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Westlake Legal Group > Politics and Government

Silicon Valley’s Biggest Foe Is Getting Even Tougher

Westlake Legal Group 18VESTAGER-facebookJumbo Silicon Valley’s Biggest Foe Is Getting Even Tougher Vestager, Margrethe Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Google Inc Facebook Inc European Commission Computers and the Internet Apple Inc Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc

BRUSSELS — Margrethe Vestager spent the past five years developing a well-earned reputation as the world’s top tech industry watchdog. From her perch overseeing Europe’s competition rules, she fined Google more than $9 billion for breaking antitrust laws, and forced Apple to pay about $14.5 billion for dodging taxes.

Now she says that work, which made her a hero among tech critics, did not go far enough. The biggest tech companies continue to test the limits of antitrust laws, behave unethically and push back against government intervention, she said.

But she said the public’s growing skepticism about technology has given her an opportunity for a tougher approach.

“In the last five years,” Ms. Vestager said in an extended interview, “some of the darker sides of digital technologies have become visible.”

So Ms. Vestager, a 51-year-old former Danish lawmaker, is doubling down. She has signed on for a rare second five-year term as the head of the European Commission’s antitrust division, and assumed expanded responsibility over digital policy across the 28-nation bloc.

With the new power, she has outlined an agenda that squarely targets the tech giants. She’s weighing whether to remove some protections that shield large internet platforms from liability for content posted by users. She is also working on policies to make companies pay more taxes in Europe and investigating how the companies use data to box out competitors.

Ms. Vestager has pledged to create the world’s first regulations around artificial intelligence and called for giving collective bargaining rights to so-called gig economy workers like Uber drivers. The push comes on top of an investigation into Amazon’s use of data to gain an edge on competitors that had already started, and her look into accusations of unfair business practices by Facebook and Apple.

“She has these accomplishments, but she didn’t get as much as she wanted,” said David Balto, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s antitrust division whose clients now include large tech companies. “Now she can be more aggressive.”

But Ms. Vestager’s agenda amounts to a wish list. Her success will depend on support and collaboration from other European officials who are already grappling with challenges like Britain’s exit from the European Union, the rise of populism and fraying diplomatic relations with the United States.

It will require standing up to relentless resistance from the tech companies, too.

“One of the important things is, of course, to prioritize because otherwise you will be in the process of back and forth for a very, very long time,” Ms. Vestager said.

In person, Ms. Vestager’s manner defies her tough enforcer reputation. She is unfailingly polite, meeting guests by offering tea and apologizing for a lingering cold. (She assured everyone that she had just washed her hands.)

She is a challenging interview subject, prone to filibuster and rarely veering from oft-repeated talking points. A skilled politician, she projects modesty while not exactly turning away from the spotlight. A sign in the hallway outside her office says, in Danish, “Vestager Street.”

She is also fast to shrug off criticism, including by numerous tech executives and President Trump, that she has been unfair to American tech companies.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, called the penalty against his company in 2016 for skirting Irish taxes “total political crap.” Google is appealing her three decisions against the company.

“She hates the United States,” President Trump said in a television interview in June, “perhaps worse than any person I’ve ever met.”

Ms. Vestager feigns to hardly remember the president’s comment. “Since I know the very good relationship I have with the United States, then he must only meet people who really like the States if I am the one who likes you the least,” she said.

If anything, American authorities are coming around to share her tech skepticism. Federal, state and congressional investigators are scrutinizing the tech industry over unfair business practices. Ms. Vestager said she saw opportunities to collaborate, but was waiting to see how the inquiries unfolded.

“Obviously it’s very interesting to see what will come of it,” she said.

As the United States begins to investigate Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, some American officials are trying to learn lessons from Europe’s efforts. The investigations of Google and others took years to complete, giving the companies extra time to solidify their dominance. And once the inquiries were completed, critics said, the penalties focused on large fines that the companies could easily afford, rather than enforcing structural changes that would restore competition.

Luther Lowe, the head of public policy at Yelp, the reviews website that has been a frequent critic of Google’s behavior, praised Ms. Vestager’s efforts. But he said companies like Yelp “have to date still not seen a shred of practical relief, despite having prevailed in concept.”

Ms. Vestager needs to use all powers at her disposal, he said, “or be granted new ones.”

Ms. Vestager said some of the criticism was valid. She is taking steps to speed up investigations and is applying a rarely used rule known as “interim measures,” that acts as a cease-and-desist order for companies to stop acting a certain way while an investigation can be conducted.

She will play a leading role in the European Union’s debate over a new Digital Services Act, which could bring sweeping reforms to how the internet operates, including forcing online platforms to remove illegal content or risk fines and other penalties. Facebook, she said, must be quicker to stop the spread of false and misleading information, violent material and hate speech.

“You have to take it down because it spreads like a virus,” she said. “But if it’s not fast enough, of course, eventually we will have to regulate this.”

And she remains focused on whether the largest technology companies squeezed out businesses that rely on them to reach customers. Amazon is under investigation for mistreating third-party sellers that offer products similar to what it sells. Apple is being questioned over accusations that it uses the App Store to harm rivals such as Spotify.

“Some of these platforms, they have the role both as player and referee, and how can that be fair?” she asked. “You would never accept a football match where the one team was also being the referee.”

In Europe, a broader debate is underway about a lack of homegrown tech giants. President Emmanuel Macron of France, for instance, has called for more government support of European companies. Ursula von der Leyen, the new head of the European Commission, who appointed Ms. Vestager, has called for Europe to achieve “technological sovereignty.”

The companies facing Ms. Vestager’s scrutiny are warning about taking regulation too far.

Christian Borggreen, vice president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association in Brussels, a trade group representing Apple, Google and other companies, warned that new laws could put Europe at a disadvantage.

“We hope future E.U. legislation will be evidence-based and never become an excuse for protectionism,” he said.

Ms. Vestager has said that European companies must compete on their merits.

“One of the main reasons that U.S. tech companies are popular in Europe is that their products are good,” she said. Her job, she added, has been to step in when companies “cut corners.”

Ms. Vestager said Europe had a different view of technology than the wide-open policies of the United States and government control of China. Europe, she said, must forge its own approach.

“Market forces are more than welcome, but we do not leave it to market forces to have the final say,” she said. “Markets are not perfect.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides?

Westlake Legal Group 18settlements-explainer-facebookJumbo Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides? West Bank United States International Relations Politics and Government Palestinians Palestine Liberation Organization Netanyahu, Benjamin Israeli Settlements Israel International Criminal Court International Court of Justice (UN) General Assembly (UN) Defense and Military Forces

The Trump administration’s declaration Monday that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are “not inconsistent with international law” reversed American policy on the settlements and contradicted the view of most countries.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel applauded the announcement as a “policy that rights a historical wrong,” while Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said it was an attempt by the Trump administration “to replace international law with the ‘law of the jungle.’”

Who is right? What does international law say? What difference does the United States announcement make?

Here’s a brief guide.

The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war and has occupied the territory ever since. The Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by 192 nations in the aftermath of World War II, says that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The statute that established the International Criminal Court in 1998 classifies such transfers as war crimes, as well as any destruction or appropriation of property not justified by military necessity.

Israel argues that a Jewish presence has existed on the West Bank for thousands of years and was recognized by the League of Nations in 1922. Jordan’s rule over the territory, from 1948 to 1967, was never recognized by most of the world, so Israel also argues there was no legal sovereign power in the area and therefore the prohibition on transferring people from one state to the occupied territory of another does not apply.

