Editor's note

Gutless isn’t the kind of word you expect to be called by a close diplomatic ally. But that’s exactly what a Canadian MP, speaking to the BBC, called the UK this week. Canada is furious at the UK government’s decision to revoke the British citizenship of Islamic State suspect Jack Letts, who is currently sitting in a Kurdish-run prison in northern Syria.

Letts, who has Canadian citizenship through his father, was born and grew up in Britain before he travelled to Syria. Now stripped of his British citizenship, he is Canada’s responsibility.

Steve Hewitt explains why this is an issue of deep significance for Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and something he campaigned against. His Liberal government repealed a law that allowed Canadians with dual nationality to be stripped of their citizenship if convicted of terrorism, espionage or treason.

And this isn’t good timing for Britain to anger allies like Canada, Hewitt argues. Britain is desperate to hit the ground running in its bid to sign post-Brexit trade deals, and needs all the friends it can get. The issue could make for an awkward first meeting between Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau at the upcoming G7 summit in Biarritz this weekend.

Also, find out how economic turmoil has fuelled discontent against Mauricio Macri’s government in Argentina, and read a profile of Alberto Fernández, the frontrunner to be the country’s next president.

Gemma Ware

Global Affairs Editor

Top stories

Jack Letts was told by ITV News that he had been stripped of his British citizenship. 'Jihadi Jack' learns from ITV News he's no longer a British citizen via YouTube

Why the UK could regret angering Canada by stripping IS suspect Jack Letts of British citizenship

Steve Hewitt, University of Birmingham

The UK needs all the friends it can get after Brexit – angering Canada isn't a good move.

Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri came second in the country’s first round of voting. EPA-EFE/Juan Ignacio Roncoroni

Argentina: how inflation, debt and poverty combined to deliver a brutal primary election result for president Mauricio Macri

Luciana Zorzoli, SOAS, University of London

The primary results confirm the end of the austerity project but this is not enough to solve Argentina's fundamental problems.

Even remote beaches are often strewn with plastic debris. Susan White/USFWS

Designing new ways to make use of ocean plastic

Ian Lambert, Edinburgh Napier University

Plastic washed ashore from the ocean is hard to recycle. What else can we do with it?

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