British Ambassador, Epstein, Merkel: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the confusing environment for diplomats in Washington, doubts about Jeffrey Epstein’s wealth and the oldest Homo sapiens fossil ever found in Europe.

Members of the Washington diplomatic corps agreed that the cables Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador who resigned yesterday, wrote to London describing the dysfunction and chaos of the Trump administration sounded a lot like their own.

“Yes, yes, everyone does,” Gérard Araud, who retired this spring as the French ambassador, said of his own missives. “It could have been any of us,” said another ambassador, who is still serving and therefore spoke on condition of anonymity.

Environment: Foreign diplomats say Trump-era Washington is something of a black hole, in which crucial American decisions affecting their nations’ trade or troops are delivered without notice.

What’s next: There will be a new British ambassador, presumably appointed after Parliament selects a new prime minister.

Jeffrey Epstein, who is facing sex-trafficking charges in New York, is routinely described as a billionaire and a brilliant financier. He has rubbed elbows with the powerful, including former and future presidents.

France has proposed a 3 percent tax on the revenue some companies earn from providing digital services to French users, a measure that would include Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The U.S. trade representative said the tax unfairly targeted American companies.

Context: To investigate the matter, the U.S. is using the same mechanism President Trump employed to ultimately impose sweeping tariffs on China.

Impact: The development threatens to further stoke tensions with the European Union, which Mr. Trump has already threatened with auto tariffs.

Sahred From Source link World News

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