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January 4, 2021

Iran Nuclear Agreement
What Is the Iran Nuclear Deal?

The United States’ withdrawal from the arms control agreement has heightened tensions and left the remaining signatories scrambling to keep the deal alive.

Kerry-Zarif-RTX22N89.jpg

October 27, 2010

United States
Immigration and the Midterm Elections

The economic climate and border security concerns have fueled the immigration debate in the U.S. congressional elections. This Backgrounder examines races where immigration is playing a role and the …

December 21, 2020

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
What Is the World Doing to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines?

Governments and researchers have been working with an extremely ambitious timetable to provide billions of people with immunity to the new coronavirus. Now, the first vaccines are being distributed, …

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

December 15, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interes…

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over the wall separating the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the West Bank.

December 1, 2020

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

Though President Trump withdrew from the TPP, the remaining members of the trade pact have forged ahead with a new version, leaving the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific in question.

Remaining members of the TPP gather at the signing agreement ceremony in Santiago, Chile, in March 2018.

November 24, 2020

Southeast Asia
What Is ASEAN?

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization that brings together disparate neighbors to address economic, security, and political issues, but the group’s impact remains limited.

A woman sits in front of flags of ASEAN members in Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2011.

November 20, 2020

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 18, 2020

United States
Space Exploration and U.S. Competitiveness

U.S. space exploration inspired a generation of students and innovators, but NASA’s role has diminished, and the number of global space competitors is growing.

Space Launch

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 13, 2020

World Trade Organization (WTO)
What’s Next for the WTO?

President Trump’s decision to levy tariffs on China highlights concern about the ongoing role of the WTO and the future of global trade rules.

WTO Meeting, Geneva Switzerland