Supporters of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president-elect of the Maldives, celebrate his election win, Maldives, Sept. 24, 2018 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

The Maldives’ authoritarian president, Abdulla Yameen, began hastily burning documents at his campaign headquarters and moving boxes out of his official residence in the capital, Male, earlier this week, after being resoundingly—and astoundingly—defeated by the opposition in Sunday’s presidential election. Nearly 90 percent of voters turned out, 58 percent of them casting ballots for Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, popularly known as Ibu. Yameen was silent for the better part of a day, before conceding defeat on state television. To say the opposition had the odds stacked against them would be a major understatement. Among Yameen’s first acts after coming to power […]

Construction work taking place in the port of Gwadar, Balochistan, in southern Pakistan, Oct. 4, 2017 (Photo by Christine-Felice R'hrs for DPA via AP.)

Five years after Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road Initiative to the world, the ambitious multitrillion-dollar infrastructure scheme is experiencing major growing pains. Months of harsh media scrutiny, criticism from the United States and Europe, some surprising grumbling domestically, and backtracking from key partner countries have put a dent in what had been promoted as a seamless chain of China-funded transportation and development projects spreading out across the Asian continent. Xi’s signature foreign policy initiative now faces skepticism in the country that has been its most enthusiastic cheerleader and most willing testing ground: Pakistan. On Sept. 9, […]

Soldiers examine burnt-out cars outside the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, after it was attacked by al-Qaida-linked extremists, Jan. 17, 2016 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

The Islamist militants came on motorbikes, arriving before dawn in two villages in eastern Burkina Faso. In the first village, Diabiga, they struck a mosque, killing a local Muslim leader and four other worshipers; a sixth person later died of his injuries. In the second village, Kompienbiga, they killed three members of the same family. The dual attacks, which occurred on Sept. 15, did not come as a total surprise. In the weeks leading up to them, a series of similar incidents in the east claimed around 20 lives. Analysts suspect the violence is the work of the Islamic State […]

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev attends a joint press conference during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao city, east China’s Shandong province, June 10, 2018 (Photo by Ge Jin for Imaginechina via AP Images).

Since he turned 78 in July, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has appointed a number of new ministers to his Cabinet, fueling speculation about whether he will run for another term in elections scheduled for 2020. Such speculation is not new in Kazakhstan, but given Nazarbayev’s advanced age, observers fear that without a clearly defined succession plan, the country’s stability could deteriorate. In an email interview with WPR, Paul Stronski, a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, discusses Kazakhstan’s political outlook. World Politics Review: What is driving Nazarbayev’s ongoing Cabinet reshuffle? Paul […]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd from left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd from right) pose with their wives on Mt. Paektu, a volcano on the North Korean-Chinese border, on Sept. 20, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP).

The traditional harvest festival of Chuseok is one of the most important days in Korean culture. It is a time to celebrate and rekindle family ties, aided by good food and good drink—that is, if you can make it through the traffic. Chuseok falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which this year was Sept. 24, days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un met in Pyongyang for their third summit. In keeping with the spirit of the season, the two men and their spouses put on […]

Pro-government protesters hold both the Hong Kong flag, left, and the Chinese national flag outside the convention center, Hong Kong, May 18, 2016 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday banned the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, which reportedly has “at most a few dozen” members, on the grounds that it threatened national security and public order. In justifying the decision, the government invoked the city’s colonial-era security ordinance, which has mostly been used to combat organized crime. Though the move was without precedent, it came as no surprise. Under President Xi Jinping, China has consistently restricted efforts […]

A young demonstrator plays a trumpet during a protest against austerity measures put in place by the government of President Mauricio Macri, Buenos Aires, Sept. 24, 2018 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

BUENOS AIRES—Once again, Argentina has become synonymous with crisis. The Argentine peso has already lost half of its value against the dollar this year, and the economy is projected to contract by at least 2 percent while inflation reaches 40 percent. Beleaguered President Mauricio Macri is asking the International Monetary Fund for additional assistance, only three months after finalizing a loan agreement. Not surprisingly, Macri’s domestic popularity has suffered, weakening his re-election prospects next year. But while the situation is indeed serious, comparing it with Argentina’s total economic, political and social collapse in 2001—as some Argentine and foreign commentators have—is […]

A Palestinian girl peeks out of a car window after receiving UNRWA food aid in a refugee camp north of Jabalia, Gaza Strip, Sept. 4, 2018 (Photo by Wissam Nassar for DPA via AP Images).

RAMALLAH—“We lose Trump’s money, but we preserve our dignity,” Ahmed, 19, told me at Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah when I asked him how he felt about President Donald Trump’s recent decision to halt all U.S. funding to UNRWA, the United Nations agency that provides food, education and health care to the more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Created in 1949, UNRWA has been a lifeline for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 and 1967 wars with Israel. Last year, the United States provided about […]

Colorful houses of the coastal town of Ilulissat in western Greenland, June 25, 2016 (Photo by Patrick Pleul for DPA via AP Images).

