Trump Targets the Triangle

President Trump has announced plans to cut off $450 million in development and humanitarian aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to punish the failure of their governments to stop the flow of their citizens toward the US southern border.

Here are the best arguments on both sides of the debate that this move has provoked:

Cutting aid is a terrible idea.

People flee these Central American countries because they want to escape violent crime, poverty and corruption. Their hopelessness makes the dangerous journey seem like a good idea. Cutting aid to these countries will make these problems worse, pushing larger numbers of people toward the US border.

Cutting aid is a smart idea.

US aid is not reaching the people who need it the most; the migrant caravans make that clear. In fact, the governments of these three countries, among the world's most corrupt, are stealing the money. Why send more taxpayer dollars to fund corruption in Central America? Maybe by cutting off the aid, Washington can force these governments to do more to help their own people. That might reduce the flow of migrants toward the border.

Is WhatsApp safe?

WhatsApp had a crazy hack! Hackers were able to get on your phone just by calling it. That's been patched but it's a reminder nothing is ever completely safe in 2019.

Why didn't Uber's IPO perform as promised?

Because they're losing tons of money. Because Lyft didn't do that well. Because their expansion into international markets, where they planned to go, has been harder than expected. Tough times at Uber.

Will cutting Huawei off from American technology hurt?

Trick question! Will it hurt Huawei? Yes, definitely. Will it hurt the American companiesthat supply Huawei? Yes definitely. Will it hurt consumers everywhere? Probably. Unless it changes the dynamics of the U.S. - China trade relationship in such a way that helps everybody, which is possible.

Should more cities ban facial recognition technology?

There's a tradeoff between privacy and safety. San Francisco just blocked facial recognition technology to help privacy but I think most cities are going to care more about their police departments being maximally effective and will choose safety.

In recent years, the accelerating cross-border flow of migrants fleeing violence and poverty has remade the politics of Europe and the United States. A startling new study from Stanford University warns that the conflicts we've seen to date may just be the opening act of a much larger and more dangerous drama.

Here's the study's argument in brief:

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President Donald Trump again dramatically escalated the stakes in the US-China rivalry on Wednesday with a move that made headlines in the US while landing like a grenade in Beijing.

The US Commerce Department announced yesterday that Huawei, China's leading tech company and already the source of major controversy, has been added to a list that prevents US tech suppliers from selling to Huawei without a license. That's even more important than the executive order, also published yesterday, that bans US telecom companies from using Huawei equipment.

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Voters in Australia head to the polls tomorrow to elect a new government. Though few outsiders closely follow politics in this country, this election tells interesting stories about three of the most important issues in today's world: Immigration, climate change, and managing changing relations with China. It's also a country with a steady economy—but lots of political turnover.


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