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Friday News Roundup - International

Venezuelan migrants cross the border between Ecuador and Peru in Tumbes, Peru, on August 25.
Venezuelan migrants cross the border between Ecuador and Peru in Tumbes, Peru, on August 25.

With guest host John Donvan.

The United Nations leveled major criticism at several governments around the world this week. A report was released that said that top military officials in Myanmar must be investigated for war crimes against Rohingya Muslims.

Listen to our program from earlier this week, which asks who can help the Rohingya

The UN also criticized human rights abuses in Nicaragua this week. It condemned what it said was “repression and torture” of opposition activists by the government of President Daniel Ortega. The Nicaraguan government denied the reports.

Trade continues to be a pillar of President Trump’s foreign policy. He abruptly announced that he was renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with the support of Mexico. By Friday, we’ll hear whether negotiators hashed out a new deal that includes Canada.

Re-negotiating trade deals were major campaign promises for the president. He specifically mentioned Nafta as a new deal that he thought needed to be reevaluated.

More on the deal from Bloomberg:

Two key issues for the U.S. and Canada are dairy and anti-dumping dispute panels. The U.S. wants to dismantle Canada’s dairy system and kill the panels; Canada has signaled it would compromise on dairy and wants to preserve the so-called Chapter 19 panels. “The Canadian view on Chapter 19 is well-known,” Freeland said late Wednesday.

There are warnings that U.S. trade law will prevent, or impede, Trump from forging ahead on a quick timeline with only a two-country accord, and key figures in Congress are calling for Canada to be included. Lighthizer has said he believes he can proceed without Canada. The Friday deadline would allow a signing before Mexico’s president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office on Dec. 1.

What’s in this new trade deal? How is it different from the current status of Nafta? And how will these changes affect Mexican and Canadian citizens?

In Brazil, President Michel Temer sent troops to the country’s northern border to address the inflow of refugees from Venezuela. Venezuela is suffering from a major economic crisis that has caused food shortages and left medicine scarce.

— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) August 25, 2018

What would help these refugees?

And the Catholic Church is again under fire after Pope Francis’ trip to Ireland. The pope gave a speech in Dublin that critics said inadequately addressed recurring allegations of widespread sex abuse within the church.

This latest outcry about abuse from the faithful around the globe comes at a time when Francis is under attack from more conservative sects of the church hierarchy. A cardinal released a 7,000 word letter this week that suggested Francis personally covered up sex abuse, and called for his resignation. The letter’s contents are so far unproven.

Will Pope Francis take more decisive action to address the survivors of abuse?

Lastly, we all know the cliche that there are plenty of fish in the sea. But what about…scallops? British and French fishers are figuring that out.

We’ll send you into the weekend with the global news that made headlines around the world this week.

Text by Gabrielle Healy.


Ravi Agrawal, Managing editor, Foreign Policy; former New Delhi bureau chief, CNN; @ravireports

Courtney Kube, National security and military reporter, NBC News; @ckubenbc

Franco Ordonez, White House correspondent, McClatchy, focusing on immigration and foreign affairs; @FrancoOrdonez

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