The International Court of Justice rejected that argument in an advisory opinion in 2004, ruling that the settlements violated international law.

The Israeli Supreme Court and the government do consider settlement construction on privately owned Palestinian land to be illegal.

Under the Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, both sides agreed that the status of Israeli settlements would be resolved by negotiation. However, negotiations have stalled and there have been no active peace talks since 2014.

Israel has built about 130 formal settlements in the West Bank since 1967. A similar number of smaller, informal settlement outposts have gone up since the 1990s, without government authorization but usually with some government support.

More than 400,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank alongside more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

Some of the settlements are home to religious Zionists who believe that the West Bank, which Israel refers to by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, is their biblical birthright. Many secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews also moved there largely for cheaper housing.

Some settlements were strategically located in line with Israel’s security interests. Other, more isolated communities were established for ideological reasons, including an effort to prevent a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel also captured East Jerusalem in 1967, and annexed it. The Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and much of the world still considers it occupied territory.

Most of the world views the expansion of Israeli settlements as an impediment to a peace agreement. While most blueprints for a peace agreement envisage a land swap — Israel retains the main settlement blocs, where a majority of the settlers live, and hands over other territory to the Palestinians — the more remote and populated the settlements, the harder that becomes.

Mr. Netanyahu, who is currently fighting to remain prime minister after two inconclusive elections, has promised to annex the settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, constituting up to a third of the West Bank.

In June, the American ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, said that Israel had a right to retain at least some of the West Bank.

The Trump administration’s declaration may be seen by supporters of the settlement enterprise as giving a green light to Israeli annexation plans. But Israeli experts cautioned that might not be the case.

“It’s one thing saying the settlements are not in violation of international law and another to say whether they are good for peace or not,” said Michael Herzog, an Israel-based fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The Trump administration neither rejected nor endorsed Mr. Netanyahu’s annexation proposal, he said, and it remains “an open question” how it would react if Israel unilaterally annexed West Bank territory.

He and others said that while the policy change could affect the public perception of the settlements, the legal question would have little bearing on a comprehensive peace deal, which is ultimately a political act.

“The settlements are an agreed upon issue for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Alan Baker, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “It’s an issue that has yet to be negotiated.”

But in the absence of negotiations, the American policy could be used to justify even more settlement construction.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides?

Westlake Legal Group 18settlements-explainer-facebookJumbo Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides? West Bank United States International Relations Politics and Government Palestinians Palestine Liberation Organization Netanyahu, Benjamin Israeli Settlements Israel International Criminal Court International Court of Justice (UN) General Assembly (UN) Defense and Military Forces

The Trump administration’s declaration Monday that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are “not inconsistent with international law” reversed American policy on the settlements and contradicted the view of most countries.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel applauded the announcement as a “policy that rights a historical wrong,” while Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said it was an attempt by the Trump administration “to replace international law with the ‘law of the jungle.’”

Who is right? What does international law say? What difference does the United States announcement make?

Here’s a brief guide.

The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war and has occupied the territory ever since. The Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by 192 nations in the aftermath of World War II, says that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The statute that established the International Criminal Court in 1998 classifies such transfers as war crimes, as well as any destruction or appropriation of property not justified by military necessity.

Israel argues that a Jewish presence has existed on the West Bank for thousands of years and was recognized by the League of Nations in 1922. Jordan’s rule over the territory, from 1948 to 1967, was never recognized by most of the world, so Israel also argues there was no legal sovereign power in the area and therefore the prohibition on transferring people from one state to the occupied territory of another does not apply.

The International Court of Justice rejected that argument in an advisory opinion in 2004, ruling that the settlements violated international law.

The Israeli Supreme Court and the government do consider settlement construction on privately owned Palestinian land to be illegal.

Under the Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, both sides agreed that the status of Israeli settlements would be resolved by negotiation. However, negotiations have stalled and there have been no active peace talks since 2014.

Israel has built about 130 formal settlements in the West Bank since 1967. A similar number of smaller, informal settlement outposts have gone up since the 1990s, without government authorization but usually with some government support.

More than 400,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank alongside more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

Some of the settlements are home to religious Zionists who believe that the West Bank, which Israel refers to by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, is their biblical birthright. Many secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews also moved there largely for cheaper housing.

Some settlements were strategically located in line with Israel’s security interests. Other, more isolated communities were established for ideological reasons, including an effort to prevent a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel also captured East Jerusalem in 1967, and annexed it. The Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and much of the world still considers it occupied territory.

Most of the world views the expansion of Israeli settlements as an impediment to a peace agreement. While most blueprints for a peace agreement envisage a land swap — Israel retains the main settlement blocs, where a majority of the settlers live, and hands over other territory to the Palestinians — the more remote and populated the settlements, the harder that becomes.

Mr. Netanyahu, who is currently fighting to remain prime minister after two inconclusive elections, has promised to annex the settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, constituting up to a third of the West Bank.

In June, the American ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, said that Israel had a right to retain at least some of the West Bank.

The Trump administration’s declaration may be seen by supporters of the settlement enterprise as giving a green light to Israeli annexation plans. But Israeli experts cautioned that might not be the case.

“It’s one thing saying the settlements are not in violation of international law and another to say whether they are good for peace or not,” said Michael Herzog, an Israel-based fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The Trump administration neither rejected nor endorsed Mr. Netanyahu’s annexation proposal, he said, and it remains “an open question” how it would react if Israel unilaterally annexed West Bank territory.

He and others said that while the policy change could affect the public perception of the settlements, the legal question would have little bearing on a comprehensive peace deal, which is ultimately a political act.

“The settlements are an agreed upon issue for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Alan Baker, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “It’s an issue that has yet to be negotiated.”

But in the absence of negotiations, the American policy could be used to justify even more settlement construction.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s Made-for-TV Trade War Keeps World Guessing

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164275284_1ba88126-ff22-41f4-a606-d6c65fb638b4-facebookJumbo Trump’s Made-for-TV Trade War Keeps World Guessing United States International Relations United States Economy United States Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China Agriculture and Farming

When President Trump’s advisers suggested that Beijing resume buying around $20 billion in American farm products as part of a trade deal, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied. In a dramatic public retelling in the Cabinet Room, he said he pressed his team to more than triple that figure, then trimmed that a little and asked for up to $50 billion in annual purchases.

“My people had $20 billion done,” Mr. Trump recounted in an Oct. 21 cabinet meeting. “And I said, ‘I want more.’ They said, ‘The farmers can’t handle it.’ I said, ‘Tell them to buy larger tractors. It’s very simple.’” The cabinet members gathered around Mr. Trump laughed.

Mr. Trump has brought his characteristic love of show business to trade talks with China, injecting public drama into typically staid proceedings. He has alternated displays of anger and warmth toward Beijing and assumed the role of the insatiable negotiator, pairing ambitious goals for a trade pact with even bigger threats should China not accede to his terms.

But more than a year and a half into the biggest trade war in modern history, Mr. Trump’s approach has not yet produced the grand finale he hoped for. Instead, the president’s cliffhanger tactics appear to have made it even harder to bring complex trade talks to a close and exacerbated economic uncertainty across the globe.

Despite Mr. Trump’s Oct. 11 announcement that the United States and China had reached a “historic” Phase 1 trade agreement, actually signing a deal has proved elusive. The two sides continue to negotiate and could finalize an agreement in the next few weeks, if negotiators decide to compromise. But Mr. Trump continues to give mixed signals about whether he actually wants a deal and if any of his tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods will ever be removed.

