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June 30, 2021

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

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state. Pro-democracy advocates have at times successfully stopped presidents from extending their mandates, but the authorita…

A worker throws away campaign posters of President Yoweri Museveni after Uganda’s 2021 election.

September 8, 2021

International Organizations
The IMF: The World’s Controversial Financial Firefighter

The International Monetary Fund, both criticized and lauded for its efforts to promote financial stability, continues to find itself at the forefront of global economic crisis management.

IMF Governors' meeting

September 29, 2020

United States
The Dollar: The World’s Currency

The dollar’s role as the primary reserve currency for the global economy allows the United States to borrow money more easily and impose painful financial sanctions. But some experts say the costs to…

A man counts U.S. dollars at a market in Turkey

August 21, 2006

Elections and Voting
Postscript: Congo’s Elections

On July 30, the Democratic Republic of the Congo will hold its first multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections in four decades. Many hope this will be the country’s first fully democratic e…

January 15, 2021

United States
A Unique Military Force: The U.S. National Guard

The National Guard is a special part of the U.S. military that answers to both state governors and the president. In some instances, how leaders have used the Guard has generated controversy, particu…

Members of the Connecticut National Guard survey flooded areas in Florida from a helicopter as part of the response to Hurricane Irma.

June 15, 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo
The Cobalt Boom

Demand has skyrocketed for cobalt, focusing attention on its complex and controversial supply chain. The mineral is an important component in lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from electric cars to smartphones.

A man digs through some mine waste searching for leftover cobalt.

July 14, 2009

Religion
U.S.-Vatican Relations

U.S.-Vatican relations remain uneven following Joseph Ratzinger’s accession as Pope Benedict XVI, particularly as the Obama administration pursues a more liberal social agenda.

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.

February 9, 2018

China
China’s Big Bet on Soft Power

China is believed to spend billions of dollars to boost its international image, but it has yet to see a marked return on its investment in soft power.

An African student practices Shaolin martial arts in Henan Province.

May 19, 2006

Elections and Voting
Cyprus’ Elections

Cyprus’ parliamentary elections are the first since the 2004 referendum on Kofi Annan’s plan for reunification was voted down, and the first since the country’s accession to the EU that same year. Th…