Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday canceled a planned Jan. 31 meeting with President Donald J. Trump, hours after Trump tweeted that the meeting should be scrapped if Mexico won’t pay for a border wall. Pena Nieto’s message on Twitter ended days of uncertainty about how he would respond to Trump’s aggressive stance toward the country, and illustrated the challenges world leaders are likely to face in dealing with Trump’s voluble, Twitter-based diplomacy. It also signaled a remarkable souring of relations between the U.S. and its immediate southern neighbor, one of America’s largest trading partners and a country with which it shares a nearly 2,000-mile border. (AP https://yhoo.it/2koQgyH)
Meanwhile… According to the White House pool report, President Trump wants to impose a 20% tax on all imports from Mexico.
The new president arrives…Jubilant Gambians on Thursday welcomed home their new President Adama Barrow, who was elected almost two months ago but forced to flee to Senegal when his predecessor refused to step aside. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2jjJE2L)
Top State Department Officials Resign…“Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, three State Department officials told me. Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.” (WaPo http://wapo.st/2kydXny)
A Draft Executive Order Takes Aim at the UN. Here’s What’s Wrong With It. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2ky8qkL)
PODCAST: Trump Just Re-Instated the “Global Gag Rule.” Here’s what that means. (Global Dispatches podcast http://bit.ly/2ky9NAc)