“We’re taking in billions of dollars in tariff money from China,” Mr. Trump said on Nov. 8. “I like our situation very much. They want to make a deal much more than I do, but we could have a deal.”

A prolonged trade war offers Mr. Trump some political advantages: It allows him to maintain a tough public stance toward China and avoid Democratic criticism that he is caving to Beijing.

But businesses are not entertained. The unrelenting trade fight has prolonged financial pain for American farmers, companies and consumers, paralyzing firms that rely on robust trade flows between the world’s two largest economies.

Executives across the world say they have no choice but to postpone some hiring and investment, make sure any new expansions are not crippled by unforeseen policies, and conserve cash.

The uncertainty is weighing on the United States economy, particularly manufacturing, which has slumped over the past several months. Chinese economic growth has slowed to its lowest rate in nearly three decades, while Germany has barely avoided falling into recession.

“It’s striking that in almost every corner of the world geopolitical tensions are threatening to put the brakes on growth,” John Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech last week. “The uncertainty created by current events is no doubt having a lasting effect on the economic conditions we’re experiencing today.”

Mr. Trump’s theatrical embrace is not limited to China. He has injected similar drama into trade talks with other partners, including Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico, publicly threatening them with tariffs and suggesting he might leave some trading partners behind.

The president says his approach has created leverage — and in some cases, he is right. The threat of tariffs has prompted officials from Mexico, Canada, Japan and elsewhere to make concessions they might not otherwise have agreed to. It has also brought China, which is heavily reliant on exports to the United States, to the negotiating table.

But that strategy may now be discouraging China from bringing the talks to a close. Mr. Trump’s tendency to waver and increase his demands have made China wary of offering concessions, for fear that he will only demand more, people familiar with Chinese trade policy said.

Eswar Prasad, a trade professor at Cornell, said the president’s “mercurial temperament and predilection to undercutting his own negotiating team” had complicated the already challenging task of striking a deal. “By hyping up expectations and setting unrealistic goals for the trade talks, Trump makes the prospects for any sort of trade deal with China more uncertain and volatile,” he said.

The two sides have been unable to reschedule a meeting between Mr. Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Chile that was canceled because of domestic protests. Mr. Trump has since said that a deal signing would take place in United States “farm country,” but the Chinese have been reluctant to commit to a meeting until a deal that includes tariff reductions is finalized.

Without a set deadline, the two sides have lost a source of external pressure to get the deal done. Beijing is also concerned about the president’s unpredictable behavior — as demonstrated by his abrupt departure from a high-profile meeting last February in Hanoi with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. They fear that Mr. Trump may end up giving fewer concessions than they anticipate, resulting in an embarrassing trip for Mr. Xi, according to people familiar with their thinking.

Mr. Trump continues to insist his tactics will be worth it, saying he is the only president tough enough to take on China without fear of repercussions and that the United States will be better off. Many businesses agree that China has long taken advantage of the United States and support Mr. Trump’s efforts to remove trade barriers and end coercive practices that have disadvantaged American firms operating in China.

But they have struggled with his approach, which has repeatedly escalated tensions, prolonging the trade fight far longer than most expected. The lack of resolution has been discouraging, given that many analysts believe that the administration is tackling only the easiest issues in its Phase 1 deal, and leaving more contentious topics, like the subsidies that China gives to its industry, for later talks.

The roller-coaster ride has been exasperating for businesses that thrive on certainty and cannot easily shift supply chains or adjust shipments of products that need weeks to cross oceans. The most recent twists in the China trade talks have left firms uncertain whether a 15 percent tariff that the Trump administration had planned to impose Dec. 15 on another $160 billion of goods, including smartphones, laptops and footwear, would go into effect — or whether a 15 percent tariff imposed on consumer goods in September would remain.

“It makes for better theater to hold this to the last minute,” said Phil Levy, the chief economist at Flexport, which coordinates international shipments for companies. “It really doesn’t fit well with the world of global supply chains. And we’re talking to a lot of businesses who are having difficulty with that.

Even Mr. Trump’s supporters have trouble at times disguising their frustration with his focus on showmanship over substance and a nagging feeling that the president doesn’t want the show to end.

In a letter to the president in May, Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau, said farmers faced “near-unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardship” stemming from the escalation of tariffs in China and other key markets. He urged Mr. Trump to make a deal as soon as possible, saying “time is running out for many in agriculture.”

But Mr. Trump’s approach has complicated his ability to get a final deal, including securing the big farm commitments that he showcased last month. American negotiators are now left with the difficult task of translating the massive purchases Mr. Trump requested — larger purchases “than any time in our history, by far” — into the actual text of a trade agreement.

While China needs and wants to buy agricultural goods like soybeans and pork, it has balked on terms that would leave it exposed to accusations that it favors American products over other countries’, as well as agreements that could result in more American tariffs if its purchases do not come through.

Even if American negotiators secure better market access for beef, pork, dairy and genetically modified products, Washington-based analysts who have done the calculations say they have difficulty figuring out how the United States could increase its agricultural exports to China to much more than $30 billion a year, without diverting trade from elsewhere.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs also remain a source of uncertainty, with his administration sending mixed signals about whether any of the existing levies will be removed if a deal is reached.

The president announced the Phase 1 trade deal during a meeting in the Oval Office with Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator. While Mr. Trump canceled an increase in tariffs planned for Oct. 15, he made no mention of rolling back any levies. That has not gone over well with the Chinese, who have since been under pressure domestically for seemingly giving away too much to the United States.

“Without rolling back some of the tariffs, or reducing the uncertainty of not raising additional tariffs, then I would ask what is the additional incentive of implementing this deal on the Chinese part?” He Jianxiong, the former executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund, said at a Nov. 6 event at the Peterson Institute in Washington.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s Made-for-TV Trade War Has Few Entertained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164275284_1ba88126-ff22-41f4-a606-d6c65fb638b4-facebookJumbo Trump’s Made-for-TV Trade War Has Few Entertained United States International Relations United States Economy United States Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China Agriculture and Farming

When President Trump’s advisers suggested that Beijing resume buying around $20 billion in American farm products as part of a trade deal, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied. In a dramatic public retelling in the Cabinet Room, he said he pressed his team to more than triple that figure, then trimmed that a little and asked for up to $50 billion in annual purchases.

“My people had $20 billion done,” Mr. Trump recounted in an Oct. 21 cabinet meeting. “And I said, ‘I want more.’ They said, ‘The farmers can’t handle it.’ I said, ‘Tell them to buy larger tractors. It’s very simple.’” The cabinet members gathered around Mr. Trump laughed.

Mr. Trump has brought his characteristic love of show business to trade talks with China, injecting public drama into typically staid proceedings. He has alternated displays of anger and warmth toward Beijing and assumed the role of the insatiable negotiator, pairing ambitious goals for a trade pact with even bigger threats should China not accede to his terms.

But more than a year and a half into the biggest trade war in modern history, Mr. Trump’s approach has not yet produced the grand finale he hoped for. Instead, the president’s cliffhanger tactics appear to have made it even harder to bring complex trade talks to a close and exacerbated economic uncertainty across the globe.

Despite Mr. Trump’s Oct. 11 announcement that the United States and China had reached a “historic” Phase 1 trade agreement, actually signing a deal has proved elusive. The two sides continue to negotiate and a final agreement could be reached in the next few weeks, if negotiators decide to compromise. But Mr. Trump continues to give mixed signals about whether he actually wants a deal and if any of his tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods will ever be removed.

“We’re taking in billions of dollars in tariff money from China,” Mr. Trump said on Nov. 8. “I like our situation very much. They want to make a deal much more than I do, but we could have a deal.”

