Weekly Briefing: June 6, 2016

Weekly Briefing: June 6, 2016

Kerry and Lew visit Beijing, the final states hold primaries and labour unrest continues in France.

June 6:

Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks, given her thoughts on the economy

Kerry and Treasury Sec. Lew visit Beijing to discuss cyber security

US-Philippines hold CARAT joint exercises in the Philippines

June 7:

Israeli PM Netanyahu visits Moscow

Primaries in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North and South Dakota

The European Commission is expected to pass a €60bn fund to counter illegal immigration from Africa

British PM David Cameron and UKIP leader Nigel Farage debate Brexit

June 8:

Brazil’s central bank meets for interest rate decision; no change expected (14.25%)

June 9:

Asia-Europe Finance Ministers’ meeting on global economy

June 10:

“Brazilian oil workers being a 24-hour strike

Protests against France’s Labour reforms are planned; Euro 2016 kicks off

June 11:

India holds elections for 57 seats in the upper house


KERRY AND LEW VISIT BEIJING

china scs adiz

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Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will travel to Beijing on June 6 for the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Talks will focus on economic cooperation, cyber security, North Korea and geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea.

Last Wednesday, the US Treasury announced plans to cut North Korea off from the international financial system and block banks from processing dollar transactions on behalf of the hermit kingdom.

Responding to questions about China’s rumoured plan to set up an air defence identification zone over the South China Sea on Sunday, Kerry said such an act would be “provocative and destabilising”.

Last week, world leaders and defence ministers met in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-level strategic summit focussed on Asia Pacific security. Discussions on the South China Sea dispute featured prominently in the talks.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration is due to rule on a case brought by the Philippines against Chinese actions in the disputed waters expected in the next month. Beijing has repeatedly asserted it will ignore the ruling.

 

US-PHILIPPINES HOLD JOINT EXERCISES

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Photo Credit: Associated Press

On June 6, the US and the Philippines will hold large-scale military exercises in multiple locations across the Philippines.

The CARAT exercises, which were first held in 1995, aim to promote cooperation and interoperability between the militaries of the US and its South East Asian allies.

This drills will be primarily held in the Sulu Sea, south of disputed maritime areas in the South China Sea.

 

FINAL STATES HOLD US PRIMARIES

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Photo Credit: Retuers/Jim Young

On Tuesday, June 7, a number of US states will hold Democratic and Republican primary ballots. While Donald Trump has already secured the Republican presidential nomination Bernie Sanders continues to campaign relentlessly against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination, despite having extremely slim chances of securing it.

Clinton’s popularity has been hurt by the continuing onslaught from Sanders, divisions in the Democratic party and having to fight Sanders and Trump on two fronts.

California is the biggest and most important of the states voting on Tuesday and has a significant number of registered Democrat voters. Polling indicates the vote will be neck-and-neck with 49 percent saying they would vote for Clinton and 47 percent for Bernie Sanders.

 

CAMERON AND FARAGE DEBATE BREXIT

brexit

Photo Credit: AFP

Also on Tuesday, David Cameron will take on pro-Brexit UKIP leader Nigel Farage in a debate about Britain’s June 23 referendum. The debate will be broadcast live on ITV.

The two leaders will not engage in direct debate but will each field questions from a studio audience.

Mr Cameron, who heads the ‘Remain’ campaign, has struggled to maintain momentum in recent weeks, with the ‘Leave’ camp closing the gap considerably. Some polls show the ‘Leave’ campaign, headed by former London Mayor Boris Johnson, now has the lead.

 

FRENCH LABOUR PROTESTS AND EURO 2016

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Photo Credit: Associated Press/Claude Paris

On Friday, June 10, huge protests against planned labour reforms are expected across France.

The new labour laws make it easier for employers to hire and fire, a move aimed at cutting unemployment, which currently stands at more than 10 percent.

Public transport unions have threatened to walk off the job on Friday, the same day the Euro 2016 football tournament kicks off. They are calling on the French government to back down on implementing the labour reforms or face travel chaos as millions of fans descend on the country.

The tournament has also been overshadowed by security concerns, with continental and US intelligence agencies warning that extremist groups may be planning to strike at the event. France will deploy more than 90,000 security forces to secure fans during the month-long championship.