Balance of Power: U.S.-China Divide on Full Display at UN TodayBy
A meeting today of the United Nations Security Council to discuss further sanctions on North Korea will put the differences between the U.S. and China on handling the regime on stark display.
U.S. envoy Nikki Haley has been pushing hard for a vote to cut off Kim Jong Un’s lifeline of oil, most of which comes from neighboring China. But with Beijing worried about squeezing North Korea so hard it collapses -- and Russia saying publicly more sanctions won’t work -- Haley may have to compromise.
China and the U.S. both are worried about Kim’s nuclear ambitions, and want him to halt his provocations. But as the UN wrangling shows, they fundamentally disagree on the urgency of the situation and the best way to rein him in. President Donald Trump’s threats to use military force against Pyongyang have caused unease in Beijing, which favors a push for talks.
That means the U.S. may have to settle for a watered-down deal involving a cap on oil sales rather than a ban. Even so, that would probably represent something of a win: The worst outcome for Haley is no agreement at all.
Irma’s wrath | The hurricane might not have been as damaging as feared, but it still knocked out power to at least 4.5 million customers, shut about 6,000 gasoline stations and is threatening more than $1 billion worth of crops as it heads up Florida’s west coast. Irma also generated surges and winds strong enough to topple cranes in Miami, where the flooded Brickell financial district looked like a swift river.
Trump deal clouds tax plan | The president’s dramatic debt and spending deal with Democrats could undermine the Republicans’ ability to deliver on one of their top priorities: tax reform. Trump’s engagement with the Democrats has sown distrust in his party and is driving a wedge between some members and the GOP leadership, with time for legislative action running out.
Brexit bill vote | Prime Minister Theresa May will test how solid her working majority is in late night voting on a key piece of legislation that will copy and paste European Union law onto the U.K. statute. The most contentious parts of the draft law are the so-called Henry VIII powers, which would allow ministers to make changes to existing law. The Labour Party is accusing May of a power grab and her relationship with key Conservative allies is shaky at best.
Turning green | Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose 45 years as a lawmaker includes almost two decades of cabinet experience, is one of the biggest beasts in the German political jungle. So as jostling begins for the Sept. 24 vote aftermath, his overtures to the Greens in a late-night talk show have to be taken seriously. For more news and features from the campaign trail, visit our election hub page here.
Mugabe’s diamond power | Zimbabwe’s political elite is using cash from the sale of diamonds dug in the eastern Marange fields to fund the nation’s spy agency that’s helped maintain President Robert Mugabe’s near-four decade grip on power, the London-based advocacy group, Global Witness, says in a new report. Companies linked to the government and military channel the gems through Dubai, India, the Netherlands and South Africa and funnel the earnings back to the security forces “off budget,” it says.
And finally… Hillary Clinton says she doesn’t plan to run for office again and that her willingness to make highly paid speeches to Wall Street firms contributed to her loss to Trump in last year’s election. Clinton made the comments in “What Happened,” her memoir of the campaign that goes on sale tomorrow. “As an active politician, it’s over,” the former secretary of state and first lady said in an interview with CBS’s Jane Pauley that aired yesterday.
— With assistance by Alan Crawford