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Commentary

As of January 31, 2019, Reuters.com is no longer publishing Commentary columns. Existing columns will remain archived on the site.

Commentary: Check Barr’s record, not his testimony

This week, the Senate is holding confirmation hearings for William Barr, Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general. At these hearings, Barr has mostly said the right things, coming off as a competent public servant who will protect the independence of the Justice Department from presidential pressure. But Barr’s words can only be of limited reassurance given his previous attacks on the Mueller investigation and many other potential concerns about his record.

Commentary: Putin can't afford to ditch the dollar

Paul Manafort, while managing Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, is accused of passing private polling data to his Russia business partner, a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. This new information, revealed in an unsealed court filing, is likely to stoke the case in Congress for increased sanctions against Russia. Equally importantly, the reverberations will be felt in Moscow, where anger and frustration over the impact of U.S. sanctions – and by implication Vladimir Putin’s lea

Commentary: Are China, Russia winning the AI arms race?

In October 31 Chinese teenagers reported to the Beijing Institute of Technology, one of the country’s premier military research establishments. Selected from more than 5000 applicants, Chinese authorities hope they will design a new generation of artificial intelligent weapons systems that could range from microscopic robots to computer worms, submarines, drones and tanks.

Commentary: Why a Republican won’t beat Trump in 2020

Two days before being sworn in to the U.S. Senate, Mitt Romney wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post outlining his concerns about President Donald Trump “not rising to the mantle of the office.” Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, did not exactly break new ground. His column mostly rehashed concerns that many Republicans have long held about Trump’s temperament and international relationships while stopping short of an active commitment to addressing the many problems Ro

Commentary: The strange revisionism of Pompeo’s Cairo speech

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s much-marketed speech in Cairo was rich in straw man fallacies while short on substantive specifics, a speech bursting with contradictions that reminded me just how hard it must be to speak for a president who has, at best, an incoherent foreign policy. Pompeo’s speech appeared to have three intended audiences, none of which was actually present in the American University in Cairo auditorium: the Oval Office; the Saudi royal court; and President Trump’s political

Commentary: No, Brexit Britain doesn’t want its empire back

Britain is moving towards an exit from the European Union on March 29, possibly with no agreement, and thus courting – according to the Bank of England – an 8 percent drop in GDP and a 7.5 percent rise in unemployment. A drear prospect, attended by matching drear commentaries on the stupidity of the 52 percent of the British electorate who voted for Brexit in 2016.

Commentary: Israel boycott ban is not about free speech

Can U.S. state governments withhold public contracts or financial investments from companies that boycott Israel? Twenty-six states have laws and regulations to this effect (legislation is pending in 13 more), but the American Civil Liberties Union has recently brought suits on behalf of plaintiffs in four states who object to this condition, claiming it infringes on their freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Commentary: What are Bolton, Pompeo telling Mideast leaders? What they want to hear.

The two men in the Trump administration in charge of setting America’s global priorities are crisscrossing the Middle East this week, dividing up an already deeply divided region, trying desperately to separate fact from fiction and establish some sense of just where their nation’s priorities are going, how the United States might get there, and whose help they might need along the way.

Business News

Powell, Brainard nod to inflation threat in nomination remarks

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Fed Governor Lael Brainard on Monday both noted the corrosive impact high inflation is having on the U.S. economy and American families in what may be a signal that controlling the rapid pace of price increases is now the central bank's top priority.