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  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    February 27, 2019

    Weekly World News Update

    Second Trump-Kim Summit; China Tariff Delay; China Surveils Its Citizens and U.S. Surveils Russia; India-Pakistan Showdown; Crisis in Venezuela; Congress Challenges Trump Over Purse Issue; Drawdown in Syria; Unmanned Boeing Jets

    Quote of the Week

    To maximize the prospects for success, as in the Iran negotiations, the United States needs China, Russia, Japan and South Korea to join in overseeing implementation of any interim deal…Though the Trump administration reflexively scorns multilateral efforts, North Korea is yet another case where going it alone won’t suffice.

    -- Former Ambassador to the UN in the Obama Administration Susan Rice Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed on the second Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam.

    Trump-Kim Summit: Diplomatic Bromance 

    Second Trump-Kim Summit Kicks Off With a Handshake in Hanoi” Amy Held -- National Public Radio, February 27, 2019

    Is Trump’s Hard Bargaining Fraying U.S.-South Korean Ties?” Scott Snyder -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 21, 2019

    More Is Possible Now to Address North Korea’s Health and Humanitarian Needs” Stephen Morrison -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 22, 2019

    What to Expect at the Second North Korea Summit” Victor Cha and Katrin Katz -- Foreign Affairs, February 22, 2019

    The Second Trump-Kim Summit: What Will Success Look Like?” Ashish Sen -- Atlantic Council, February 25, 2019

    Trump Delays China Tariff 

    Trump Delays Increase in Tariffs on China, Citing Progress in Trade Talks” David Lynch -- Washington Post, February 24, 2019

    Cautious Optimism in Beijing for U.S.-China Trade Deal” Zhenhua Lu -- South China Morning Post, February 26, 2019

    China Again - and Again and Again” William Reinsch -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 25, 2019

    America Helped China Surveil Its Civilians 

    China's Powerful Surveillance State Has Created at Least Four Billionaires” Blake Schmidt and Venus Feng -- Bloomberg, February 21, 2019

    China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise” Sui-Lee Wee -- The New York Times, February 21, 2019

    U.S. Surveillance Flies Over Russia

    U.S. Flies Military Surveillance Over Russia for First Time in Over a Year Amid Vladimir Putin Missile Threats” Cristina Maza -- Newsweek, February 21, 2019

    India-Pakistan Standoff

    India Pakistan Conflict LIVE Updates: Pilot Captured as Jet Shot Down Over Kashmir” Tom Davidson -- Mirror, February 27, 2019

    " India and Pakistan Have Lost Control of the Narrative” Mihir Sharma -- Bloomberg, February 27, 2019

    India and Pakistan Say They’ve Launched Airstrikes Against Each Other. Here’s What You Need to Know” Saheli Choudhury -- CNBC, February 27, 2019

    What’s Next for Venezuela?

    There Is Still a Way Out of Venezuela’s Stalemate” Michael Albertus -- Foreign Policy, February 26, 2019

    In Venezuela, Time Is Not on Maduro’s Side” Eli Lake -- Bloomberg, February 26, 2019

    What Now for Guaidó and His International Partners?” Félix Rodríguez -- Americas Quarterly, February 26, 2019

    Pence in Bogota to Discuss Ways to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro” Ben Fox -- Associated Press, February 25, 2019

    U.S. Congress Challenges National Emergency 

    House Rejects Trump Emergency Declaration, Setting Up Potential Veto Showdown” Gregg Re; Chad Pergram; Alex Pappas -- Fox News, February 26, 2019

    Congress Is Unlikely to Stop Trump’s “Emergency,” But Lawsuits Could” Marjorie Cohn -- TruthOut, February 26, 2019

    200 U.S. Troops Stay in Syria

    White House: 200 U.S. Troops to Remain in Syria” Ken Schwartz; Carla Babb; Jeff Seldin -- Voices of America, February 21, 2019

    Boeing Flies Unmanned

    "Boeing Unveils Unmanned Combat Jet Developed in Australia" Jamie Freed and Gerry Doyle -- Reuters, February 26, 2019


  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    February 27, 2019

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to present two opportunities that arise from our relationship with Liaison America, an international education organization connected to five countries and dedicated to working with young people who want to impact lives and make a change in the world.

