The costs of hosting the Olympics have skyrocketed in recent decades, while the economic benefits are far from clear. This has caused a shrinking of states interested in playing host and a search for options to lighten the burdens of staging the big event.
Modern vice presidents can trace much of their political influence to the broad reforms that Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale made to the second-highest elected office in the late 1970s, explains this Backgrounder.
Foreign policy issues regularly come to the fore at the national political conventions, especially during periods of global instability. Sometimes the events are marked by bitter disagreements within the parties, explains this Backgrounder.
With the UK having voted to leave the European Union, uncertainty over the future of the bloc has intensified. Brexit supporters argue that the EU threatens sovereignty and stifles growth, while opponents counter that EU membership strengthens trade, investment, and the UK's standing in the world.
Violence and rampant crime have triggered the flow of asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to the United States, which is seeking to help address the root causes, as this Backgrounder explains.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship, long bound by common interests in oil and security, is showing strains over what some analysts see as waning U.S. involvement in the Middle East and a more assertive Saudi foreign policy.
The UN’s sweeping new development agenda aims to “provide the overarching narrative” of sustainable growth for the next fifteen years, yet critics say the Sustainable Development goals are broad, unfocused, and unrealistic.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya are fleeing persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. This Backgrounder explores the plight of the Muslim ethnic minority group and the deepening migration crisis in Southeast Asia.
The United States and China have developed competing visions for reviving ancient trade routes connecting Asia and Europe. The U.S. diplomatic strategy focuses on Afghanistan, while China hopes to economically integrate Central and South Asia. India and Russia also have regional ambitions.