Last week, Denmark reached an agreement with the government of Greenland, which is an autonomous Danish territory, to fund improvements to airports on the island. The project aroused controversy when a Chinese company expressed interest and was pre-qualified to participate, a concerning development for Danish and American officials. While Denmark’s $559 million deal decreases the chances of Chinese involvement, it came at a steep political price, as it led the pro-independence Naleraq party to break away from Greenland’s ruling coalition, depriving it of its majority in Greenland’s Parliament. In an email interview, Ulrik Pram Gad, a professor of Arctic politics […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Hashim Thaci, the president of Kosovo, inspect a military honor guard in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 29, 2016 (AP photo by Kayhan Ozer).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the Trump administration’s pressure campaign against the Palestinians, against the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. For the Report, A.J. Naddaff talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about how Kosovo has become the latest battleground in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s war with the Gulenist movement. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The […]

Venezuelan migrants cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge into Colombia, Feb. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

The exodus of refugees and migrants fleeing Venezuela—a crisis that has largely been undercovered—appears to be reaching a breaking point, as leaders across Latin America scramble to deal with the growing number of Venezuelans arriving at their borders each day. Representatives of 13 Latin American nations met in Quito, Ecuador, last week for a summit to address the problem head-on, while setting in place some regional strategies for helping the estimated 2.3 million people—7 percent of Venezuela’s population—who, according to the United Nations, have already fled President Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship. Other estimates put the figure at 4 million. Since taking […]

Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba, leaves a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, April 19, 2018 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. Chinese internet and e-commerce goliath Alibaba announced on Monday that Jack Ma, its founder and chairman of the board, will step down next September. Ma, who was an English teacher when he launched Alibaba with 17 of his students and friends, has become one of China’s most famous entrepreneurs and its richest. Ma’s replacement will be Daniel Zhang, who became CEO in 2013 as part of what Ma said was a long-planned succession. Zhang’s […]

Students from Mehmet Akif College protest the arrest and expulsion of their teachers, Pristina, Kosovo, March 29, 2018 (AP photo by Visar Kryeziu).

LIPJAN, Kosovo—On a Thursday morning in March, Yasemin Karabina and her husband, Yusuf Karabina, both Turkish nationals, awoke at the usual time and headed to work in this town 10 miles south of Pristina, Kosovo’s capital. Yasemin taught Turkish to high school students at Mehmet Akif College, while Yusuf served as deputy director of the Gulistan Educational Institution, which is in the same building. The couple, who have been married for more than 20 years, were in the habit of driving to and from work together. Their teenage son, a student at Mehmet Akif College, rode along in the back […]

A Long March 2D rocket carrying the Venezuelan remote sensing satellite VRSS-1 lifts off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, China, Sept. 29, 2012 (Photo by Sun Zifa for Imaginechina via AP Images).

MEDELLIN, Colombia—China has quickly established an extensive track record of using infrastructure spending, on everything from stadiums to ports, to secure resources and bolster trade across Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. Security and space industry analysts now say 2018 has already been a banner year for another part of China’s soft power outreach, as it has sold satellites and support systems to Nigeria, Cambodia and Pakistan. China’s space ambitions are closely tied to its Belt and Road Initiative. By the end of the year, it is expected that a basic system of 18 Chinese BeiDou-3 global positioning satellites will serve […]

A member of the German armed forces wears a helmet that features the United Nations logo at Camp Castor in Gao, Mali, April 5, 2016 (Photo by Michael Kappeler for DPA via AP Images).

Seventeen years after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, the “war on terror” is still stumbling along. From the Sahel to the Philippines, governments and international coalitions continue to battle jihadi groups. In an era of mounting international competition, political leaders, generals and spies continue to agree that transnational terrorism is a common threat. Global organizations like the United Nations cannot insulate themselves from this tendency. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made consolidating the institution’s counterterrorist activities a priority. Last week, World Politics Review ran a trenchant piece by Larry Attree and Jordan Street of Saferworld, warning that […]

A row of charred vehicles is seen at a fire and police station, Binh Thuan province, Vietnam, June 12, 2018 (AP photo).

Will Nguyen doesn’t remember much of what happened immediately after he was beaten by police officers at a mass demonstration in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis. A fellow protester tipped him off that he was about to be arrested, but before he could escape into the crowd, half a dozen plainclothes officers descended on him, beating him with fists and clubs. What happened next is fuzzy. Video subsequently posted online shows him being dragged to a police truck, where he had a bag placed over his head before being taken to jail, but Nguyen doesn’t remember that. “When […]

A U.S. and Niger flag are raised side by side at the base camp for air forces and other personnel supporting the construction of Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, April 16, 2018 (AP photo by Carley Petesch).

It is often hard to figure out precisely what President Donald Trump’s security strategy is. He seldom talks about U.S. national interests and priorities other than trade. His broad regional policies are vague or missing altogether. This is particularly true for Africa. Nearly halfway through his term, Trump has made no speeches on Africa, has not visited the continent, and was slow to appoint an assistant secretary of state for African affairs, America’s key policy coordinator for that part of the world. All this suggests that after 50 years of modest involvement in African security, the United States may be […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 231 2 Last