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January 17, 2020

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico: A U.S. Territory in Crisis

The Caribbean island, which shares a close yet fraught relationship with the rest of the United States, faces a multilayered economic and social crisis, rooted in long-standing policy and compounded …

A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Puerto Rico.

January 7, 2020

Lebanon
Hezbollah

Hezbollah’s long-standing resistance to Israel gained this Lebanon-based Shiite political party and militant group broad support, but its involvement in Syria’s civil war may have jeopardized its dom…

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters gesture as they march during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut

January 6, 2020

Trade
How Are Trade Disputes Resolved?

With President Donald Trump launching NAFTA negotiations and criticizing the WTO, international trade dispute forums are under increasing scrutiny.

Dispute Resolution in Trade Agreements

December 10, 2019

World Trade Organization (WTO)
What’s Next for the WTO?

President Trump’s decision to levy tariffs on China highlights concern about the ongoing role of the WTO and the future of global trade rules.

WTO Meeting, Geneva Switzerland

December 2, 2008

United States
James L. Jones, National Security Adviser

James L. Jones, a retired Marine commandant, brings extensive military and diplomatic experience to his new post as national security adviser for President Barack Obama.

September 10, 2019

United States
Space Exploration and U.S. Competitiveness

U.S. space exploration inspired a generation of students and innovators, but NASA’s role has diminished, and the number of global space competitors is growing.

Space Launch

June 25, 2019

China
The China–North Korea Relationship

China is North Korea’s biggest trade partner and has leverage over Kim Jong-un’s regime, yet its policies focus more on border stability than nuclear threat.

Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un wear black suits, stand out the sunroof of a car, and wave to people in Pyongyang, North Korea.

May 16, 2019

Trade
The Truth About Tariffs

Tariffs have been applied over the years to protect homegrown industries and target competitors who are seen as using unfair trade practices. They impose costs on both importers and exporters and had been in decline until the recent U.S.-China trade war.

A steelworker tests a sample of steel at an Indiana mill in March 2018.

April 29, 2019

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

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state, but civil society and regional blocs may be slowing the trend of extending presidential terms in some areas.

A taxi passes an electoral poster for Cameroonian President Paul Biya in a market in Yaounde.

December 2, 2008

United States
Robert M. Gates, Defense Secretary

Robert M. Gates, a Cold War veteran selected to remain as defense secretary, has won bipartisan praise for his pragmatism and handling of the Pentagon amid two wars.