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July 14, 2022

United States
Webb is a Reminder of America’s Technical Prowess in Future Global Competition and Cooperation

This major space success will attract the talent the U.S. needs to maintain technical preeminence, shows the difficulty others may have in kicking America out of first place, and demonstrates the ben…

The first full-color image from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

September 20, 2007

Economics
Trading up - Peking University’s Michael Pettis will be guest blogging here for a few days

There is an awful lot of interest going on in the world -- whether today's rise in long-term treasury yields, the dollar's new lows v the euro and Canadian dollar, the rise in Chinese money m…

September 12, 2022

United States
Heading Off a Future Constitutional Calamity

The Electoral Count Reform Act offers the opportunity to address a potentially existential national security threat with a relatively small number of keystrokes revising the U.S. Code—but time is sho…

Manchin and Collins

January 31, 2022

Liberia
Jail Term for Former Liberian Defense Minister Offers Ray of Hope to Anti-Corruption Forces in Africa

Last week, the Liberian Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of a lower court which ordered the imprisonment of former Liberian Defense Minister Brownie Jeffrey Samukai Jr., for two years. A one-time deputy minister in the country’s Ministry of National Defense, Samukai was former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s pick to head the ministry when the latter took over the reins as president in January 2006.

U.S military commander wearing camouflage speaks with former Liberian minister in civilian clothing.

April 18, 2022

Nigeria
State Pardon for Former Governors Puts Nigeria’s Anticorruption Drive in Jeopardy

The unexpected pardon last week of two leading politicians convicted earlier on charges of corruption has brought renewed focus on Nigeria’s flailing anticorruption drive. Following a meeting of the country’s Council of State, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, governors respectively of the central and northeastern states of Plateau and Taraba from 1997 to 2007 were pardoned along with 157 other convicts.

Military personnel walks in front of a sign that reads "corruption kills."

January 31, 2022

Infrastructure
The Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse and the Importance of Infrastructure Investment

The Pittsburgh bridge collapse reminds us again that infrastructure investment is vital for safety and drives competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, connectivity, resilience, and jobs.

U.S. President Joe Biden touts "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act" during visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

July 23, 2021

Oceans and Seas
Five Movies Worth Watching About Conflict at Sea

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about stormy relationships and battles at sea.

Three movie posters in black frames. From left: Run Silent, Run Deep (two men in khaki uniforms above a sinking ship); Mister Roberts (four men in khaki uniforms look off the edge of a ship); Dunkirk (a young man looks out into a chaotic ocean).

April 8, 2020

South Africa
The Pandemic Offers New Opportunities for South African Leadership in the Region

Since assuming office in 2018, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has consistently disappointed those who hoped that he would usher in a new era of South African leadership in foreign policy.

 President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 13, 2020

July 8, 2020

Demonstrations and Protests
Black Lives Matter Protests in Africa Shine a Light on Local Police Brutality

There has been reporting on police brutality in enforcing COVID-19 restrictions, especially in Kenya and South Africa, where Western media is based. The popular African perception is that police brutality is the norm.

I young black man with a light blue medical mask on which is written in red "I can't breathe," looks in the direction of the camera, with his right hand holding a black sign that says "Stop Killer Cops" and his left hand raised in a fist. He is flanked by other protestors in masks and with signs.

June 20, 2019

Botswana
Personal Rivalries Overshadow Botswana's Democracy

The feud between current President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor and former boss, Ian Khama, sometimes reads like highlights of an overwrought soap opera. The latest dramatic turn saw Khama renouncing his membership in the party his revered father helped found, complaining that his legacy was being dismantled, and encouraging others to throw away their BDP membership cards.

Former Botswana President Ian Khama at the Botswana-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Pretoria, South Africa, November 11, 2016.