    Below, we present the first opportunity: Following presentations by outstanding Brazilian high school students visiting the U.S. in Liaison America's "Triple L" Program - both at WACA headquarters and to Council leaders who attended the WACA Breakfast at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting - we will offer a Liaison America webinar for Council leaders and staff on February 28. This call will provide information for Councils interested in fee-for-service hosting of similar student groups from Brazil in July 2019 and January 2020. It will include information on program goals, administrative responsibilities, logistics, and funding.

    Additionally, WACA, in partnership with Liaison America, is offering a 30-day scholarship opportunity for one (1) university student to live and experience Brazil this summer through immersion in the culture, education, and language! More below and full details here.

    Liaison America Student Exchange Programs for Councils Conference Call: THURSDAY, FEB. 28, at 2:00 PM ET

    WACA will host a webinar led by Liaison America so that Council leaders and program staff can learn more about the opportunity to partner with Liaison America in hosting one of their groups of Brazilian high school students. These are exceptional students with a diverse set of talents who will share their culture and projects during their educational exchange programs in the United States.

    Webinar Details

    Date: Thursday, February 28

    Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET

    Topic: Liaison America High School Exchange Programs - How Councils Can Participate

    Tech: Zoom meeting (instructions will be shared following your registration)

    Register now! Please contact Drew Lorelli at the WACA National Office, indicating your name, title, Council affiliation, phone number, and whether you attended the WACA Breakfast at Global Ties U.S. last month. Email dlorelli@worldaffairscouncils.org or, if you have any questions, call 202-833-4557.

    WACA-Liaison America Scholarship Opportunity

    June 2019 in Goiânia, Brazil

    Applications Due by March 12

    The World Affairs Councils of America is delighted to announce the Liaison America Trent Argo International Scholarship for a 30- day study tour in Brazil for one lucky student ambassador. This scholarship will be an immersive experience in culture, language, education, and international affairs in the city of Goiânia, one of the richest agricultural districts and a key player in the production of sugar, rum, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cattle, hides, and castor oil. Goiânia is located the state of Goiás, where Brasília, the capital of Brazil, is also located. Goiás is a strong, well-structured state that is growing both socially and economically.

    The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to meet with university students, business and government leaders, and others who are making a positive change locally and globally.

    This experience will include:

    Living Like a Local

    ·     Be accompanied by a college-aged chaperone

    ·     Live with a host family (includes accommodations and meals)

    ·     Take Portuguese language lessons

    ·     Experience the natural beauty of Brazil’s parks, outdoor recreation, and engage in the culture through food, music, dance, and folklore

    Global Learning 

    ·     Shadow university students studying international affairs or other topics related to the recipient’s area of study

    ·     Meet with faculty and university international affairs officers and representatives from Education USA

    Understanding Government Relations

    ·     Meet with the Secretary of Education

    ·     Learn about Brazil’s approach to immigration and border control

    ·     Learn about the role of the consulates and embassies

    ·     Discover the political role of agri-business and its impact locally and globally

    With this announcement, we welcome submissions including a letter of recommendation. Council leaders: please publicize and share with your local networks and educational partners. We expect to announce the winner on March 22, 2019.

    Read all scholarship details here.

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    February 26, 2019

    Academic WorldQuest 1st Prize +

    Qatar Essay/Video Contest

    June 21-27, 2019

    Applications Due by March 29

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce a truly grand prize for the winning high school team in the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018-2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition.

    This year's AWQ Presenting Sponsor is The Embassy of the State of Qatar. At the close of the the competition, His Excellency Sheikh Mishal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Ambassador of Qatar to the United States, will congratulate all AWQ participants and present the championship team with an unprecedented AWQ Prize: all-expenses-paid Study Tour to Doha, Qatar, on June 21-27, 2019.

    The four members of the winning team and their teacher will be joined by the winners of the WACA Essay/Video Contest and two WACA chaperones.

    The Qatar National Football team celebrates its 2019 Asian Cup soccer victory in January.

    WACA ESSAY/VIDEO CONTEST on QATAR:

    Open to high school students across the country, the challenge is to submit an 800-word Memorandum OR a 5-minute Video to “Advise the Secretary of State: Measures to Strengthen the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Partnership.” A panel of educators and experts in student exchange programs will judge the entries. The top 10 contestants will win an all-expenses-paid Doha Study Tour on June 21-27, 2019. Contest winners will also be eligible for scholarships to attend the WACA 2019 National Conference in Washington, DC on November 6-8, 2019.

