What We’re Writing
Donald Trump Heads East: The president is on an official visit to Asia this week, the longest of any U.S. president since 1991. He showed an unexpected amount of support for U.S. alliances in the region, both with Japan and with South Korea. But questions remain about how the U.S. will deal with a nuclear North Korea: The Trump administration’s policy toward the Hermit Kingdom has earned both praise and criticism for its unpredictability. Trump also went to China, where observers hoped that President Xi Jinping would confront Kim Jong Un—but Beijing and Washington still have fundamental disagreements on the outcome they want for the Korean peninsula.
A Takeover in the Palace: Saudi Arabia saw a major power shift this week, one that has been years in the making. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had 11 high-ranking businessmen and politicians arrested in a high-stakes gamble for consolidated power in the kingdom. He may also have had a hand in the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Lebanon has become a proxy battleground for Saudi Arabia and Iran, as has Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is struggling to defeat a rebel insurgency.
The Paradise Papers: On Sunday, a new leak of private financial information exposed the offshore assets of more than 120,000 individuals and entities. They also revealed that Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner used Kremlin-connected funds to make large investments in Facebook and Twitter, highlighting the problematic relationship between government money and media in Russia. While the Papers sparked outrage, the backlash against countries that enable tax avoidance may not be justified: Virtually every country is a tax haven in some way, including developed countries.