Jul 2, 2018

Trump sends letters to NATO allies demanding more defense spending

President Trump gestures toward German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G7 summit. Photo: Christian Minelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump sent letters to several NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Canada, last month criticizing them for not spending the required 2% of their GDP on defense, and warning that the U.S. is growing frustrated with member countries for not meeting their part of the agreement, reports the New York Times' Julie Hirschfeld Davis.

Why it matters: Tensions between the U.S. and some of its closes allies are on the rise following last month's G7 summit. And next week, Trump and allied leaders will meet again for a NATO summit in Brussels, where several officials from member countries worry that Trump will undercut the alliance's shared values by criticizing them for not meeting their spending commitments.

"As we discussed during your visit in April, there is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised. Continued German underspending on defense undermines the security of the alliance and provides validation for other allies that also do not plan to meet their military spending commitments, because others see you as a role model ... It will, however, become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded."
— An excerpt of Trump's letter German Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, obtained by Davis

Davis writes that Trump, who used similar language in letters to other leaders, also suggested that the U.S. "might adjust its military presence around the world if its allies do not step and spend more for their own security."

Go deeper: Trump’s letter to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, (iPolitics), details of other letters (Foreign Policy.)

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Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor from delaying state's primary

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin's Supreme Court on Monday blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that attempted to delay in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Driving the news: Judges ruled 4-2 along ideological lines that Evers does not have the power as governor to unilaterally postpone the election, despite the fact that the state has a stay-at-home order in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 56 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,331,032 — Total deaths: 73,917 — Total recoveries: 275,851Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 356,942 — Total deaths: 10,524 — Total recoveries: 18,999Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor orders in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  6. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Stocks jump 7% despite bleak coronavirus projections

People passing by the New York Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.

Why it matters: The huge market surge comes amid rare optimistic signs that the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing in parts of the country, including New York. But government officials say this will be a difficult week, while economists — including former Fed chair Janet Yellen today — warn that the pandemic could have a catastrophic impact on the global economy.