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 •  The Dirty Business Behind Bolivia’s Clean Energy Plans
President Evo Morales wants Bolivia to become the “energy heart of Latin America.” Hydroelectric power is key to these grand ambitions. But several planned mega dams are proving controversial for their social, environmental and economic consequences—and for the way the government is trying to push them through.
 
 •  What the WHO’s Emergency Declaration Means for Congo’s Ebola Outbreak
The Ebola outbreak that began in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo more than a year ago is now officially a global health emergency. The World Health Organization declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC, after declining to do so on three previous occasions.
 
 •  Five Years After the Downing of MH17, What Do We Know About Russia’s Role?
This week marks five years since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Russia has waged a steady disinformation campaign against allegations that Kremlin-backed separatists downed the plane. But as evidence of Russian involvement keeps mounting, Moscow may need to retool its strategy.
 
 •  How the African Continental Free Trade Area Can Fulfill Its Potential
Leaders from across Africa gathered in Niamey, the capital of Niger, earlier this month to officially launch the African Continental Free Trade Area, or AfCFTA. In an interview, Trudi Hartzenberg discusses the most significant obstacles to the AfCFTA’s implementation and how member states can overcome them.
 
 •  Will the Presence of Iran’s MEK Threaten Albania’s Already Shaky Stability?
President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, attended the annual gathering this week of Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, a shadowy Iranian opposition group based unusually in Albania. It should raise flags for many reasons, not least of which are concerns for Albania’s troubled and fragile democracy.
 
 •  Will It Be Another Summer of Discontent in Iraq?
Over the past few summers, as scorching heat meets a growing dissatisfaction with their government’s inability to provide basic services and employment, Iraqis have taken to the streets to protest. Last summer’s demonstrations in Basra, however, turned violent, altering the dynamics of these public outcries.
 
 •  Can a Long-Awaited Transitional Justice Policy Bring Accountability to Uganda?
Last month, Uganda’s Cabinet finally approved a new national transitional justice policy designed to support the traumatized victims of the 20-year insurgency by Joseph Kony’s brutal Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda. But what impact will it have, if and when it’s even fully implemented?
 
 •  South Korea and Japan Are Embroiled in a Trade War. Can the U.S. Step In?
As the U.S.-China trade war casts a pall over the global economy, a separate dispute between two of China’s neighbors—and two U.S. allies—is adding to the gloomy outlook. The Trump administration had stayed on the sidelines, but the severity of the standoff between Japan and South Korea is now forcing its hand.
 
 •  The Trade War Is Not the Only Drag on China’s Slowing Economy
Economic data published Monday revealed China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace since at least 1992. A slump in trade was a main reason for the slowdown, and President Donald Trump greeted the news with delight. But in addition to trade concerns, China’s financial system is also showing signs of weakness.
 
 •  How to Fix America’s Absentee Diplomacy in Africa
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has steadily grown more and more disengaged with Africa. Today, most of America’s diplomacy in Africa seems to be run out of the Pentagon, while tepid U.S. economic engagement is dominated by extractive industries. How might America better reengage with the continent?
 
 •  Trump’s ‘Prosper Africa’ Strategy Is Fixated on a Cold War-Like View of China
Is the Trump administration trying to force sub-Saharan Africa to choose sides between the U.S. and China? The administration’s “Prosper Africa” initiative seems less interested in trade ties than in geopolitical rivalries, and African governments should be concerned about what the White House really has in mind.
 
 •  Why the EU Is Struggling to Compete for Influence in Southeast Asia
The EU has become more assertive in Southeast Asia, making trade dependent on political conditions in several countries. Although there is good reason for the region to be a test case for this new approach, the EU has yet to prove its effectiveness in actually influencing other governments’ behavior.
 
 •  Who Would Really Benefit From a Freeze on EU Enlargement in the Balkans?
French President Emmanuel Macron recently voiced his opposition to further enlargement of the European Union. Macron’s stance reflects a much broader fatigue over enlargement across the continent, but refusing the Balkan states entry into the bloc risks driving them into the arms of other powerful actors.
 
 •  Can Greece’s New Democracy Abandon Its Aggressive Rhetoric and Govern?
When the nominally center-right New Democracy party emerged victorious in snap elections last week, it potentially marked the end of a long and tumultuous chapter in Greece’s history. Its leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, now gas a strong mandate to push forward with a program he describes as reforming the state.
 
 •  Taking Stock of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals
Four years ago, to great fanfare, U.N. member states endorsed a sweeping blueprint for human progress known as the Sustainable Development Goals. Intended to guide global development efforts through 2030, they are ambitious in the extreme. In September, world leaders will gather in New York to see how they are doing.
 
 •  Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal in Ecuador, but Will All Ecuadorians Accept It?
Ecuador’s highest court ruled last month that the country’s prohibition on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The 5-4 verdict was a victory for LGBT activists in the heavily Catholic country, but it is not clear that the decision will be accepted among all segments of Ecuadorian society, says Amy Lind.
 
 •  How to Fix the Flaws in Trump’s Approach to U.S. National Security
Under President Donald Trump’s direction, the approach to the world that served the United States well for decades has crumbled, but there is no discernible replacement. The primary reason for that is Trump’s attitude toward statecraft, which he scorns or dismisses. Is there any way to fix these flaws?
 
 •  Italy’s Populist Government Is a Marriage of Convenience. How Long Can It Last?
Italy’s populist government has been in power for all of 13 months and already speculation is rife about its imminent demise. Despite obvious tensions, there are reasons to believe that the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League will remain in this unhappy arrangement.
 
 •  What Can the African Continental Free Trade Area Really Deliver?
It took four years of discussions, but the African Continental Free Trade Area, or AfCFTA, is officially operational. African leaders gathered in Niger’s capital last weekend to launch the trade zone, which they hope will create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and bolster development across Africa.
 
 •  Can Gambia’s #MeToo Movement Help Bring Yahya Jammeh to Justice?
It had long been an open secret in Gambia that former President Yahya Jammeh hand-picked young women to work in his office as so-called protocol girls whom he harassed and abused. That changed last month when Fatou Jallow, a former beauty queen, became the first person to publicly accuse the exiled dictator of rape.
 
 •  Iran Knows Trump Doesn’t Want a War and Is Trying to Wait Him Out
Twice in the past two weeks, Iran has breached the limits on its nuclear program mandated by the 2015 agreement aimed at preventing it from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran didn’t act secretly or even quietly. It made sure the entire world knew it was steadily, if gradually, breaking out of the deal.
 
 •  Trump Traded an Imperfect Nuclear Deal for a No-Win Standoff With Iran
With the announcement this week that it has begun to enrich uranium above the limit allowed by the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has opened another round of high-stakes signaling with the Trump administration, which withdrew from the agreement last year, and the European nations that helped negotiate it.
 
 •  Will the United Nations Learn From Its Own ‘Systemic Failure’ in Myanmar?
Last month, the U.N. released a blistering report about its own “systemic failure” in dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. The fact the U.N. was willing to investigate its own actions might offer some hope for change, and perhaps a more effective response to the exodus of the Rohingya.
 
 •  China’s Plan to Deal With Its Trash by Burning It Provokes a Public Backlash
The central Chinese city of Wuhan put a garbage-burning power plant on hold this week after days of protests against the project. As the government struggles to come up with solutions to China’s waste problem, one of the country’s most pressing environmental issues, city-dwellers must fend for themselves.
 
 •  Franco’s Exhumation and the Unsettled Legacy of Spain’s Democratic Transition
The struggle in Spain over the exhumation of Francisco Franco has become a symbolic battlefield over decisions made about Spain’s political future after Franco’s death in 1975. In some respects, the political transition to democracy is being relived all over again, with three new developments shaping the debate.
 
 •  Can a U.N. Report Help Rein in Expansive and Abusive Digital Surveillance?
The private surveillance industry has skyrocketed, with mainly Western companies selling sophisticated technologies to governments and intelligence services worldwide. In a recent, scathing report, the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression called for “an immediate moratorium.”
 
 •  Can Tariffs and Sanctions Lead to a Better Climate Change Strategy?
There may be agreement among the many Democratic presidential candidates on rejoining the Paris Agreement. But it’s less clear how they would all try and strengthen the international response to climate change, including by giving more force to the requirements of the deal that President Donald Trump exited.
 
 •  Under Threat of U.S. Sanctions, India Is Reevaluating Its Ties With Iran
After the U.S. announced in May that it was ending sanctions waivers for countries to purchase oil from Iran, India has been forced to diversify its suppliers. In an interview, Harsh V. Pant explains how the Trump administration’s sanctions are forcing New Delhi to reassess its economic ties with Iran.
 
 •  Trump Has Exaggerated the Threat of China’s Monopoly on Rare Earths
The U.S. wants to diversify its supply of rare earth elements in order to address China’s near-monopoly control over these important minerals, which are used in an array of products. While that may sound sensible on paper, it is based on an unrealistic portrayal of the threat, says Eugene Gholz in an interview.
 
