The Evening: Energy Slide, Taliban Talks, Keith’s 75 and More
December 18, 2018
It's Tuesday, December 18th.
U.S. stocks turned negative by this afternoon as falling oil prices dragged on energy shares, as the FT’s Matthew Rocco reports.
Dive Deeper: “CSIS Experts React: Energy in 2018 and What to Expect Next Year”
Talks with the Taliban
While U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with a high-level Taliban delegation in one hotel in Abu Dhabi today, representatives of the Afghan government stewed in another, waiting for a summons to hold indirect talks with the Taliban officials. By late evening, the government officials were still waiting, said a person attending the latest round of discussions aimed at paving the way for a negotiated settlement of the 17-year Afghan war, as the WSJ’s Craig Nelson and Asa Fitch report.
Facing deepening tensions abroad and anxieties at home, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, delivered an unabashed defense of his policies on Tuesday, using a key anniversary to argue that his recipe of guided growth under strong Communist Party control must not waver, as the NYT’s Chris Buckley and Steven Lee Myers report.
"No Deal" Brexit
The British government said today it would implement plans for a no-deal Brexit in full and begin telling businesses and citizens to prepare for the risk of leaving the European Union without an agreement, as Reuters’ Kylie MacLellan and Sarah Young report.
Do you have any questions about trade and how a changing U.S. trade policy may affect your life? If you do, please email me your question(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish some of the best questions and get our experts to answer them on an upcoming CSIS podcast.
CSIS’s Trade Guys Crash Course
Now enrolling for CSIS Crash Course, a one-day seminar on the fundamentals of U.S. international trade policy and politics for trade professionals. This program will be conducted by CSIS experts Scott Miller and Bill Reinsch, known as the Trade Guys from their highly-rated weekly podcast. Information here.
In That Number
Oil prices continued a precipitous slide with both major benchmarks down more than 35% from four-year highs reached at the start of October. U.S. crude closed at its lowest level since August 2017, while Brent is also at its lowest level in more than a year.
Source: Wall Street Journal
“The party’s leadership over all tasks must be adhered to, and the party’s leadership must be incessantly strengthened and improved.”
— Chinese President Xi Jinping
Gray zone actions are increasing from countries seeking to challenge the United States. These actions, which seek to gain advantage without provoking a conventional military response, are often difficult for free-market democracies to counter. The CSIS International Security Program is undertaking work to examine the challenge the United States faces and to explore options for how to better organize itself and respond to these gray zone challenges.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images). President Trump holds up a copy of the Federal Commission on School Safety report during a roundtable discussion with family members of shooting victims, along with state and local officials, in the Roosevelt Room today at the White House.
“What to expect at the Fed’s closely watched December meeting,” by the FT’s Sam Fleming.
This Town Tomorrow
At 9:00 a.m., join CSIS for a half-day conference examining the lessons learned from the Bihar Technical Support Program and its implications for U.S. foreign policy and assistance programs.
And at 2:00 p.m., The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea will hold a book discussion on “Denied From the Start: Human Rights at the Local Level in North Korea” by Robert Collins.
Yemeni officials and Houthi leaders recently agreed to a ceasefire in the critical port city of Hodeidah. Understand how the civil war in Yemen has become the worst humanitarian crisis in the world by watching CSIS’s The New Barbarianism here.
Fearless Afro-beats activists. Savvy tech entrepreneurs. Social disrupters. Into Africa shatters the narratives that dominate U.S. perceptions of Africa. Host Judd Devermont, Africa program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C., sits down with policymakers, journalists, academics and other trailblazers in African affairs to shine a spotlight on the faces spearheading cultural, political, and economic change on the continent.
Listen on SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts.
Today is Keith Richards’ 75th birthday, and I’m celebrating. As my old friend the writer Stanley Booth has said, “When you get too old to rock, you’re ready for the grave.” Not too old to rock, Keith and the Rolling Stones will tour the United States this spring.
To rejoice in the amazing music Keith has made over the years, let’s listen to his recently re-released recording of “Pressure Drop” with Toots and the Maytals.