A prolonged trade war offers Mr. Trump some political advantages: It allows him to maintain a tough public stance toward China and avoid Democratic criticism that he is caving to Beijing.

But businesses are not entertained. The unrelenting trade fight has prolonged financial pain for American farmers, companies and consumers, paralyzing firms that rely on robust trade flows between the world’s two largest economies.

Executives across the world say they have no choice but to postpone some hiring and investment, make sure any new expansions are not crippled by unforeseen policies, and conserve cash.

The uncertainty is weighing on the United States economy, particularly manufacturing, which has slumped over the past several months. Chinese economic growth has slowed to its lowest rate in nearly three decades, while Germany has barely avoided falling into recession.

“It’s striking that in almost every corner of the world geopolitical tensions are threatening to put the brakes on growth,” John Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech last week. “The uncertainty created by current events is no doubt having a lasting effect on the economic conditions we’re experiencing today.”

Mr. Trump’s theatrical embrace is not limited to China. He has injected similar drama into trade talks with other partners, including Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico, publicly threatening them with tariffs and suggesting he might leave some trading partners behind.

The president says his approach has created leverage — and in some cases, he is right. The threat of tariffs has prompted officials from Mexico, Canada, Japan and elsewhere to make concessions they might not otherwise have agreed to. It has also brought China, which is heavily reliant on exports to the United States, to the negotiating table.

But that strategy may now be discouraging China from bringing the talks to a close. Mr. Trump’s tendency to waver and increase his demands have made China wary of offering concessions, for fear that he will only demand more, people familiar with Chinese trade policy said.

Eswar Prasad, a trade professor at Cornell, said the president’s “mercurial temperament and predilection to undercutting his own negotiating team” had complicated the already challenging task of striking a deal. “By hyping up expectations and setting unrealistic goals for the trade talks, Trump makes the prospects for any sort of trade deal with China more uncertain and volatile,” he said.

The two sides have been unable to reschedule a meeting between Mr. Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Chile that was canceled because of domestic protests. Mr. Trump has since said that a deal signing would take place in United States “farm country,” but the Chinese have been reluctant to commit to a meeting until a deal that includes tariff reductions is finalized.

Without a set deadline, the two sides have lost a source of external pressure to get the deal done. Beijing is also concerned about the president’s unpredictable behavior — as demonstrated by his abrupt departure from a high-profile meeting last February in Hanoi with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. They fear that Mr. Trump may end up giving fewer concessions than they anticipate, resulting in an embarrassing trip for Mr. Xi, according to people familiar with their thinking.

Mr. Trump continues to insist his tactics will be worth it, saying he is the only president tough enough to take on China without fear of repercussions and that the United States will be better off. Many businesses agree that China has long taken advantage of the United States and support Mr. Trump’s efforts to remove trade barriers and end coercive practices that have disadvantaged American firms operating in China.

But they have struggled with his approach, which has repeatedly escalated tensions, prolonging the trade fight far longer than most expected. The lack of resolution has been discouraging, given that many analysts believe that the administration is tackling only the easiest issues in its Phase 1 deal, and leaving more contentious topics, like the subsidies that China gives to its industry, for later talks.

The roller-coaster ride has been exasperating for businesses that thrive on certainty and cannot easily shift supply chains or adjust shipments of products that need weeks to cross oceans. The most recent twists in the China trade talks have left firms uncertain whether a 15 percent tariff that the Trump administration had planned to impose Dec. 15 on another $160 billion of goods, including smartphones, laptops and footwear, would go into effect — or whether a 15 percent tariff imposed on consumer goods in September would remain.

“It makes for better theater to hold this to the last minute,” said Phil Levy, the chief economist at Flexport, which coordinates international shipments for companies. “It really doesn’t fit well with the world of global supply chains. And we’re talking to a lot of businesses who are having difficulty with that.

Even Mr. Trump’s supporters have trouble at times disguising their frustration with his focus on showmanship over substance and a nagging feeling that the president doesn’t want the show to end.

In a letter to the president in May, Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau, said farmers faced “near-unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardship” stemming from the escalation of tariffs in China and other key markets. He urged Mr. Trump to make a deal as soon as possible, saying “time is running out for many in agriculture.”

But Mr. Trump’s approach has complicated his ability to get a final deal, including securing the big farm commitments that he showcased last month. American negotiators are now left with the difficult task of translating the massive purchases Mr. Trump requested — larger purchases “than any time in our history, by far” — into the actual text of a trade agreement.

While China needs and wants to buy agricultural goods like soybeans and pork, it has balked on terms that would leave it exposed to accusations that it favors American products over other countries’, as well as agreements that could result in more American tariffs if its purchases do not come through.

Even if American negotiators secure better market access for beef, pork, dairy and genetically modified products, Washington-based analysts who have done the calculations say they have difficulty figuring out how the United States could increase its agricultural exports to China to much more than $30 billion a year, without diverting trade from elsewhere.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs also remain a source of uncertainty, with his administration sending mixed signals about whether any of the existing levies will be removed if a deal is reached.

The president announced the Phase 1 trade deal during a meeting in the Oval Office with Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator. While Mr. Trump canceled an increase in tariffs planned for Oct. 15, he made no mention of rolling back any levies. That has not gone over well with the Chinese, who have since been under pressure domestically for seemingly giving away too much to the United States.

“Without rolling back some of the tariffs, or reducing the uncertainty of not raising additional tariffs, then I would ask what is the additional incentive of implementing this deal on the Chinese part?” He Jianxiong, the former executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund, said at a Nov. 6 event at the Peterson Institute in Washington.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

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Trump’s Made-for-TV Trade War Has No One Entertained

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When President Trump’s advisers suggested that Beijing resume buying around $20 billion in American farm products as part of a trade deal, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied. In a dramatic public retelling in the Cabinet Room, he said he pressed his team to more than triple that figure, then trimmed that a little and asked for up to $50 billion in annual purchases.

“My people had $20 billion done,” Mr. Trump recounted in an Oct. 21 cabinet meeting. “And I said, ‘I want more.’ They said, ‘The farmers can’t handle it.’ I said, ‘Tell them to buy larger tractors. It’s very simple.’” The cabinet members gathered around Mr. Trump laughed.

Mr. Trump has brought his characteristic love of show business to trade talks with China, injecting public drama into typically staid proceedings. He has alternated displays of anger and warmth toward Beijing and assumed the role of the insatiable negotiator, pairing ambitious goals for a trade pact with even bigger threats should China not accede to his terms.

But more than a year and a half into the biggest trade war in modern history, Mr. Trump’s approach has not yet produced the grand finale he hoped for. Instead, the president’s cliffhanger tactics appear to have made it even harder to bring complex trade talks to a close and exacerbated economic uncertainty across the globe.

Despite Mr. Trump’s Oct. 11 announcement that the United States and China had reached a “historic” Phase 1 trade agreement, actually signing a deal has proved elusive. The two sides continue to negotiate and a final agreement could be reached in the next few weeks, if negotiators decide to compromise. But Mr. Trump continues to give mixed signals about whether he actually wants a deal and if any of his tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods will ever be removed.

“We’re taking in billions of dollars in tariff money from China,” Mr. Trump said on Nov. 8. “I like our situation very much. They want to make a deal much more than I do, but we could have a deal.”

Businesses are not entertained. The unrelenting trade fight has prolonged financial pain for American farmers, companies and consumers, paralyzing firms that rely on robust trade flows between the world’s two largest economies.

