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November 22, 2019

Iran
Reports of Oil’s Demise May Be Premature

I have a rule of thumb on the oil price cycle: When commentators start using the word “never” we are typically at the brink of a cycle shift. For a while now, oil prices have been stuck in a range. T…

Iraqi demonstrators block the entrance of Khor al-Zubair commodities port during the ongoing anti-government protests, near Basra, Iraq November 19, 2019.

February 19, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Making Its Mark on the English Language

In its February update, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) includes numerous new words of Nigerian origin. Many of the words relate to food preparation, urban transportation, the shortening of conventional English words, and the incorporation of words from indigenous languages. For example, ‘mama put’ refers to female food venders, ‘okada’ are passenger-carrying motorcycles, ‘guber’ refers to gubernatorial, and ‘danfo’ is the Yoruba work for urban minibuses.

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks at a podium, effectively a high-table. She is wearing a blouse of varying shades of orange, and is standing in front of a black background speckled with white.

February 18, 2020

Lebanon
Lebanon’s Imminent Financial Crisis

Lebanon is in a deep financial hole, with no obvious way out.

Lebanon’s Imminent Financial Crisis

February 14, 2020

China
Cyber Week in Review: Feb 14, 2020

Department of Justice blames Chinese military hackers for 2017 Equifax attack; Personal data of all Israeli voters leaked; Iran partially shuts down internet to thwart cyberattack; UK to empower regu…

Credit cards, a chain and an open padlock is seen in front of displayed Equifax logo

February 13, 2020

Nigeria
Military Failures Mount in Borno Against Boko Haram

The security situation around Borno’s capital, Maiduguri, appears to be going from bad to worse. On February 9, The Boko Haram faction Islamic State in West African (ISWA) shot or burned alive some thirty people sleeping in their cars and trucks that night outside the town of Auno, some ten miles from Maiduguri. They also kidnapped others.

Nigerian soldiers in military fatigues hold their helmets up and to the right in a salute for President Buhari (not pictured). Behind them are two armored military vehicles and a red carpet.

February 13, 2020

Diplomacy and International Institutions
The Corrosion of World Order in the Age of Donald Trump

Can the world still work together to address today’s most pressing global challenges? A broken economic order, Trump’s incoherent foreign policy, and the corrosion of trust offer little to be optimis…

An American flag is illuminated in the empty U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington, U.S. on January 24, 2020.

February 12, 2020

Coronavirus
The Potential for the Coronavirus in Africa

In Africa, observers are acutely aware of how ill-prepared most countries are for responding to a major pandemic. With more than a billion people undergoing rapid urbanization, weak healthcare systems, and growing economic ties with China, Africa would appear to be highly vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.

A female health worker in a white shirt, medical gloves, and a blue mask, uses an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of a young, male traveller who  as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, on January 30, 2020. Behind them are other passengers and health workers and a yellow "Economy" sign.

February 12, 2020

Technology and Innovation
The Dangers of Manipulated Media in the Midst of a Crisis

While social media companies have made some efforts to address manipulated media—photos, video, or audio that have been edited, distorted, or misappropriated—more needs to be done. Social media compa…

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rips up U.S. President Donald Trump's speech alongside Vice President Mike Pence following the State of the Union address.

February 7, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: President Trump’s New Land-Mine Policy

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: Democrats vow to reverse the Trump administration’s new land-mine policy, the candidates participa…

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February 7, 2020

Elections and Voting
Cyber Week in Review: Feb 7, 2020

Technical problems delay count in Iowa caucus; Barr proposes U.S. purchase of controlling stakes in Ericsson and Nokia; FCC concludes cell carrier(s) violated law by selling location data; Newly reve…

U.S. Attorney General William Barr