Tremors Hit Stability Away From Trump and Brexit

(Bloomberg) --

While each week brings a new twist to the spectacle that is Donald Trump’s presidency and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May flirts with political disaster over Brexit, there are deep rumblings shaking stability elsewhere across the global political order.

This week we’re featuring stories about protests against long-standing leaders in Sudan and Algeria and how Mexico’s president is enjoying record support from voters that defies investor warnings that he’s bad for the economy. There’s also a piece on a tsunami-devastated city in Japan that’s looking to rugby to help it pick up the pieces, and a tale about how billions of dollars in illicit cash from the former Soviet Union is roiling Europe’s banks.

We didn't forget about the Trump administration or Brexit, though. Read how Germany rejected a U.S. attempt to goad it into provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin near Crimea, and why May could finally see her epic bouts of brinkmanship lead to a divorce deal with the European Union – and avoid a return to 19th-century cuisine. We hope you enjoy these and other of our best stories from the last seven days in this episode of Weekend Reads.

Tremors Hit Stability Away From Trump and Brexit

Pence Asked Merkel to Roil Russia by Sending Warships to Crimea
The U.S. leaned on Germany last month to provoke Putin in his back yard. Patrick Donahue and Jennifer Jacobs report how Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuffed Vice President Mike Pence, who urged her to send warships through a channel between the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia.

Amazon Is Flooding D.C. With Money and Muscle: The Influence Game
After building a powerful influence machine in Washington over the last few years, Amazon is going on the attack. Naomi Nix tells how the Seattle-based company is pushing aside trade groups it doesn’t like and creating new ones, dispatching senior executives to woo antitrust enforcers and poaching senior staff from government and congressional offices.

The Big Corporate Tax Cuts Were a Lot of Huff for a Little Puff
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was as close as it gets to a real-world laboratory experiment on whether supply-side theory works. Read Tim Mahedy’s story about how, despite arguments from the White House and congressional Republicans that it would reinvigorate U.S. growth, history indicated it was always destined to fall short of the hype.

Tremors Hit Stability Away From Trump and Brexit

Mexico’s President Is Loved by Voters, But Investors Remain Wary
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, is doing well with voters 100 days into his term, with an approval rating of 78 percent. Still, market sentiment is souring, Nacha Cattan reports, and investors complain the economic situation is worsening.

May’s Brexit Brinkmanship Could Finally Earn Her a Big Break
Theresa May’s premiership and her Brexit deal are still just clinging to life. Some of her officials believe she has a slim chance to pull off the political miracle of persuading Parliament to back her deal in a vote next week. Tim Ross, Kitty Donaldson and Alex Morales tell how it would be a victory won through missteps, inconsistencies, reversals, and luck.

How Europe's Banks Wound Up Laundering Russia's Money
The money-laundering scandals rocking Europe are shining a light on the struggle to keep up with the hundreds of billions of dollars that flowed out of the former Soviet Union in the chaotic transition to capitalism. Gregory White writes how the torrent often passed through offshore zones with limited controls, making it tough to distinguish between legitimate and criminal cash.

Why Protests Are Raging Against Sudan’s Leader
When Omar al-Bashir led a military coup that kicked off Sudan’s Islamic revolution in 1989, he probably didn’t imagine one day taking direction from the International Monetary Fund. He’s done so nonetheless, devaluing the currency and cutting government subsidies. As Mohammed Alamin and Michael Cohen report, he’s now facing a rebellion against soaring living costs.

Even Rugby World Cup Can't Save This Japan Region Hit by Tsunami
A gleaming new stadium in the Japanese city of Kamaishi symbolizes what the region has overcome since a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami killed as many as 20,000 people there. Jon Herskovitz and Emi Nobuhiro report that now the area now must contend with another threat – declines in the economy and population.

Algeria's Tempest Grows as Powerful Groups Back Protesters
Opposition to Algeria’s government is rising after lawmakers resigned from parliament and a powerful group of veterans joined protests against ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term. Souhail Karam and Salah Slimani report how it’s posing the biggest challenge yet to a ruling elite that avoided the turmoil that gripped the region during the 2011 Arab Spring.

And finally … No more avocado toast or banana smoothies, and forget about shaving fresh Parmesan on your pasta. Instead, get used to milk at every meal, bread for days, lamb chops, and lots and lots of peas. As Megan Durisin, Aine Quinn and Rob Dawson report, the home-grown meals more akin to the era of Jane Austen are what Britons could be eating if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal that sets up basic trade relations with other countries.

Tremors Hit Stability Away From Trump and Brexit

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