• Joe Biden’s early foreign policy test came in far away Myanmar, where that Southeast Asian nation’s generals deposed the democratically-elected government. The military arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of government and Nobel Peace Prize winner, along with other leaders of her ruling National League for Democracy party.
(“Burma Coup Poses Early Test for Biden Foreign Policy,” The Hill, Feb. 3, 2021; “Who Lost Myanmar,” Foreign Policy, Feb. 2, 2021; “Myanmar’s Army Is Back in Charge. It Never Truly Left.” New York Times, Feb. 2, 2021)
• In their first phone call, President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to a five-year extension of the New START Treaty. START is the only remaining bilateral nuclear arms control treaty remaining between the two nations. Meanwhile, there is growing concern about reckless nuclear proliferation among rogue states like North Korea and new potential nuclear states such as Saudi Arabia.
(“The World Is Facing an Upsurge of Nuclear Proliferation,” The Economist, Jan. 30, 2021)
• Joe Biden’s nominee for Attorney General Merrick Garland, is hoping to appoint a longtime tech insider, Susan Daviesl, to lead the Justice Department’s anti-trust division. Davies worked for Garland in the Clinton era DOJ. However, the Intercept reports that in 2012 Davies represented Facebook in a lawsuit against an advertiser who was removed from the social media giant’s platform. Davies’ other clients are also of concern to opponents of concentrated corporate power, as she worked on behalf of major mergers, fending off antitrust enforcement.
(“Merrick Garland Wants Former Facebook Lawyer to Top Antitrust Division,” The Intercept, Jan. 28, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.