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August 31, 2021

Japan
Politics Heat Up in Tokyo

What a difference a week makes. 

Fumio Kishida, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker and former foreign minister, shows his notebook during a news conference as he announces his candidacy for the party's presidential election.

August 25, 2021

Kenya
BBI Ruling Leaves Kenya at a Crossroads

On August 20, Kenya’s Court of Appeals upheld a ruling declaring President Kenyatta’s signature political reform project, the Building Bridges Initiative, unconstitutional, altering the course of Kenyan politics one year out from the next general election cycle.

Three Kenyan judges, one sitting below the Kenyan coat of arms, are seen seated wearing judicial garb and medical facemasks.

August 12, 2021

Southeast Asia
Myanmar: Asia’s Orphaned Cinderella

Six months after a military coup, Myanmar remains orphaned both by regional powers and the West.

Myanmar's military ruler Min Aung Hlaing presides over an army parade on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on March 27, 2021.

August 6, 2021

China
Is China Gaming the System or Playing the Game?

For many, a quick glance at the Olympics medals table reinforces the idea of China as a threat—a country pursuing victory at any cost.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women - Pool B - USA (April/Alix) v China (Xue/Wang X X) - Shiokaze Park, Tokyo, Japan - July 25, 2021. Alix Klineman of the United States with Xue Chen of China in action.

August 4, 2021

Tanzania
Arrests of Tanzanian Opposition Underline Need for Constitutional Reform

On July 21, Freeman Mbowe, chairman of Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (the Party for Democracy and Progress, CHADEMA), and ten other party members were arrested in Mwanza, apparently for violating a ban on “unnecessary gatherings.” The ban, enacted the day prior, was officially billed as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. Yet its timing, coming just before a conference on discussing constitutional reform, and the charges levelled against Mbowe—the party leader is accused, without evidence, of funding terrorist activities aimed at assassinating government leaders—suggest the true intent is to suppress calls for much-needed constitutional reform.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and former President Jakaya Kikwete stand side-by-side.

July 28, 2021

Nigeria
Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial Turns Up Pressure on Nigerian Government

Nigerian security agencies failed on Monday to produce Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the increasingly radical secessionist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in Federal High Court for his arraignment. While government lawyers cited “logistical problems” for Kanu’s absence, his lawyer told the court that he had been unable to access his client in ten days and that he believed his client’s life was in danger.

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, emerges from a room wearing patterned clothing and holding a shield with the flag of Biafra, a breakaway state defeated in Nigeria's civil war in 1967-70. A flag of Israel is also next to the doorway, signifying Kanu's Jewish faith.

July 22, 2021

Women and Women's Rights
A Conversation with Catharine A. MacKinnon: Prostitution as Sex Work or Sexual Exploitation?

At a CFR roundtable, Catharine A. MacKinnon discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on those in the sex industry as well as where the international debate on prostitution and sex trafficking currently stan…

Catharine MacKinnon presents in front of the Milken Institute's 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on April 30, 2018.

July 20, 2021

Western Sahara
Five Questions on the Western Sahara Peace Process

The following interview is with Fatma El Mehdi, one of eight negotiators in the Western Sahara peace process and a leader in the Sahrawi community.

Sahrawi People

July 20, 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo
Political Uncertainty in DRC Highlights Need for Sustained Outside Attention

Back in 2019, the international community acquiesced to undemocratic dealmaking that preempted the will of Congolese voters and brought current President Felix Tshisekedi to power. President Tshisekedi, who has been extremely clear about his intention to seek a second term, has been more ambiguous about whether elections slated for December 2023 will occur on time.

Current President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila sit on plush orange seats while wearing suits in apparent conversation.