US President Donald J. Trump has described the caravan of Central American migrants making its way north through Mexico as an “invasion” by “many gang members and some very bad people.” Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent David Ward claimed—without a shred of evidence—that the group comes bearing smallpox, leprosy, and tuberculosis.

There is one thing these people do have: fear.

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American-style primaries are slowly spreading to Europe. In Spain, parties have opened up their leadership contests to all members, not just delegates. In France, even non-members can vote in presidential primaries. And Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will for the first time have a competitive leadership election this year, with three high-profile candidates running to succeed Angela Merkel. In the past, CDU congresses simply rubber-stamped whatever decision party elders had made.

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Sultan of Oman, Netanyahu hold rare meeting

On October 25, Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said hosted a delegation of Israeli officials that included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen for an unannounced meeting in Muscat. The meeting turned heads as Gulf leaders rarely meet Israeli officials. It was a sign of not only improving Israeli-Omani relations, but also Israel’s quest to develop diplomatic relations across the Persian Gulf.

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Amid rising tensions between China and the United States, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will “attempt to put a floor on the relationship” when they meet with Chinese officials in Washington on November 9, according to Robert A. Manning, a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

The two US officials will meet Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe as part of an annual framework to discuss security and political issues. Mattis was supposed to have this meeting in Beijing in October, but Chinese officials postponed it after the United States imposed sanctions on a Chinese company for purchasing weapons from Russia and Washington approved a $330 million military equipment deal with Taiwan.

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By reimposing sanctions on Iran, the United States is “simply trying to squeeze more out of the Iranians using a slightly lesser tool—sanctions functionally equivalent to what we had before without the corresponding political support,” according to Daniel Fried, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.

US President Donald J. Trump’s administration on November 5 reimposed all of the sanctions that were lifted by Barack Obama’s administration as part of a 2015 deal over Iran’s nuclear program. Trump pulled the United States out the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May.

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Charles Trumann Wesco, an American missionary from Indiana who moved to the Republic of Cameroon with his wife and eight children just two weeks ago, was killed on October 30 after being caught in cross-fire between Cameroonian security forces and separatist fighters.

Wesco and his family were living in the suburbs of Bamenda, a large city in Cameroon’s Northwest Region that has been at the center of the country’s Anglophone crisis over the last two years.

Wesco’s death came just one week after Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, who has ruled the country with an autocrat’s grip since 1982, was reelected for a seventh term in an election marred by allegations of voter fraud, apathy, and, in places, outright fear.  

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Seldom have America's midterm elections been watched so closely across the globe.
 
The reasons are clear enough: what impact they'll have on the competitive attractiveness of US democracy around the world, what clues they will provide about the durability of the Trump administration and its foreign policies and – hardest to calculate – the impact they will have on the populist and nationalist momentum globally.

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US National Security Advisor John Bolton labelled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua the “Troika of Tyranny” in a November 1 speech outlining the Trump administration’s determination to combat authoritarianism in Latin America. Speaking at Miami’s Freedom Tower, a US national historic landmark due to its role in housing a processing center for Cubans fleeing to the United States, Bolton declared that under US President Donald J. Trump, the United States “will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores.”

Bolton’s speech in a critical swing state for both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives just six days before the midterm elections can be seen as an attempt to shore up Republican Party support among the politically powerful Cuban-American community in southern Florida.

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US President Donald J. Trump’s administration will reimpose sanctions on Iran’s central bank, oil sales, and shipping companies on November 5. These sanctions, the last of those the US lifted in 2016 as a consequence of the Iran nuclear deal, are likely to be coupled with new sanctions that are designed to achieve greater pressure than what the Obama administration imposed on Iran to enter negotiations over its nuclear program.

The sanctions that snap back into place on November 5 largely mirror those that the Obama administration lifted in January 2016. While fewer in numbers than those reimposed on August 6 by Executive Order (EO) 13846 issued by Trump, they are among the most powerful as they expand the primary blocking sanctions available for US designations and represent the bulk of the secondary sanctions on Iran.

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