As British Prime Minister Theresa May packs her bags to go to Brussels once again, European leaders could be forgiven for thinking this “looks like Groundhog Day,” Bart Oosterveld, the Atlantic Council’s C. Boyden Gray fellow on global finance and growth and director of the Global Business and Economics Program, said.

May pushed through a provision in the British Parliament on January 29—the Brady Amendment—which formally states Parliament’s opposition to the current draft Withdrawal Agreement laying out the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union over concerns about the “backstop” provision meant to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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US and Chinese trade negotiators will meet again in Washington on January 30 amid escalating bilateral tensions over issues far broader than traditional trade policy. The meetings will occur in a fittingly freezing city, with plunging temperatures outside accompanying the deep freeze that has gripped the bilateral relationship. US allies in Europe and Japan will quietly cheer from the sidelines as US policy makers prepare to take a tough stance.

With the ninety-day negotiating window to find a solution to the US-China trade tensions quickly running out and with expected February action by the United States regarding foreign automobile tariffs, the stakes are high. The scope of discussions is also broad. It is highly unlikely that all policy disputes between Beijing and Washington can be resolved in the January 30 meeting.

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‘The only thing we will accept is our agenda: how do we negotiate his exit?’ says Carlos Vecchio, Juan Guaidó’s representative in Washington

Venezuela’s interim leaders, sensing that their dream of freedom “is tantalizingly close,” are in no mood to enter into a dialogue with Nicolás Maduro’s regime, which has driven the oil-rich South American nation into a humanitarian crisis while cracking down on its opponents.

This week, under pressure from a growing number of countries, including the United States, Maduro has sought to involve his international backers, including Russia and Mexico, in a new process of dialogue with the opposition.

Venezuela’s interim government is having none of it.

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When Polish troops flew back from peacekeeping duties in the Central African Republic in 2015, Warrant Officer Mariusz Maronski was waiting for them at the airport.

He wasn’t part of a jubilant “Welcome home!” crowd. He was there for a far more serious reason.

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Even by Venezuela’s standards, it has been an unprecedented week for this oil-rich South American nation. In a span of a few days, the crisis that has been simmering for the past few years has reached a boiling point as the international community, including the United States, has turned up the heat on Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

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The UK Parliament on January 29 endorsed a provision that would empower British Prime Minister Theresa May to renegotiate her Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union in order to come up with “alternative arrangements” that could break the gridlock over the way the UK leaves the EU.

The vote on the “Brady Amendment” was seen as a victory for May who dramatically shifted her support from her own withdrawal deal toward renegotiation in order to achieve some consensus within her Conservative Party for a passable deal.

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Amid intense partisan polarization and high-profile disagreements between Washington and its allies, Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, on January 29 made the case for the United States to preserve its alliances. “US interests are best served when Washington and its allies act in unison,” Wilson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington in a hearing on China and Russia.

As growing aggression from Russia and China becomes “the main geopolitical challenge of the 21st century,” Wilson said, “the United States is much better positioned if it does not assume the burden of countering Beijing and Moscow alone.”

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The charges announced by the US Department of Justice against Chinese telecom giant Huawei, “stand on their merits” but are “difficult to view. . . in isolation” from the Trump administration’s strategy to get Beijing to undertake meaningful economic reform, according to Robert A. Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

The US Justice Department detailed thirteen charges against Huawei, its affiliated firms, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on January 28. Meng has been in Canada since being detained on December 1 at the request of the United States for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran. Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker confirmed that the United States would formally file an extradition request to bring Meng to the United States by January 29.

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DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – The star who stole the stage at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which just ended here yesterday, wasn’t the stuff of flesh and blood but of data-driven algorithms.

US President Donald Trump, China’s Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Great Britain’s Theresa May were no shows at this gathering of global movers and shakers, occupied with more pressing matters at home.

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There is renewed hope for a settlement to the seventeen-year-old war in Afghanistan—although significant questions remain.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is reported to be making headway in his talks this week with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. Although Khalilzad has consulted with most of the relevant Afghan and regional actors since last September, details of the full range of discussions are still sketchy as they may arouse undue suspicions or misunderstandings in Kabul and in other concerned capitals.

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