Residents make off with bags of rice in a scramble for food delivered by a South African Air Force helicopter in Nyamatande Village, Mozambique, March 26, 2019 (AP photo by Phill Magakoe).

Two weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, unleashing heavy rain and winds of more than 100 mph on the port city of Beira, the scale and precise nature of the devastation is still coming into focus. Receding waters have allowed more stranded people to receive aid, while also revealing more fatalities; as of Wednesday, the official death toll stood at 468 in Mozambique, along with 185 killed in Zimbabwe and 60 in Malawi. Hundreds of thousands of people in southern Africa have been displaced, and the United Nations estimates that nearly 2 million people have been affected by […]

People demonstrate against racism and the government’s immigration policies in Rome, Italy, Dec. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Alessandra Tarantino).

Italy’s populist government scored a big legislative win late last year when it signed a new security decree into law, making life much harder for immigrants, especially asylum-seekers. But mayors and regional governors across the country are refusing to implement many of the law’s provisions, setting up a legal fight with the central government in Rome. In an interview with WPR, Marco Calaresu, a political scientist at the University of Sassari in Italy, and Anna Di Ronco, a sociologist at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, discuss the mounting grassroots resistance to the security decree and explain why […]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

In promoting the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised it would yield impressive economic dividends for the general population. But those never materialized. Instead, the economic situation has deteriorated considerably since U.S. President Donald Trump took office and embraced hard-line policies toward Iran. In January, Rouhani said the country was facing its worst economic crisis since the 1979 revolution. In this week’s in-depth report for WPR, Jasmin Ramsey, the communications director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, examines how Iranians are coping with their […]

Fires burn at the site of a factory explosion in the city of Yancheng in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, March 21, 2019 (Chinatopix photo via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. China’s industrial safety record is under scrutiny again after a massive explosion at a chemical factory on the country’s east coast last Thursday killed at least 78 people and left many more injured. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on a state visit to Italy when the blast occurred, has ordered an investigation into the explosion and vowed greater attention to workplace safety amid a rising public outcry over the explosion. Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Company, which owns the chemical […]

A group of Iranians listen to President Hassan Rouhani during a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. In the picture, a woman raises her left fist while using her right hand to shield her face from a cloud of tear gas. She’s standing behind a barrier outside the University of Tehran, with spindly trees visible in the background. The scene dates to December 2017, when Iranian authorities attempted to quash protests that were initially sparked by economic woes but quickly evolved to channel broader political grievances. Some 5,000 people […]

Muslims pray at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 22, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Baker).

In this week’s editors episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief Judah Grunstein, managing editor Frederick Deknatel and associate editor Elliot Waldman discuss the Christchurch shootings, the emergence of white nationalist terrorism and its implications for national security in Europe and the U.S. They also examine Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy and France, and what it reveals about the European Union’s internal divisions over whether to engage with China as an economic partner or confront it as a strategic competitor. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can […]

Men carry a body bag during rescue operations at a flooded mine in Kadoma, Zimbabwe, Feb. 16, 2019 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

Zimbabwe’s informal mining sector is in the spotlight after an accident at a gold mine killed at least 24 people last month. As many as 70 informal miners were believed to be working inside two abandoned mineshafts near the town of Battlefields, southwest of Harare, when the underground tunnels were flooded by water from a burst dam. Eight miners were rescued but others are unaccounted for and feared dead, as authorities struggled to drain water from the shafts. President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially declared a state of disaster and pledged all available government resources for rescue efforts. According to many mining […]

A student places her handprints on a wall at the Raul Brasil State School one day after a mass shooting, Suzano, Brazil, March 14, 2019 (AP photo by Andre Penner).

Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a new series on gun policy and the debate over gun control around the world. Last week, two gunmen opened fire at a high school near Sao Paulo, killing eight people, including five schoolchildren. The mass shooting has cast a spotlight on the issue of gun control in Brazil, as President Jair Bolsonaro makes a concerted push to relax restrictions on firearms. In an interview with WPR, Robert Muggah, co-founder and research director at the Igarape Institute in Brazil, discusses Brazil’s polarizing debate over guns and how Bolsonaro’s policy initiatives might be […]

Syrian authorities distribute bread, vegetables and pasta to residents of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, April 16, 2018 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

Ten years ago, the Sri Lankan military carried out a violent final offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a rebel group with a long history of atrocities. The offensive, which ultimately resulted in the end of the war, involved the brutal killings of thousands of civilians—acts that were documented in real time by journalists and United Nations officials. Back in New York, however, the U.N.’s leaders failed to muster a meaningful response to mitigate the bloodshed, and Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general at the time, soon came under heavy criticism. As Richard Gowan writes in this week’s in-depth report, […]

A woman prays at a beach in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 11, 2019 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).

