One deal passed significant tests with flying colors this week, while another died on the parliamentary floor. Were you paying attention to the negotiations and votes this week? Take seven questions on this week’s top news and show that you are a master dealmaker.

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Having judged Theresa May on her leadership and found her wanting in a sense of reality, political honesty, a willingness to understand her opponents, and a commitment to seek consensus, one can ask how well Emmanuel Macron has fared by those same criteria, particularly as he has faced the “Yellow Vest” movement of grassroots protesters donning the high-viz jackets that all French motorists are required to carry in their vehicles and which have become both a uniform and a distress signal of those who feel left behind by globalization, the Parisian elites, and the haughty demeanor of Macron himself.

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First, the good news. Amid the daily drama and questions about US President Donald J. Trump’s actual relationship with Vladimir Putin and his Russia, pieces of a defensible Trump foreign policy have emerged over the past two years. 


The focus on a return of great power rivalry, a theme of the administration’s national security strategy, is a solid judgment. The administration’s challenge of China’s predatory trade and other aggressive practices is a worthy and overdue objective. The Trump administration was right to move beyond the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” toward North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program and replace it with a policy of maximum pressure. The president has a point when he challenges the assumptions of US military engagement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (Obama did much the same). Whatever the explanation for the president’s obsequious approach toward Putin, the administration’s actual policy toward Putin’s aggressive Russia is, as was said of Wagner’s music, better than it sounds.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in her government on January 16, but now has until January 21 to come up with a new plan for Brexit.

The continuation of May’s government was threatened by a no-confidence vote triggered by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn after May’s draft withdrawal agreement on leaving the EU was defeated in Parliament by 432 to 202 votes. The no-confidence vote failed by nineteen votes, 306 to 325.

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On January 16, British Prime Minister Theresa May won the day against a motion of no confidence in her government by nineteen votes after losing a vote on her Brexit withdrawal agreement the day before by 230 votes, the largest proportion of MPs voting against a government motion ever recorded in the entire history of the British Parliament. In December 2018, she won a vote of no confidence within her own parliamentary party (the Conservative Party), which cannot be renewed for a year. She is, therefore, now politically unassailable both as prime minister and as leader of the Conservative Party.

But even if she has retained formal “confidence” she has lost the faith of the people and of Parliament to lead the country, not only but especially in the Brexit negotiations.

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It is just possible that the British Parliament might eventually be able to agree a compromise on how Britain should leave the European Union. But which of the country’s warring politicians might be able to secure such a compromise remains almost impossible to fathom.

The problem is that the two most important figures in this debate, Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, appear unwilling and unable to compromise.

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Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on January 16 called for a collective Western response to cyber threats while urging allies to increase spending on cybersecurity.


“I call on you today and encourage your leaders and governments to spend more money on cyber warfare, as we do, on cyber soldiers to protect our Internet frontier,” Morawiecki said on the opening day of a two-day conference jointly hosted by PKO Bank Polski and the Atlantic Council in Warsaw, Poland.


“Our enemies will not wait,” Morawiecki said, adding, “They are arming up as we speak. Only a collective response will keep he threat at bay, and only a decisive one.”


The conference, “A New Initiative for Poland: A Future Global Leader in Securing the 4th Industrial Revolution,” seeks to deepen US-Polish ties by developing cybersecurity as a key pillar in the relationship.

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A little over two months remain until the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union (EU) and yet the manner of Britain’s exit seems more unclear than at any time since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The UK Parliament on January 15 rejected by a vote of 432 to 202 the Withdrawal Agreement British Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU.

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Sgt. Kenneth Willander vividly recalls the day his comrade and friend, Pte. Steffen Bloch Larsen, was shot and killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.


Willander, who was injured in the Taliban ambush on September 19, 2009, and Larsen traveled together in a helicopter to the Camp Bastion Field Hospital in Helmand province. “Sitting in the Black Hawk helicopter holding his hand during the flight is the strongest memory I have,” he said. “We tried everything to save him.”


“It is a hard job to maintain your focus every day when your closest friends die,” Willander added.

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