A girl eats boiled leaves from a local vine to stave off starvation, in the extremely impoverished district of Aslam, Hajjah, Yemen (AP photo by Hammadi Issa).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series on food security around the world. As the war in Yemen enters its fifth year, the country’s population is coping with an increasingly severe shortage of food. The United Nations’ humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, said last week that three quarters of Yemenis need some form of humanitarian aid, and the situation is nearing a “tipping point, beyond which it will be impossible to prevent massive loss of life as a result of widespread famine across the country.” WPR spoke via email with Noha Aboueldahab, a visiting fellow at the Brookings […]

Wanuri Kahiu, the director of the film “Rafiki,” stands by an art installation in Nairobi, Kenya, April 27, 2018 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Ever since “Rafiki,” the latest film by the acclaimed Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it has been widely praised by foreign critics and directors and even generated some Oscar buzz. But only in the past week have Kenyans been able to see it for themselves. The film centers on a romance between two women. Ezekiel Mutua, chairman of the Kenya Film Classification Board, or KFCB, banned it domestically, saying it was an […]

A memorial is set up to mark the second anniversary of fighting in Ilovaysk between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Ukraine paramilitaries and pro-Russia insurgents, Kiev, Ukraine, Aug. 29, 2016 (Sipa photo via AP).

Under the cover of darkness, eight cargo trucks from Russia rumbled down a dirt road just inside the Ukrainian border. A breeze cooled the early August night, drifting over the Russian countryside into this swath of coal-mining country in Donetsk, before being caught in the swells of the Black Sea. It was clear. A perfect night for a drone from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which has been monitoring a shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine for the past four years, to record video of the convoys of KamAZ-4310s, the green army trucks once called the “workhorse of […]

President Donald Trump arrives with Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 25, 2018 (AP photo by Craig Ruttle).

U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly yesterday for the second time since taking office. Trump opened with what seemed more like a campaign stump speech than a foreign policy address, touting the domestic accomplishments of his administration in such hyperbolic terms that the audience chuckled. He went on to defend his actions in the global arena, with particular emphasis on his controversial decisions to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The rest of his address revisited similar themes from his U.N. speech […]

Belgian soldiers patrol near the court where Salah Abdeslam, the top suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, appeared before a judge, Brussels, March 24, 2016 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

BRUSSELS—One morning in November 2015, Ahmed Khaddine, then 25, was in his apartment in central Brussels, typing away on his computer at his desk, when the front door flew open. Before he really knew what was happening, two policemen burst in, grabbed him, pushed his face down onto the wooden floor and handcuffed him before taking him to the police station. For Ahmed, a son of Moroccan immigrants who was born and raised in Brussels, the arrest had been a long time coming. Many years earlier, during his final years of high school, he had begun attending a local mosque […]

A local woman harvesting seaweed and mollusks during low tide, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Jan. 10, 2018 (Photo by Sergi Reboredo for DPA via AP Images).

Several years ago, in a speech marking his final International Women’s Day as Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete demonstrated how he had cultivated a reputation as a champion of women’s rights. At a rally in the town of Morogoro, outside the capital Dar es Salaam, Kikwete touted a record that included appointing more women to government posts, expanding economic opportunities for women and investing in improvements to maternal and reproductive health. Just as importantly, his words suggested these were causes in which he felt personally invested. “I am proud to have created an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment that has […]

Heavily armed soldiers escort the caravan of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales to a ceremony to inaugurate a soccer field, Mixco, Guatemala, Sept. 17, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

GUATEMALA CITY—It looked like a modern-day re-enactment of the 1982 photograph of Gen. Efrain Rios Montt and other military officers at a press conference following their coup. On Aug. 31, military, police and special forces officers lined up several rows deep behind Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, who announced the government’s decision not to renew the mandate of a United Nations-backed anti-corruption body, the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, known by its Spanish acronym, CICIG. Although it has been widely praised internationally for exposing deep-seated networks of corruption within the highest levels of the Guatemalan government, bringing down several politicians […]

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shake hands at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Is it already too late to save the liberal international order? That’s what Thomas Wright argues in a recent article in The Atlantic. It’s hard to argue with his reasoning. Clearly, the hoped-for convergence among the world’s great powers around universally accepted rules of the road for the international system has not materialized. In hindsight, it’s probably also true that the challenge—primarily from Russia and China—to the liberal elements of the liberal international order was inevitable. Rather than continue struggling to impose those ideals on a resistant world, Wright argues, the U.S. should seek to defend them at home and […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Hashim Thaci, the president of Kosovo, inspect a military honor guard in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 29, 2016 (AP photo by Kayhan Ozer).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the Trump administration’s pressure campaign against the Palestinians, against the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. For the Report, A.J. Naddaff talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about how Kosovo has become the latest battleground in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s war with the Gulenist movement. 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 inbox. The […]

