THE SUMMIT: THEY GOT WHAT THEY WANTED AND IT WASN’T MUCH

In the end, the summit of the century was precisely the meeting that both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un wanted. Kim realized the dynastic dream of striding into a meeting with a US president as a nuclear power on equal diplomatic footing. Trump strode across the stage of history with a grand gesture of norm-defying personal diplomacy that he could speak about in superlatives.


But at the end of the three hours of individual and staff meetings, there wasn’t much there there. Kim and Trump signed a brief statement that commits both sides only to “work toward” several things — denuclearization, peace, repatriation of US soldiers’ remains — that earlier US-DPRK agreements had addressed with much greater specificity and, of course, zero success.

Perhaps the most substantive development was Trump’s announcement that he’d freeze the “provocative” and “expensive” military drills with South Korea — long a demand of Pyongyang, Beijing, and Moscow — without saying what, if anything, Mr Kim had offered in return.

As the two sides staffs move ahead with negotiations, the three critical issues remain: What does “denuclearization” mean specifically? How are any North Korean efforts to dismantle its nuclear capacity to be scheduled, verified, and rewarded? And what security guarantees is the US likely to give North Korea so that Kim feels safe without nuclear weapons?

For all the pageantry and hand-shakes and body language analyses, we know no more about these issues today than we did twenty-four hours ago or, for that matter, twenty-four years ago when the first efforts to stamp out the DPRK’s nuclear program began.

What we do know is that the diplomacy to sort these questions out could take years. That certainly behooves Kim, a wily young negotiator who figures he’ll outlast Trump by decades — the less he has to commit to up front the better. But does Trump need a win sooner than that?

Every day thousands of people legally cross back and forth between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on their way to jobs, schools, doctor's appointments, shopping centers and the homes of family and friends. This harmonious exchange has taken place for more than 400 years, uniting neighbors through shared social ties, geography, history and, most importantly, an interlinked economy.

Beyond the people and goods, El Paso and Ciudad Juárez also converge in a cross-border flow of ideas, ambition and aspirations that have shaped the region for centuries. This forward-looking spirit is what attracted Microsoft to the region in 2017, when it launched Microsoft TechSpark to create new economic opportunities and help digitally transform established industries with modern software and cloud services. It's also why Microsoft announced on Monday that it is expanding the TechSpark El Paso program to include Ciudad Juárez and making a $1.5 million investment in the binational Bridge Accelerator. Read more about the TechSpark announcement here.

Since Syria's brutal civil war began eight years ago, millions of Syrians have fled their country to escape the bombs and bullets. But hundreds of thousands have been displaced within Syria's borders, where they languish in packed refugee camps. The al-Hol camp in northern Syria is sprawling, and of its nearly 70,000 residents, some 11,000 are family members of foreign ISIS fighters, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The surprise American withdrawal from northern Syria last week paved the way for Turkey and Syria's Bashar al-Assad to move in. Some 160,000 civilians have now fled the border region that Turkey is bombarding, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a stretch of Syria that had been relatively secure since the defeat of ISIS's self-declared caliphate back in March. Here's a look at the camps for displaced people in the area.

Syria is quickly turning into US President Donald Trump's most significant foreign policy blunder to date. It's looking like it might be for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, too.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced a fresh wave of sanctions on Turkey, in a bid to get Erdogan to halt his invasion of Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria. Yes, you may recall, that's the same invasion that the US green-lit last week by withdrawing American troops from the area.

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Mozambique's democracy test Mozambicans voted yesterday in an election that will test a fragile peace accord between the ruling Frelimo party, led by president Filipe Nyusi, and Renamo, a former rebel group-turned-opposition party. The two factions were on opposite sides of a Cold War-tinged civil war that killed an estimated 1 million people between 1977 and 1992. Frelimo, which has ruled Mozambique since independence, has been losing popularity due to a corruption scandal, but is likely to hold onto power at the national level. Renamo, which foreswore violence just two months ago in exchange for electoral reforms that will help the party, will be hoping to make regional gains that allow it to win some key governorships. Disputes over the final vote count and even outright fraud or violence are possible in coming days, particularly if Renamo fails to make its hoped-for gains.

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What's the update at the Syria-Turkey border?

Well, it is increasingly in the hands of Assad and the Russians, who the Kurds have flipped with. The United States withdrawing some troops away from the border, the Turks coming in, but they going to be limited in how much they can do given the fact that ultimately, Assad and Russia has most the firepower and Turkey does not want that fight.

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