Something strange is happening in liberal democracies’ relationship with social media platforms—specifically with TikTok, which is being banned or threatened with bans in democracies around the world. It is commonplace for authoritarian regimes to ban such platforms, but this is relatively new and dangerous territory for democracies.
It’s hard to imagine that Paraguay’s elections would have repercussions for China, or that Taiwan’s status would be of interest to Paraguayan voters. But that is exactly what just occurred Sunday, when one of the top issues in Paraguay’s elections was whether or not to end diplomatic relations with Taiwan and establish them with China.
China’s delivery economy has exploded since the pandemic. With more and more purchases just a fingertip away, the convenience of the delivery apps has enticed shoppers and drivers alike. But with the change in shopping habits, the tough conditions faced by the gig workers that keep the system running have become more prominent.
The Western Hemisphere is experiencing increased migration, driven by repression, persecution, crime, conflict, poverty and the climate emergency. But thousands of migrants are caught between Washington’s continued closure of the southern border to most asylum-seekers and the dangers they face on the Mexican side of the border.
Few conflicts have been predicted by so many observers, so far in advance, as the fighting that erupted on April 15 in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Almost every external and domestic powerbroker that has exerted influence over Sudan’s development over the past four decades shares in the blame for this devastating cycle of violence.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold its second general election this year since a military coup ousted dictator Robert Mugabe in 2017. But while Mugabe’s ouster gave way to cautious optimism about a new dawn in the country’s post-independence affairs, the hope for a more peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe has all but evaporated.
The China that is reemerging onto the world stage after its multiyear pandemic shutdown is very different than the one that launched the Belt and Road Initiative a decade ago. Beijing seems interested in reshaping its role as an international development partner. The results of those efforts could transform global development itself.
A controversy over a Netflix docudrama about Cleopatra escalated last week, when the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities asserted that Cleopatra was fair-skinned. The statement capped two weeks of debate about her ethnicity, after Netflix cast a mixed-race British actress in the leading role for “Queen Cleopatra.”
On March 21, nine Algerian migrants died when the boat taking them to Italy capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. The tragedy highlights the cost of migration, which is not limited to lives lost. The highly publicized reports of migrant deaths have increasingly shaped a vision of migration as a symptom of a broader social tragedy.
On June 24, Sierra Leone’s voters will go to the polls to elect their next president and parliamentary representatives, with the economy at the forefront of their minds. Indeed, despite ethno-regional loyalties that have historically shaped voting patterns, concerns over the economy are likely to determine the election’s outcome.