(Above: Leaders at the 2011 G-20 summit in Cannes, France.)
All eyes are on the German city of Hamburg, where the 2017 G-20 Summit meeting will take place. Notable at this event will be President Trump's first sit down with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. Some officials are nervous, given tensions arising between the U.S. and Russia regarding potential Russian meddling in the United States' 2016 presidential election, and regarding the conflict in Syria.
Also present at this conference will be Xi Jinping, who hopes to, in the wake of the United States' new isolationist and protectionist tendencies, slide in to the spot the U.S. previously occupied--as a large ally and huge trading partner with the single market European state. Xi and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany met recently, and enjoyed a quite cordial visit. There was little talk of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Liu Xiaobo. China has agreed to let foreign doctors into China to care for him and his late stage cancer, but still will not allow him to go abroad to seek treatment.
Europe has tried to isolate the United States for its departure from the Paris Climate Accords, but it might struggle to do so, given that Russia and Turkey are also now considering dropping out.
Also on the table for Europe--there is now talk of something previously considered unheard of: a European Union nuclear weapons program. Some leaders in Europe are unsure of whether or not they can trust the United States to provide military security, and as such will consider redistributing France's nuclear arsenal to cover the entirety of the E.U.
The E.U. and Japan can apparently potentially sign the trade deal (mentioned yesterday) today. They have ironed out their differences, according to one source. This partnership will also release details today on a joint space mission to Mercury, set to arrive in 2025.
The geopolitical feud between Qatar and its Arab neighbors is persisting. Some have accused Qatar of supplying extremist terrorist groups, but others question whether Saudi Arabia is not also, or more, to blame.
And finally, according to one source, the only thing that is preventing a United States war with North Korea is 'self-restraint.' Check out this NYT article.
Have a fantastic Thursday!