 •  Why the U.N. Pact on High Seas Biodiversity Is Too Important to Fail
Quietly but steadily, the most important environmental treaty that most people have never heard of is taking shape. The so-called BBNJ treaty will promote the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources and living organisms in the high seas, what advocates hope will be a Paris agreement for the oceans.
 
 •  Romania’s Most Powerful Politician Is in Jail, but Its Corruption Fight Isn’t Over
Some protesters mockingly waved handcuffs in Liviu Dragnea’s face as he left the courtroom to start a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence on May 27. Many others celebrated less publically, seeing the fall of Romania’s most powerful man as proof that the country’s embattled institutions still function independently.
 
 •  Why Would Trump Want a Trade War With India?
Fears of a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and India seem to have faded for now following last week’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. They instructed their trade officials to meet soon to find solutions to tensions over tariffs.
 
 •  Will Nigeria Be the Launchpad for Africa’s #MeToo Reckoning?
Can a #MeToo moment that originated in Nigeria’s evangelical community last week spark a regional movement? A rape allegation against the head of an influential church in Nigeria has prompted calls for a broader reckoning with sexual abuse and harassment, as well as gender inequality, in Nigeria and across Africa.
 
 •  The Flaws in Trump’s Strategic Approach to U.S. National Security
The best that can be said about Donald Trump’s handling of U.S. national security policy is that it has avoided catastrophe—at least so far. Most of America’s security partnerships have eroded, while China and Russia are more assertive than they were a few years ago. The major reason is Trump’s style of leadership.
 
 •  Closing Off America From Its Neighbors Isn’t Keeping It Great
President Donald Trump would rather countries be islands, even though it’s clear that no country can be an island and thrive in today’s world. Trump’s “America First” agenda wants to press pause on global and regional integration, regardless of what it would mean for America’s position within its own continent.
 
 •  Will the Storming of Hong Kong’s Legislature Doom Its Protest Movement?
Hong Kong was rocked by more protests Monday, the 22nd anniversary of its return to Chinese rule. While hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters took to the streets, a smaller group of activists stormed the city’s legislature, revealing a divide in the protest movement that could undermine it.
 
 •  Turkey’s Opposition, Buoyed by Its Win in Istanbul, Faces a Long Road Ahead
The resounding victory by opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu in last week’s mayoral election in Istanbul delivered a sharp blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, whose 17-year grip on power suddenly looks a little less tight.
 
 •  Why Vietnam Looks Like the Next Target of Trump’s Tariffs
Is it Vietnam’s turn in Donald Trump’s barrel? In a rambling interview last week, President Trump unexpectedly blasted Vietnam, calling it “almost the single worst abuser of everybody,” in response to a question about imposing tariffs on the country. It was a moment that Vietnamese officials have been dreading.
 
 •  Do Dire Economic Conditions in North Korea Threaten Kim’s Legitimacy?
A prolonged drought and harsh economic sanctions have made already lean times in North Korea especially dire, with the United Nations warning in May of a “hunger crisis.” Last year’s harvest was the worst in 10 years. Will these difficult economic conditions lead to a change in Kim Jong Un’s behavior?
 
 •  NAFTA 2.0 Still Has a Long Way to Go Before Ratification in Congress
One of President Donald Trump’s top trade priorities upon entering office was renegotiating NAFTA. But the revised deal, dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, still faces a long road to ratification in Congress, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer isn’t helping his cause.
 
 •  How Trump Is ‘Destroying Protections’ for Victims of Human Trafficking
The State Department recently released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks countries by their efforts to combat human trafficking. The U.S. has always received the best possible rating, but President Donald Trump’s policies call that assessment into doubt, says Martina Vandenberg.
 
 •  The World Has Lost the Will to Deal With the Worst Refugee Crisis Since World War II
Disturbing scenes emanating from detention centers along the southern U.S. border have underscored the Trump administration’s indifference to the suffering of strangers, even young children. Unfortunately, the current U.S. administration is far from alone in scorning those seeking refuge in foreign lands.
 
 •  Mauritania’s Historic Election Entrenches a Ruling Clique in Power for Decades
It may be the first peaceful transfer of power between elected heads of state in Mauritania’s history, but the victory by Mohamed Ould Ghazouani in presidential elections on June 22 really represents the latest phase of control by a ruling clique whose influence goes back to the 1980s.
 
 •  From Iran to Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Trump’s Economic Focus Misses the Point
President Donald Trump views foreign policy through the narrow lens of economic self-interest, reducing American power and influence to a question of whether the U.S. is getting a “good deal.” The latest examples are his erratic Iran policy, and the underwhelming rollout of his clumsy Palestinian peace plan.
 
 •  Could the Fallout From Ethiopia’s Failed Coup Derail Abiy’s Reform Agenda?
A coup attempt in Ethiopia last weekend left dozens dead and prompted a security crackdown as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tries to maintain his reformist agenda. It was a brutal reminder of the security risks posed by ethnic militias that have proliferated around Ethiopia, but especially in the restive Amhara region.
 
 •  Iran Is Using a Strategy of Insurgency, Goading the U.S. Into Overreacting
The timing of Iran’s escalations with the U.S. seems perplexing. Why would Iran go out of its way to provoke the U.S. when administration hawks are pushing President Donald Trump to take a harder line? Iran’s risky national strategy, in fact, makes perfect sense if it is thought of as a form of insurgency.
 
 •  Bolsonaro and Macri Look for Better Ties to Distract From Their Domestic Troubles
Earlier this month, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made his first trip to Argentina since taking office. The focus of the visit was largely on economic issues, but it was also an opportunity for both Bolsonaro and President Mauricio Macri to take the focus off their respective political troubles at home.
 
 •  Police Raids on Australian Journalists Threaten ‘a Fully Functioning Fourth Estate’
Earlier this month, Australian police raided the offices of the public broadcaster and the home of a prominent journalist over leaked documents, raising concerns about a chilling effect on the media. Peter Fray discusses the impact of the raids and why reforms are needed to protect press freedom in Australia.
 
 •  Is Turkey’s Future in Play After the Opposition Won Istanbul’s Election Rerun?
The results of Sunday’s rerun election for Istanbul mayor sent headline writers scrambling for the right description. One Turkish newspaper called the crushing defeat of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hand-picked candidate an “earthquake.” Is this the beginning of the end of Erdogan’s dominance?
 
 •  What Does the Opposition’s Victory in Istanbul Mean for Turkey’s U.S. Ties?
To many observers, including in Washington, a second defeat in Istanbul for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would spell the beginning of the end of his hold on power, bringing the promise of better ties between the U.S. and Turkey. But is the opposition’s victory really a step toward that hoped-for rapprochement?
 
 •  Was Vizcarra’s Showdown With Congress the Right Way to Fight Corruption in Peru?
Martin Vizcarra is Peru’s accidental president, elevated to office after Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in March 2018, when it became clear that he could not survive a second impeachment vote over corruption allegations. But Vizcarra soon started looking more like a leader on a mission to root out corruption.
 
 •  When Trump Meets Xi at the G-20, Will the Outcome Match the Expectations?
When Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump meet Saturday at the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Osaka, Japan, as expected, the ongoing trade war will be at the top of the agenda. With negotiations at a standstill since May, the meeting is an opportunity to break the deadlock.
 
 •  Trump Keeps ‘Maximum Pressure’ on Iran, Even Though It Is Failing in Venezuela
Despite escalating tensions, it still isn’t clear what President Donald Trump really wants from Iran, or how he aims to achieve it. Compare the course of Trump’s Iran strategy with another one of his campaigns of “maximum pressure,” which has become the defining characteristic of his scattershot foreign policy.
 
 •  Why a Cold War With China Would Be So Costly
If the U.S.-China trade war develops into a broader cold war, it will be nothing like the actual Cold War. When the U.S. adopted a containment strategy that blocked most trade with the Soviet Union, it had relatively little impact on either economy. The situation with China today is radically different.
 
 •  Can Finland’s New Center-Left Government Keep the Far Right at Bay?
Finland’s new center-left coalition government is led by the Social Democratic Party, which narrowly won legislative elections in mid-April. But the far-right Finns Party placed a close second. Teivo Teivainen explains what is behind the Finns Party’s rising popularity and what to expect from the new government.
 
 •  Europe Has Spent Years Trying to Prevent ‘Chaos’ in the Sahel. It Failed
The EU and its member states have dedicated more political, financial and military resources to the Sahel, the vast sub-Saharan region of Northern Africa, than to any other part of the world—all in the name of stability. But this investment is failing to pay off, as security across the region is deteriorating.
 
