In Briefs

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

In Brief Filters and Cards

Climate Change
How Cutting Methane Emissions Can Move the Needle on Climate Change
Reducing global emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, could provide one quick win in the fight against climate change.
Coronavirus
Latin America’s Vaccination Efforts: What to Know
Campaigns to vaccinate Latin America against COVID-19 have sparked debate about the region’s dependence on outside suppliers, including China and Russia, and the threat of new variants.
Climate Change
Why Climate Finance Is Critical for Accelerating Global Action
To combat climate change, governments and institutions should increase their funding to poorer nations to pay for adaptation and mitigation measures.
Middle East and North Africa
How Evictions in Jerusalem Led to Israeli-Palestinian Violence
Tensions over Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem have spurred the worst violence between the two sides in years, but the eruption seems unlikely to prompt a strong international reaction.
United Kingdom
What’s Next for Scotland’s Independence Movement?
The victory of pro-independence parties in Scotland’s elections means that another referendum is on the agenda. What’s at stake, and what comes next?
Coronavirus
By How Much Are Countries Underreporting COVID-19 Cases and Deaths?
As COVID-19 continues to ravage countries including Brazil and India, scientists warn that cases and deaths are being undercounted. Without accurate tallies, government responses won’t be enough to defeat outbreaks.
Europe
COVID-19 and the Threat to Press Freedom in Central and Eastern Europe
Restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased threats to press freedom in the region, raising questions over how to respond.   
Americas
Lava Jato: See How Far Brazil’s Corruption Probe Reached
Corruption investigations that started in Brazil ultimately triggered political upheaval across the continent. But the Brazilian taskforce’s methods have been questioned, including over alleged bias.
Climate Change
Biden’s Earth Day Summit: What to Expect
President Biden hopes to show that the United States is ready to be a leader again in combating climate change.
Afghanistan
Biden’s 9/11 Withdrawal From Afghanistan: What to Know
A complete U.S. military withdrawal by September 11, 2021, could allow the Taliban to take over much of Afghanistan.
Middle East and North Africa
The Natanz Blackout: Can the Iran Deal Talks Still Succeed?
Washington and Tehran seem determined to revive the deal that freezes Iran’s nuclear program, despite domestic criticism on both sides and the apparent sabotage of an Iranian facility.
Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
Vaccine Passports: What to Know
Some governments and businesses are starting to use digital and paper passes that certify a person has been immunized against COVID-19, spurring debate over the ethics of vaccine passports.
Europe and Eurasia
Armenia’s Postwar Crisis: What to Know
Armenia has been riven by disputes over its leadership since its military defeat by Azerbaijan last fall. Newly called elections are unlikely to reconcile the divisions in Armenian society caused by the battlefield losses.
El Salvador
Why Central American Migrants Are Arriving at the U.S. Border
Thousands of people are arriving at the U.S. southern border after fleeing the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. President Biden is reviving efforts to tackle the problems that are prompting them to migrate. 
South Korea
Will the New U.S.-South Korea Deal Boost East Asian Security?
With fresh agreement on sharing costs for the nearly thirty thousand U.S. troops in South Korea, the Biden administration can now focus on bolstering the alliance and addressing challenges posed by China and North Korea.