A woman holding a sign with a message that reads in Spanish, “Rich women have abortions, the poor ones die,” during a demonstration in front of the Argentine Embassy in Lima, Peru, Aug. 8, 2018 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

Earlier this month, Argentina’s Senate rejected a bill to decriminalize abortion by a vote of 38 to 31. The bill, which narrowly passed the lower Chamber of Deputies in June, would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks. It was a disappointing, though perhaps not unexpected, outcome for the thousands of abortion rights activists who made up Argentina’s “green wave” demonstrations. Activists’ hopes were buoyed by recent successes in Chile in 2017 and Ireland in 2018, where restrictions on abortion were overturned. While a majority of Argentines reportedly supported the bill, Argentina’s #NiUnaMenos, or “not one less,” movement faced a […]

A Rohingya refugee boy who is among those being relocated from a camp near the Bangladesh Myanmar border waits to receive a food card, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Jan. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Manish Swarup).

Editor’s note: This article is the first in a new series on food security around the world. One year has passed since the most recent wave of Rohingya refugees streamed into Bangladesh, fleeing a brutal and indiscriminate security crackdown in their home state of Rakhine, in western Myanmar. On Monday, a United Nations commission recommended the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders in Myanmar’s security forces for “the gravest crimes under international law.” Almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees now reside in a network of camps in southern Bangladesh, largely reliant on external assistance for their basic daily needs. Food insecurity is […]

Belarusian Interior Ministry officers search an office of the Belsat television channel in Minsk, Belarus, March 31, 2017 (AP photo by Sergei Grits).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about press freedom and safety in various countries around the world. Journalists in Belarus have experienced a wave of harassment, intimidation and criminal prosecution from state authorities in recent months. The crackdown has been severe even by the standards of a country that is routinely cited by watchdogs as one of the worst violators of press freedoms. Conditions are only expected to worsen as new restrictions on web-based communication come into effect later this year. In an email interview with WPR, Andrei Bastunets, chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, […]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa looks on during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. “South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.” That was the government of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, responding to a surprise provocation from U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday night. After apparently watching an “investigation” by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson into South Africa’s plans for land reform, Trump announced on Twitter that he had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “to closely study the South […]

Graffiti showing U.S. President Donald Trump with a footprint on his face and Arabic that reads, "For Jerusalem and the right of return, we resist," Gaza City, May 20, 2018 (AP photo by Khalil Hamra).

Despite repeatedly announcing his intention to present a bold, sweeping plan to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. President Donald Trump continues to keep everyone waiting. If he ever does present his plan, it is set to backfire, for several reasons. For one thing, the Trump administration has been shunned by Palestinians since it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December. Palestinians were angered by the move, arguing that the U.S. government violated its role as mediator and sponsor of the peace process by adopting Israel’s position on Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders have taken the unprecedented step of halting all […]

Andrew Brunson, the detained evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, as he was moved to house arrest in Izmir, Turkey, July 25, 2018 (AP photo by Emre Tazegul).

Editor’s note: Guest columnist Neil Bhatiya is filling in for Judah Grunstein, who will return Sept. 5. Relations between the United States and Turkey continue to deteriorate over the detention of U.S. citizens by the Turkish government, with all the focus on an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in the purge that followed the failed 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both sides are digging in, with President Donald Trump declaring in an interview on Monday that “there will be no concessions” to Turkey on securing Brunson’s release, despite the economic risks of Trump’s sudden pressure […]

A street scene in Thamel, a commercial zone in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 8, 2016 (Photo by Jurgen Schwenkenbecher for DPA via AP Images).

Thousands of women and girls from Nepal are trafficked into India each year, and many are forced into sex work. The government is well aware of the problem of human trafficking, but interventions have been too minor to be effective. The most obvious solution may be the hardest: creating opportunities at home so people don’t want to go abroad. BELAHIYA, Nepal–Chanda Basnet, an aid worker with the Nepalese NGO Maiti Nepal, stands beside a blue tin shack that functions as her organization’s field office in this border town. A few dozen meters behind her, an enormous stone gate marks the […]

A black ribbon adorns the portrait of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan at U.N. headquarters, New York, Aug. 18, 2018 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).

