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December 4, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: The Looming Iran Crisis

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Iran will likely provide an early test for Biden and his national security team.

The Iranian flag flies in front of a nuclear power plant.

December 2, 2020

United States
Ten Anniversaries to Note in 2021

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand twenty witnessed many significant anniversaries: the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War …

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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 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 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

November 4, 2020

Climate Change
Global Climate Agreements: Successes and Failures

International efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But experts say countries aren’t doing enough to limit dangerous global warming.

Muddy waters nearly submerge lines of cars during a flood in Colorado, United States.

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.

October 28, 2020

Southeast Asia
The Thai King Sends Messages Presaging Conflict in Thailand

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Three months have passed and the protests in Thailand have intensified. One of the main mess…

People show the three-fingered salute during a protest, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 26, 2020.

October 26, 2020

Nigeria
Will the Lekki Toll Gate Atrocity Change Nigeria?

Nigeria’s governance system is oppressive, though it lacks an evocative name like apartheid. The tragic episodes of brutality by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), while dismaying, are not new occurrences.

A picture of the Lekki toll gate, with concrete road barriers in the foreground. Graffiti is sprayed on the barriers, with protest slogans such as #EndSARS and #EndSWAT.

October 21, 2020

Climate Change
Envisioning a Green New Deal: A Global Comparison

The Green New Deal has motivated those who want the United States to undertake unprecedented climate action, but it has also drawn backlash. How is the rest of the world grappling with decarbonizatio…

Three workers install a solar panel on the roof of a building in Wuhan, China.