President Donald Trump meets with President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, Sept. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

“We signed the agreement because we want to show our friendship to our most important ally, which is the United States,” El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, said in a meeting last week with President Donald Trump during the U.N. General Assembly. Bukele was referring to the “asylum cooperation agreement” struck the week before between his government and Washington. Though its details are still unclear, the deal would require foreign nationals who cross into El Salvador seeking asylum to apply for it there rather than in the United States. It would also give the U.S. the ability to make people with […]

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the Climate Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 23, 2019 (AP photo by Jason DeCrow).

Two big questions about the future of multilateralism surfaced during last week’s United Nations General Assembly. How will the battle against climate change reshape international cooperation in the decades ahead? And will mounting competition between China and the United States render any cooperation impossible? The climate issue dominated the run-up to this General Assembly. Responding to dire warnings about global warming, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres insisted that it must be front and center in New York. He oversaw a masterful bout of diplomatic choreography, as the U.N. welcomed young, superstar activist Greta Thunberg to address a special Climate Action Summit, pushing […]

A replica of planet Earth set ablaze during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change, in Milan, Italy, Sept. 27, 2019 (ANSA photo by Nicola Marfisi via AP images).

Despite unfolding ecological catastrophes around the world, negotiations on a potentially groundbreaking Global Pact for the Environment have faltered. Its many champions had hoped for a binding multilateral treaty that would place all international environmental law within a coherent legal framework, as well as establish access to a healthy environment as a fundamental human right. In the end, U.N. member states meeting in Nairobi in May could only agree on a watered-down goal: a “political declaration” to be prepared by 2022, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the historic 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Beyond establishing the […]

The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, center, during the United Nations Climate Action Summit, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 23, 2019 (AP photo by Craig Ruttle).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. As this week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit focused more global attention on the effects of climate change, several African leaders used the event to signal a stronger, continent-wide commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Africa is easily the lowest emitter of greenhouse gases of any continent, and as a whole it produces fewer emissions than the United States. South Africa is the only African country to rank among the top 20 global emitters. Because it is particularly vulnerable to the effects […]

Rohingya refugees at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, April 24, 2019 (AP photo).

Myanmar’s government is pushing for the more than 1 million Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh to start returning to the country, in an effort to project an image of peace and reconciliation to the outside world. Yet as grim as the situation is for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, where they live in what is now the world’s largest refugee settlement, their prospects back in Myanmar are even worse. It is little surprise, then, that few if any Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar, have taken up the offer. This is Myanmar’s second attempt at facilitating the repatriation of Rohingya, […]

President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a rally condemning U.S. economic sanctions on Venezuela, in Caracas, Aug. 10, 2019 (AP photo by Ariana Cubillos).

The day after he fired John Bolton, President Donald Trump was explaining to reporters at the White House why he had ousted his third national security adviser. Among other reasons, Trump said he “disagreed with John Bolton on his attitudes on Venezuela—I thought he was way out of line.” It was a surprising remark because, while Bolton is a well-known hawk, when it comes to Venezuela, Trump has been openly proposing the use of U.S. military force against President Nicolas Maduro’s regime since early in his presidency. So the comment must have been welcome news in Caracas, since it appeared […]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at a festival at Kevadiya, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, Sept. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Ajit Solanki).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in the United States next week to attend the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly, meet with U.S. officials and business leaders, and address a huge rally of the Indian diaspora. As he embarks on the trip, his government finds itself a target of widespread international criticism after it upended the status quo in Kashmir last month, by revoking the special autonomy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir—the latest move in what is widely seen as an increasingly divisive, Hindu nationalist agenda. Given these recent developments, one might expect the Indian […]

The national flag of the Bahamas tied to a sapling, amid the rubble left by Hurricane Dorian in Abaco, Bahamas, Sept. 16, 2019 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).

Relief work continues in the Bahamas, as residents of Grand Bahama and the Abacos, two of its northernmost areas, slowly dig out from the rubble left by Dorian, the Category 5 hurricane that struck the country earlier this month. There are already 51 confirmed fatalities, but the death toll is expected to continue rising, as more than 1,300 people are still missing. A variety of aid groups are still accepting donations, including the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The National Association of the Bahamas has also set up a hurricane relief fund. Storms like Dorian are increasingly the new […]

People protesting violence against women in Paris, July 6, 2019 (SIPA photo by Jacques Witt via AP Images).

