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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass — author of "A World in Disarray" — provides his takeaways on President Trump's failed Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which ended abruptly with no joint statement or communiqué.

Haass' bottom line: "Sometimes you have to walk," President Trump said, and he is right. This was one of those times. No deal was better than a bad deal. What's more, walking might well strengthen Trump's hand with N.K. down the road and with China now, as the trade talks reach a critical juncture.

More of Haass' takeaways:

  • Things never should have reached this point. Summits at most are expected to negotiate the last 10% of a deal. The Hanoi summit appeared to have it backwards, requiring that the leaders negotiate 90% on the spot. The Hanoi summit showed the dangers of a president who over-personalizes diplomacy. Foreign policy is mostly about the details, not the chemistry.
  • By overplaying his hand, Kim may have saved the president from himself. If reports were right, the U.S. was prepared to agree to offer a degree of sanctions relief in exchange for North Korea dismantling one of its enrichment facilities. But North Korea could have done this, and still maintained or even expanded its ability to enrich uranium and produce bombs and missiles.
  • Although disappointed with the summit outcome and concerned about what comes next, U.S. allies in the region (above all, South Korea and Japan) will be relieved that President Trump did not give away too much in Hanoi — and, in particular, that he did not put the U.S. troop presence in South Korea on the table, or repeat the language used at the Singapore summit, which called for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That suggested the U.S. nuclear guarantee might be negotiable.

Go deeper: Why Hanoi failed

Go deeper

52 mins ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.