Kofi Annan’s career was inextricably entangled with power politics. The former United Nations secretary-general, who died on Saturday, spent decades grappling with tensions between the organization’s members over crises from the Balkans to Syria. At times, he managed the turbulence masterfully. At others, he had little or no control over events. Win or lose, Annan occupied a very rare place in the international political firmament as a mediator able to parlay with the biggest powers. There have already been many tributes to Annan, emphasizing his commitment to a better world and his personal charisma. He will almost certainly rank as […]

Ugandan lawmakers are taken away in a prison truck after appearing in a court in Gulu, northern Uganda, Aug. 16, 2018 (AP photo by Ronald Kabuubi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Since being elected to Uganda’s parliament last year, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssenatamu has become a major thorn in the side of President Yoweri Museveni. Instantly recognizable in his red beret, Kyagulanyi, an independent politician who first gained fame as a pop star and refers to himself as the “ghetto president,” emerged as the leader of a protest movement in late 2017 against a constitutional amendment to lift Uganda’s presidential age limit. The amendment was apparently designed to enable Museveni, who’s […]

Simone Gbagbo, wife of Laurent Gbagbo, during a pro-Gbagbo rally at the Palace of Culture in the Treichville neighborhood of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Jan. 15, 2011 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

In the immediate aftermath of Cote d’Ivoire’s 2011 post-election conflict, as soldiers were still trying to impose order and Red Cross workers were clearing dead bodies from the streets of Abidjan, President Alassane Ouattara vowed to hold those responsible for the violence to account. “There can be no reconciliation without justice,” he said. “All Ivorians are equal before the law. We will fight impunity.” It was a message he would return to again and again—including four years later, when he was preparing to run for a second term. “Everyone responsible for atrocities will be tried,” he said in April 2015. […]

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, right, sits with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga during a Heroes’ Day event in Harare, Aug. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

After Zimbabwe’s elections late last month, the first without Robert Mugabe on the ballot, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite pre-poll speculation that the vote might usher in an era of change and renewal after 38 years under the ruling ZANU-PF party—and two decades of steep political and economic decline—a new dawn stubbornly failed to arrive. Zimbabwe has a largely unchanged political landscape, still dominated by ZANU-PF. Emmerson Mnangagwa retained the presidency with 50.8 percent of the vote over Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC Alliance, who got 44.3 percent. ZANU-PF has […]

A child rests near the entrance to a mosque where a banner reads “Love the party, Love the country” in the old city district of Kashgar in western China’s Xinjiang region, Nov. 4, 2017 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. The repression of China’s Uighur ethnic minority has been Beijing’s worst-kept secret for years. There have been plenty of reports of crackdowns in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, with this 2012 briefing from WPR just one example. More recently, details of an emerging surveillance state in Xinjiang have been filling Western media outlets. But despite the available information, China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims has largely remained off the international agenda. It remains to […]

A Nicaraguan refugee sits in a camp in a small town on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, La Cruz, Costa Rica, Aug. 10, 2018 (DPA photo by Carlos Herrera via AP Images).

The ongoing crackdown by security forces in Nicaragua against anti-government demonstrators has left hundreds dead and thousands wounded, causing many Nicaraguans to flee to neighboring Costa Rica. According to the Costa Rican government, around 17,000 Nicaraguans have presented asylum applications or have appointments to do so in the coming weeks, taxing the resources of a small country that has historically been friendly to migrants from Central America and beyond. In an email interview, Caitlin Fouratt, an anthropologist and professor at California State University, Long Beach who conducts research among migrants and refugees in Costa Rica, discusses the political, budgetary and […]

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen greets supporters at a campaign event, Phnom Penh, July 7, 2018 (AP photo by Heng Sinith). 

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party now utterly dominate Cambodia, after the CPP won control of the entire lower house of parliament in elections late last month. The regime had, of course, ensured in advance that the CPP would sweep the vote, the culmination of Hun Sen’s increasingly brazen repression. There were few if any impartial observers on election day. With Cambodia’s political regression all but complete, what is left for the remnants of the opposition? How will key international donors and foreign countries respond, and what’s next for Hun Sen himself? The Cambodia National Rescue Party, […]

Three men head north toward Algeria after crossing the Assamaka border post in northern Niger, June 3, 2018 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the implications of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and a new round of tariffs against Chinese imports. For the Report, Leila Beratto talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Algeria’s campaign of mass expulsions targeting migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, and why it has rights activists and neighboring countries up in arms. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your […]

Congolese President Joseph Kabila speaks during the state of the nation address to lawmakers, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 19, 2018 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. After keeping his country in suspense for well over three years, Congolese President Joseph Kabila finally made clear this week that he does not intend to run for a third term. Government spokesman Lambert Mende announced the decision on Wednesday, the last day for candidates to file papers with the election commission. Kabila’s term officially ended in December 2016. But well before that, beginning in January 2015, Congo had been hit with periodic protests organized by government critics who […]

Druze Spiritual Leader Sheik Mowafaq Tafik, center, at a rally against a contentious new law that critics say sidelines Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018 (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner).

After it was ratified by the Knesset on July 19, Israel’s so-called nation-state bill, designed to define the state more exclusively on ethnically Jewish lines, joined the short list of Basic Laws that make up the country’s ersatz constitution. A photo of grinning Knesset members from the right-wing Likud party, commemorating the occasion by gathering for a selfie around a smirking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quickly went viral. It took a few days for the smiles to fade, as leading members of Netanyahu’s coalition began to experience buyer’s remorse. Much to their surprise, Israel’s ethnic minorities—specifically, the Druze community, renowned […]

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