 •  Ebola Inevitably Reaches Uganda: ‘Everybody Was Waiting for the Outbreak to Arrive’
Earlier this month, the Ebola outbreak declared last August in the Democratic Republic of Congo officially spread outside the country, to Uganda. The virus has been notoriously difficult to treat and contain, due to Congo’s instability and its porous borders, so Uganda had prepared itself.
 
 •  What Is the Endgame in Idlib, Syria’s Largest Remaining Rebel Enclave?
Since April, tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes in the Idlib region in northwestern Syria as President Bashar al-Assad’s air force pummels Islamist-controlled towns. As ever in Syria, there are more questions about the fighting, from the fundamental facts on the ground to the potential endgame.
 
 •  Beset by Scandals, France’s Macron Is Going on the Offensive—Against the Press
During his campaign for the presidency, Emmanuel Macron assiduously cultivated good relationships with French journalists. But since taking up residence at the Elysee Palace, Macron’s strategy for dealing with the press has become markedly more heavy-handed, says Matthieu Lardeau in an interview.
 
 •  Setting the Scene—and the Expectations—for the G-20 Summit in Japan
This weekend, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomes world leaders to Osaka for the annual summit of the Group of 20. If experience is any guide, the real action will take place in the bilateral meetings between world leaders and impromptu discussions on pressing global crises, rather than formal sessions.
 
 •  Election Security Is Homeland Security. Why Aren’t Trump and McConnell Taking It Seriously?
There is a pressing need today for a shift in the way Americans think about homeland security, yet political leaders don’t seem to recognize how vital and precarious the situation is. This is particularly true of public trust in the integrity of the American electoral system, which has been exposed as vulnerable.
 
 •  In the Eyes of Protesters, Liberia’s Weah Has Gone ‘From Hero to Let-Down’
Thousands of people gathered in Liberia’s capital earlier this month to protest against a faltering economy and rampant corruption in President George Weah’s government. Elizabeth Donnelly discusses the recent demonstrations and whether there is anything Weah can do to regain his “man of the people” image.
 
 •  What a High-Pressure College Entrance Exam Reveals About China
More than 10 million Chinese students took China&rsquo;s high-stakes college entrance exam, known as the <em>gaokao</em>, five times the record 2.1 million students in the U.S. who took last year&rsquo;s SAT. The <em>gaokao</em> not only shapes the course of a student&rsquo;s life, it can also serve as a litmus test of trends in Chinese society.
 
 •  Under Sisi’s Authoritarianism, Egypt Even Restricted Reporting on Morsi’s Death
The death of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt&rsquo;s first democratically elected president, in a Cairo courtroom Monday has put another spotlight on the repressive regime that replaced him in a 2013 coup. True to form, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi&rsquo;s government even restricted how journalists could report on Morsi&rsquo;s death.
 
 •  Comfortably Reelected, Indonesia’s Jokowi Opens the Door to China’s Belt and Road
In late April, just two days after a major election, Indonesia signed 23 deals with China, worth $14.2 billion, for several infrastructure projects. They came after months of silence about Chinese investment in Indonesia&mdash;by design, as President Joko Widodo feared opposition attempts to paint him as too pro-China.
 
 •  Despite Death Threats, Armenia’s LGBT Activists Are Fighting for Recognition
On April 5, Lilit Martirosyan, a transgender Armenian woman, became the first member of Armenia&rsquo;s LGBT community to speak in the country&rsquo;s parliament. Sadly, but not surprisingly, her speech was followed by a torrent of death threats. Hasmik Petrosyan discusses the challenges facing Armenia&rsquo;s LGBT community.
 
 •  How the Mysterious Deaths of Tourists Could Hurt the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has suddenly found itself at the center of a human tragedy and public relations nightmare. Amid more reports of unexplained tourist deaths, news broke of the shooting of retired baseball star David Ortiz in Santo Domingo. What toll will this take on the economy and on Dominican politics?
 
 •  Hong Kong’s Protests Show the Biggest Challenge to China’s Rise Is at Home
The mass protests in Hong Kong are proof that the biggest challenges to the now-widespread view of an ascendant, authoritarian China come not from the West at all, but from China itself. As a protest leader in Hong Kong put it, &ldquo;Beijing just turned a whole generation of students from citizens into dissidents.&rdquo;
 
 •  Protests Against Kazakhstan’s ‘Stage-Managed’ Election Test Tokayev’s Legitimacy
Authorities in Kazakhstan cracked down on a series of large-scale protests before and after the tightly controlled presidential election on June 9, arresting thousands of demonstrators. In an interview, Paul Stronski discusses the implications of the protests for Kazakhstan&rsquo;s new leadership.
 
 •  Why Tackling Corruption Could Also Reduce Violence in El Salvador
Implementing an international commission against impunity in El Salvador, similar to the U.N.-backed commission in Guatemala, was the key campaign promise that helped 37-year-old Nayib Bukele win the presidency. There is a broad consensus among observers and policymakers that less corruption means less crime.
 
 •  Xi’s Landmark Visit to North Korea Will Be Overshadowed by Standoffs With Trump
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea on Thursday, the first such trip by a Chinese president in 14 years. China and North Korea are celebrating 70 years of bilateral ties. But both countries are locked in tense standoffs with the United States, which is likely to loom large over the summit.
 
 •  Abe’s Visit to Iran Showed the Value of Diplomacy. Will Trump Get the Message?
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe&rsquo;s trip to Tehran last week did not succeed in deescalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. But if more world leaders follow Abe&rsquo;s lead, and if Abe himself continues to advocate for diplomacy, that could nudge President Donald Trump toward a less belligerent stance.
 
 •  In Brazil, Dictatorship-Era Wounds Never Really Healed. Then Came Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made no secret of his admiration for the country&rsquo;s dictatorship, which ended in 1985. For many who suffered under it, the prevailing political discourse these days reinforces the notion that the dictatorship is a chapter of Brazilian history that hasn&rsquo;t been fully closed.
 
 •  Why Britain’s Labour Party Shouldn’t Fear Brexit Firebrand Nigel Farage
European election success again failed to carry over into national contests in the U.K. for far-right firebrand Nigel Farage, whose new Brexit Party lost a by-election this month that appeared in its favor. The Brexit Party could present a much greater electoral problem for the Conservatives than for Labour.
 
 •  The Rebalancing That U.S. Trade Policy Actually Needs
President Donald Trump is wrong about a lot of things when it comes to trade, but he does have a point that some of the priorities of U.S. trade negotiators don&rsquo;t reflect those of many Americans. Indeed, the U.S. has failed to adopt policies that would compensate workers displaced by free trade and globalization.
 
 •  Can a Divided World Cope With the Risks of the Digital Revolution?
Eleven months ago, with little fanfare, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, tasked with figuring out how to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms to humanity posed by the digital revolution. Last week, the panel delivered its conclusions.
 
 •  Supreme Court Ruling on Homophobia Was a Rare Victory for Brazil’s LGBT Community
Brazil&rsquo;s highest court officially ruled last week that homophobia and transphobia should be criminalized. The verdict was a much-needed victory for Brazil&rsquo;s LGBT community. In an interview, James Green discusses the challenges facing LGBT Brazilians and the significance of the court&rsquo;s decision.
 
 •  Can Sudan’s Revolution Be Saved?
On June 3, Sudan&rsquo;s military authorities massacred unarmed pro-democracy protesters in Khartoum, dashing any hope, it seems, for a successful democratic transition after the fall of Omar al-Bashir. A pall of fear hangs over Sudan, and any trust protest leaders might have had in the military has evaporated.
 
 •  Despite Historic Rapprochement With Ethiopia, ‘Nothing Has Changed’ in Eritrea
The streets of Eritrea&rsquo;s capital were unusually quiet around Independence Day late last month&mdash;the first after the end of the &ldquo;no peace, no war&rdquo; stalemate with neighboring Ethiopia. Security was tight, and the government blocked social media, among other restrictions. What were the authorities afraid of?
 
 •  Tit-For-Tat Killings in Mali Escalate a Cycle of Ethnic Violence
With the massacre of at least 35 civilians this week in a small village in central Mali, including 24 children, the country&rsquo;s ongoing cycle of ethnic violence appears to be escalating. A militant Islamist uprising that began in 2012 has exacerbated existing tensions between Dogon pastoralists and Fulani herders.
 
 •  Will Papua New Guinea’s New Leader Make Good on His Reform Promises?
James Marape, the new prime minister of Papua New Guinea, has pledged to take on corruption and ensure that benefits from oil and gas reserves are shared more equitably. But at this early stage, it is not yet clear that Marape will follow through on those promises, Michael Kabuni says in an interview.
 
 •  How to Manage the Threat of an Expanding Islamic State in Africa
In response to its battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has been dispersing, keeping its brutal brand alive with hopes that someday it can take another shot at creating a proto-state. Sub-Saharan Africa has proven particularly vulnerable to infiltration by the Islamic State.
 
