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May 18, 2021

Health
What Does the CDC Do?

The federal agency has a broad mandate to protect Americans’ health and an expansive global reach. But the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as one of its most daunting challenges.

The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center is reflected in the glass of a room where staff meet to discuss the Ebola crisis in October 2014.

May 11, 2021

United States
Why Does the Census Matter?

The U.S. census, one of the few in the world to directly count every resident, is used to distribute political power and federal funding. The 2020 count has faced pandemic-related complications and a…

Aerial shot suburban LA

April 29, 2021

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.

September 21, 2020

United States
U.S. Disaster Relief at Home and Abroad

The U.S. government responds to scores of disasters each year, coordinating closely with state, local, and foreign partners. However, more frequent and severe storms, fires, and floods are straining …

A person stands, back to the camera, in front of piles and rubbles and a house. The sky is pink and purple from the setting sun.

August 25, 2020

United Nations
The Role of the UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly hosts a much-watched debate of world leaders each year but has struggled to make its work more substantive. For the first time in the assembly’s seventy-five-year history, lea…

UN Secretary-General speaks at a podium before delegates at the UN headquarters in New York.

August 20, 2020

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

June 17, 2020

North Korea
North Korea’s Power Structure

In North Korea, all authority flows from Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. He has reinstated the party as the central hub to consolidate his power and bring elites to heel.

Pedestrians walk past portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.

March 10, 2020

Americas
The Organization of American States

The Organization of American States is an important forum for regional diplomacy and has become more assertive in promoting the rule of law, human rights, and fair elections as some states face domes…

A woman holds a Venezuelan national flag reading 'OAS don't leave us alone in the fight' during a march towards the OAS headquarters in Caracas in 2017.

February 17, 2021

Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Freedoms: What China Promised and How It’s Cracking Down

Beijing has tightened its grip on Hong Kong in recent years, dimming hopes that the financial center will ever become a full democracy.

Hong Kong police force a man's arms behind his back, as an officer stands close to the camera, in Hong Kong.

February 19, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
The Arab League

Founded as a loose confederation of states in 1945, the Arab League has struggled to overcome dysfunction and disunity among its members.

Flag of Arab League member states accompany the league's seal