Venezuelan migrants cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge into Colombia, Feb. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

The exodus of refugees and migrants fleeing Venezuela—a crisis that has largely been undercovered—appears to be reaching a breaking point, as leaders across Latin America scramble to deal with the growing number of Venezuelans arriving at their borders each day. Representatives of 13 Latin American nations met in Quito, Ecuador, last week for a summit to address the problem head-on, while setting in place some regional strategies for helping the estimated 2.3 million people—7 percent of Venezuela’s population—who, according to the United Nations, have already fled President Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship. Other estimates put the figure at 4 million. Since taking […]

Several hundred Muslim Uighurs living in Turkey protest against oppression by the Chinese government in far-western Xinjiang province, in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

In her first speech since assuming her new post, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet criticized China this week for forcibly detaining more than a million Muslim Uighur minorities in a secretive network of so-called re-education camps. Her remarks were based on findings from a U.N. panel released last month. The panel cited “credible reports” that the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwestern China had been transformed into “something that resembles a massive internment camp.” Ever resistant to such criticism, Beijing pushed back on Bachelet’s remarks and demanded that she “respect China’s sovereignty.” In an email interview, […]

Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba, leaves a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, April 19, 2018 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

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. Chinese internet and e-commerce goliath Alibaba announced on Monday that Jack Ma, its founder and chairman of the board, will step down next September. Ma, who was an English teacher when he launched Alibaba with 17 of his students and friends, has become one of China’s most famous entrepreneurs and its richest. Ma’s replacement will be Daniel Zhang, who became CEO in 2013 as part of what Ma said was a long-planned succession. Zhang’s […]

Students from Mehmet Akif College protest the arrest and expulsion of their teachers, Pristina, Kosovo, March 29, 2018 (AP photo by Visar Kryeziu).

LIPJAN, Kosovo—On a Thursday morning in March, Yasemin Karabina and her husband, Yusuf Karabina, both Turkish nationals, awoke at the usual time and headed to work in this town 10 miles south of Pristina, Kosovo’s capital. Yasemin taught Turkish to high school students at Mehmet Akif College, while Yusuf served as deputy director of the Gulistan Educational Institution, which is in the same building. The couple, who have been married for more than 20 years, were in the habit of driving to and from work together. Their teenage son, a student at Mehmet Akif College, rode along in the back […]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, left, shakes hands with Senegalese President Macky Sall, right, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, during the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing, Sept. 4, 2018 (AP photo by Lintao Zhang).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Kicking off the latest iteration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday pledged $60 billion for various projects in Africa, a sum that included $20 billion in credit lines along with $15 billion in “grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans,” according to The Associated Press. The announcement wasn’t especially remarkable, given that China pledged the same amount during the last summit, in 2015. Yet this year’s forum coincided with an intensifying debate […]

Senegalese Gen. Amadou Kane, deputy force commander of the U.N. mission in Mali, sits for an interview, Bamako, Mali, June 23, 2018 (Photo by Sean Kilpatrick for Canadian Press via AP Images).

From Bosnia to Rwanda, United Nations peacekeepers have always faced tough choices that come with operating in complex, dangerous environments. Today, the climate is no less challenging. Record fatalities and injuries for U.N. personnel have increased pressure from some quarters to embolden U.N. peacekeeping and political missions with stronger, more aggressive mandates. But recent decisions made by the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, such as a mandate to support a regional, non-U.N. counterterrorism unit in Mali, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, risk plunging blue helmets into the quicksand of unwinnable wars. This short-term thinking poses considerable long-term risks […]

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa climb over a fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, March 28, 2014 (AP photo by Santi Palacios).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the battle for Idlib in Syria and the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats’ surge ahead of Sweden’s upcoming parliamentary elections. For the Report, Malia Politzer talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Spain’s approach to an influx of African migrants under new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. 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 inbox. The newsletter offers a free preview […]

Mauritania’s president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, welcomes his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron upon his arrival at Nouakchott airport, Mauritania, July 2, 2018 (AP photo by Ludovic Marin).

Last Friday, the day before voters in Mauritania went to the polls for parliamentary, regional and local elections, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that he would be “closely following developments” in the West African country. In particular, he called on “all parties” to “allow for the participation of all interested stakeholders.” By that point, however, this wish was already out of reach. That’s because in early August, Biram Dah Abeid, a prominent opposition politician, was arrested at his home by police officers who reportedly said they were executing “an order that came from above.” Abeid remains […]

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