Argentine President Javier Milei.

Something unfamiliar is spreading in Argentina: optimism. The impact of President Javier Milei’s dramatic economic reforms has exceeded expectations, even as Milei has maintained popular support. But there is now so much enthusiasm that it raises the risk of irrational exuberance, especially given the scale of the challenge ahead.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

As working summits go, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s meeting with Libya’s interim prime minister in Tripoli last week seemed like a routine visit. But her meeting a few hours later in Benghazi with the leader of the rival government there underscored the dangers lurking below the surface of the two sides’ calm relations.

Lebanese army soldiers stand guard in front of a bank that was set on fire.

In Lebanon, a financial meltdown, state dysfunction and a massive explosion at the Beirut port have submerged the country in crisis for nearly half a decade and left three-quarters of the population in poverty. Now, as 2024 progresses, the Lebanese state’s process of disintegration appears irreversible.

Pro-Palestinian protesters face off with police at the University of Chicago.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students come to the U.S. for their higher education, in part to take advantage of a more open political atmosphere. For this reason, the recent campus crackdowns against pro-Palestine protests offer insights into U.S.-China dynamics, but also the challenges facing U.S. universities as they globalize.

A national protest march against the construction of a transoceanic canal in Nicaragua.

Last week, Nicaragua canceled its deal with a Chinese company to build and manage a canal that stretches across Central America, ending a decade-long saga. Despite this development, China’s influence in Nicaragua has never been greater, in large part due to the diplomatic isolation of President Daniel Ortega’s autocratic government.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Last week’s local elections mark the firmest confirmation yet that the ruling Conservative Party is on track to be decimated in U.K. general elections later this year. Many observers blame the party’s decline on its failure to boost public services and economic growth. But it is also the product of deeper structural factors.

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