    The 10 high school student winners will be joined by the 4-member champion team of the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2018-2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition, the team's teacher, and two WACA chaperones.  

    Please submit your original essays and videos to Liz Brailsford at lbrailsford@worldaffairscouncils.org.

    The deadline for submissions is March 29, 2019. 

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019 8:53 AM | Anonymous

    February 25, 2019

    WACA Weekly

    Key Council Programs; Brazil Summer Study Contest; WorldOregon Speaker Series; WorldDenver, WACNH Hiring; WAC Kentucky's Japan-U.S. Program; Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute; Council Highlights and more!

    WACA-Liaison America Scholarship for Brazil Summer Study

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to present two opportunities that arise from our relationship with Liaison America, an international education organization connected to five countries and dedicated to working with young people who want to impact lives and make a change in the world.

    The first initiative is a 30-day scholarship opportunity for one (1) university student to live and experience Brazil this summer through immersion in the culture, education, and language! See scholarship details here.

    Also, we present the second opportunity: Following presentations by outstanding Brazilian high school students visiting the U.S. in Liaison America's "Triple L" Program - both at WACA headquarters and to Council leaders who attended the WACA Breakfast at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting - we will offer a Liaison America webinar for Council leaders and staff on February 28. This webinar will provide information for Councils interested in fee-for-service hosting of similar student groups from Brazil in July 2019 and January 2020. It will include information on program goals, administrative responsibilities, logistics, and funding.

    WorldDenver to Hire New Executive Director

    WorldDenver -- Executive Director

    An innovative, visionary, mission-driven, and results-oriented leader to lead the organization into the future is sought. A keen interest in global affairs and promoting greater international understanding, as well as a deep knowledge of our Denver and Colorado environments, will be desired hallmarks. Apply here.

    Listen to Council of the Month's "Global in the Granite State" Podcast

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire broadcasts a monthly podcast titled, "Global in the Granite State," where you will listen to interesting interviews and learn more about how New Hampshire is connected to the world, how the hot topics of the day are playing out, and why international affairs are important to support. 

    Also, WACNH is hiring! A Program Coordinator is sought to help plan, publicize, and implement the nonprofit’s public events to fulfill the organization’s mission of fostering learning, discussion, and citizen involvement in world affairs around the state. Apply here.

    Save the Date: Council Leadership Meeting in KC on June 13-15

    Mark your calendars now! The World Affairs Councils of America will convene its semi-annual Council Leadership and WACA Board Meetings in Kansas City, MO on June 13-15, 2019.

    We are grateful to Matthew Hughes and his team at the International Relations Council for hosting.

    Click on the flyer to the left for meeting details and other special opportunities! The schedule will be updated periodically, and we will announce exclusive hotel accommodations soon.

    Albright Stonebridge Group VPs Available for Speaking Engagements

    In partnership with Albright Stonebridge Group, we're pleased to present the following speakers. Please contact WACA President Bill Clifford if you are interested in scheduling engagements with them. 

    Molly Montgomery

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Montgomery joined ASG from the White House, where she served as Special Adviser to the Vice President for Europe and Eurasia. She also was Deputy Director of Eastern European Affairs at the State Department. Full bio.

    Sumona Guha

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Guha served as White House special adviser on Europe and at the State Department as special assistant for Europe. She also served at the U.S. embassies in Paris and Moscow. Full bio.

    John Hughes

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Hughes was the Deputy Director in the Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In this role, Mr. Hughes helped set policy priorities for sanctions regimes around the globe. Full bio.

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    February 20, 2019

    Weekly World News Update

    Trump's Border Emergency; U.S. Congress Rebukes Trump on Yemen; MBS in India; Warsaw Conference; India-Pakistan Heats Up; Taiwan and China; Haiti in Trouble; UN Ambassador Slot

    Quote of the Week

    If we’re serious about the transatlantic partnership, it’s not very easy for me as German Chancellor to read… that the American Department of Commerce apparently considers German and European cars to be a threat to the national security of the United States of America.” 

    -- Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

    Border Security = National Emergency?

