Stories by Dave Lawler

Turkey decries Trump's "stab in the back" as lira sinks lower

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Turkey’s currency plunged to new depths today amid a standoff that has Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing the U.S. of sabotaging an ally.

Why it matters: Turkey was already bracing for economic turbulence, but President Trump’s decision to apply sanctions over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson has accelerated the crisis, and provided Erdogan with a scapegoat. The dispute could also exacerbate another trend: Turkey’s drift away from the West.

Trump's dueling Russia policies

Trump and Putin in Helsinki. Photo: Brendan SmialowskiAFP/Getty Images

Moscow is fuming over the latest sanctions triggered yesterday by President Trump, which could carry significant diplomatic and economic consequences.

Between the lines: This is another punch landed by a man who seemed reluctant to throw it. Trump took this step after missing a deadline and absorbing pressure from Congress, particularly in the wake of his jarring performance alongside Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. He has tweeted about Russia today, but it was to condemn witch hunts rather than the use of chemical weapons.

Kabila to stand down in Congo

Supporters of Bemba gather in Gemena, DRC. Photo: Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images

After a will-he-or-won’t-he saga that dragged on for years, Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila will not contest December’s election, a spokesman announced yesterday.

Why it matters: Still just 47, Kabila has been in power since the assassination of his father 17 years ago. He is constitutionally barred from seeking another term, but it was far from clear that would stop him, particularly after two years of election delays. His coalition will be represented by Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister seen as a Kabila loyalist.