The UN Circus Comes to Town

Manhattan readers: If you see more jacked people in sunglasses this week, it’s because they’re protecting the leaders of the world who are here for the United Nations General Assembly. There’ll be 600 meetings (none of which could have been emails) for the 193-member GA. We took a peek at a few leaders’ agendas…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Climate change. Following “tortuous all-night negotiations” over Germany’s $60 billion climate plan, Merkel is struggling to find her place on the climate change A-team, writes Bloomberg. Some one-star reviews:

  • From activists: insufficient for a “climate emergency.”
  • From economists: too gentle to force any changes from big business.

Today, Merkel joins ~60 heads of state at the UN’s Climate Action Summit. They’ve been told to leave the “beautiful speeches” at home and come instead with “concrete plans” for carbon neutrality by 2050.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi 

Economic uncertainty. After years of 8%-plus economic growth, India’s GDP is now growing closer to 5%. Unemployment is at 8.4% and rising.

Modi was in Houston yesterday at a rally with President Trump called “Howdy, Modi!” that drew more than 50,000 people to the Texans’ NRG Stadium—hope you picked him up on waivers. Trump and Modi were expected to iron out trade differences and could reportedly sign a deal this week.

As for other world leaders…

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will present a regional security plan for the Gulf, but don’t expect a handshake with Trump.

Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro will open the UNGA with a speech to “reaffirm the issue” of Brazil’s sovereignty after criticism of Bolsonaro’s handling of the Amazon rainforest fires.

U.S. President Trump will put his dealmaking chops to the test. Some tensions that could use a little de-escalating this week, per Axios: Iran, North Korea, China, and the Taliban.

And then there are the leaders playing hooky from the UN: China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro.

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