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BLACKWATER USA | DAILY BRIEF


Coming Up This Week

  • SecState Pompeo and Jared Kushner leave today for a six-country Middle East tour. They’ll visit Israel, Bahrain, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, and Sudan; and will try to build on recent progress improving relations between Israel and Arab states.

  • The Republican National Convention convenes in Charlotte, NC tomorrow, and runs through Thursday. The NYT says that Pres. Trump will speak on all four nights, which is unusual—usually the party candidate only speaks on the final night.

  • Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the Commitment March on Washington on Friday to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

LME Commodity Spot Prices

  • Aluminum: $1,723/ton

  • Copper: $6,565/ton

  • Cobalt: $33,045/ton

  • Gold: $1,940/toz

Afghanistan

  • Pakistan issued new sanctions on members of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network, including Mullah Baradar and Sirajuddin Haqqani. Security officials said the sanctions were issued so Pakistan could avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force for not doing enough to fight terrorism.

Venezuela

  • Pres. Maduro trolled Colombian Pres. Duque, who claimed on Friday that Venezuela was considering buying Iranian missiles. Maduro said the notion “had not occurred to us” but “what a good idea to speak with Iran to see what short, medium, and long range missiles they have, and if it is possible, given the great relations we have with Iran.”

  • Reuters notes that Venezuela struggles to buy basic food, medicine, and fuel under crippling sanctions, so it’s unlikely Maduro could come up with enough cash for missiles. But not impossible.

Mali

  • Mali’s coup leaders met with ECOWAS mediators for the first time, and talked for 20 minutes—as opposed to the 90 minutes the meeting was scheduled for.

Belarus

  • Opposition supporters are protesting again in Minsk today. Pres. Lukashenko told his military to be on full combat alert and prepare for a foreign invasion, although it doesn’t seem like one’s actually imminent—Lukashenko is probably just fearmongering.

Russia

  • Russian officials leaked information to a newspaper to show that poisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny had been under police surveillance during his trip to Siberia—apparently in an effort to show that Navalny couldn’t have been poisoned in the city of Tomsk, but rather at the airport (which is what Navalny’s team suspects anyway).

  • The leak backfired a bit, though, because all it served to do was show the extent of state surveillance on Navalny.

  • I haven’t seen any updates on Navalny’s condition in Berlin.

DRC

  • The ADF raided two more villages in eastern DRC, killing at least 13 civilians.

  • Opposition leaders Martin Fayulu and Adolphe Muzito returned to Kinshasa after several months abroad.

Other News

  • Police raided a crowded nightclub in Lima, Peru because it was violating social distancing rules, and at least 13 people died in the ensuing stampede.

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