Executives across the world say they have no choice but to postpone some hiring and investment, make sure any new expansions are not crippled by unforeseen policies, and conserve cash.

The uncertainty is weighing on the United States economy, particularly manufacturing, which has slumped over the past several months. Chinese economic growth has slowed to its lowest rate in nearly three decades, while Germany has barely avoided falling into recession.

“It’s striking that in almost every corner of the world geopolitical tensions are threatening to put the brakes on growth,” John Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech last week. “The uncertainty created by current events is no doubt having a lasting effect on the economic conditions we’re experiencing today.”

Mr. Trump’s theatrical embrace is not limited to China. He has injected similar drama into trade talks with other partners, including Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico, publicly threatening them with tariffs and suggesting he might leave some trading partners behind.

The president says his approach has created leverage — and in some cases, he is right. The threat of tariffs has prompted officials from Mexico, Canada, Japan and elsewhere to make concessions they might not otherwise have agreed to. It has also brought China, which is heavily reliant on exports to the United States, to the negotiating table.

But that strategy may now be discouraging China from bringing the talks to a close. Mr. Trump’s tendency to waver and increase his demands have made China wary of offering concessions, for fear that he will only demand more, people familiar with Chinese trade policy said.

Eswar Prasad, a trade professor at Cornell, said the president’s “mercurial temperament and predilection to undercutting his own negotiating team” had complicated the already challenging task of striking a deal. “By hyping up expectations and setting unrealistic goals for the trade talks, Trump makes the prospects for any sort of trade deal with China more uncertain and volatile,” he said.

The two sides have been unable to reschedule a meeting between Mr. Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Chile that was canceled because of domestic protests. Mr. Trump has since said that a deal signing would take place in United States “farm country,” but the Chinese have been reluctant to commit to a meeting until a deal that includes tariff reductions is finalized.

Without a set deadline, the two sides have lost a source of external pressure to get the deal done. Beijing is also concerned about the president’s unpredictable behavior — as demonstrated by his abrupt departure from a high-profile meeting last February in Hanoi with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. They fear that Mr. Trump may end up giving fewer concessions than they anticipate, resulting in an embarrassing trip for Mr. Xi, according to people familiar with their thinking.

Mr. Trump continues to insist his tactics will be worth it, saying he is the only president tough enough to take on China without fear of repercussions and that the United States will be better off. Many businesses agree that China has long taken advantage of the United States and support Mr. Trump’s efforts to remove trade barriers and end coercive practices that have disadvantaged American firms operating in China.

But they have struggled with his approach, which has repeatedly escalated tensions, prolonging the trade fight far longer than most expected. The lack of resolution has been discouraging, given that many analysts believe that the administration is tackling only the easiest issues in its Phase 1 deal, and leaving more contentious topics, like the subsidies that China gives to its industry, for later talks.

The roller-coaster ride has been exasperating for businesses that thrive on certainty and cannot easily shift supply chains or adjust shipments of products that need weeks to cross oceans. The most recent twists in the China trade talks have left firms uncertain whether a 15 percent tariff that the Trump administration had planned to impose Dec. 15 on another $160 billion of goods, including smartphones, laptops and footwear, would go into effect — or whether a 15 percent tariff imposed on consumer goods in September would remain.

“It makes for better theater to hold this to the last minute,” said Phil Levy, the chief economist at Flexport, which coordinates international shipments for companies. “It really doesn’t fit well with the world of global supply chains. And we’re talking to a lot of businesses who are having difficulty with that.

Even Mr. Trump’s supporters have trouble at times disguising their frustration with his focus on showmanship over substance and a nagging feeling that the president doesn’t want the show to end.

In a letter to the president in May, Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau, said farmers faced “near-unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardship” stemming from the escalation of tariffs in China and other key markets. He urged Mr. Trump to make a deal as soon as possible, saying “time is running out for many in agriculture.”

But Mr. Trump’s approach has complicated his ability to get a final deal, including securing the big farm commitments that he showcased last month. American negotiators are now left with the difficult task of translating the massive purchases Mr. Trump requested — larger purchases “than any time in our history, by far” — into the actual text of a trade agreement.

While China needs and wants to buy agricultural goods like soybeans and pork, it has balked on terms that would leave it exposed to accusations that it favors American products over other countries’, as well as agreements that could result in more American tariffs if its purchases do not come through.

Even if American negotiators secure better market access for beef, pork, dairy and genetically modified products, Washington-based analysts who have done the calculations say they have difficulty figuring out how the United States could increase its agricultural exports to China to much more than $30 billion a year, without diverting trade from elsewhere.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs also remain a source of uncertainty, with his administration sending mixed signals about whether any of the existing levies will be removed if a deal is reached.

The president announced the Phase 1 trade deal during a meeting in the Oval Office with Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator. While Mr. Trump canceled an increase in tariffs planned for Oct. 15, he made no mention of rolling back any levies. That has not gone over well with the Chinese, who have since been under pressure domestically for seemingly giving away too much to the United States.

“Without rolling back some of the tariffs, or reducing the uncertainty of not raising additional tariffs, then I would ask what is the additional incentive of implementing this deal on the Chinese part?” He Jianxiong, the former executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund, said at a Nov. 6 event at the Peterson Institute in Washington.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

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President Trump Bet Big This Election Year. Here’s Why He Lost.

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WASHINGTON — When President Trump showed up in Louisiana for the third time in just over a month to try to help Republicans win the governor’s race, he veered off script and got to the heart of why he was staging such an unusual political intervention. His attempt to lift Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky to victory this month had failed, Mr. Trump explained, and it would look bad for him to lose another race in a heavily Republican state.

“You got to give me a big win, please, O.K.,” the president pleaded with a red-hatted crowd last Thursday in Bossier City, La.

But on Saturday night, Mr. Trump’s wager backfired in spectacular fashion.

Not only did Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, win re-election by more than 40,000 votes, he did so with the same coalition that propelled Governor-elect Andy Beshear to victory in Kentucky and that could put the president’s re-election chances in grave jeopardy next year. Like Mr. Beshear, Mr. Edwards energized a combination of African-Americans and moderate whites in and around the urban centers of his state, building decisive margins in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

It was a striking setback for a president who proclaimed himself his party’s kingmaker in last year’s midterms, but has a decidedly mixed record when it comes to pushing his chosen candidates to victory in general elections. And it continued a November losing streak that included not only Mr. Bevin’s loss in Kentucky, but a wave of state and local Democratic victories in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Missouri that also were driven by suburban voters.

The results in Kentucky and Louisiana are particularly ominous for the president, in part because they indicate that his suburban problem extends to traditionally conservative Southern states and may prove even more perilous in the moderate Midwest next year.

They also reveal political weakness for the president at a moment he is embroiled in a deepening impeachment inquiry and desperately needs to project strength with his own party. And as he enters what will likely be a difficult re-election campaign, the two states emphatically demonstrated that he has become just as much of a turnout lever for the opposition as with his own supporters.

“If you had any doubt that Trump was a human repellent spray for suburban voters who have a conservative disposition, Republicans getting wiped out in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisville and Lexington should remove it,” said Tim Miller, a Republican strategist and outspoken critic of the president.

The Louisiana results are a stinging rebuke for the president, because he spent so much time there and because Trump allies couldn’t chalk it up entirely to local factors as they did for Kentucky, where Mr. Bevin was deeply unpopular. And even before the Louisiana race was called on Saturday night, finger-pointing from the Capitol to the White House to Mr. Trump’s campaign broke out about why he spent so much political capital on the race in the first place.

