Putin Cuts 755 U.S. Diplomats
The mutual respect between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin led to optimism that relations could improve between the United States and Russia under the Trump administration.
But in recent months, tensions have brewed in the shape of potential Russian interference in the 2016 American Presidential elections. New American sanctions against Russia prompted Vladimir Putin to relieve 755 U.S. diplomats of their duties within his country’s borders. According to BBC’s Laura Bicker, this is the most considerable action against the diplomatic staff of another country in recent history.
Besides the sanctions, Russia’s decision stems from a desire for the U.S. to recognize Moscow as a prominent force in the war against terrorism in Syria and other troublesome areas.
Even with objections from President Trump, both houses of Congress passed the sanctions with flying colors. Congress grew concerned that Trump would veto the bill over a new provision that would restrict his ability to lift sanctions. Fortunately, the White House revealed on July 28th that Trump would sign the bill after all.
Russia still denies any claims of collusion in the 2016 American Presidential election.
Chaos in the White House
Donald Trump became President under a motto that he would “Make America Great Again.” To make this happen, his campaign was stocked with promises, including health care replacement, tax reforms and “draining the swamp” of American politics. As bold as his campaign agenda was, the apparent disorder in Trump’s White House has placed them at a plateau of policy implementation.
From Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the explicit tirade of his new head of Communications Anthony Scaramucci, controversy has surrounded his entire administration. Not to mention the failure to implement a conservative-friendly health care reform and the resignation of former Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Plenty of Trump’s Republican peers delegate his policy failure to a lack of cooperation among his personnel.
“I don’t want to use any Scaramucci language this morning, but it’s their inability to function as a team, to work together and come up with a responsible win,” said Chairman of North Carolina’s Republican Party Robin Hayes.
The main concern of Trump’s critics is that without a stable and cohesive White House staff, complex issues like tax reform and health care will simply not be achieved.
Trump’s approval rating has fallen to 39%, but loyalists remain confident that his policies will transform the United States for the better.
Donald Trump is certainly changing politics as we know them, but can you imagine if a country’s president decided make their own Constitution? This scenario became a reality for the people of Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro ordered his nation’s constitution be rewritten to favor Venezuelan leftists.
One hundred and twenty people have died protesting Maduro’s Presidential reign, yet Maduro firmly believes his policy will peacefully settle the disputes within his deeply divided nation. Venezuela’s violent protests were headlined by the assassination of 39-year-old lawyer and constituent assembly candidate, Jose Felix Pineda, after a pack of armed protestors broke into his home and shot him dead.
Hours after Pineda’s assassination, an explosion shook the streets of suburban Caracas. Seven police officers were injured in the process. Authorities brought out water cannons, batons, and rubber bullets to hoards off the protestors, as has been the routine for the last three months. Clashes between police officers and protestors have resulted in at least 10 deaths.
Maduro’s opposition conducted a symbolic vote to illustrate the dissatisfaction of Venezuelans with his decision. Of the over seven million votes casted, 98% voted against a constitution rewrite.
Venezuela is already dealing with severe scarcity of food and medicine and adding social turmoil completes the perfect storm of conflict.