September 16, 2020
Our Upside Down World; Planet in Crisis; Peace With the Taliban?; Uncertainty in East Asia; Decision and Indecision; and Ripples in International Affairs
Quote of the Week
Yeah, well I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways I up-played it in terms of action.”

-- President Donald Trump, in an ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, denying that he downplayed the coronavirus pandemic.

I wanted always to play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

-- President Trump, to Bob Woodward on March 19, in a recording released last week by the veteran Washington Post journalist.  
Our Upside Down World

"India Adds Over 83,000 Cases, Nears 5 Million" Associated Press, September 15, 2020

"As Coronavirus Rebounds, Europe Rejects New Lockdowns" Bojan Pancevski and Margherita Stancati -- The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2020
Planet in Crisis

World Fails to Meet a Single Target to Stop Destruction of Nature – UN Report” Patrick Greenfield -- The Guardian, September 15, 2020

Tens of Thousands of Fires Are Pushing the Amazon to a Tipping Point” Rodrigo Pedroso; Fernanda Wenzel; Marcia Reverdosa -- CNN, September 10, 2020

As Trump Again Rejects Science, Biden Calls Him a ‘Climate Arsonist’” Peter Baker; Lisa Friedman; Thomas Kaplan -- New York Times, September 14, 2020
Peace With the Taliban?
Five Things to Know About the Afghan Peace Talks” United States Institute of Peace, September 14, 2020

What to Know About the Afghan Peace Negotiations” Council on Foreign Relations, September 11, 2020

Taliban Prisoners Linked to Killing U.S. Troops Are Released Ahead of 9/11 Anniversary” James Hohmann -- The Washington Post, September 11, 2020
Uncertainty in East Asia
Suga Takes the Reins as Japan’s New Prime Minister, Replacing Abe” Satoshi Sugiyama -- Japan Times, September 16, 2020

How Suga Will and Won’t Change Japan” Jake Adelstein -- Asia Times, September 13, 2020

Beginning the Post-Abe Era” Sheila Smith -- Council on Foreign Relations, September 9, 2020

China’s System of Oppression in Xinjiang: How It Developed and How to Curb It” James Millward and Dahlia Peterson -- Brookings, September 2020 

Oracle's Deal for TikTok May Not Include a Purchase” Bobby Allyn -- NPR, September 14, 2020
Decision and Indecision
Israel Signs Pacts With 2 Arab States: A ‘New’ Mideast?” Deb Riechmann; Matthew Lee; Jonathan Lemire -- Associated Press, September 16, 2020

Qatar Rules Out Normalizing Relations With Israel” Al Jazeera, September 15, 2020 

Without the Palestinians, Israeli Normalization Is Still Beyond Reach.” H.A. Hellyer -- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 15, 2020
Ripples in International Affairs
Macron Wants to Be a Middle Eastern Superpower” Steven Cook -- Foreign Policy, September 15, 2020 

Growing Distrust of China Brings $38 Billion Taiwan Windfall” Chris Horton and Raymond Wu -- Bloomberg, September 14, 2020

Where Navalny’s Poisoning Is Taking Russia, at Home and Abroad” Alexander Baunov -- Moscow Times, September 11, 2020