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In Historic Russia - China Nuclear Power Cooperation, U.S. Loses Big

The record-setting nuclear deal inked between China and Russia earlier this month is the latest blow to America’s declining influence in commercial nuclear power across the globe. James Grant presents the issues.

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Putin Uses North Korean Summit to Make Energy Moves

With the ink barely dry on the historic Trump-Kim summit agreement, Moscow is already maneuvering itself to take advantage of rapprochement on the Korean peninsula.  The first order of business: reviving a decades - old energy megaproject that would connect Russian gas and the Trans-Siberian railroad to Seoul via North Korea. As concerning as it may seem for Washington, reinvigorated ties between Moscow and Seoul may prove a strong bargaining chip for Donald Trump in his forthcoming talks with Vladimir Putin -- rumored to take place in Vienna this July.

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Kazakhstan is opting for nuclear engagement, not deterrence

With North Korea wreaking havoc by testing nuclear weapons and missiles, and with the Iranian nuclear program becoming once again the focus of U.S. foreign policy, Washington is searching for solutions to both crises. In 1991, Kazakhstan hosted one of the largest nuclear test sites of the Soviet empire, as well as the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world, larger than that of the United Kingdom, France, and China combined. Although wedged between two nuclear-armed giants, Kazakhstan chose to accede to START-I, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty. Under these, Kazakhstan relinquished all nuclear warheads to Russia instead of maintaining and building up an independent deterrent it could ill afford. This was vastly consequential — and highly controversial. Read the rest here .

Keep OPEC out of Wall Street

For the past several months two of the world’s leading stock exchanges – the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) - have been competing over the listing of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, in what would be the largest IPO in history.  With an estimated valuation of $2 trillion the five percent Aramco will be offering the public are valued at $100 billion - more than the combined value of the top five largest IPOs ever floated in New York City. With such a bonanza every crumb is a mountain of cash. But from the broader public’s perspective things look vastly different. The Aramco IPO is a test of the integrity of our financial system and under the current structure no democratic government which believes in free and open markets should expose its investors to such an offering. Gal Luft explains.

 

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Report Calls for Proactive US Response to China's Belt&Road Initiative

China's multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the most ambitious and all-encompassing economic development project in the history of humanity. It aims to connect scores of Asian countries in a web of roads, high-speed rail, power lines, ports, pipelines, fiber-optic lines and other infrastructure with the goal of stimulating growth in the scores of developing countries in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. As such, it is poised to impact almost every region in which the United States has strategic interests. Yet, Washington has largely ignored the BRI, and in some cases it even took active measures to undermine it. According to a new report by Dr. Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security ( IAGS ), this course of action needs to be revisited by the new administration.

"The sooner Washington begins to engage with the BRI, the sooner it can be...

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