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The global spread of Italian food and wine as well as the popularity of Italy as a tourism destination—alongside the depiction of all three in popular culture—have helped establish the country as a “soft superpower.” Now a force largely outside of Rome’s control is threatening all three sectors: the climate crisis.

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A group of five will soon be a concert of eleven. At last week’s summit of the BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa agreed to invite Ethiopia, Argentina, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to officially join the group on Jan. 1, 2024. The expanded BRICS shows its members’ dissatisfaction with the Western-led economic and political order.

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