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August 24, 2022

Middle East and North Africa
Turkey’s Growing Foreign Policy Ambitions

Turkey’s geography and membership in NATO have long given the country an influential voice in foreign policy, but the assertive policies of President Erdogan have complicated its role.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking in front of massive Turkish flags and portraits of himself and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

August 17, 2021

Palestinian Territories
What Is Hamas?

The Palestinian armed group has struggled to govern Gaza. Yet, it remains committed to resisting Israel and shows little desire to reconcile with Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.

Gun-toting Hamas militants ride a vehicle amid a massive crowd of the group's supporters

July 1, 2020

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
What Is the Ebola Virus?

Endemic to the African tropics, the Ebola virus has killed thousands in recent years, putting the World Health Organization and major donor countries in the limelight as they’ve grappled with how to …

A health-care worker stands next to a cross during the funeral of a person suspected of dying of Ebola in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo.

July 22, 2019

United Kingdom
What Brexit Means

Brexit supporters argue that the EU threatens sovereignty and stifles growth, while opponents counter that EU membership strengthens trade, investment, and the UK’s standing in the world.

EU and UK flags fly during a pro-EU march in front of the British Parliament in London.

December 7, 2018

Saudi Arabia
U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relations

Relations between the two countries, long bound by common interests in oil and security, have strained over what some analysts see as a more assertive Saudi foreign policy.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump walks with Saudi King Salman at a summit in Riyadh.

October 11, 2018

China
Christianity in China

Tens of millions of Chinese now identify as Christians, and the number has grown rapidly, posing challenges for a government that is officially atheist and wary of threats to its power.

Chinese Catholics attend an Ash Wednesday mass at a state-sanctioned church in Beijing.

June 30, 2015

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
Avian Influenza

A recent avian flu outbreak in the United States has forced agriculture officials to destroy tens of millions of birds and has cost hundreds of millions of dollars. These are the public health and fo…

Chickens are seen in a truck at a poultry market in Mumbai, India.

August 15, 2014

United States
Ballistic Missile Defense

U.S. missile defense in the twenty-first century is focused on emerging threats from North Korea and Iran, but critics say these systems are too costly and largely unproven.

Ballistic Missile Defense

December 11, 2013

Egypt
Security in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai Peninsula has in recent years become a haven for transnational crime and Islamist militancy, posing new security challenges to Egypt and Israel.

June 24, 2010

International Organizations
The G20’s Twenty Agendas

The G20 meetings in Toronto will be marked by competing agendas on global growth and financial regulations. This Backgrounder looks at the range of policy concerns.