In Briefs

Succinct rundowns on the world’s most important developments, produced by CFR’s scholars and editorial team. 

In Brief Filters and Cards

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
COVID-19: Why Vaccination Coverage Is Important
Vaccines are a major public health success story, but the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the many challenges involved in getting a vaccine to everyone who needs it.
Five Graphics That Show the Delta Variant’s Threat
The Delta variant is driving new COVID-19 surges, even as countries around the world make gradual progress in vaccinating their populations. Five graphics show how the strain is taking over and who’s at risk.
The Assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise: What to Know
The murder of Haiti’s embattled president stands to deepen the country’s political, economic, and humanitarian crisis.
Here’s Why Tokyo Is Hosting the Summer Olympics Despite COVID-19
The challenge of hosting the Olympic Games in Tokyo amid the coronavirus pandemic has confounded Japan’s government, but postponing the Olympics further does not seem to be an option.
Middle East and North Africa
Iran Has a New President. What Does That Mean for the Nuclear Deal?
Ebrahim Raisi, a staunch regime loyalist, can be expected to follow through on talks to revive the nuclear deal but rebuff attempts to further limit Iran’s weapons programs and regional behavior.
After Geneva Summit, Daunting Diplomacy Ahead for U.S. and Russia
The first summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin eased some of the tension in the fraught U.S.-Russia relationship. It also laid bare the difficult path ahead to resolving differences on many issues, including cybersecurity and human rights.
Iran’s Presidential Election: What to Know
Iran holds its presidential election on June 18, and turnout is expected to be low as the country deals with a battered economy and the ongoing pandemic. But does the Iranian president matter?
The Debate Over Boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics
Several countries are considering boycotting the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. What could a boycott accomplish, and how might China respond?
United States
How Much Is Too Much? The U.S. Inflation Debate Heats Up
Some experts are sounding the alarm over rising inflation in the United States, despite assurances from the Federal Reserve. Here’s what to know.
What to Watch for at the Biden-Putin Summit
U.S.-Russia bilateral relations have fallen to a new low, with Ukraine, Belarus, cyberattacks, and nuclear weapons among the biggest disagreements. What’s the best way to judge this summit’s success?
Will Peru’s Polarized Election Bring More Instability?
In a June 6 presidential runoff, Peruvians will choose between divisive candidates whose campaigns have raised concerns about the country lurching into extremist policies and democratic backsliding. The result could spell further instability for the country and even the region.
Security Alliances
The Quad in the Indo-Pacific: What to Know
The Quad, composed of the United States, Australia, India, and Japan, is not a formal alliance. Still, the group has intensified its security and economic ties as tensions with China rise.
The Debate Over a Patent Waiver for COVID-19 Vaccines: What to Know
To speed up the colossal effort to vaccinate the world’s population against COVID-19, should drugmakers surrender some of their intellectual property rights?
United States
Why a Commission Should Investigate the U.S. Capitol Attack
Far too little is known about how the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol happened. A bipartisan investigation should address this, to dispel falsehoods and to help prevent such an assault from happening again.
South Korea
The U.S.-South Korea Summit: A Relationship Restored?
Last week’s summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in aimed to bolster the alliance across a range of issues, with notable moves on supply chain resiliency and North Korea.