    Coalition of States Sues Trump Over National Emergency to Build Border Wall” Amy Goldstein -- Washington Post, February 18, 2019

    Trump Will 'Protect' Emergency Declaration If Congress Disapproves” Matthew Schwartz -- National Public Radio, February 18, 2019

    Trump's Emergency Declaration May Have Laid the Groundwork for His Impeachment” Michael Conway -- NBC News, February 18, 2019

    Why a Wall Alone Can’t Fix the Emergency on the U.S. Border” John Davidson -- The Federalist, February 19, 2019

    "Congress Is Complicit in Trump’s Power Grab" Michael Tanner -- National Review, February 20, 2019

    U.S. Congress Takes Action on Yemen

    Congress Closer to Forcing Trump’s Hand on Saudi Support” Rebecca Kheel -- The Hill, February 19, 2019

    The House Vote to End Support for the War on Yemen Shows How Much Has Changed” James Carden -- The Nation, February 14, 2019

    Yemen Debacle Shows It’s ‘Certainly Time’ for U.S. Congress to Reclaim War Powers” -- Sputnik International, February 15, 2019

    MBS’s Foreign Trip

    Saudi Prince Gets Red Carpet in Asia as Murder Strains U.S. Ties” Ismail Dilawar; Donna Abu-Nasr; Alaa Shahine -- Bloomberg, February 19, 2019

    A Happy Marriage Between God and Budget Deficits” Mohammed Hanif -- New York Times, February 19, 2019

    Middle East Conference in Warsaw

    Warsaw Summit Evokes Shadows of the Past” Jo Harper -- Forbes, February 18, 2019

    Mike Pompeo’s Shambolic Summit in Warsaw” -- The Economist, February 15, 2019

    India-Pakistan Feud Heats Up

    After Pulwama: What Are India’s Retaliation Options?” Joy Mitra -- The Diplomat, February 19, 2019

    Five Indian Officers Killed in Kashmir Days After Worst Militant Attack in Decades” Niha Masih and Joanna Slater -- Washington Post, February 18, 2019

    India Demands Pakistan Take Action and 'Stop Misleading' on Kashmir Attack” Sophia Saifi and Helen Regan -- CNN, February 19, 2019

    Taiwan’s Potential Showdown with China

    The Looming Taiwan Crisis” Richard Haass -- Project Syndicate, February 15, 2019

    Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen Says She Will Run for Re-Election in 2020” -- South China Morning Post, February 19, 2019

    Will China Seize Taiwan?” Peter Gries and Tao Wang -- Foreign Affairs, February 15, 2019

    Unrest in Haiti

    "Is Haiti Unraveling?" Georges Fauriol -- CSIS, February 20, 2019

    "Here's What's Fueling Haiti's Violent Street Protests" Jonathon Gatehouse -- CBC News, February 14, 2019

    Slot Opens for UN Ambassador Role

    Trump’s Pick for UN Ambassador Just Withdrew Her Name Over an Immigration Controversy” Jen Kirby -- Vox, February 18, 2019


  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 8:33 AM | Anonymous

    February 19, 2019

    WACA Weekly

    Key Council Programs; Brazil Summer Study; WACNH, WorldDenver Hiring; WAC Michigan's 69th; WAC Kentucky's Japan-U.S. Program; Albright Stonebridge Speakers Available; Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute; Member Benefits & Council Highlights

    WACA-Liaison America Scholarship for Brazil Summer Study

    The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to present two opportunities that arise from our relationship with Liaison America, an international education organization connected to five countries and dedicated to working with young people who want to impact lives and make a change in the world.

    The first initiative is a 30-day scholarship opportunity for one (1) university student to live and experience Brazil this summer through immersion in the culture, education, and language! See scholarship details here.

    Also, we present the second opportunity: Following presentations by outstanding Brazilian high school students visiting the U.S. in Liaison America's "Triple L" Program - both at WACA headquarters and to Council leaders who attended the WACA Breakfast at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting - we will offer a Liaison America webinar for Council leaders and staff on February 28. This webinar will provide information for Councils interested in fee-for-service hosting of similar student groups from Brazil in July 2019 and January 2020. It will include information on program goals, administrative responsibilities, logistics, and funding.

    Council of the Month Hosts Finding Refuge Film Series

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will host a three-part film series and discussion: Finding Refuge: The Human Flow. Part one will be shown on Wednesday, February 27. Learn more.

    Also, WACNH is hiring! A Program Coordinator is sought to help plan, publicize, and implement the nonprofit’s public events to fulfill the organization’s mission of fostering learning, discussion, and citizen involvement in world affairs around the state. Apply here.