Mr. Trump carried Louisiana by 20 points in 2016, so the outcome of the governor’s race carries no implications for his own re-election, the balance of power in Congress or the president’s policy agenda. And the moderate Mr. Edwards has relentlessly cultivated Mr. Trump, showing up at the White House every chance he gets — so it was not even an opportunity to defeat a critic.

Some of the president’s advisers were mystified, therefore, that the White House would repeatedly send him to a state irrelevant to his re-election for a candidate he scarcely knows, Eddie Rispone, after they had just been scalded in their attempt to rescue Mr. Bevin in another safely red state.

In Congress, Louisiana lawmakers and their aides grumbled that Mr. Trump was not being shown quality polling indicating how formidable Mr. Edwards was with Republican-leaning voters. And some in the delegation pointed a finger at Louisiana’s voluble junior senator, John Kennedy, who has become a close White House ally, for pushing the president to campaign in the state.

But the president was receptive to Republicans who told him he could be the difference-maker in these elections, according to G.O.P. officials briefed on the discussions.

One of those people said that Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, had been preparing the president for the past two weeks for the possibility of a Louisiana loss. That’s because early voting patterns showed Democrats mobilizing their core voters, especially African-Americans.

Mr. Trump’s supporters defended him, noting that Republicans won down-ballot in Kentucky and captured the Mississippi governor’s race, while arguing that he would benefit from a polarizing opponent next year.

“The gubernatorial results in 2019 in Kentucky and Louisiana are in no way a referendum on President Trump or a foreshadowing of the 2020 presidential election,” said the R.N.C. spokesman Mike Reed. “The Democrats who ran for governor in those red states aren’t anything like the far-left candidates running against President Trump.’’

Still, the main instigator for the president’s involvement in the races, many Republicans said, was Mr. Trump himself, who simply craves the adulation of his supporters and is singularly focused on notching victories, no matter the details. He is even more eager to flex his political muscle in the face of impeachment, and has surrounded himself with several aides who either defer to his whims regardless of the neon-flashing signs of risk before them, or know little about politics.

People close to Mr. Trump — who spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive matters — said he viewed the campaigns he had weighed in on mostly as opportunities for gratification. And with few seasoned political advisers in his inner circle — his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has control over the president’s campaign, has never worked on another race — there was nobody to tell him that attacking an anti-abortion rights, pro-gun Democrat like Mr. Edwards as a radical would be folly.

“There were people who are normally part of the Republican base who voted for the governor,” said Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, noting that the portrayal of Mr. Edwards as a liberal extremist was ineffective given his views on cultural issues and credentials as a West Pointer turned Army Ranger. “He’s a very likable man and a man of character.”

Of course, plenty of well-credentialed and well-liked candidates have fallen prey to the forbidding political demographics of their states or districts.

What was different in Louisiana was that Mr. Edwards enjoyed a huge spike between the all-party primary last month and the Saturday runoff among the voters who Mr. Trump most alienates: While turnout grew modestly in many of the rural areas, it jumped by 29 percent in New Orleans and 25 percent in the parish that includes Shreveport, and it was nearly as high in Baton Rouge and in the largest New Orleans suburbs.

In that context, Mr. Trump’s two appearances in the state between the primary and runoff had the effect of motivating the Democratic base as much as it did the conservative one.

“Forcing Trump down people’s throats in television, mail and radio produced a backlash among Democratic voters, especially African-Americans,” said Zac McCrary, a pollster on Mr. Edwards’s campaign, alluding to Mr. Rispone’s Trump-centric message. “The intense negatives outweigh the intense positives for Trump, which speaks to the turnout.”

State and local Democrats were more careful targeting their message, linking Mr. Rispone to Mr. Trump on radio stations with black audiences and in tailored mailers. But Mr. Trump’s engagement also prompted organic efforts, including some from liberals who aren’t exactly enamored with Mr. Edwards but wanted to send a message of their own from Louisiana.

One New Orleans Democrat took matters into her own hands and created an Instagram account, @youcanringmybel, that sought to rally reluctant progressives for Mr. Edwards.

“We don’t love him but we need him,” said the site’s creator, Marcelle Beaulieu. “Rispone has made the entire campaign about national politics and Trump,” she added, and that annoyed many voters.

The former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile, a native of the New Orleans area, said the only other time she had been able to nudge her entire extended family to go to the polls was to support former President Barack Obama in 2008.

”Donald Trump just has the same effect of pushing people out the door when they would prefer to stay home,” said Ms. Brazile. “I’ve never seen folks more unified.”

Mr. Trump, of course, is not the first president to be faulted for his party’s losses. But few have so openly invited the risk of being blamed for them.

“Donald Trump just happens to relish this centrality more than most,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist, “and has a tendency to say the quiet part loud, sometimes to his detriment.”

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Turkey’s Deportations Force Europe to Face Its ISIS Militants

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PARIS — As Turkey followed through on its threat to release more Islamic State detainees last week, Western European nations were confronted with a problem they had long sought to avoid: what to do about the potential return of radicalized, often battle-hardened Europeans to countries that absolutely do not want them back.

Faced with fierce popular opposition to the repatriation of such detainees and fears over the long-term threat they could pose back home, European leaders have sought alternative ways to prosecute them — in an international tribunal, on Iraqi soil, anywhere but on the Continent.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, made more powerful by a sudden shift in American policy, is determined to foist the problem of the captured European Islamic State fighters back on the countries they came from.

Last week, Turkey sent a dozen former Islamic State members and relatives to Britain, Denmark, Germany and the United States, and Mr. Erdogan says hundreds more are right behind them.

“All of the European countries, especially those with most of the foreign fighters, have desperately been looking for the past year for a way to deal with them without bringing them back,” said Rik Coolsaet, an expert on radicalization at the Egmont Institute, a Brussels-based research group. “But now, European nations are being forced to consider repatriation since Turkey is going to put people on the plane.”

The sudden problem for Europe is a long-tail consequence of President Trump’s precipitous decision last month to withdraw American forces from northern Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to take control of territory as well as many of the Islamic State members who had been held there in Kurdish-run prisons or detention camps.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that nearly two-thirds of the Western European detainees, or about 700, are children, many of whom have lost one parent, if not both.

Now that more of the former fighters are in Turkish hands, Mr. Erdogan has not hesitated to use the threat of returning them as leverage over European countries who have been deeply critical of his incursion, and who have threatened sanctions against Turkey for unauthorized oil drilling in the eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus.

The fate of the former fighters and their families has become yet another point of contention between Turkey and Europe, which is already paying Mr. Erdogan’s government billions of dollars to stem the flow of asylum seekers from conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Turkey is already home to some three million refugees from the Syria conflict, and Mr. Erdogan is determined to lighten his country’s load. But his real intent remains unclear: Does he really plan to send back all foreign fighters to Europe? Or is he opening the spigot, with the threat of a flood to come, to wring concessions from Europe?

What is clear is that with limited military reach in Syria, European nations are ever more vulnerable to Mr. Erdogan’s whims. Turkish officials say that Turkey now holds 2,280 Islamic State members from 30 countries, and that all of them will be deported.

The problem is not Europe’s alone. On Friday, Turkey deported an American it described as an Islamic State member, Muhammad Darwish Bassam, to the United States. Last week, a federal judge in the United States ruled that an American-born woman who joined the Islamic State in 2014 was not an American citizen, potentially thwarting her return.

But the numbers and risks for Europe are far greater than for the United States. More than 1,100 citizens of countries in Western Europe are believed to be detained in northern Syria in territory once controlled by the Islamic State, according to a recent study by the Egmont Institute.

