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June 22, 2012

China
Diamonds Are Forever in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean finance minister, Tendai Biti, has complained that that the Zimbabwean-Chinese joint venture diamond mining company Anjin failed to remit revenue to his ministry from its operations in…

An illegal diamond dealer from Zimbabwe displays diamonds for sale in Manica, near the border with Zimbabwe, September 19, 2010.

February 11, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa
Where is Zimbabwe’s Diamond Revenue?

Zimbabwe’s public account is down to its last $217. The finance minister says the country’s finances “are in paralysis.” How can that be? Zimbabwe’s diamond fields at Marange could hold between two a…

Zimbabwe's civil servants sing and dance during their march to the Finance Minister's office and the Parliament for their salary raise in Harare, July 24, 2012.

October 31, 2019

Russia
Ill Winds: A Review

Renowned democracy expert Larry Diamond argues in his sweeping new book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, that there are multiple major threa…

China's President Xi Jinping and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend a signing ceremony during Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China on June 10, 2018.

October 21, 2019

Civil Society
Should There Be a "Right to Assist" Campaigns of Civil Resistance?

A "Right to Assist" could help prevent violent conflict and ease democratic transitions. But several important questions remain unanswered. 

Anti-government protesters gather at the start of a protest march in Hong Kong's tourism district of Tsim Sha Tsui, China.

October 18, 2019

Election 2020
Foreign Policy Roundup: The Democratic Debate, Trade Policy, and the Iran Nuclear Deal

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren debate during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate in Westerville, Ohio, U.S., October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

October 8, 2019

Taiwan
Could Taiwan’s Commercial Banks Cover the Lifers' Hedging Need? (Part 4)

Who is on the other side of the massive ($250 billion) hedging need of Taiwan's life insurance industry? The local banking system covers at most a quarter of the life insurers hedging need, and forei…

fig 3

September 11, 2014

Sub-Saharan Africa
Huge Diamond Mined in South Africa

Diamonds are associated with glamour and South Africa. The Cullinan Mine, east of Pretoria, is famous for diamonds of the huge variety, including the ‘Cullinan Diamond,’ at 3,106 carets, the largest …

Petra Cullinan Diamonds

September 6, 2019

Zimbabwe
Good Riddance to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe

During his thirty-seven years in power in Zimbabwe, he committed virtually every human rights violation there is. His hands were awash in the blood of Zimbabweans. Fanning and exploiting racial and class differences, he destroyed the country’s economy, once on the cusp of being one of Africa’s most developed, driving out commercial white farmers. By the time he died, Zimbabwe was an international pariah, an economic basket case, and many or most of the country’s most educated and productive citizens had left the country.

Robert Mugabe stands in front of a blurred out, saluting soldier.

August 20, 2019

United States
Back-to-School Reading Special

Every year CFR.org editor Bob McMahon and I record a summer reading episode of CFR’s “The World Next Week” podcast. We usually do it in June as we entertain visions of leisurely summer days yet to co…

Books

August 19, 2019

Election 2020
Meet Pete Buttigieg, Democratic Presidential Candidate

Fact can be more interesting than fiction. In 2000, a high school senior won the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s annual Profiles in Courage essay contest by extolling the virtues of the countr…

Pete Buttigieg