Tactical Talk (Update) Andrew Brunson is a 50-year-old American pastor who has been doing missionary work in Turkey for 23 years. Turkey, however, has a different description for Andrew Brunson: They say he’s a spy and an abettor of terrorists who is working to overthrow the government. Brunson has been in custody for a year and a half now, though Turkey relented a bit this week and released him from jail and allowed him to return to his residence under house arrest. But US officials, including President Trump, say that’s not enough. Here’s a look at developments:
- The arrest: Brunson was among those jailed in the wake of a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. Authorities say he has links to two terror groups, including one led by cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the US. Brunson denies all charges, but he faces 15 years on the terror charges and another 20 for espionage if convicted, reports the AP. His trial is supposed to start in October.WATCH: Why Is Russia Back In Afghanistan ? | Zain Khan & Dr. Claude Rakisits
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Stocks in the US and Europe skidded as investors worried about the financial stability of Turkey and how it might affect the global financial system. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 196 points, or 0.8%, to 25,313, per the AP. The Nasdaq composite fell 52 points to 7,839, and the S&P 500 index fell 20 points to 2,833. A Turkish official, meanwhile, says President Trump’s decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, which he announced on Twitter, lacked “state seriousness.” It’s the latest development in souring relations: The US slapped sanctions on two Turkish officials earlier this month over a detained American pastor.
As for the markets, investors sold stocks and bought US dollars and government bonds Friday. That sent bond yields lower, which hurts US banks by driving down rates on mortgages and other loans. JPMorgan Chase lost 1%. The dollar also rose against other currencies as the Turkish lira nosedived. Major exporters like technology, basic materials, and industrial companies sank.