May 13, 2018

Trump's attempt to forge a new international order

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

"The decision to pull out of the Iran deal is the latest example of the administration’s aggressive unilateralism," Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman writes from London (subscription).

The big picture: "America’s allies may harrumph that it is unacceptable for the US to walk away from the Iran deal or the Paris climate accord, but there is not much they can do about it. After all, European allies depend not only on the dollar, but also ... on American military protection."

  • The state of play: "The Trump administration’s stance on Iran is rejected by all the other signatories to the Iran deal (France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia, the EU) — although it does have the support of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Similarly, Mr. Trump’s approach to trade and climate change has not attracted any significant allied support."
  • What's changing: "In normal times, the US relies on the 'rules-based international order' — a network of laws and institutions that it and its allies have largely shaped over many decades. ... But for a rules-based order to work, the US has to be able to demonstrate that it is willing, on occasion, to be constrained by the rules."
  • Why it matters: "[T]he Trump administration is seeking to move to a power-based order — in which the US lays down the law and others are compelled to follow. That may work for a while, but it is also an invitation to rivals to test America’s will through unilateral actions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. And that is a recipe for a much more dangerous world."

Go deeper

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An explosive weekend in America sent Silicon Valley grasping for moral clarity. While many companies and executives spoke out against racial inequities, critics and even some of the rank-and-file found some of the companies' responses lacking.

Why it matters: Tech companies have giant platforms, and their leaders have become public figures, many of them household names. History will record their words and actions — which, in the case of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, directly shape the bounds of public discourse.

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

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United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

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The sports world speaks up about death of George Floyd

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Screenshot: Jaylen Brown/Instagram

There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.