    WorldDenver to Hire New Executive Director

    WorldDenver -- Executive Director

    An innovative, visionary, mission-driven, and results-oriented leader to lead the organization into the future is sought. A keen interest in global affairs and promoting greater international understanding, as well as a deep knowledge of our Denver and Colorado environments, will be desired hallmarks. Apply here.

    Check Out WACA's Member Council Publication Discounts!

    Featured Benefit: In its 10th year of publication, PRISM is the peer-reviewed quarterly journal of National Defense University. Many of the security challenges we face today are complex in nature, and can only be successfully met by tapping all the elements of national power. PRISM is leading the effort to map the evolving global threat environment offering insight from the defense, diplomatic, development, and intelligence perspectives, and from thought leaders in the policy-making, practitioner, and scholarly communities.

    It's free! For a complimentary subscription, please send your preferred mailing address and desired copy count here.

    To learn more about these Member benefits, click here.

    Foreign Affairs

    Economist

    new yorker

  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    February 13, 2019

    Weekly World News Update

    Border Deal?; 40-Year Iranian Anniversary; Nigerian Election Chaos; Thai King Betrayal; Big Trial in Spain; Engagement with Central Europe; Brexit Struggles; El Chapo Convicted; Invisible Refugees

    Quote of the Week

    We can’t let any unrelated, cynical partisan plays get in the way of finishing the important process of funding the government and securing the border.

    -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeting Wednesday on the potential border deal.

    Border Deal?

    "'Agreement in Principle' Reached to Avoid U.S. Government Shutdown" Al Jazeera, February 11, 2019

    Take the Deal, Mr. President” Henry Olsen -- Washington Post, February 12, 2019

    "Stocks Close at 2019 High on Tentative Deal to Avert Government Shutdown, Trade Optimism" Sue Chang and Chris Matthews -- MarketWatch, February 12, 2019

    Trump's Wall Symbolizes the End of American Optimism” Seth Ferranti -- Vice News, February 11, 2019

    Iran Marks 40 Years Since Revolution

    The Iran Revolution at 40: From Theocracy to ‘Normality’” Thomas Erdbrink -- The New York Times, February 10, 2019

    After 40 Years, Is Iran’s Revolution Unravelling?” Suzanna Maloney -- Lawfare, February 13, 2019

    Militant Iran Taunts U.S. on Revolution's 40th Birthday” Parisa Hafezi -- Reuters, February 11, 2019

    America's Effort to Isolate Iran Will Backfire” Trita Parsi -- National Interest, February 12, 2019

    Nigeria’s Election for Peace 

    Nigeria’s Election: What to Know” John Campbell -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 8, 2019

    "Nigeria’s Candidates Mix Peace Pledge With Election Threats” Cara Anna and Rodney Muhumuza -- Associated Press, February 13, 2019

    "The Old Men Vying to Lead Africa's Youngest Population" Stephanie Busari -- CNN, February 13, 2019

    Has Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari Honored His Promises?” Fidelis Mbah -- Al Jazeera, February 12, 2019

    Thailand’s King Betrays Sister for Election 

    Thailand’s Election Season Gets Even Wilder” Joshua Kurlantzick -- Council on Foreign Relations, February 8, 2019

    Wait - What’s Going on in Thailand? Here’s the Background.” Allen Hicken and Joel Selway -- Washington Post, February 12, 2019

    In Dismissing His Sister's Ambitions, the Thai King Shows Where His Loyalty Is” Peter Hartcher -- The Sydney Morning Herald, February 12, 2019

    Catalan Heads to Big Trial

    Spain’s Trial of Catalan Separatists Is an Alarming Act of State Repression” Carles Puigdemont -- The Guardian, February 12, 2019

    Global Spain vs. Catalan Separatists: The Ultimate PR Battle” Diego Torres -- Politico, February 12, 2019

    Spanish Democracy in the Dock as Trial of Catalan Separatists Starts” Paddy Woodworth -- The Irish Times, February 12, 2019

    U.S.-Central Europe Ties

    Pompeo and Foreign Minister of Poland: A New Solidarity” Jacek Czaputowicz and Michael Pompeo -- CNN, February 12, 2019

