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BLACKWATER USA | DAILY BRIEF


Russia

  • Confirming plans that were pretty clear from the start, Pres. Putin said he may consider running for president again if voters approve constitutional changes that would let him do so. The referendum starts tomorrow and runs through July 1st, and has been stacked with measures popular with the pro-Putin crowd to encourage turnout.

North Korea

  • Kim Jong Un met with his central military commission and “took stock of the prevailing situation,” ultimately concluding to deescalate military pressure against South Korea after two weeks of worsening rhetoric. I wonder if South Korea will rebuild the $18 million meeting venue the North blew up in a tantrum.

Iran

  • Pres. Rouhani said he’s open to talks with the U.S. if the U.S. apologizes for abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal and offers Iran compensation for its losses related to leaving the deal. That seems unlikely under Pres. Trump.

Yemen & Saudi

  • The Houthis claimed to have hit Riyadh with a drone and missile attack yesterday, but Saudi Arabia said it blocked the attack altogether.

  • Saudi announced that only 1,000 people would be allowed to perform this year’s Hajj, and they must be under 65 and undergo a virus test. That limits the pilgrimage so much that it effectively cancels it—by contrast, 2.5 million people took part last year.

Afghanistan

  • A Taliban attack in Badghis killed at least 10 ANSF, and a roadside mine killed six civilians in Jawzjan. The Taliban hasn’t commented on the latter—and often avoids commenting on incidents that kill civilians.

Somalia

  • A bomb at Turkey’s largest overseas military base (in Mogadishu) killed two.

DRC

  • An ADF attack near Beni killed an Indonesian MONUSCO peacekeeper.

U.S.

  • The EU is reportedly planning to block Americans from entering when it reopens its borders on July 1st—ostensibly because of a weak coronavirus response in the U.S., but perhaps also in retaliation for the U.S. blocking Europeans from entering in March. The rumored EU plan would also block Russians and Brazilians, but not Chinese or Vietnamese.

Other News

  • There was a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in southern Mexico yesterday that killed at least five and triggered a minor tsunami at the popular beach resort of Huatulco.

  • Pakistan’s Aviation Minister said the pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines plane that crashed last month were chatting about coronavirus—like the rest of the world—and didn’t pay attention to their landing. They ended up landing without wheels deployed, which damaged the engines so the plane couldn’t take off again.

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