Obamacare at risk, Kurds fear Iraqi troop buildup, Trump moves away from Iran deal

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  • President Donald J. Trump will likely sign an executive order that cuts federal subsidies for the 10 million people enrolled in the health exchanges, which were established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • The government of Iraqi Kurdistan is deploying troops to defend oil fields against a threat from the Iraqi army, according to Al Jazeera, who cite a Kurdish official’s Twitter account.
    • Al Jazeera and AP confirmed that Iraq has built up its military presence near the city of Kirkuk in the semi-autonomous region in recent days.
    • The Kurdish government has been in dispute with Baghdad over the legitimacy of a referendum in which the Kurds voted to secede from Iraq, but which Iraq’s government says is illegal.
  • Uber launched an appeal against London’s transport authority’s decision not to renew its operating license. The appeal may take months, during which time Uber can continue operating.
    • Transport for London said that the company did not meet required standards of corporate responsibility and its operations put Londoners at risk.


  • U.S. President Donald J. Trump will make good on his long-held threat to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, according to The New York Times. Now Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran, which would tear the agreement apart.
    • Iran has said it will not take part in any attempts to renegotiate the accord. World leaders – including those from traditional allies like the UK, France and Germany – have urged Trump not to withdraw from the deal.
    • The International Atomic Energy Agency, the agency tasked with monitoring and verifying Iran’s compliance, reports that Iran has complied with the deal’s requirements.
    • The Iran nuclear deal was signed in July 2015 and is one of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s key foreign policy achievements. Partners in the deal include Iran, the United States, Germany, France, China, Russia, the UK, and the European Union. The deal effectively constrained Iran’s nuclear weapons programme short-term development in exchange for a partial lifting of economic sanctions.
  • Turkish troops have moved into a province in northwestern Syria dominated by al-Qaeda militants to impose a “de-escalation zone”, according to the Turkish military. Armoured vehicles rolled into Idlib late on October 12 to set up “observation points”.
    • The Turkish military has not disclosed the number of troops involved, but Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper said 30 armoured cars and around 100 commandos are taking part in the operation.
    • Erdoğan said: “We have borders with Idlib and we have to take measures. No one can say to us: ‘Why are you doing this?’ We have a 911-kilometer border with Syria. It is us who are under threat at every moment”.

What we’re reading

The Washington Examiner offers a conservative opinion on how President Trump could handle the Iran nuclear deal in a way that better serves U.S. interests. The editorial board favors certifying Iranian compliance this time, which the president did not, and using the next three months to pressure Europe. Washington Examiner advocates for putting sanction on European corporations that continue to do business with Iran until Europeans leaders join President’s calls for a restructured deal.

A gynaecologist outlines the impact of contraception in the U.S. using data to analyse how much money, and health, has been saved using various contraceptive health plans. The piece provides a detailed overview of President Trump’s decision to remove contraceptive provision for employers from the Affordable Care Act. Lydia Morrish

The New York Times’s South Asia Editor Jeffrey Gettlemen has been meeting the Rohingya victims of Myanmar’s persecution. His report is shocking. Jack Barton

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