    Engaging Hungary Is Good for U.S. Interests and Values” Damon Wilson -- Atlantic Council, February 10, 2019

    Mike Pompeo Must Strengthen Diplomacy with Central Europe” Dalibor Rohac -- The Hill, February 11, 2019

    Brexit’s Struggles Are a Reality 

    The Past 72 Hours of Brexit Ridiculousness, Explained” Jen Kirby -- Vox, February 11, 2019

    Can a Post-Brexit United Kingdom Remain United?” John Roberts -- Atlantic Council, February 8, 2019

    Brexit's 'Project Fear' Has Just Become Reality” Ferdinando Giugliano -- Bloomberg, February 12, 2019

    El Chapo Is Guilty

    El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts, Faces Life in Prison” Alan Feuer -- The New York Times, February 12, 2019

    Door Slams on Guilty El Chapo After Old Mob Pals Line Up to Squeal” Ed Vulliamy -- The Guardian, February 12, 2019

    The Invisible Refugee Problem 

    The World’s 40 Million Invisible Refugees” Johan Schaar -- IRIN, February 11, 2019

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    February 11, 2019

    WACA Weekly

    Key Council Programs; NYT's Sanger at Council of the Month; Notable Tennessee Op-Ed; Albright Stonebridge Speakers Available; WAC Kentucky's Japan-U.S. Program; Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute; Spring Leadership Meeting in KC; Register for AWQ; plus Council Highlights

    Council of the Month WACNH Hosts David E. Sanger


    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will hold its 2019 Global Forum on Sunday, May 19, and its keynote speaker will be David E. Sanger of the New York Times. Mr. Sanger will be speaking to the Council about Cyberwarfare and how countries are waging behind-the-scenes programs to disrupt their enemies and competitors. More details to follow.

    Also, WACNH is hiring! A Program Coordinator is sought to help plan, publicize, and implement the nonprofit’s public events to fulfill the organization’s mission of fostering learning, discussion, and citizen involvement in world affairs around the state. Apply here.

    TNWAC's Ryan Writes: How Can We Turn Back the Doomsday Clock?

    Patrick Ryan, President of the Tennessee World Affairs Council, along with Ploughshares Fund President Joseph Cirincione, co-wrote "The Doomsday Clock is ticking. How can we turn it back," an op-ed appearing in The Tennessean on February 8. Read it here.

    WAC Kentucky to Host WACA-Sasakawa Program on Japan-U.S. Ties

    The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana will host the WACA-Sasakawa Peace Foundation co-sponsored Engage America program, The U.S.-Japan Alliance Working in Kentucky, on Wednesday, March 6.

    Previous Council host for this program series are: WAC Greater Houston, WorldOregon, and WAC Atlanta. Sasakawa USA is also co-sponsor the Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2019 Academic WorldQuest National Competition. This is the second and final WACA-Sasakawa Engage America: The Alliance Working in America program.

    Albright Stonebridge Group VPs Available for Speaking Engagements

    In partnership with Albright Stonebridge Group, we're pleased to present the following speakers. Please contact WACA President Bill Clifford if you are interested in scheduling engagements with them. 

    Molly Montgomery

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Montgomery joined ASG from the White House, where she served as Special Adviser to the Vice President for Europe and Eurasia. She also was Deputy Director of Eastern European Affairs at the State Department. Full bio.

    Sumona Guha

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Guha served as White House special adviser on Europe and at the State Department as special assistant for Europe. She also served at the U.S. embassies in Paris and Moscow. Full bio.

    John Hughes

    Vice President, Europe Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group

    Hughes was the Deputy Director in the Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In this role, Mr. Hughes helped set policy priorities for sanctions regimes around the globe. Full bio.

    Listen to Bollyky's Cover to Cover Podcast on Plagues and Health

    The Council on Foreign Relations Thomas J. Bollyky joined WACA last week to discuss his new book, Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World Is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways. Listen to the podcast here.

    Cover to Cover on tap:

    Join us Thursday, March 21 on WACA's Cover to Cover conference call featuring Ambassador William Burns on his new insider diplomacy book, The Back Channel. Learn more.


