The Evening CSIS: Stockholm Clashes, NAFTA, HBO’s Girls and More
February 21, 2017
Welcome to The Evening CSIS—my daily guide to key insights CSIS brings to the events of the day plus HIGHLY RECOMMENDED content from around the world. To subscribe, please sign up here.
Clashes in Stockholm
Residents in a suburb of Stockholm predominantly inhabited by immigrants have clashed with police officers, two days after President Trump unleashed a vague but pointed critique of Sweden’s migration policies, as the New York Times’s Christina Anderson and Sewell Chan report.
Reuters Exclusive: CIA-backed aid for Syrian Rebels frozen after Islamist attack
CIA-coordinated military aid for rebels in northwest Syria has been frozen since they came under major Islamist attack last month, rebel sources said, raising doubts about foreign support key to their war against President Bashar al-Assad, as Reuters reported in an exclusive this afternoon.
The European Union’s top official said today the UK would face a steep bill on leaving the EU and warned it would take years to negotiate future EU-UK economic ties, marking some of the toughest comments yet delivered by a senior European politician, as the Wall Street Journal’s Laurence Norman and Jenny Gross report.
Dive Deeper: In a new CSIS book edited by Mike Green and Nick Szechenyi, A Global History of the Twentieth Century: Legacies and Lessons from Six National Perspectives, a distinguished group of scholars examine the national experiences of six major twentieth-century powers—the United States, Japan, Turkey, China, India, and Germany—to discern the century’s legacies for today and the lessons for tomorrow. This is a highly recommended read and includes a forward by CSIS president and CEO John Hamre
NAFTA Should be Renegotiated Trilaterally
The foreign ministers of Mexico and Canada today presented a unified front ahead of potential trade talks with the Trump administration, stressing the North American Free Trade Agreement has benefited all three countries. Mexico’s Luis Videgaray and Canada’s Chrystia Freeland said NAFTA should be re-negotiated with all three nations seated at the table, rather than in bilateral discussions, as Bloomberg’s Gerrit De Vynck reports.
Dive Deeper: See the Peterson Institute's Chad Brown’s op-ed for the Washington Post, “ What Is NAFTA, and What Would Happen to US Trade without It? ”
In That Number
The number of children at imminent risk of death as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Source: UNICEF.
“This is a significant shift in policy from the traditional Chinese position of watering down sanctions against North Korea.”
—CSIS’s Victor Cha on “ The Meaning of China’s Coal Ban on the DPRK. ”
A new analysis by Jonathan Hillman of CSIS’s Reconnecting Asia project, “ On Thin Ice: Mapping Asia’s Permafrost. ”
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, audio, and video.
(Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images.)
Panda Diplomacy: Giant panda Bao Bao napped in her outdoor habitat at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo this morning in Washington. Bao departed for Chengdu, China, today as part of a cooperative breeding program between the National Zoo and the China Wildlife Conservation Association.
Last night NBC Nightly News aired a report called “Inspiring America: Free Suits for Men Struggling to Find Work.” You can read it and/or watch it here. I found it to be incredibly moving. Utah’s Woolen Mills, a high-end clothing store in Salt Lake City, Utah, that has been around for over a century is providing an incredible boost to help men get back to work.
This Town Tomorrow
Join GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs at 10:30 a.m. for a roundtable discussion on Taiwan's diplomatic relations with Latin America.
Join GW at 6:00 p.m. for the 6th Annual George Washington Lecture, featuring Walter Russell Mead who will discuss an aspect of Washington's legacy, religious freedom and tolerance, which was expressed in his letter to the Touro Synagogue, and explore larger points about religious liberty in America and the world.
Join Georgetown University at 12:00 p.m. for “ Middle Powers in the Twenty-First Century World Order ,” featuring Richard Verma, outgoing U.S. ambassador to India, and Victor Cha, CSIS Korea Chair and director of Georgetown’s Asian Studies Program.
Join Johns Hopkins’ US-Korea Institute at SAIS from 1:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of the US-Korea alliance under the Trump administration.
CSIS On Demand
CSIS hosted the report launch of Recurring Storms: Food Insecurity, Political Instability, and Conflict earlier this month, which underscored the explosiveness of fragile states and the issues that need to be prioritized in order to regain sustainable food security.
Kimberly Flowers, director of CSIS’s Global Food Security Project, joined the BBC’s Business Daily to discuss Egypt’s growing food problem.
I grow increasingly fascinated by the soundtracks of premium television shows. The final season premiere of HBO’s “Girls” this season did not disappoint. The 30 minute episode packed more emotional, intellectual, and comedic punch than any feature film I’ve seen this year (or last year for that matter.)
The show’s actors, led by creator Lena Dunham and guest star Riz Ahmed, delivered soaring yet nuanced performances that I won’t soon forget.
But as with some truly memorable films of days past (Scorsese’s use of the Rolling Stones and other classic rock in 1990’s “Goodfellas” comes to mind), the season premiere of Girls utilized a soundtrack that electrified the screen just as much as the actors themselves. The show’s music supervisor Manish Raval outdid himself with the final number, “She’s So High” by Tal Bachman, a Canadian singer-songwriter.
Bachman’s “She’s So High” was a big hit in 1999, but I hadn’t thought of it for at least over a decade. The song was the perfect end to the episode. My wife remarked that Lena Dunham, who isn’t usually smiling on camera while in character as “Hannah,” was smiling—and beautifully, while Bachman’s song played. It was a powerful moment.
You should watch the season premiere of Girls if you want to smile and you should also watch this clip of Bachman performing his song with Taylor Swift before an audience that knows all the words.
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