear deal.

Canada hits back with $3.6B in countermeasures to Trump's tariffs

Canada's government will spend the next month consulting with Canadians about which U.S. metals products to target with retaliatory tariffs as a new trade dispute flares up, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday.

Outrage over Ivory Coast president's third term bid

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara's decision to run for a third term in October's presidential election triggered outrage on Friday among opposition and civil society groups, who labelled it a "coup" that risked tipping the country into chaos.

Saudi Arabia seeks to tame powerful cyber armies

Online armies of self-styled Saudi patriots riding a wave of state-led nationalism attack critics and what they call "traitors" of the kingdom -- but their growing clout has left the government uneasy.

US slaps sanctions on Hong Kong leader in new offensive on China

The United States slapped sanctions Friday on Hong Kong's leader after effectively forcing Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all US operations in a twin diplomatic-commercial offensive set to grow ahead of US elections.

Election triumph gives Rajapaksa brothers a tighter grip on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's ruling Rajapaksa brothers secured a two-thirds majority in a parliamentary election that allowed them to rewrite the constitution and increase their power, final results showed Friday.

Spain's fragile monarchy grapples with ex-king's woes

Spain's scandal-tainted ex-king Juan Carlos has moved abroad to try to protect image of the monarchy, a fragile institution whose popularity is falling but which enjoys strong protection under the constitution.

Pompeo urges no vote for Cuba on Human Rights Council

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged UN members not to support Cuba's bid to join the organization's Human Rights Council.

What political fallout from the Lebanon blast?

The colossal explosion that devastated Beirut's port and gutted entire neighbourhoods of the Lebanese capital deals a fresh blow to an already fragile and deeply unpopular government.

A long list of US-China disputes

Tensions between the United States and China have been rising over a range of issues from the handling of the coronavirus to national security, Hong Kong and trade.

Trump confirms withdrawal of 4,000 troops from Afghanistan

In a recent Axios interview, Present Trump again announced that he intended to withdraw another 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the time of the November US election. He estimates that 4 or 5 thousand will remain.

Pakistan PM Khan slams 'oppressor' India on Kashmir anniversary

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan branded India an "oppressor and aggressor" on Wednesday, a year after New Delhi imposed direct rule on Indian-administered Kashmir.

Rajapaksa brothers seek to consolidate power in virus-delayed Sri Lanka vote

Sri Lankans turned out in large numbers to vote in parliamentary elections Wednesday despite the coronavirus pandemic, as the ruling Rajapaksa brothers sought a fresh mandate to cement their grip on power.

US announces 'highest level' visit in decades to Taiwan

The United States on Wednesday announced its "highest level" visit in decades to Taiwan, a move sure to infuriate China at a time when relations between Washington and Beijing are at historic lows.

US confident nations to keep recognizing Venezuela's Guaido

A US official voiced confidence Tuesday that key powers would keep recognizing opposition figure Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president even if he is sidelined in disputed elections.

Belarus leader claims opposition 'massacre' plot ahead of vote

Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday accused the opposition and Russia of planning violent unrest and vowed to defend his regime as early voting began in presidential elections.

Rajapaksa brothers look to tighten grip in Sri Lanka polls

Sri Lankans head to the polls Wednesday with the ruling Rajapaksa brothers looking for a super-majority in parliament to change the constitution and unravel democratic safeguards.

Suspense surrounds Biden's upcoming VP selection

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised to soon reveal his running mate.And as the suspense builds over who Biden will choose to be on the ticket for November's election, this much is known -- it will be a woman.

UAE's nuclear power plant: energy and politics

The United Arab Emirates' Barakah nuclear power plant, a first for the Arab world, successfully started up Saturday in a region grappling with conflicts.

Op-Ed: Pompeo appears to be starting new Cold War with China

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed in comments before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the "tide is turning' in favor of the US and against China. He says that he has seen more international support for US policies on China in recent days.

Op-Ed: Electoral rights, 15th Amendment, and the USPS: Mail voting is OK

The Trump/GOP war against the US Postal Service has taken on an element of pettiness and stupidity. The very much underfunded USPS has had its overtime eliminated, and other services trashed by selective political fraud and fakery on a massive scale.

Pentagon argues the need for a new nuclear weapon

Given that the US already has a huge nuclear arsenal, arguments for more spending on nuclear arms would be difficult as it would seem that no new weapons are needed.

New report into the Ghostwriter influence campaign

A new report into several activities believed to be part of a broader influence campaign running since at least March 2017. The campaign is named "Ghostwriter," based on its use of inauthentic personas posing as locals, journalists, and analysts.

Trudeau denies conflicts in ethics scandal

In highly-anticipated testimony to Parliament on Thursday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denied any conflict of interest in awarding a lucrative government contract to an organization that had previously paid members of his family.

Taliban and Afghan government agree to ceasefire over holiday

The Taliban and Afghan government have negotiated a three day ceasefire over the Eid al-Adha holiday this weekend according to an announcement Tuesday. The ceasefire was said to be part of negotiations between the government and the Taliban.

Op-Ed: U.S. reaches appalling milestone of over 150,000 COVID-19 deaths

As coronavirus deaths in the U.S. topped 150,000 today, President Donald Trump was campaigning in the Texas oilfields, trying to drum up money from supporters. And unsurprisingly, he has also reverted back to peddling false information.

In pulling troops, Trump doesn't hide spite for Merkel

In pulling 12,000 US troops from Germany, President Donald Trump is laying bare what has long been clear -- there is no love lost between him and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Op-Ed: Trump criticizes governors for not reopening states fast enough

With coronavirus cases still surging in many parts of the country, the mistaken idea that President Donald Trump has somehow matured in his reckoning of the coronavirus turns out to be nothing more than a political ploy.

US envoy to Afghanistan on peace mission to several countries

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy to Afghanistan, left of Friday for a trip that will take him to Afghanistan plus four other countries to promote the Afghan peace process and also push for intra-Afghan talks between the Taliban and Afghan government.

Trump names contrarian colonel as Germany envoy amid pullout

President Donald Trump on Monday named an outspoken critic of US military deployments as ambassador to Germany, as he moves to pull troops from the NATO ally.

Half century on, US hawks revive criticism of China normalization

For half a century, Richard Nixon's opening to communist China has been viewed by many Americans as a diplomatic masterstroke, with successive presidents of both parties following his course.

Op-Ed: Pompeo announces what sounds like a new Cold War with China

After almost daily rants against China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now indicating that the goal of US hostility is to change China as the US begins what is in effect a new Cold War against the country.
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