Their potential return has confronted European justice systems with competing security and civil liberties demands as they attempt to vet returnees, decide whether to detain them, and build cases on potential crimes that often happened hundred of miles away on remote Syrian battlefields.

France, the Western European nation with the most detainees in Syria, is getting ready to take back 11 former Islamic State members. The Netherlands has also agreed to take back some of its citizens.

On Thursday, a 26-year-old man suspected of being an Islamic State fighter was arrested after landing at London’s Heathrow Airport on a flight from Turkey.

That same day, seven members of a German-Iraqi family arrived in Berlin from Turkey, from which they had been deported after several months in custody over suspected links to terrorism.

The father was detained, but the other family members were allowed to return to their homes.

On Friday, a woman deported by Turkey was detained upon arrival at Frankfurt Airport on suspicion of being a member of a terrorist organization abroad. Federal prosecutors in Germany said the woman, a German citizen identified only as Nasim A., left the country in 2014 and married an ISIS fighter, whom she supported until Kurdish-led security forces detained her this year.

A second woman was released after landing in Germany, but will be tracked by experts on de-radicalization.

German officials said they believed more than 130 people left the country to join ISIS, 95 of whom were German citizens and had the right to return to the country. Nearly a third of the Germans are under investigation by federal prosecutors.

French officials said there had been no change in French policy, which opposes repatriation from Syria.

But pressure has been building, and security experts and some government officials have increasingly warned that the repatriation of militants — and their processing in European courts and detention in prisons — would be the only way to ensure Europe’s safety.

The deteriorating situation in northern Syria, some experts say, further increases the need for an orderly repatriation to Europe.

Left in Syria, more detainees could fall into the hands of Turkish forces or the Syrian government, which could use them as bargaining chips with the West.

Others could run away and try to regroup, or be taken back by Islamic State sleeper cells, as is feared in the case of some women who recently escaped from a camp in the region.

“There are a lot of risks associated with the policy of leaving them where they are,’’ said Anthony Dworkin, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations who has studied the Islamic State’s foreign fighters.

The potential dangers and difficulties are vividly demonstrated in the case of Tooba Gondal, a 25-year-old French citizen of Pakistani origin who grew up and lived in London until she traveled to Syria in 2015. She is believed to still be in the custody of the Turkish authorities.

A mother of two, she does not speak French and had spent most of her life in Britain, and although French intelligence services knew of her case, it is unclear that they had expected her to come to France.

“Tooba Gondal is a very notorious ISIS female recruiter, but until recently she wasn’t on the radar of French intelligence services,” said Jean-Charles Brisard of the Paris-based Center for Analysis of Terrorism, who was first to reveal that she would be deported.

A former London university student, Ms. Gondal became known in the British news media as an Islamic State “matchmaker.” She is accused of persuading other young Western women, like the British schoolgirl Shamima Begum, to marry Islamic State fighters.

She also posed with assault rifles in pictures on social media, and praised the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015.

In recent months, Ms. Gondal has pleaded to be taken back to Britain, which had issued an expulsion order against her in 2018. She declared in an open letter to The Sunday Times of London that she was a “changed person” who wished to “face justice in a British court.” As a non-British citizen but a French passport holder, she is now likely to be deported to France.

France has already repatriated more than 250 Islamic State fighters and their families from Turkey since signing a bilateral agreement with the government there in 2014. But 400 French citizens are still estimated to be detained in Syria, according to the Egmont Institute, and France does not want them back.

Instead, France wants Iraq to try them, especially the male fighters. French officials have led European negotiations with the Iraqi government to set up trials in Iraq. But disagreements between Iraqi and European officials — over legal matters like the death penalty and costs — have prevented an accord.

“It is legitimate that people who have committed terrorist acts should be judged closest to the place where they committed those said terrorist acts,’’ Sibeth Ndiaye, a spokeswoman for the French government, said at a meeting of the Anglo-American Press Association.

The other French citizens expected to return home — three Frenchwomen and their five children, all under 4 years old — were held in the camp of Ain Issa, according to their lawyer, Marie Dosé.

She said the families escaped in mid-October when the facility was abandoned by Kurdish forces. “They have risked their lives and their children’s to join Turkey and be expelled to France,” Ms. Dosé said.

For more than a year, Ms. Dosé and other French lawyers have fought to bring the mothers back with their children, as the women argued that they wanted to be tried at home. Last year, when a French television crew met one of the four women set to be deported, she said she wouldn’t leave without her son.

“If he leaves, I’m leaving with him,” said Amandine le Coz, a 29-year-old woman who grew up in a suburb near Paris. “He’s my life.”

In France and other European nations, the stories of people like Ms. le Coz and Ms. Gondal have elicited little sympathy.

“There’s been more sympathy for vulnerable children, but as you go up to adults, there’s a lot of pushback against women and there’s even more pushback against male militants,’’ said Joana Cook, a researcher at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in London.

Dr. Cook, who has studied women and children who have returned to their home countries from Syria, said there had been no known incidents involving returnees.

Instead, terrorist cases, including the failed attempt to ignite a car loaded with gas canisters near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, involved women who had become radicalized at home and had never stepped foot in Syria.

In France, about 100 people who returned from Syria have already been judged and given sentences averaging 10 years, Mr. Brisard said. Some of those serving the shortest sentences have already been released, he said.

“They’ll be freed one day, that’s for sure,’’ Mr. Brisard said. “But it’s preferable that they be incarcerated in French prisons from where they can’t escape. And after they’ve served their sentences, it’s preferable that they be tracked by a competent intelligence service. In Iraq or Syria, I don’t have much faith in their intelligence services keeping track of our jihadists.’’

Norimitsu Onishi reported from Paris, and Elian Peltier from London. Carlotta Gall contributed reporting from Istanbul, and Melissa Eddy from Berlin.

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5 Takeaways From the Leaked Files on China’s Mass Detention of Muslims

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HONG KONG — Internal Chinese government documents obtained by The New York Times have revealed new details on the origins and execution of China’s mass detention of as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominately Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.

The 403 pages reveal how the demands of top officials, including President Xi Jinping, led to the creation of the indoctrination camps, which have long been shrouded in secrecy. The documents also show that the government acknowledged internally that the campaign had torn families apart — even as it explained it as a modest job-training effort — and that the program faced unexpected resistance from officials who feared a backlash and economic damage.

A member of the Chinese political establishment who requested anonymity brought the documents to light in hopes that their disclosure would prevent Communist Party leaders, including Mr. Xi, from escaping responsibility for the program. It is one of the most significant leaks of papers from inside the ruling Communist Party in decades.

Here are five takeaways from the documents.

The Chinese government has described its efforts in Xinjiang as a benevolent campaign to curb extremism by training people to find better jobs. But the documents reveal the party’s efforts to organize a ruthless campaign of mass detention in the name of curbing terrorism, a program whose consequences they discussed with cool detachment.

The papers describe how parents were taken away from children, how students wondered who would pay their tuition, and how crops could not be planted or harvested for lack of workers. Yet officials were directed to tell people that they should be grateful for the Communist Party’s help, and that if they complained, they might make things worse for their family.

Mr. Xi, the party chief, laid the groundwork for the crackdown in a series of speeches delivered in private to officials during and after a visit to Xinjiang in April 2014, just weeks after Uighur militants stabbed more than 150 people at a train station, killing 31.

He called for an all-out “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism” using the “organs of dictatorship” and to show “absolutely no mercy.”