 •  Nicaragua’s Ortega Survived Mass Protests, but What About Economic Unrest?
Last year, Nicaragua looked like it might slide into civil war. Facing mass protests, President Daniel Ortega responded with repression that only added fury to the demonstrators&rsquo; demands. One year later, it is clear he has survived, but the worst may be yet to come as economic pressure rises.
 
 •  Opposition Protests in Malawi Threaten Mutharika’s Already Fragile Mandate
Malawi&rsquo;s capital has been rocked by demonstrations over the past two weeks as opposition protesters challenge the legitimacy of President Peter Mutharika&rsquo;s recent reelection. But no matter who wins the legal battle over the election results, it is the Malawian people who have the most to lose, says Lise Rakner.
 
 •  How Thailand’s Former Junta Leader, Now ‘Civilian’ Prime Minister, Will Rule
Earlier this month, the retired general who led a military coup in Thailand five years ago, Prayuth Chan-ocha, was formally confirmed as prime minister by King Vajiralongkorn, after parliament unsurprisingly voted to hand the position to the former coup leader. Repression will not be Prayuth&rsquo;s only card.
 
 •  Attempts to Derail an Anti-Corruption Campaign Have Upended Guatemala’s Election
Guatemalans vote Sunday in what looks like one of the most unpredictable elections in their country&rsquo;s recent history, with 19 candidates competing for the presidency. The elections are uniquely volatile for many reasons, but perhaps most of all because a landmark fight against corruption has taken a U-turn.
 
 •  How Much of a Headache Will Hong Kong’s Extradition Protests Give Beijing?
The massive protests against a controversial extradition bill that have rocked Hong Kong in recent days &ldquo;cannot be what Beijing wanted,&rdquo; according to commentator Yi-Zheng Lian. The simmering anger in Hong Kong poses a major headache for China&rsquo;s leaders as they attempt to extend control over the territory.
 
 •  What If Liberal Democracy Can’t Resolve Today’s Political Standoffs?
The ideological movements roiling politics throughout Europe and the U.S. have been seen as a popular backlash against the elite consensus of Third Way globalization. But in some ways, they portend a new form of politics that is fundamentally incompatible with the premises of liberal democracy.
 
 •  The Soaring Economic and Political Costs of Trump’s Incoherent Trade Policy
Almost every week of late, it seems something new and historically unusual is happening in U.S. trade policy under President Donald Trump. With so many head-spinning developments this spring, it can help to step back and take stock of where things stand, how we got here&mdash;and just what the point of it all is.
 
 •  Can Morocco’s Leaders Weather the Political Storm of Teachers’ Strikes?
Thousands of striking teachers marched for better working conditions in Morocco in recent months. The demonstrations have since subsided, but there is potential for more unrest. In an interview, Aboubakr Jamai discusses the grievances that drove the teachers&rsquo; protests and the extent of their political impact.
 
 •  A Booming Meth Trade Challenges Southeast Asia’s Approach to Drug Policy
Southeast Asia&rsquo;s meth trade is booming, with headlines regularly announcing record busts across the region. Long associated with lower-income workers, meth has more recently begun to attract more affluent users. But the region&rsquo;s repressive drug policies make users the most vulnerable participants in the meth trade.
 
 •  Is North Korea’s Regime Really in Peril?
North Korea has never been an easy country to understand from the outside. But the recent cycle of news out of one the world&rsquo;s most isolated countries appears especially bewildering. It is a reminder that all too often, the immediate conclusions drawn about North Korea are not as they initially appear.
 
 •  How Hungary’s Orban Puts Democratic Tools to Authoritarian Use
In his visit to the White House last month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who proudly styles himself as an illiberal democrat, did what every good populist does: He explained that he had a mandate from the people. Like other populist leaders, Orban uses a number of tactics to back up his claims.
 
 •  Why It Could Be Bad News for Journalists if Julian Assange Is Extradited
When the Trump administration announced its decision last month to indict Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for violating the Espionage Act, many journalists warned the decision would have grave consequences for press freedom. Geoffrey Stone discusses the complicated legal questions at issue in the Assange case.
 
 •  Trump, in His Own Mad Way, Has Forced a Real Debate Over Trans-Atlantic Ties
Last week, President Donald Trump joined world leaders in Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The pageantry of the event could not conceal the brutal truth: The ties that have bound the United States to its European partners in the decades since the Second World War are badly frayed.
 
 •  How Trump Has Hijacked America’s ‘Command Climate’
As military leaders advance in rank and take on more responsibility, they learn the importance of what is known as command climate, or the culture of an organization and its core values. Under President Donald Trump, America&rsquo;s command climate has been hijacked, to focus on Trump&rsquo;s personality and loyalty to him.
 
 •  Mounting Pollution at Home Threatens South Korea’s Leadership on Climate Policy
The existential issue of North Korea usually dominates dialogue between South Korea and its allies and neighbors. But in South Korea itself, climate change is becoming another national priority, as people understand the tough tradeoffs between economic growth and adapting to environmental realities.
 
 •  What Will the Massacre in Sudan Mean for Its Protest Movement?
Sudanese security forces this week killed more than 100 people in a brutal crackdown on protesters in Khartoum who have been demanding the military appoint a civilian-led government. Demonstrators are calling for new acts of civil disobedience, but will they rally supporters in the wake of the violence?
 
 •  The Pitfalls of Trying to Curb Artificial Intelligence Exports
Amid the U.S.-China trade war and concerns over Chinese technology, another tech policy question persists in Washington, although somewhat overlooked. How should the U.S. manage exports of technology for artificial intelligence? It has widespread ramifications for global research, innovation and commerce.
 
 •  Governing With the Far Right Cost Austria’s Kurz His Job. Why Is He Still So Popular?
Late last month, Austria&rsquo;s Parliament ousted Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his entire Cabinet in a no-confidence vote following a scandal that engulfed his far-right coalition partner, the Freedom Party. When Kurz took office in 2017, many wondered if he would be able to rein in far-right forces in Austria.
 
 •  An Election Rerun Shows Why Nothing Is Normal in Israeli Politics Anymore
Only one thing is clear in Israel&rsquo;s chaotic politics. On July 16, Benjamin Netanyahu will become the country&rsquo;s longest-serving prime minister. But two months later, he may be on his way out of office. After Netanyahu couldn&rsquo;t form a governing coalition, a new election is coming just seven weeks after the last one.
 
 •  Bolsonaro’s ‘War on Education’ Is Provoking a Fierce Backlash in Brazil
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Brazil last week to protest President Jair Bolsonaro&rsquo;s drastic cuts to education. In an interview, Justin Axel-Berg discusses the impact that the cuts would have on Brazil&rsquo;s universities and why they are &ldquo;galvanizing&rdquo; Bolsonaro&rsquo;s opponents.
 
 •  Can Brexiteers Really ‘Take Back Control’ of British Fisheries?
Many people in the United Kingdom&rsquo;s coastal fishing communities supported the &ldquo;Leave&rdquo; campaign during the 2016 Brexit referendum. But British politicians will find it difficult to make good on their promises to &ldquo;take back control&rdquo; of the country&rsquo;s rich fisheries, says Ben Drakeford, in an interview.
 
 •  Have China’s Value Propositions Become More Attractive Than America’s?
For decades, the United States was better than any other nation in putting forth value propositions that made other countries want to broaden and deepen their ties and associations with it. That dynamic is changing with dizzying speed now, as China has quickly mustered strong value propositions of its own.
 
 •  Why Is the Trump Administration So Eager to See a Nuclear Saudi Arabia?
The Trump administration twice approved the transfer of nuclear technical expertise to Saudi Arabia after last year&rsquo;s murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to new revelations this week. They have only fueled frustrations in Congress over the administration&rsquo;s eagerness to aid Saudi nuclear ambitions.
 
 •  China’s Communist Party Is Still Fighting for Its Survival 30 Years After Tiananmen
Chinese authorities did their best to ensure a quiet 30th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square. But days earlier, a trove of newly leaked speeches delivered by Chinese leaders in the aftermath of the 1989 crackdown provided a rare look at the Communist Party&rsquo;s internal politics at the time.
 
 •  As Ayahuasca Tourism Booms, Peru’s Traditional Healers Try to Regain Control
Once used almost exclusively by traditional healers, ayahuasca is now at the center of a tourism boom, as foreigners flock to jungle lodges in countries like Peru, in search of greater self-awareness and healing. But the changes wrought by ayahuasca tourism are transforming local life, and now healers are seeking to regain control.
 
 •  Britain’s Labour Party Has Tried to Appeal to Everyone on Brexit—and Failed
When the last of the ballots had finally been counted in the recent European Parliament elections, it was clear that one of the biggest losers was Britain&rsquo;s Labour Party, and its Brexit strategy. Labour&rsquo;s attempts to appeal to Leavers and Remainers by being as ambiguous as possible about Brexit have backfired.
 
