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March 8, 2021

Democracy
Democracy Is Down, but Not Out

Fewer than 20 percent of the globe’s inhabitants now live in a “free” country today. What might be done to reverse the autocratic tide?

A single anti-Thai government protester stands in front of a line of police, throwing a liquid during a clash with riot police after protesters showed up at a rally for Myanmar's democracy outside the embassy, in Bangkok, Thailand on February 1, 2021.

March 8, 2021

China
China's Quest for Self-Reliance in the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan

Despite calls for openness and international cooperation, China's Fourteenth Five-Year Plan's emphasis on achieving "self-reliance" in science and technology shows that China is looking internally to…

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2021.

March 5, 2021

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: March 5, 2021

Hacktivist targets far-right platform Gab; China to suspend bitcoin mining in Inner Mongolia; Virginia adopts data privacy legislation; Moscow metro to adopt facial recognition payment system; and Yo…

An employee wearing a protective mask uses a device to take passengers' body temperature near a mosaic artwork, which depicts German philosopher Karl Marx, at an entrance to a metro station in central Moscow.

March 4, 2021

Global
The President's Inbox Episodes by Topic

The President's Inbox (TPI) has produced more than two hundred episodes since it debuted in November 2016. The topics covered have ranged from Afghanistan to China to human rights to Russia to the ro…

Resolute desk

March 3, 2021

Nigeria
Mass Kidnapping in Nigeria Captures International Attention—Again

On February 27 "bandits" attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State and kidnapped some three hundred girls. Government reaction was predictable: search-and-rescue missions and strong statements.

A line of young girls, most without shoes and wearing blue Islamic headdress, leave a building after being released from captivity by bandits. A Nigerian policeman carrying an assault rifle is standing next to the line of girls.

March 1, 2021

Southeast Asia
As in Myanmar, Coups are Becoming More Successful, and More Sophisticated

Early this month, Myanmar’s armed forces took control of the country. Moving overnight, they detained most leading politicians and many civil-society activists, barricaded roads, cut off internet acc…

Protesters take shelter behind shields as they clash with riot police officers during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 1, 2021.

February 27, 2021

Iran
Biden Fires a Warning Shot at Iran

President Biden, after little more than a month in power, has used military force for the first time--against Iran. In my previous post here, "Biden and Iran: Two Questions," I asked what the preside…

February 25, 2021

Argentina
Argentina’s Latest Anti-Speech Scandal: Free Press on the Rocks?

Already the most dangerous region in the world for journalists, press freedom in Latin America is under attack. A recent case in Argentina underscores the pressures journalists face in speaking truth…

Mauricio Macri gives comment to dozens of reports surrounding him in a semicircle.

February 25, 2021

Aging, Youth Bulges, and Population
Nigeria's Vice President Speaks Plainly on Population and Food

Nigeria's vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, addressed on February 23 a UN Food Systems Summit organized by the Nigerian government in Abuja, the national capital. He was blunt about the link between population growth and food insecurity.

A crowded market in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city.

February 24, 2021

Iran
Biden and Iran: Two Questions

As the Biden administration enters its second month in power, two very large questions about its Iran policy remain unanswered. The first relates to nuclear negotiations. At the State Department p…