President Trump has signed executive orders aimed at combating foreign trade abuses and bringing down America’s half-a-trillion-dollar trade deficit. He announced a large-scale review of the causes of the deficit, the biggest source of which is China. Next week, Mr Trump will meet the Chinese President Xi Jingping in Florida.
The Attorney General in Venezuela has broken ranks with President Nicolas Maduro to condemn a Supreme Court ruling that stripped the opposition-led congress of its powers. Luisa Ortega described the ruling as a rupture of the constitutional order. Some analysts interpret the intervention as evidence of cracks appearing in the socialist government.
New laws have come into force in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang as the authorities in Beijing step up their campaign against what they regard as Islamist extremism. The measures include a ban on Muslim ethnic Uighurs growing abnormally long beards and wearing veils in public places. From now on, Uighur children will be forced to attend government schools.
South Africa’s new cabinet ministers have been sworn in following a reshuffle that provoked dissent in the governing African National Congress Party. There’s particular anger over the sacking of the widely-respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
The Turkish army has said it will maintain a military presence in Syria despite officially ending its offensive against Islamic State militants in the north. It said its continued activities inside Syria would ensure a Turkey’s national security and the region’s stability.
Germany’s Parliament has approved long-delayed plans for motorway tolls that foreigners will have to pay but not Germans. All drivers will be required to purchase a motorway pass but Germans will be refunded with a road tax reduction. Germany’s neighbour Austria is planning a legal challenge.