 •  Will Trump’s Mexico Tariffs Finally Force Congress to Rein In His Bullying?
President Donald Trump has repeatedly shown that he prefers bullying over supporting widely held norms in foreign policy. On the trade front last week, Trump threatened trade sanctions against Mexico, a major trading partner, over a humanitarian crisis at the border that he helped create. Where is Congress?
 
 •  Why Is No One Talking About UNSC Reform Anymore?
Among the mysteries of contemporary world politics is the lack of high-level debate over reforming the United Nations Security Council. A decade and a half ago, many voices insisted that the council must expand to retain its legitimacy and effectiveness. The debate over UNSC reform has since fallen silent.
 
 •  How Will France’s Growing Naval Presence in Asia Affect Its China Ties?
France is stepping up its naval activities in the Asia-Pacific, conducting joint exercises with countries like Australia and India and sending warships through the Taiwan Strait. Jean-Pierre Cabestan discusses the strategic thinking behind these maneuvers and their potential impact on France&rsquo;s ties with China.
 
 •  Czechs Are ‘Wary of Heading Down the Same Path as Hungary and Poland’
An estimated 50,000 protesters rallied on Prague&rsquo;s iconic Wenceslas Square in mid-May amid rising fears that the Czech Republic could follow neighboring Hungary and Poland in sliding toward authoritarian rule. The mass protest capped weeks of growing demonstrations against billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
 
 •  Escalating Violence in Burkina Faso Is Outpacing the Government’s Response
The targeting of Christians in Burkina Faso in recent weeks reflects a wider unraveling of security that has killed and displaced Muslims and Christians alike. The escalating violence is outpacing the government&rsquo;s response, and jihadists are pursuing new forms of social control and intimidation against civilians.
 
 •  His Disputed Reelection Is Just One of Many Challenges Facing Malawi’s Mutharika
Incumbent President Peter Mutharika squeaked out a victory in Malawi&rsquo;s crowded election last week. In his acceptance speech, Mutharika declared, &ldquo;It is time to move on and develop the country.&rdquo; Easier said than done. The opposition vowed to challenge the results over allegations of ballot tampering.
 
 •  Could America’s Senior Military Leaders Ever Revolt Against Trump?
Principled resignations by senior military officials to protest the policies of a U.S. president have never happened on a wide enough scale to test civil-military relations. But they could. Civil-military relations rely on unwritten norms and principles&mdash;the very things President Donald Trump has abandoned.
 
 •  How Europe’s Far Right Will Be Hobbled by Its Own Internal Contradictions
Although far-right nationalists did score their best performance to date in last week&rsquo;s European Parliament elections, the results fell far short of expectations. Just as importantly, there are major internal contradictions in the nationalists&rsquo; plans to take over the European Union from within.
 
 •  How Saudi Arabia Is Trying to Counter Iranian Influence in Iraq
Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi made his first trip to Saudi Arabia, part of a push by both Baghdad and Riyadh to mend fences. Elizabeth Dickinson discusses the political and economic factors pushing Saudi and Iraqi leaders to repair their ties, and the obstacles in their way.
 
 •  After Whipping Up Nationalism to Win a Landslide in India, Can Modi Tone It Down?
The right-wing, Hindu nationalist BJP owes its dominating win in India&rsquo;s general election to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is being sworn in for the second time today. Despite a deteriorating economy, Modi played up his strongman persona, deflecting public attention toward nationalism and national security.
 
 •  Will Cristina Fernandez’s Surprise Political Ploy Work in Argentina?
Welcome to the strange world of Argentine politics, where Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will not, as expected, challenge Mauricio Macri for the presidency this fall, instead seeking the vice presidency. To understand the logic of her move, look at Argentina&rsquo;s wider political landscape.
 
 •  Will Their Tensions With the U.S. Push China and Iran Closer Together?
Earlier this month, Iran&rsquo;s foreign minister visited Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart. The trip, part of an Asian tour to promote Iran&rsquo;s economic ties amid tightening U.S. sanctions, led some to wonder whether China and Iran&rsquo;s tensions with Washington are pushing them to increase their cooperation.
 
 •  France’s Macron Strengthens His EU Hand With European Parliament Vote
While the ostensible purpose of European Parliament elections, which took place this weekend, is to determine the makeup of the EU&rsquo;s deliberative body, the results often have implications for domestic politics across the member states. This is certainly the case for French President Emmanuel Macron.
 
 •  Brexit Has Reignited the Rival Ideologies Behind Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’
Last month, journalist Lyra McKee was fatally shot during a riot in Londonderry, Northern Ireland&mdash;a grim reminder of the decades of political violence known as the Troubles. Peter McLoughlin discusses how Brexit could undermine the political and economic conditions created by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
 
 •  Why African Countries Maintain Tight Restrictions on Genetically Modified Food
African countries have long maintained some of the strictest regulations on genetically modified agriculture, with only four out of 47 nations in continental Africa allowing the planting of any genetically modified crops. In an interview, Robert Paarlberg explains why that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
 
 •  Trump’s Trade Fantasies Grow Out of an Alarming Nostalgia for the 1950s
President Donald Trump&rsquo;s policies to &ldquo;make America great again&rdquo; often reflect a fondness for an earlier era that was not so great for everyone&mdash;the 1950s most of all. Recent statements from the White House suggest that Trump thinks it is possible to restore the economic structure from that time.
 
 •  The Lasting Impact of the Debt Crisis Continues to Haunt Greece
The political and social problems bedeviling Greek society are sure to be at the center of national elections announced for early July. That vote could help determine whether Greece turns the page on the decade that followed its sovereign debt crisis&mdash;or whether its politics take an even more sinister turn.
 
 •  The Costs of Trong’s Crusade Against Corruption in Vietnam
At 76, Nguyen Phu Trong is a man in a hurry, intent on saving Vietnam's Communist Party from corruption, backsliding and irrelevance. The implications for Vietnam are considerable, since the party&rsquo;s claim on a monopoly of political power largely rests on its presumed moral superiority.
 
 •  How the Return of Iranian-Backed Militias From Syria Complicates U.S. Strategy
In the high-stakes game between the U.S. and Iran, it&rsquo;s often hard to tell who&rsquo;s really bluffing. For those counting cards, though, Iran may already have tipped its hand. The recent return of a wave of fighters from Iranian-backed militias in Syria suggests Tehran may be anticipating a different kind of proxy war.
 
 •  A Scandal Over Stolen Timber Has Upended Gabon’s Government
Gabon&rsquo;s vice president and forestry minister lost their jobs this week. Though no official explanation was provided, the sackings were apparently related to an attempt to smuggle protected timber out of the country. Read up on that and other stories from across the continent in our weekly roundup of Africa news.
 
 •  The Dangerous Misperceptions That Could Push America to Disaster
The U.S. has always had a peculiar approach to the world, characterized most of all by a pervasive tendency to assume that other nations and other peoples see politics and security the same way that Americans do. Not surprisingly, that leads to a lot of misperceptions, which are becoming more perilous.
 
 •  Sri Lanka’s Crackdown on Drugs Raises Concerns About a Return to Strongman Rule
The Sri Lankan government is preparing to end its four-decade-long moratorium on carrying out the death penalty amid a crackdown on drugs. The move&rsquo;s popularity points to an emerging preference among Sri Lankans for a more dictatorial type of leadership, says Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits in an interview.
 
 •  Why Belize Is Likely to Prevail in Its Territorial Dispute With Guatemala
Guatemala and Belize will soon take their long-running territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for arbitration. In an interview, Victor Bulmer-Thomas explains the historical roots of the dispute and why Belize will have the stronger case at the ICJ.
 
 •  Cristina Fernandez’s Gambit Shocks Argentina, Adding Even More Election Drama
Three days before she was scheduled to go on trial for corruption, and nevertheless still leading in the polls to become the next president of Argentina, former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner dropped a bombshell last Saturday. She was throwing her hat in the ring, but for vice president, not president.
 
 •  Grading Mogherini’s Five Years as EU Foreign Policy Chief
Voters across Europe are heading to the polls to elect a new European Parliament. But this year will bring about more than just a new group of lawmakers in the European Union&rsquo;s only directly elected body. There will be bigger changes at the top of the EU, including a new foreign policy chief.
 
 •  South Africa’s Election Creates More Questions Than Answers for Ramaphosa
If South Africa&rsquo;s first democratic election in 1994 provided what observers called a &ldquo;designer outcome,&rdquo; the country&rsquo;s sixth general election in early May was its polar opposite: a vote in which the three principal players all experienced setbacks and had reason to be disappointed.
 