  • Wednesday, February 06, 2019 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    February 6, 2019

    Weekly World News Update

    U.S. Downgraded; INF and Troops Withdrawals; Trump and Kim Meet Again; Power Struggle in Venezuela; Elections in El Salvador; Brexit Uncertainty; Pope Francis Makes Big Statements; U.S. Shutdown Global Effects

    Quote of the Week

    Challenges to democracy in the United States have outsized effects beyond American borders. Other nations watch what is happening in the United States and take cues from its leaders’ behavior. The ongoing deterioration of American democracy will accelerate the decline of democracy around the world.

    -- Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz, speaking on Monday in regards to the latest annual edition of Freedom in the World 2019.

    Freedom House Downgrades U.S.

    "Democracy in Retreat: Freedom in the World 2019" Freedom House, February 4, 2019

    Trump Pulls Out of INF

    "The U.S. Is Withdrawing From a Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia. An Arms Race Might Be Next." Alex Ward -- Vox, February 5, 2019

    "Russia Pulls Out of INF Treaty in ‘Symmetrical’ Response to U.S. Move" Andrew Kramer, New York Times, February 2, 2019

    "European Nuclear Powers Must Intervene in INF Treaty Situation, Expert Says" TASS Russia News Agency, February 1, 2019

    "By Withdrawing From the INF Treaty, Trump Puts America in Grave Danger" Joel Matthis -- The Week, February 4, 2019

    "U.S. Pulling Out of the INF Treaty Rewards Putin, Hurts NATO" Eliot Engel and Adam Smith -- CNN, February 1, 2019

    U.S. Troop Withdrawals Debate

    "Trump Is Stumbling His Way to a Vainglorious Middle East Retreat" David Ignatius -- RealClearPolitics, February 6, 2019

    "'I Was Not Consulted.' Top U.S. General Left Out of Syria Withdrawal Decision" W.J. Hennigan -- Time, February 5, 2019

    "‘Tired’ Taliban Fights on as U.S. Is Desperate to Leave Afghanistan" Bill Roggio -- Long War Journal, February 4, 2019

    "Senate Rebukes Trump Over Troop Withdrawals From Syria and Afghanistan" Catie Edmondson -- New York Times, January 31, 2019

    Trump-Kim Showdown Part II 

    Vietnam, and the Reasons It Might Host Second Trump-Kim Summit” Josh Doyle -- Al Jazeera, February 5, 2019

    Is Kim Jong un Really Ready to Make a Deal?” Eric Talmadge -- The Associated Press, February 6, 2019

    Japan's Stakes in Trump-Kim Talks” Mercy Kuo -- The Japan Times, February 5, 2019

    Are Sanctions Against North Korea Working? The Trump-Kim Summit May Depend on It” Victoria Kim -- Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2019

    Venezuela’s Power Struggle 

    Venezuela and Great Power Competition” Frederick Kempe -- Atlantic Council, February 2, 2019

    Recognizing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s Leader Isn’t a Coup. It’s an Embrace of Democracy” Irwin Cotler and Brandon Silver -- Foreign Policy, February 6, 2019

    Hope Rises in Venezuela’s Hunger-Driven Political Crisis” Magnus Boding Hansen -- IRIN, February 4, 2019

    Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis” Falko Ernst -- International Crisis Group, February 1, 2019

    Will El Salvador’s New President Help? 

    Can El Salvador’s New President Fix What’s Driving Citizens Out?” Anna-Catherine Brigida -- Foreign Policy, February 4, 2019

    El Salvador Elects New President, Breaking Decades-Long Control by Two Parties” Sasha Ingber -- NPR, February 4, 2019

    Brexit Uncertainty

    What Would a No-Deal Brexit Look Like?” Andrew Chatzky -- Council on Foreign Relations, January 31, 2019

    UK Access to Future European Defence-Research Funds: Another Brexit Uncertainty?” Lucie Béraud-Sudreau -- International Institute for Strategic Studies, January 31, 2019

    Brexit News: UK Economy at Risk of Going Into Reverse After Leaving European Union, Analysts Warn” Jonathan Prynn and Nicholas Cecil -- Evening Standard, February 5, 2019

    Pope Francis Makes Waves

    "The Significance of Pope Francis' UAE Visit Is Impossible to Exaggerate (Nobel Committee, Take Note)" Johnnie Moore -- Fox News, February 5, 2019

    "Pope Francis Confirms Catholic Clergy Members Abused Nuns" Max Rosenthal and Michelle Boorstein -- Washington Post, February 5, 2019

    "Pope Francis: Mediation in Venezuela Requires Willingness of Both Sides" Catholic News Agency, February 5, 2019

