An Olympic Letdown Awaits Us On Korea

Lots of swooning coverage of the Olympics this week. A heartwarming story of how humanity’s shared love of sport can transcend geopolitical differences on the Korean peninsula, and so on. Call me a curmudgeon (I’ve been called worse), but I’m not buying it.

Even if there is some warming of North-South ties, it’s hard to see how that will loosen the basic, intractable deadlock over North Korea’s nuclear program.

To review, Kim Jong-un’s primary motivation for having nuclear weapons, as best we can tell (and we could be wrong, but do tell us why) is to deter the US from ever attempting “regime change” in the North. Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi haunt Kim’s dreams, if he has dreams.

That won’t have changed after the Games. In fact, none of the following will have changed:

  • Kim will still want a nuclear-tipped ICBM that can hit Washington, and is racing like hell to get one he can test.
  • The US will still be sworn to stop him, but tighter sanctions still won’t be enough to make Kim cry uncle (he kills uncles, actually).
  • An increasingly exasperated China still won’t fully choke Kim out, because doing so might cause his regime to collapse, inviting chaos on the peninsula.
  • And as Willis told you, the option of a US limited military strike against the North is probably a horrible idea.

Gold medal for anyone who can tell us how this ends other than: Kim gets his bomb, and the world learns, uneasily, to live with it — but how long can North Korea last after that?

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 200 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least eight Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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More Brexit shenanigans: Britons this week saw Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson endorse Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in upcoming elections. As a special bonus, they got to see Corbyn return the favo(u)r with a formal endorsement of Johnson. Most viewers in the UK will have understood immediately that these are the latest example of "deep fakes," digitally manipulated video images. The more important Brexit story this week is a pledge by Nigel Farage that his Brexit Party will not run candidates in areas held by the Conservatives in upcoming national elections. That's a boost for Johnson, because it frees his party from having to compete for support from pro-Brexit voters in those constituencies.

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80: More than 80 percent of the electronic voting systems currently used in the US are made by just three companies, according to a new report which warns that they are regulated less effectively than "colored pencils."

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Are we going to learn anything new from public impeachment hearings?

No, but like with Mueller, you know, people weren't reading the transcript, but they did actually listen to Mueller when he gave his speech. Now, the question is: Are they going to take anything different away from the public impeachment hearings? And the answer is, yes. They'll take very different things away, if they're watching on Fox or if they're watching on MSNBC. Still deeply divided and still can't imagine senators on the GOP impeaching, slash, convicting President Trump.

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