 •  Are American Voters Ready to Bear the Costs of an Economic War With China?
Debates about President Donald Trump&rsquo;s trade policies will be shaped partly by cooling public opinion on China. Only 41 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of the country. As Isaac Stone Fish tells WPR, &ldquo;Americans are waking up to the idea that China is the only country that truly jeopardizes American hegemony.&rdquo;
 
 •  Trump’s Pardons of U.S. Soldiers Send a Very Dangerous Message, at Home and Abroad
Of all the constitutional powers enjoyed by the U.S president, none is so vulnerable to abuse as the presidential pardon, which can poison the body politic when used improperly. This is certainly the case when it comes to President Donald Trump&rsquo;s decision to pardon U.S. soldiers convicted or accused of war crimes.
 
 •  Is the U.S.-China Trade War Turning Into a New Cold War?
The trade war between the U.S. and China is costly enough, but it could be morphing into something far more serious. A week after raising tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China, the Trump administration took aim at Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Continued escalation would be in no one&rsquo;s interest.
 
 •  How Xenophobia Has Become Normalized in South African Politics
Anti-immigrant rhetoric has steadily seeped into mainstream South African politics. In this month&rsquo;s election, both major political parties advocated stricter controls on immigration. Loren B. Landau discusses the deep roots of xenophobia in South Africa and the uncertain future facing immigrants there.
 
 •  Can a Court in Uganda Deliver Justice to Victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army?
A court in northern Uganda has begun hearings in the trial of Thomas Kwoyelo, a former colonel in the Lord&rsquo;s Resistance Army, the rebel group founded by Joseph Kony. It is supposed to be a breakthrough for the Ugandan judiciary, but officials are struggling to convince naysayers that the outcome will be meaningful.
 
 •  Egypt’s Sisi Is Repeating Mubarak’s Economic Mistakes, to the IMF’s Applause
Since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power in a coup in 2013, he has set out to build. Canals, bridges, cities&mdash;they are all part of an old school nationalist development agenda redesigned for the 21st century, to attract foreign investment and revive Egypt&rsquo;s economy. At least, that was the plan.
 
 •  How Baloch Separatists Are Trying to Derail China’s Investments in Pakistan
Baloch insurgents are fiercely opposed to China&rsquo;s presence in southern Pakistan, where major projects are underway as part of a costly building spree to upgrade Pakistani infrastructure, funded by Beijing under its Belt and Road Initiative. Pakistan accuses nearby Iran of providing safe haven to the insurgents.
 
 •  ‘Simply Put, There’s No Freedom of the Press’ in Sisi’s Egypt
The space for press freedom and freedom of expression of any kind has dramatically shrunk in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who took power in a coup in 2014. In an interview, Jared Malsin discusses Sisi&rsquo;s crackdown on Egypt&rsquo;s media and how &ldquo;there&rsquo;s very little room for free debate of anything.&rdquo;
 
 •  A New Space Age Demands International Cooperation, Not Competition or ‘Dominance’
Fifty years after Apollo 11 astronauts first walked on the moon, the world is entering a new Space Age, with immense possibilities for humanity. Unfortunately, the country best placed to lead a renaissance in multilateral cooperation in space, the United States, seems determined to pursue a unilateral course.
 
 •  Don’t Blame the Generals for the Strategic Shortcomings of America’s Forever Wars
After almost 18 years of conflict against an array of extremist groups, all in the name of fighting terrorism, Americans have grown frustrated. Their patience is running out, and it has led to finger-pointing. Increasingly, military leaders are blamed for what is seen as a flawed strategy.
 
 •  Could the U.S. Live With a Nuclear North Korea?
The Trump administration remains committed to the &ldquo;complete, verifiable and irreversible&rdquo; dismantling of North Korea&rsquo;s nuclear weapons program, even though its efforts have so far been unsuccessful. The U.S. should begin to consider its options in the event North Korea decides to keep its nuclear weapons.
 
 •  Populists Have Their Sights on the European Parliament, Despite Their Own Divisions
Could next week&rsquo;s European Parliament elections lead to a grand realignment of the continent&rsquo;s politics, with the right wielding unprecedented influence? A populist uprising might make for an attractive narrative, but it doesn&rsquo;t match the reality of intra-populist divisions on display throughout Europe. <br /><br />
 
 •  Violence in Sudan Stalls Progress on a Post-Bashir Transition
Sudan appeared to be inching closer to a transitional government this week, but renewed violence in the capital, Khartoum, threatens to derail the talks between the military council and the opposition alliance. Read up on that and other stories from across the continent in our weekly roundup of Africa news.
 
 •  The Collateral Damage From the U.S.-China Trade War Extends to Latin America
When the U.S.-China trade war began, a number of countries expected to emerge as winners. After all, if Beijing and Washington imposed tariffs on each other&rsquo;s goods, it would open new markets for other countries not directly involved in the fray. But now the escalating trade war is making everyone anxious.
 
 •  Can AMLO End Mexico’s Drug War?
Mexico&rsquo;s drug policies could be in for some sweeping changes, with major implications for the U.S. Last week, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that he would seek to revise the $3 billion U.S. aid package that has funded Mexico&rsquo;s war on drugs, while proposing to decriminalize all drugs in the country.
 
 •  Colombia’s Duque is Presiding Over a ‘Massive Backpedaling’ on Indigenous Rights
Since President Ivan Duque took office last summer, Colombia has seen an uptick in violence against human rights advocates and community leaders, particularly from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. Gimena S&aacute;nchez-Garzoli explains how Duque&rsquo;s hostility to the FARC peace deal is to blame.
 
 •  Estonia’s Populists, in Power for the First Time, Face the Hard Task of Governing
Estonia&rsquo;s far-right EKRE party is now part of a three-party coalition government, but its euroskeptic and anti-immigrant positions are likely to be tempered by its coalition partners. In an interview, Martin M&ouml;lder discusses Estonia&rsquo;s recent election and what to expect from the new government&rsquo;s agenda.
 
 •  With Even Fewer Checks on His Power, Where Will Duterte Take the Philippines?
Although divisive internationally, President Rodrigo Duterte has remained popular at home in the Philippines despite a deeply illiberal streak. And with this week&rsquo;s midterm elections, he has amassed even more political power&mdash;probably more than any Philippine leader since dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
 
 •  Will Macron’s EU Crusade Survive the European Parliament Elections?
This year&rsquo;s European Parliament elections have taken on an added symbolic dimension, with French President Emmanuel Macron framing the vote as a showdown between liberal pro-European reformers and illiberal, anti-European spoilers. But a necessary discussion of practical importance has been largely absent.
 
 •  As Trade Tensions Escalate, China Girds Its Citizens for a ‘People’s War’
The trade war between China and the United States is heating up again. Fearing political backlash, Beijing has been careful not to be seen as conceding too much in the negotiations, and state media outlets are amplifying a nationalist message, accusing the U.S. of &ldquo;fighting a trade war out of greed.&rdquo;
 
 •  Trump, the ‘Great Negotiator,’ Risks Losing Deals With China, Iran and North Korea
While campaigning for U.S. president, Donald Trump sold himself as a great negotiator who would get tough and get things done. That image, which has already taken a big hit from his dealings with Congress, took another one last week when three of Trump&rsquo;s foreign policy priorities suffered setbacks.
 
 •  Two Decades After the Fall of Milosevic, Dictatorship Is Returning to Serbia
History is repeating itself in Serbia. Though many hoped the fall of former President Slobodon Milosevic in 2000 would usher in an era of democratic governance, reforms have been hobbled by a failure to properly sever ties with the Milosevic era and conclusively reject the brand of politics that it propagated.
 
 •  How Far Will Erdogan and the AKP Go to Hold Onto Power in Turkey?
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party face perhaps their toughest test yet when voters in Istanbul head to the polls again on June 23 to elect a mayor for the second time in three months. Turkey&rsquo;s Supreme Election Council annulled the results of the March vote, which the opposition narrowly won.
 
 •  Russia Needs Immigrants but Lacks a Coherent Immigration Policy
Russia faces serious demographic challenges in the coming decades, with both the overall population and the working-age population projected to shrink. Authorities recognize the need to hold these trends in check by keeping the country&rsquo;s doors open, but immigrants in Russia face many hurdles.
 
 •  Powerful Interests in Panama Prepare to Blunt the New President’s Anti-Graft Drive
Laurentino Cortizo narrowly won Panama&rsquo;s presidential election earlier this month, after focusing his campaign on fighting corruption. But given the entrenched patronage networks and weak institutions in Panama, he will have a hard time following through on that promise, says Orlando J. P&eacute;rez.
 
 •  ‘I Knew I Had to Get Out to Survive’—Violence Drives LGBT Central Americans North
The desperation of daily life in Honduras is driving thousands of people to join other Central American migrants in their long march northward toward what they hope is asylum in the United States. Yet the situation is especially grave for those who are LGBT, in particular gender non-conforming men and minors.
 
 •  How the Paris Agreement Model Could Help Ward Off the Next Mass Extinction
Last week, a U.N. panel warned that no fewer than a million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction around the globe&mdash;and humans are to blame. A bankrupt biosphere, however, is not yet destiny. The world can still reverse course. To do so, nations must take a page from the Paris Climate Agreement.
 
