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March 23, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
What Is the Kafala System?

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for …

Workers are seen in the Lusail National Stadium, which is under construction for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

November 4, 2020

Ethiopia
Ethiopia: East Africa’s Emerging Giant

Ethiopia’s new leader, Abiy Ahmed, is seeking aggressive reforms to put an end to discord and build on the country’s progress in recent decades, but a towering set of challenges threatens his agenda.

Children play within the Balderas condominium in Addis Ababa.

February 2, 2021

Cuba
U.S.-Cuba Relations

Communist Cuba was a major foreign policy challenge for the United States during the Cold War. Though tensions still linger, the relationship has thawed considerably in recent years.    

A man shows U.S. and Cuban flags at his house in Havana.

January 29, 2021

World Health Organization (WHO)
What Does the World Health Organization Do?

Since its postwar founding, the UN agency has garnered both praise and criticism for its response to international public health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

A nurse working with the WHO prepares Ebola vaccines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

June 30, 2020

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state, but civil society and regional blocs may be slowing the trend of extending presidential terms in some areas.

A taxi passes an electoral poster for Cameroonian President Paul Biya in a market in Yaounde.

December 15, 2020

Health
What Does the CDC Do?

The federal agency has a broad mandate to protect Americans’ health and an expansive global reach. But the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as one of its most daunting challenges.

An audience member photographs a slide showing the likeness of the Ebola virus during an Ebola safety presentation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 7, 2014, in Los Angeles.

March 1, 2021

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
A Guide to Global COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Only a year after the new coronavirus emerged, the first vaccines to protect against it are being administered. But production challenges, vaccine nationalism, and new virus strains are all presentin…

Physician Alister Martin receives one of the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., December 16, 2020.Craig F. Walker

November 16, 2020

North Korea
North Korea’s Military Capabilities

Kim Jong-un has accelerated North Korea’s buildup of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, while also modernizing its large conventional force.

Vehicles carry missiles during a military parade in Pyongyang.

November 12, 2020

United States
How Police Compare in Different Democracies

Killings by U.S. officers in 2020 have sparked widespread calls for police reform and an end to systemic racism. Here’s how U.S. policing compares with other countries’ approaches.

A photo from behind of rows of police officers wearing navy blue uniforms and hats in a moodily lit arena.

October 29, 2020

Americas
U.S. Detention of Child Migrants

Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border each year, leading the Trump administration to expand child detention policies and sparking debate over how to…

A young girl carries a child inside an immigrant holding area. Barbed wire and other people frame the photo.