U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in China.

Recent visits to China by Biden administration officials have sought to humanize the bilateral relationship and broaden it out beyond the tensions on display between the two governments. With limited access to uncensored information in China and people-to-people exchanges at very low levels, this is harder than perhaps ever before.

Supporters of Niger’s ruling junta hold a Russian flag.

The recent decision by the military junta ruling Niger to revoke the country’s security partnership with the U.S was just the latest in a series of developments that have remade the geopolitical landscape of West Africa. The result is a more competitive playing field for the outside powers seeking influence in the volatile region.

Opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.

The regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will probably remain in power after elections scheduled for late July. But the past few weeks have been unusually positive ones for Venezuela’s opposition. The faintest glimmers of optimism have begun to appear due to events unfolding in ways that have caught the Maduro regime off guard.

U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson.

“America always does the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities.” Those words, attributed to Winston Churchill, perfectly capture what finally transpired late last week, when the U.S. Congress finally passed a series of supplemental defense spending bills earmarking military aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Panamanian presidential candidate Jose Raul Mulino.

For decades, Panama has enjoyed relative economic prosperity and political stability compared to its neighbors. But after years of simmering popular discontent that culminated in massive protests last year, and amid political uncertainty ahead of an upcoming presidential election, its economic prospects look grim.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The agenda for global development, including its governance and architecture, clearly needs change. Yet, making sense of our development architecture in today’s context is a complicated matter: Global development faces a range of complex, interconnected challenges that must be tackled in a rapidly changing world.

Sudanese women protesting.

Sudanese women were at the forefront of the country’s April 2019 pro-democracy protests. Today, they play pivotal roles as peacebuilders in Sudan’s ongoing civil war. But they have been entirely sidelined in decision-making and efforts to end the violence. After a year of war, it’s time to include women at the negotiating table.

Israeli soldiers launch a drone.

Israel’s use of an automated system to identify targets in Gaza has raised alarm over the advent of autonomous weapons systems. But the fact that Israeli soldiers were “in the loop” in this case gives the concept of AI-powered “Killer Robots” new meaning, while also potentially giving campaigners a new direction for advocacy efforts.

Police and forensic investigators work.

Any repression is horrifying, especially the killing of a political opponent. But the fact that Venezuela’s regime had a political dissident murdered in Chile should be considered a massive violation of sovereignty and international norms. Amid numerous other regional crises, however, the reaction has been underwhelming thus far.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

The opposition victory in South Korea’s recent legislative elections will greatly reduce President Yoon Suk Yeol’s room for maneuver for the rest of his term. Rather than the victory being the result of the opposition’s campaign acumen, though, the reality is that Yoon—and high supermarket prices—made it all too easy.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio addresses the US Congress.

During his visit to Washington last week, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio suggested the U.S. may be feeling “self-doubt” when it comes to its global leadership role. His remarks point to an underappreciated aspect of global politics: In addition to being willing and able to act, a hegemon must also believe it can get the job done.

Lt. Col. Assimi Goita, the leader of Mali’s ruling military junta.

Mali’s military junta imposed an indefinite ban last week on political activities, the latest of a series of crackdowns in recent months on freedom of association and other civil liberties. Last week’s decree is the latest indicator that Mali’s “interim” government is anything but “interim” and has little desire to relinquish power.

A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the English Channel.

After more than three years of intense negotiations, the European Parliament finally passed the EU’s flagship migration plan earlier this month. But while European leaders have been spinning the pact as a balanced and fair compromise, human rights groups have been scathing in their condemnation of the plan.

Demonstrators wave Georgian and EU flags in Tbilisi.

Georgia’s ruling party recently revived a controversial “foreign agents” bill that the opposition has disparagingly labeled the “Russia Law,” reigniting a pitched battle between the majority of Georgians, who want to join the EU, and Georgia Dream, which has drawn closer to Moscow, even as it pretends it supports EU accession.

The USS Lake Champlain.

For more than a century, the ability to project naval strength on a massive scale has been the crucial lynchpin of U.S. global hegemony. Yet a structural crisis that is now overwhelming the U.S. Navy presents as much of a threat to Washington’s geopolitical position as the isolationist populism fueled by the rise of Donald Trump.

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A common understanding of why U.S.-China relations have cratered since the 2016 election of former President Donald Trump is that the world’s two largest economies had gone from being complementary to being increasingly competitive and zero-sum. But even in this economic relationship, there are still ways to find common ground.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed interacts with the robot Sophie.

Although the U.S., EU and China dominate coverage of the effort to regulate artificial intelligence, a less-publicized but vital discourse about AI is taking place throughout Africa. In particular, most African policymakers have a unique challenge: how to responsibly leverage AI to accelerate national development.

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