Palestinians protest against aid cuts by U.S. President Donald Trump for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in Gaza City, Gaza, Jan. 29, 2018 (Photo by Wissam Nassar for dpa via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on food security around the world. Last year, the United States curtailed its humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories by cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in direct development assistance and funding to the United Nations. That has exacerbated a humanitarian crisis, with aid organizations on the ground reporting that they are no longer able to provide critical food aid to vulnerable households in Gaza and the West Bank. Lana Abu-Hijleh is the local director for one such aid group, Global Communities, based in the West Bank. In an interview […]

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, right, accompanied by Trump administration officials, meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, left, and other Chinese officials in Washington, Jan. 30, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. The United States Department of Justice announced criminal charges against Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies and one of its top executives on Monday, escalating tensions between the two countries as they begin a new round of high-level trade negotiations. A 13-count indictment was unsealed in New York City, targeting Huawei, two of its affiliates and Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. The allegations include bank and wire fraud, violating U.S. sanctions on Iran and conspiring to obstruct justice related to […]

A man carries a cross during the funeral procession of a person who died when a gas pipeline exploded, Tlahuelilpan, Mexico, Jan. 20, 2019 (AP photo by Claudio Cruz).

Only six weeks into his presidency, Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador already faces his first major crisis. In part self-inflicted, in part a consequence of the corrupt and weak institutions he inherited from his predecessors, it is nevertheless a sign that governing Mexico will be a formidable challenge for the man who promised nothing less than a fundamental transformation of the country and on whom millions of Mexicans are resting their hopes. Citizens across western and central Mexico, which includes the 25 million people living in Mexico City and the surrounding State of Mexico, have been waiting in line for […]

Pedestrians walk past a campaign poster showing Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the ruling party’s launch of its election manifesto, Harare, May 4, 2018 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.A year ago, Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was riding high as he traveled to Davos, Switzerland, to declare at the World Economic Forum that his country was “open for business.” It was a message he had delivered many times since coming to power in November 2017, after longtime President Robert Mugabe was forced out in a military intervention, and would continue to deliver at seemingly every opportunity. As Alex T. Magaisa, a Zimbabwean analyst, put it last year, the new […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel shake hands while exchanging documents after their talks in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Nov. 2, 2018 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Cuba faces a much tougher international environment today than it did just a few years ago. Relations with Latin America have cooled as relations with Washington have regressed to a level of animosity reminiscent of the Cold War. In response, Havana is looking to old ideological comrades in Moscow and Beijing to compensate for the deterioration of ties in its own backyard. These setbacks abroad come at a time when the Cuban economy is vulnerable. Export earnings have been falling, foreign reserves are low, and the debt service burden is heavy, as Cuba tries to retire old debts that it […]

Cuban doctors assemble to meet Cuba’s president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, after landing in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Desmond Boylan).

The government of Cuba canceled a medical cooperation agreement with Brazil and withdrew thousands of its doctors from the country late last year after Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, criticized the Cuban government for taking most of the doctors’ salaries and not allowing their families to accompany them to Brazil. The exodus of Cuban doctors is expected to severely impair health care services for millions of poor Brazilians who depended on them. In an email interview with WPR, Albert Ko, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health who has conducted research in Brazil, discusses the withdrawal’s […]

Supporters of the United National Party and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe burn coffins to protest the government of disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Rukmal Gamage).

The recent bout of unrest in Sri Lanka, sparked by President Maithripala Sirisena’s unexpected decision to fire the prime minister, concluded fairly peacefully. But many of the factors that have destabilized Sri Lankan politics in recent years remain unresolved—and will likely lead to more uncertainty in 2019. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—For many Sri Lankans, the country’s recent political turmoil came on so quickly they couldn’t possibly have prepared for it. Rami Singh, a delivery driver in his 20s, recalls barreling through this city’s hectic traffic on the night of Oct. 26 when, suddenly, he had to slam on his brakes to […]

People gather in front of a memorial at the Ovcara farm to pay their respects to victims of a massacre that took place in 1991, Vukovar, Croatia, Nov. 8, 2014 (AP photo by Amel Emric).