    U.S. Shutdown Hurt More Than Just Americans 

    What Effect Did the U.S. Shutdown Have on Foreign Aid?” Samuel Oakford -- IRIN, January 31, 2019

  • Tuesday, February 05, 2019 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    February 4, 2019

    February Newsletter

    President's Letter; Council of the Month; Wednesday's Cover to Cover; Major Council Events; Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute; Register for AWQ; Save the Dates for Spring Leadership Meeting; WorldOregon Happy Hour Podcast; Councils in the News

    President's Letter

    Dear Council Leaders, Supporters, and Friends:

    Foreign affairs hit closer to home more often than we think. And while our mental maps are expanding to allow for more serious examination of events at and near our southern border, it seems to me that the sheer number of World Affairs Council programs that focus on great powers and economies of Europe and Asia, or on the tribulations in the Middle East, significantly outnumber those having to do with the Western Hemisphere. Meanwhile, Alaska brings us greater awareness of the Arctic, while the other pole tends to be forgotten.

    Let’s try to change that. First, events in Venezuela rightfully demand our attention. Fifteen member states of the EU today joined earlier recognition by the U.S., Canada, and several Latin American nations of opposition chief Juan Guaidó as interim leader.

    Guaidó, the leader of the democratically elected national assembly, and President Nicolas Maduro both headed rival massive street protests in Caracas on Saturday. The stakes are high for Venezuelans, who have seen their once prosperous country descend into chaos, corruption, and poverty under Maduro, the socialist successor to Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013.

    While international diplomatic pressure and more stringent U.S. sanctions targeting the oil sector may squeeze the Maduro regime, they could also harm the people fighting it and fleeing from it. President Trump has not ruled out a “military option.” The geopolitical stakes are high, too, as Maduro has drawn support from Russia, China, and Turkey – portending much for great power rivalries and authoritarian challenges to democracy.

    As for what happens in Antarctica, it certainly won’t stay in Antarctica. The enormous cavity detected by scientists beneath the continent’s Thwaites Glacier will impact sea levels globally. Understanding the science, the impact of growing tourism, the nature of increasing Chinese interest, and the sustainability of marine resources are all worthy topics for Councils to cover. 

    Best wishes,

    Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO 

    WAC New Hampshire Is WACA's Council of the Month

    Congratulations to Tim Horgan, Executive Director of WAC NH, for his excellent leadership in chairing last month's Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, "The Exchange Effect." “It was a wonderful experience chairing the Global Ties National Meeting for 2019. It's always so great to get everyone, including many of our WACA friends, together for learning, sharing, and fun," said Horgan.

    Stay tuned for news about World Affairs Councils of New Hampshire - including their speaker series (like the The Future Without Nuclear Weapons on Feb. 6 with Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund) and film series (Finding Refuge: A Three-Part Film Series, beginning Feb. 27) - in a special Council of the Month block each week in February!

    Wednesday, Feb. 6: Cover to Cover with Bollyky on Plagues and Health

    Register Now

    Register now for WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, February 6, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Thomas J. Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development, Director of the Global Health Program, Council on Foreign Relations, on his new book, Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World Is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways.

    Plagues and parasites have played a central role in world affairs, shaping the evolution of the modern state, the growth of cities, and the disparate fortunes of national economies. This book tells that story, but it is not about the resurgence of pestilence. It is the story of its decline. Bollyky interweaves a historical narrative about the rise and fall of plagues in human societies with contemporary case studies of the consequences. Whether the peril or promise of that progress prevails, Bollyky explains, depends on what we do next.

    Read more by Bollyky in Foreign Affairs and Financial Times.

    Participate in the Great Decisions Teachers Institute


    The Foreign Policy Association's 15th annual Great Decisions Teachers Institute for high school educators affiliated with World Affairs Councils will take place June 24 through June 28 in New York City.

    Topics will include Global Migration, Nuclear Negotiations, and Trade with China. For the full list of topics and more information, please visit the Institute's webpage.

    To apply for the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, you must complete a questionnaire, which can be accessed by clicking here. High school educators nationwide are invited to apply by March 29. All applicants will be notified by April 12.

    If you have any questions in regards to the application or the Great Decisions Teachers Institute, please email teachers@fpa.org, or call the Foreign Policy Association at 212-481-8100 x 249.


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