 •  There’s a Constitutional Crisis in America’s Security Policy. Can It Be Fixed?
The framers of the Constitution applied the principle of a separation of powers to national security policy&mdash;to questions of war and peace&mdash;but only in very broad terms. For much of American history, this vagueness generally worked. But now it has brought the United States to the point of a constitutional crisis.
 
 •  Will Election Results in South Africa Hobble Ramaphosa’s Agenda?
South Africa went to the polls Wednesday for the fifth national election since the end of apartheid in 1994. The vote was largely seen as a referendum on the African National Congress and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Read up on that and other stories from across the continent in our weekly roundup of Africa news.
 
 •  China’s Fleet Review Showcased Its Naval Achievements, and Some Enduring Weaknesses
In late March, China held an international fleet review to mark the Chinese navy&rsquo;s 70th anniversary. It provided an opportunity to show off naval advances and was another public display of China&rsquo;s growing military might. At the same time, though, it also exposed some of the Chinese navy&rsquo;s shortcomings.
 
 •  What’s Behind the Growing Use of Illicit Drugs in North Korea
Crystal meth was reportedly a popular gift during February&rsquo;s Lunar New Year holiday in North Korea, and other recent reporting has indicated that drug addiction is on the rise among the country&rsquo;s youth. Justin Hastings discusses the production, use and perception of illegal drugs in North Korea.
 
 •  Can Zelensky Heal the Deep Divisions in Ukraine Left Behind by Poroshenko?
Russian President Vladimir Putin&rsquo;s decree late last month to expedite Russian citizenship for people in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine poses a challenge to new President Volodymyr Zelensky. Gordon Hahn discusses Ukraine&rsquo;s divisions and prospects for Zelensky&rsquo;s desire to &ldquo;reboot&rdquo; peace talks with Russia.
 
 •  Zimbabwe’s Move to Compensate White Farmers May Antagonize Everyone
After becoming Zimbabwe&rsquo;s president in late 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to reach a compromise on the divisive issue of how to compensate thousands of white farmers whose property was expropriated under Robert Mugabe. But his approach risks creating new divisions and reopening old wounds.
 
 •  Amid Ratcheting Tensions, Iran Doesn’t Know What Trump Really Wants
Exactly one year after the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, tensions between Washington and Tehran are escalating sharply amid confusion about what, exactly, the U.S. sees as its end goal. For Iran, uncertainty about President Donald Trump&rsquo;s aims presents a menu of risky choices.
 
 •  Are Elites Driving the U.S. Foreign Policy Debate, or Everyday Americans?
The 2020 U.S. presidential election is still a year and a half away, but the debate over the future of American foreign policy is already taking shape, primarily among foreign policy experts and a few Democratic presidential hopefuls. But a new report unintentionally raises an interesting question.
 
 •  As South Korea’s Economy Sputters, Moon Needs a Breakthrough With North Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in heads into his third year in office this week facing stiff economic headwinds, as high unemployment and a shrinking GDP drag down his approval rating. His political standing now largely depends on his historic detente with North Korea, which has recently hit some snags.
 
 •  Is the U.S. Pursuing a Trade Deal With China at the Cost of Human Rights?
The U.S. offered its harshest assessment yet of the mass detention of Uighur Muslims in China&rsquo;s Xinjiang region, with one official referring to detention centers as &ldquo;concentration camps.&rdquo; Yet U.S. officials appear divided on how to address human rights violations without damaging prospects for a trade deal.
 
 •  Duque Has Left Colombia’s Peace Process Rudderless
Nine months into his tenure and still finding his footing, Colombian President Ivan Duque is close to a bitter legislative defeat on one of the country&rsquo;s most charged political issues: peace. Duque&rsquo;s attempt to roll back parts of the landmark 2016 peace accord with FARC rebels has so far failed in Congress.
 
 •  ‘People Are Tired of War, Including Us’—A Rare Interview With Colombia’s ELN Commander
In a rare interview in Havana, the commander of the ELN, Colombia&rsquo;s largest remaining guerrilla group, acknowledged that the guerrillas&rsquo; contradictory approach to suspended peace talks&mdash;waging war while simultaneously trying to achieve peace&mdash;angers many in Colombia and fuels distrust of the guerrillas.
 
 •  However the S-400 Standoff Ends, U.S.-Turkey Ties May Only Get Worse
The U.S. and Turkey have engaged in extensive diplomacy to try and resolve the festering dispute over the Turkish government&rsquo;s decision to buy the advanced S-400 missile defense system from Russia. How this issue is resolved, if at all, could permanently alter the trajectory of U.S.-Turkey relations.
 
 •  The WTO Throws Down the Gauntlet on Trade Restrictions and ‘National Security’
In a landmark ruling last month on a dispute between Russia and Ukraine, the WTO set a high bar for countries to invoke a national security justification in imposing trade restrictions. It could have major implications for President Donald Trump&rsquo;s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S.
 
 •  Are El Salvador and Guatemala Seeking Justice for War Crimes, or Trying to Cover Them Up?
In recent years, supporters of transitional justice in El Salvador and Guatemala have made big strides in the fight against impunity related to Cold War-era conflicts&mdash;a scourge many experts say fuels present-day instability. But in countries where wartime leaders still wield considerable power, a backlash is unfolding.
 
 •  Mass Protests Derail ‘Tone-Deaf’ Privatization Proposals in Honduras
Honduras was rocked by mass protests last week against proposed overhauls of the health and education sectors, forcing the government to postpone the measures. The protests tapped into a powerful undercurrent of frustration with President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Christine Wade says in an interview.
 
 •  Post-Election Political Gridlock Is Paralyzing Moldova’s Government
Parliamentary elections were held in Moldova in late February, and while any two of the top three political parties could form a governing coalition, wide gaps in their platforms have so far precluded any agreements. Denis Cenusa discusses the consequences of Moldova&rsquo;s prolonged political stalemate.
 
 •  How the U.S. Can Recommit Itself to the Rules of an Open World
After World War II, the U.S. sought an international order based on collective security, nondiscriminatory commerce and political self-determination. That vision has never been more relevant than it is today, when the defining global struggle pits defenders of openness against forces of closure.
 
 •  How the Sri Lanka Attacks Will Ripple Across South Asia
The fallout from the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, which the Islamic State claimed responsibility for, is likely to reverberate across South Asia. Will the Islamic State seize on the region as the new ground zero in what its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calls its &ldquo;war of attrition&rdquo;?
 
 •  Netanyahu Keeps Winning Because His Opponents Lack a Vision for Israel
Loathed by detractors, deified by admirers, Benjamin Netanyahu is currently in a league of his own in Israeli politics. Reelected again as prime minister last month, Netanyahu showed why, rather than a political opportunist, he is actually the only politician who has a serious vision for Israel.
 
 •  Why America Will Face Even Deadlier Insurgents in the Future
The United States, especially the American military, hates counterinsurgency, yet it can&rsquo;t stop taking it on. But the next insurgents that America confronts, whether in a year, a decade or several decades, will be very different from those of the past, as insurgency itself is rapidly evolving.
 
 •  Benin’s One-Sided Election Sparks Fears of Democratic Decline
The opposition was excluded from this week&rsquo;s legislative elections in Benin, which saw turnout of just 23 percent. Even more worrying, the voting process was marred by clashes between protesters and security forces. Read up on that and other stories from across the continent in our weekly roundup of Africa news.
 
 •  What Is Russia Up to Across Africa?
Concerns about Russian activities across Africa have been growing for some time, and new revelations about the Kremlin&rsquo;s efforts to interfere in the presidential election in Madagascar have lifted the veil on what looks like a concerted campaign to expand Moscow&rsquo;s influence by a variety of means.
 
 •  The International Criminal Court Is in Danger of Being Bullied Into Irrelevance
In mid-April, a panel of judges at the International Criminal Court rejected the chief prosecutor&rsquo;s request to open an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the long U.S. war in Afghanistan. The Trump administration had waged an aggressive campaign against the case.
 
 •  What International Criticism of Brunei’s Harsh New Penal Code Overlooks
Brunei recently implemented a new Sharia criminal code stipulating, among other things, the death penalty for gay sex and adultery. Dominik M&uuml;ller discusses the history of Islamic law in Brunei, how the new criminal code was shaped by foreign influence, and how international criticism is received in Brunei.
 
 •  The Rule of Law Is Under Assault Across Europe. Can the EU Save It?
The EU announced new legal measures last month aimed at curbing the erosion of the rule of law in member states. Brussels&rsquo; primary target was Poland&rsquo;s ruling Law and Justice party. Artur Wolek discusses the roots of the struggle over judicial independence in Europe and its implications for the EU.
 