Fifteen years ago this past weekend, I lost a friend and mentor in a car crash in Croatia. Steve Degeneve was one of the first people to teach me about how conflicts, and conflict management, play out in real life. He was an idealist and a passionate, sometimes almost obsessive, believer in promoting human rights and the rule of law. He died at the age of 37 on Jan. 12, 2004. I often wonder what he would say about a world in which his ideals are increasingly under threat. I met Steve roughly a year before his death in Vukovar, […]

Indigenous people shout slogans during a rally at the Philippine Senate to mark Human Rights Day, Pasay, Philippines, Dec. 10, 2018 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

Since the mid-2000s, democracy has regressed in nearly every part of the world. The global monitoring organization Freedom House has recorded declines in global freedom for 12 years in a row. In Thailand, Bangladesh and Turkey, democracies have all but collapsed. Countries where democracy seemed to be making gains in the early 2010s, like Myanmar and Cambodia, have slid backwards, with Cambodia reverting to one-party rule. Some states where democracy was believed to be well-rooted, such as Poland and the Philippines, have regressed under populists with authoritarian tendencies. Their democracies have not fully collapsed but are in grave danger, as […]

A woman walks by a bench painted with the U.S. flag at a popular shopping mall in Beijing, Jan. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. The United States and China appear to have made progress in trade negotiations that wrapped up Wednesday afternoon in Beijing, but it remains unclear whether that will translate into a resolution to their ongoing trade dispute. In a sign of Beijing’s commitment to reaching a deal with Washington, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He—President Xi Jinping’s top economic aide and the official in charge of Beijing’s trade talks with Washington—made a surprise appearance at Monday’s talks, which were officially conducted […]

A soldier patrols in the Chapadao complex of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Leo Correa).

BOGOTA, Colombia—On the surface, the future looks bleak for Latin America. In an era of slow economic growth, with deeply polarized societies and increasingly entrenched violence, the continent’s leaders face some daunting challenges. Latin America is grappling with a surge in homicide, which has made it the world’s most dangerous region. The illicit drug trade is booming, organized crime is proving to be more agile than most states, and anti-corruption efforts have been rolled back across the continent, undermining democracy. There are, however, glimmers of hope if you look closer. Amid the carnage, solutions and experiments are emerging that could […]

A child walks past Mongolians protesting corruption in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, March 31, 2017 (AP photo by Ganbat Namjilsangarav).

Mongolia has been rocked in recent months by a series of corruption scandals that have prompted large-scale demonstrations in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. The government of Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh has been paralyzed by revelations that senior government officials, including members of his Cabinet, misused funds that were intended to assist small and medium-sized enterprises. In an interview with WPR, Morris Rossabi, a professor of East Asian history at Columbia University, explains why corruption is so widespread in Mongolia and why the current wave of scandals comes at a particularly bad time for its economy. World Politics Review: Why is corruption […]

A group of children walk on top of a small hill of dirt in the United Nations protection of civilians site in Bentiu, South Sudan, Dec. 9, 2018 (AP photo by Sam Mednick).

South Sudan’s five-year civil war was supposed to end with the signing of a revitalized peace deal last year, but violence continues and the humanitarian situation remains bleak. The government and opposition now have five months to implement the agreement and form a transitional government, or risk another unraveling. On paper, the peace deal signed by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President-turned-armed opposition leader Riek Machar on Sept. 12 halted a conflict that has claimed an estimated 383,000 lives and left most of the population facing malnutrition and severe food insecurity. However, a very similar peace deal […]

A young migrant stands in front of the Administrative Detention Center in Pamandzi, Mayotte, June 19, 2015 (Photo by Andrieu Arnaud for Sipa via AP Images).

Last November, the governments of France and Comoros agreed to resolve a months-long diplomatic spat over migration that had severely strained their relationship. Azali Assoumani, the president of Comoros, sparked the standoff last April when his government stopped accepting its deported citizens from Mayotte, a nearby French overseas territory that is also claimed by Comoros. This led France to retaliate by suspending visas to all Comorian nationals. According to Simon Massey, a senior lecturer in international relations at Coventry University, the dispute provided Assoumani with an opportunity to galvanize the electorate and build support for a referendum on constitutional revisions […]