PARIS—Helene de Ponsay hadn’t heard the word “femicide” until April, when police found the body of her older sister, Marie-Alice Dibon, stuffed in a suitcase, thrown into the Oise River. The 53-year-old Dibon, a pharmaceuticals and cosmetics specialist, was the 51st woman in France to be murdered by her partner in 2019. More than 50 deaths later, the word is hard to miss: in headlines, in presidential speeches, and plastered on buildings in cities across the country. Women’s rights advocates are now calling for femicide to be inscribed into the penal code. “How shameful that it took until now,” de […]

A Venezuelan migrant, cradling a baby, walks along a street in Bogota, Colombia, April 4, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Colombian President Ivan Duque has announced a generous policy toward Venezuelan refugees in Colombia, including giving citizenship to children born in Colombia. With Venezuelan immigration likely to continue, though, Colombia needs to begin thinking about the migrants' long-term needs. Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on immigration and integration policy around the world. Colombia has historically been a source of migration rather than a destination, but that has changed in recent years due largely to the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Approximately 1.4 million Venezuelans have fled to Colombia in recent years, according to […]

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, Aug. 20, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Frederick Deknatel and Laura Weiss talk about John Bolton’s abrupt departure as Donald Trump’s national security adviser. They also discuss the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and the EU’s newly named executive commission. 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 article every day of the week, plus three more complimentary articles in our weekly roundup […]

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele during a press conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, Aug. 28, 2019 (AP photo by Salvador Melendez).

One of the most intriguing leaders to come to power in recent months is the 37-year-old, pony-tailed former ad executive who took office as president of El Salvador 100 days ago. Nayib Bukele’s election tore up the entrenched divisions that have dominated El Salvador since the end of its devastating, Cold War-era civil war. Two main political parties, acting as heirs to the conflict’s combatants, had taken their fight from the battlefield to the political arena. Bukele’s victory smashed that dynamic, but it was unclear where he stood precisely, and where his policies would lead the country. On outline is […]

A street on the outskirts of Johannesburg after riots targeted foreign-owned shops and businesses, Sept. 2, 2019 (AP photo).

When I landed in Johannesburg early last week, the newspapers that greeted me all carried alarming, front-page spreads about a fresh spree of violence against foreigners in South Africa’s biggest cities. There were shocking photos of foreign-owned shops that had been looted, and accounts of how non-South Africans were accosted and beaten. To capture it all, the bold headline of one tabloid simply screamed, “Anarchy.” News like this, of course, can never be welcome, but the timing of this wave of xenophobic violence seemed particularly awful for a country that is badly struggling both economically and politically. This was all […]

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his first year’s state of the nation address at the National Palace in Mexico City, Sept. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

In one of his first official acts as president of Mexico late last year, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sold the presidential jet, fulfilling a campaign promise. The populist leader said he would fly commercial instead. But more than nine months later, Lopez Obrador—or AMLO, as he is widely known in Mexico—still has yet to make a state trip out of the country. Of course, selling the presidential jet is not the ultimate reason why. Jesus Cantu, the president’s spokesperson and one of his top deputies, told World Politics Review that AMLO’s domestic policies have taken priority—a combination of austerity and […]

Jumia co-CEO Sacha Poignonnec, left, applauds as Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah, center, rings a ceremonial bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 12, 2019 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

Africa’s technology sector jumped into the global spotlight earlier this year when Jumia, an e-commerce platform that started in Nigeria in 2012 and is often referred to as “the Amazon of Africa,” became the first African start-up to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Jumia’s success underlines the increased prominence of start-up culture and technology entrepreneurs across Africa. For this week’s Trend Lines interview, WPR’s Elliot Waldman is joined by Bitange Ndemo, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi and former official in Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication, for a discussion on Africa’s digital renaissance. […]

A mass funeral after more than 70 people were killed in a series of attacks blamed on Fulani herders who opposed a new anti-grazing law, in Makurdi, Nigeria, Jan. 11, 2018 (AP photo).

After surrounding the villages at dawn, the militias stormed in, armed with machetes and firearms. As Reuters later reported, the “gunmen left the charred bodies of women and children smoldering in their homes.” The attack on two villages in central Mali in March, in which 170 people were reportedly killed, was shocking enough to generate international headlines. But beyond the grisly details were its seemingly stark ethnic dimensions. The militias were made up of members of the Dogon ethnic group, which is primarily pastoralist. The victims in the two villages were mostly members of the Fulani ethnic group, semi-nomadic herders […]

A young boy and a soldier watch demonstrators climb onto a container used as a barricade in the Cibitoke neighborhood of Bujumbura, Burundi, May 19, 2015 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

BUJUMBURA, Burundi—Four years after President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term, leading to widespread protests and a government crackdown that killed more than 1,200 people and forced 400,000 to flee, this small East African country is still in the throes of political turmoil. With new elections less than a year away, tensions are rising as the government tightens its grip. In a report released Wednesday, United Nations investigators warned of another wave of possible atrocities ahead of the election amid “a general climate of impunity” in Burundi, where Nkurunziza’s supporters portray him as a “divine” leader. […]

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