 •  Libya’s Fate Remains Beholden to a Crude and Clumsy Game of Realpolitik
When Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the self-declared Libyan National Army, announced his offensive on Libya&rsquo;s capital, Tripoli, on April 4, he likely expected things to go very differently. Nearly a month later, Haftar&rsquo;s assault seems to be faltering, and Libya&rsquo;s conflict is as intractable as ever.
 
 •  As ISIS Regroups, the U.S. Is Forgetting the Lessons of Counterinsurgency—Again
The surprise reappearance of the Islamic State&rsquo;s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a recorded video seems like a throwback to the mid-2000s. The defeat of the Islamic State as a self-declared caliphate and its return as a transnational terrorist network would seem to put us back to where we found ourselves in 2001.
 
 •  With U.S.-China Talks in the Final Stage, Attention Shifts to a Post-Trade War Future
Negotiators appear to be closing in on a deal to end the trade war that has been the focal point of tensions between China and the U.S. since last summer. Though key details have yet to be finalized, some observers are already envisioning how the deal would affect the international trading system.
 
 •  The Rough Road Ahead for Ratification of NAFTA 2.0
Mexico&rsquo;s legislature just passed labor reforms needed to win approval of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the update to NAFTA that was renegotiated last year. But will that be enough to secure the deal&rsquo;s ratification in the U.S., especially if President Donald Trump must now negotiate with Congress?
 
 •  Hindu Nationalism Is Reshaping Indian Politics. Can It Propel Modi to Another Victory?
India&rsquo;s election is, naturally, a referendum on the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially his record on the economy and national security. Yet the campaign has also highlighted another issue that is being hotly debated as voters go to the polls: the rise of Hindu nationalism on Modi&rsquo;s watch.
 
 •  Socialists Gain in Spain’s Election, but the Far-Right Vox Now Has a Foothold
Spain&rsquo;s left breathed a collective sigh of relief Sunday night as right-wing parties failed to win enough seats in parliament to put them within striking distance of forming a government that would have included the ultranationalist and far-right Vox party. But there&rsquo;s been no shortage of drama.
 
 •  Are Foreign Powers Sponsoring Sunni Insurgents in Iran?
A suicide bombing earlier this year killed 27 soldiers in southeastern Iran, where armed insurgents have waged a decades-long campaign to achieve greater autonomy. In an interview, Patrick Clawson discusses the grievances driving the insurgency and the validity of Iran&rsquo;s claims of foreign involvement.
 
 •  America’s Quest for an Open World: A Grand Strategy Grounded in History
America needs a more prudent grand strategy appropriate to the moment&mdash;an approach that is resonant with American history, consistent with current circumstances and sustainable domestically. It needs a strategy that would help the country forge new rules of coexistence and tackle global challenges, old and new.
 
 •  Obama Was on the Right Track Recalibrating America’s Role in the World
A decade ago, President Barack Obama came into office promising a different kind of American foreign policy, having been elected on a platform of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, repairing America&rsquo;s global image, and reviving U.S. diplomacy and even restraint. But hyperpartisanship derailed everything.
 
 •  Museveni Struggles to Muzzle Bobi Wine, Uganda’s Pop Star-Turned-Politician
Ugandan authorities seem increasingly worried about popular frustration with President Yoweri Museveni&rsquo;s long rule, and specifically about a politician who&rsquo;s been able to channel it effectively: pop star Bobi Wine. Read up on that and other stories from across the continent in our weekly roundup of Africa news.
 
 •  At a Mostly Symbolic Summit, Putin and Kim Play the Long Game
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first trip to Russia this week for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Although the summit didn&rsquo;t yield any concrete outcomes, it still had its purposes for both countries, as negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea have been at a stalemate since February.
 
 •  Ukraine’s Failed Attempt to Stop Russian Interference Is Trampling Digital Rights
A country once heralded as one of the most progressive in Eastern Europe for digital rights, Ukraine is now actively restricting them in an effort to defend against Russian disinformation. Much of this is the legacy of President Petro Poroshenko. Will Volodymyr Zelensky&rsquo;s elections lead to a reversal?
 
 •  Brexit Has Undermined the Good Friday Agreement and Reignited Questions of Irish Unity
While the recent extension of the deadline for Britain&rsquo;s exit from the EU has delayed any fallout, for now, it has not alleviated renewed tensions in Northern Ireland over the possible return of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. With that prospect, Brexit has reignited discussions about Irish unity.
 
 •  Emboldened by His Reelection, Cameroon’s Biya Tunes Out Foreign Critics
Diplomats have become more vocal in denouncing conditions in Cameroon under President Paul Biya, who appears to have interpreted his reelection last year as an invitation to become even more aggressive in targeting his opponents. Biya, however, is unbothered, focusing instead on his own political survival.
 
 •  How the Easter Attacks Could Upend Sri Lanka’s Politics
Large-scale terrorist attacks destroy lives, but they also have the power to upend political realities. That, after all, is their goal. The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka are no exception. The bombings have sent political shockwaves across Sri Lanka, just as it prepares for presidential elections later this year.
 
 •  Malaysia and Singapore Use a Leaders’ Summit to Ease Tensions
The prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore met for their annual leaders&rsquo; retreat earlier this month, where they calmed recent disputes over long-standing issues involving territory and shared water resources. In an interview, Ja Ian Chong discusses the recent chill, and thaw, in Malaysia-Singapore ties.
 
 •  How Ecuador’s Moreno Is Undoing Correa’s Legacy, and Not Just With Assange
Earlier this month, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno stripped Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of the asylum he&rsquo;d been granted in Ecuador&rsquo;s London embassy in 2012, under former President Rafael Correa. That decision is only part of Moreno&rsquo;s broader effort to roll back key aspects of Correa&rsquo;s legacy.
 
 •  Trump’s Iran Policy Risks Catastrophic Success—or Catastrophic Failure
History&rsquo;s judgment of the Trump administration&rsquo;s foreign policy will be unkind, for both its intended and unintended consequences. There are plenty of examples of how the administration&rsquo;s approach risks both catastrophic success and catastrophic failure, but its policy on Iran is particularly illustrative.
 
 •  China Seeks a New Narrative for Its Belt and Road Initiative
China is expected to promote a rebooted version of its Belt and Road Initiative when world leaders from 37 countries gather in Beijing this week for the second Belt and Road Forum. Critics have long viewed the initiative as a bid to spread Chinese influence abroad via &ldquo;debt-trap diplomacy&rdquo; and other tactics.
 
 •  With Easter Bombings, a New Brand of Terrorism Arrives in Sri Lanka
As Christians around the world flocked to churches for Easter services Sunday, Sri Lanka was already in mourning after a string of deadly, coordinated explosions on churches and hotels. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were reportedly carried out by a little-known local Islamist group.
 
 •  Is Cuba Hoping to Emulate China With Its New Constitution?
Cuba&rsquo;s new constitution, which was formally adopted earlier this month, is President Miguel Diaz-Canel&rsquo;s first major accomplishment since his inauguration last year. Cuban authorities appear to have consulted many other countries&rsquo; constitutions in redrafting their own, and one country stands out: China.
 
 •  Why Trump’s Race for a Quick Trade Deal With Japan Will Come Up Short
When President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he declared that it was a &ldquo;great thing for the American worker, what we just did.&rdquo; American farmers, who are already footing most of the bill for Trump&rsquo;s &ldquo;America First&rdquo; trade policies, probably don&rsquo;t feel that way today.
 
 •  Is Tunisia’s Post-Arab Spring ‘Success Story’ Only Skin-Deep?
Since the Arab uprisings of 2011, Tunisia has implemented democratic reforms that have set it apart from many of its regional neighbors. Yet this surface-level comparison overlooks a sobering fact: Tunisia is still fragile, threatened by armed insurgency, economic malaise and political infighting.
 
 •  Maldives Voters Sweep Away the Remnants of a Corrupt, China-Backed Regime
President Ibrahim Solih&rsquo;s Maldivian Democratic Party scored a historic victory in the Maldives&rsquo; parliamentary elections earlier this month, clearing the way for a full accounting of the debts incurred by Solih&rsquo;s predecessor. David Brewster discusses the significance of those results for Solih going forward.
 
 •  It’s Time for a Global Pact for the Environment
With each successive Earth Day, the scale of the global environmental crisis becomes more disheartening. But not all the news is dismal. One major target for the coming year should be for the United Nations to approve a new Global Pact for the Environment, which member states are already negotiating.
 
 •  How Bolivia’s Morales Weathered Latin America’s Backlash Against the Left
Not much is left of the &ldquo;pink tide&rdquo; of leftist governments that swept across Latin America in the 2000s. There are, of course, some exceptions, most notoriously in Venezuela. But another leftist leader who was swept into office by the &ldquo;pink tide&rdquo; is faring much better: Bolivia&rsquo;s Evo Morales.
 
Updated: 292 minutes ago
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