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What We’re Watching: UK wants to be North American, Sudanese foil coup, Haitian refugee crisis grows

Can the UK join a North American trade deal? The acronym for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement was never all that elegant, but now London wants to throw two more letters into that soup. That's right, the UK wants to join USMCA, the trade pact brokered by the Trump administration in 2020 as an update to the 1990s-era NAFTA agreement. London had hoped that Brexit would free it up to ink a bilateral free trade deal with the US, but as those talks have stalled in recent months, PM Boris Johnson now wants to plug his country into the broader three-party deal. The fact that the UK already has deals with Canada and Mexico should help, in principle. But it would doubtless be a complex negotiation. And there's at least one huge hurdle: US officials are reportedly unaware of any mechanism at all for bringing aboard additional countries.

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What We're Watching: A peace deal in Sudan, India-China border flare-up, EU threatens Ankara

Sudan, rebels shake hands: Sudan's transitional government and an alliance of rebel groups signed a peace agreement on Monday that aims to stabilize the Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions after almost two decades of conflict. The deal covers several key issues, including the integration of rebel fighters into the national army and the return of refugees who fled the conflict since 2003. Indeed, it's the first major step towards peace in conflict-ridden Sudan since the ouster of former strongman president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. The joint military-civilian cabinet in Khartoum now plans to hand over Bashir to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he will face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity over his role in the Darfur war during which 300,000 were killed and more than 2 million were displaced. However, at least two rebel factions refused to join the latest peace agreement, highlighting the fragility of the nascent deal.

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