The documents do not record him directly ordering the creation of the detention facilities, but he ascribed Xinjiang’s instability to the widespread influence of toxic beliefs and demanded they be eradicated.

Terrorist attacks abroad and the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan heightened the leadership’s fears and helped shape the crackdown. Officials argued that attacks in Britain resulted from policies that put “human rights above security,” and Mr. Xi urged the party to emulate aspects of America’s “war on terror” after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Xi signaled a break from the policies of his predecessor, Hu Jintao, who responded to deadly 2009 riots in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, with a clampdown but also stressed economic development as a cure for ethnic discontent — longstanding party policy.

“In recent years, Xinjiang has grown very quickly and the standard of living has consistently risen, but even so ethnic separatism and terrorist violence have still been on the rise,” Mr. Xi said in a speech to party officials. “This goes to show that economic development does not automatically bring lasting order and security.”

The internment camps in Xinjiang expanded rapidly after the appointment in August 2016 of a zealous new party boss for the region, Chen Quanguo. He distributed Mr. Xi’s speeches to justify the campaign and exhorted officials to “round up everyone who should be rounded up.”

Mr. Chen led a campaign akin to one of Mao’s turbulent political crusades, in which top-down pressure on local officials encouraged overreach, and any expression of doubt was treated as a crime.

The crackdown encountered doubts and resistance from local officials who feared it would exacerbate ethnic tensions and stifle economic growth. Mr. Chen responded by purging officials suspected of standing in his way, including one county leader who was jailed after quietly releasing thousands of inmates from the camps.

That leader, Wang Yongzhi, built sprawling detention facilities and increased security funding in the county he oversaw. But in a 15-page confession, which he most likely signed under duress, he worried that the crackdown would harm ethnic relations and that the mass detentions would make it impossible to achieve the economic progress he needed to earn a promotion.

Quietly, he ordered the release of more than 7,000 internment camp inmates — an act of defiance for which he would be detained, stripped of power and prosecuted.

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What Ads Are Political? Twitter Struggles With a Definition

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Alzheimer’s Association, a health care advocacy group, recently spent $84,000 on ad campaigns on Twitter. One campaign had a singular purpose: to persuade people to ask Congress for larger investments in medical research for the disease.

Now the nonprofit is worried about whether those messages will still fly. That’s because Twitter announced last month that it would soon prohibit all political ads from its platform — and, depending on whom you ask, pushing lawmakers for money for medical research could be seen as a political cause.

The Alzheimer’s Association was so concerned that it contacted Twitter this month to express misgivings about the political ads ban. “We’re not really sure how it’s going to impact us,” said Mike Lynch, a spokesman for the group. “A lot of what we do is issue advertising, so it really depends on how they define political advertising.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is one of many nonprofits and organizations that have put pressure on Twitter over its prohibition of political ads, which is set to start next Friday. The problem is that while campaign ads from candidates are clearly political, other messages that deal with hot-button issues such as abortion, school choice and climate change may or may not cross that line.

That has set off a scramble within Twitter to define what constitutes a political ad. Twitter’s advertising executives have held meetings in Washington with public relations and free speech groups to debate the situation. And the company has fended off public criticism about the ban, including from Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat from Massachusetts who is running for president. Last week, Ms. Warren said Twitter’s new ad policy would prevent climate advocacy groups from holding corporations accountable.

On Friday, after weeks of discussions, Twitter rolled out a formal definition of what it considers to be a political ad. Under the official policy, Twitter said ads that discuss elections, candidates, parties and other overtly political content would be prohibited. For ads that refer to causes generally and that are placed by organizations and not politicians or political candidates, Twitter said it would place restrictions on them but not ban them outright.

The restrictions included removing advertisers’ ability to target specific audiences, a practice known as “micro targeting.” The ads also cannot mention specific legislation, Twitter said.

“It’s a big change for us as a company but one we believe is going to make our service, and political advertising in the world, better,” Vijaya Gadde, who leads Twitter’s legal, policy, trust and safety divisions, said in a call on Friday to introduce the policy.

Twitter’s unveiling of its political ads policy did little to mollify its critics, such as conservatives who have said the barring of such ads is an attempt to suppress right-wing voices.

“Whatever they come up with, we fully expect Twitter to continue to censor, block, or to incur ‘bugs’ that will unfairly silence President Trump and conservatives,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director.

Some super PACs and political groups said Twitter’s decision disrupted the political advertising strategy and budget they had already mapped out for the 2020 election.

“Changing the rules halfway through is really dangerous,” said Danielle Butterfield, the director of paid media for Priorities USA, one of the largest Democratic super PACs. “A lot of organizations are going to have to look back at their strategy and figure out how to adjust, especially in the middle of the cycle.”

She said her group had used ads on Twitter to flag stories about the economy under the Trump administration to local reporters in swing states, a key part of its in-state strategy.

Twitter finds itself in a delicate situation because its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, decided last month that the social media service would no longer host political ads. In a series of tweets on Oct. 30, Mr. Dorsey said political ads presented challenges to civic discourse and added that he believed the reach of political messages “should be earned, not bought.”

His declaration contrasted with that of Twitter’s rival, Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said last month that he planned to allow political ads on the social network — even if they are inaccurate or contain lies — because such ads are newsworthy and should remain for free speech reasons. Ms. Warren and others have pilloried Mr. Zuckerberg for his stance, saying he is running a “disinformation-for-profit machine.”

Mr. Dorsey, though, was immediately praised by politicians — including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York — for taking a stand against political ads.

At the time, Mr. Dorsey defined political ads as those sponsored by candidates or that discussed political issues. He said some ads, such as those promoting voter registration, would be permitted as exceptions. Mr. Dorsey, who has since been traveling in Africa, was unavailable for comment on Friday.

His pronouncements quickly kicked up a ruckus among nonprofits, lobbyists and others, who said they feared they would no longer be able to run issue-based ads on Twitter because it was unclear if their messages would be considered political.

“The policy would tilt the playing field,” said Eric Pooley, a spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental advocacy group. “Nonprofit organizations need to be able to communicate to the public. That’s what we do.”

The American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy group, said that Mr. Dorsey’s announcement had created uncertainties and that it was being unfairly swept up in Twitter’s efforts to clean up its platform. Affiliates of Planned Parenthood added that they already struggled to get ads approved on social media and worried about a ban.

“Digital advertisement is a cost-effective way for small nonprofits to reach their audience. The question becomes, where do we turn next?” said Emma Corbett, the communications director of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, which represents Planned Parenthood in New York State.

Twitter said it held discussions about the policy with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Affairs Council, a nonpartisan organization that advises companies on their lobbying and digital advocacy efforts, last week.

Nick DeSarno, the director of digital and policy communications at the Public Affairs Council, said Twitter was trying to split the difference between limiting politicians from placing ads while allowing advocacy organizations to continue raising awareness about political topics.

“While Twitter’s potential new issues ads policy is more permissive than a total ban, it’s still going to be a challenge for groups who are trying to drive political or legislative change using the platform,” he said.

Twitter’s limitations on targeted ads will prevent advertisers from sending political messages to residents of specific ZIP codes or cities; instead, they can broadcast their content only at a state level. The company said it would also prevent advertisers from targeting their messages based on political leanings or interests of users such as “conservative,” “liberal” or “political elections.”

“We very much believe that cause-based advertising has value, and can help drive public conversation around important topics,” said Del Harvey, the vice president of trust and safety at Twitter. “But we still don’t think it should be used with the sort of primary goal of driving political or judicial or legislative or regulatory outcomes.”

Nick Corasaniti contributed reporting from New York.

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