Last week, Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in 2011, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or unaccounted for and triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster, one of the worst nuclear accidents in modern history. A moment of silence was observed across the country at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, the time the earthquake struck. Sports teams interrupted their practice to pray for the souls of those who perished. “We must never let the valuable lessons that we have learned from the enormous damage caused by the disaster to fade away,” Prime […]

A health worker from the World Health Organization gives an Ebola vaccination to a front-line aid worker, Mbandaka, Congo, May 30, 2018 (AP photo by Sam Mednick).

Amid widespread criticism of its response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa five years ago, the World Health Organization took stock of what went wrong. In a report released in 2015 before the outbreak had even ended, its Ebola Interim Assessment Panel urged the WHO to “re-establish its pre-eminence as the guardian of global public health” and to “undergo significant transformation in order to better perform.” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus vowed to act on these recommendations when he ran to become the WHO’s new director-general in 2017, during its first-ever open election campaign, in which the director-general was selected in […]

Sri Lankan protesters wave flags and burn an effigy of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outside the U.N. office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 6, 2010 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

Ten years ago this month, senior United Nations officials were hard at work equivocating over a crisis. A cynic might say that the U.N. exists in a constant state of equivocation. But in March 2009, its leaders were mired in an especially grim political mess—and handling it badly. The cause of their troubles lay in northern Sri Lanka. After decades of civil war, the Sri Lankan military was carrying out a final offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a rebel group with a long history of atrocities. As the decisive battle wore on, U.N. officials and journalists in […]

U.N. peacekeepers stand near people queuing to enter a mosque during the visit of Pope Francis, Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 30, 2015 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Are U.N. peacekeeping missions no longer relevant to today’s conflicts? Or do we just need to change the goals? Find out more when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR). There were understandably mixed feelings at the United Nations in June, when the organization marked the 70th anniversary of modern U.N. peacekeeping missions. The Security Council sent military observers to the Middle East in 1948 to supervise the end of the first Arab-Israeli war, marking the first of over 70 U.N. missions that have become the organization’s trademark. U.N. officials used this year’s anniversary to honor the efforts of today’s […]

Protesters gather for a demonstration outside the prime minister’s office, Amman, Jordan, June 6, 2018 (AP photo by Raad al-Adayleh).

At an investment conference in London on the last day of February, Jordan got what appeared to be a much-needed financial boost, with promises of assistance and loans totaling $2 billion. But for a nation whose economic challenges are likely to only intensify, with debt amounting to around 95 percent of its gross domestic product, the pledges were really just a drop in the bucket. Jordan has built a decades-old reputation as a kingdom of calm in an otherwise restive region. But its long reliance on that image of stability, underwritten by external support, may also be its undoing. Its […]

View of the Kutadi Bandar with the Tata Mundra power plant in the background, Mundra, India, Oct. 8, 2014 (flickr photo by Sami Siva).

The shallow waters of the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the northwestern coast of India, are ideal for fishing, with coral reefs and mangrove forests that provide breeding grounds for a diverse array of marine life. On the gulf’s northern coast, near the town of Mundra, the gently sloping seabed and calm tides make it easy to catch local delicacies like prawns, pomfret and a type of lizardfish known colloquially as “Bombay duck.” The Waghers, a Muslim minority group, have fished these waters for generations. They maintain permanent inland villages, but from September until May, […]

Mourners bury the body of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale in Accra, Ghana, Jan. 18, 2019 (AP photo).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about press freedom and safety in various countries around the world. The first documented slaying of a journalist this year took place in Ghana when Ahmed Hussein-Suale, a member of the highly regarded investigative outlet Tiger Eye P.I., was gunned down near his family home in Accra on Jan. 16. Police believe he was assassinated for his journalistic work. In an interview with WPR, Vivian Affoah, a program manager at the Media Foundation for West Africa in Accra, discusses Hussein-Suale’s case, the obstacles that Ghanaian journalists face in their work […]

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent patrols on the U.S. side of a razor-wire-covered border wall that separates Nogales, Mexico from Nogales, Ariz., March 2, 2019 (AP photo by Charlie Riedel).

There has been much to criticize about President Donald Trump’s handling of America’s national security, including his recent declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. But while that declaration might be misguided, Trump has been right about one thing: The United States has never developed an effective strategy for the actual security challenges south of the border. Since the United States became a global power in the 20th century, it has used a sequenced method for addressing emerging threats—first building an understanding of them, then developing a working consensus among security experts and political leaders, and then relying […]

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