The British headquarters of Huawei in Reading, United Kingdom, June 12, 2018 (Photo by Steve Parsons for Press Association 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. The European Union on Wednesday recommended its member states limit the involvement of “high-risk” 5G vendors like Huawei in their telecommunications infrastructure, but it did not suggest banning the Chinese company outright. The EU’s new guidelines come a day after the United Kingdom announced it would not ban Huawei from its 5G network, a serious blow to the U.S. pressure campaign against China’s telecom giant. In a package of recommendations it refers to as its “5G toolbox,” the European […]

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, left, and Green Party leader Werner Kogler at a press conference in Vienna, Austria, Jan. 2, 2020 (AP photo by Ronald Zak).

VIENNA—When Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s conservative political boy wonder, and Green Party leader Werner Kogler stepped in front of the nation’s TV cameras to announce an unlikely new coalition government in early January, after months of talks, neither seemed very excited. The gaps between their parties were still wide, and the compromises many. Nevertheless, in the end, they had agreed on a governing program that emphasizes restrictions on migration and more border security, including a much-criticized ban on headscarves for girls under the age of 14 and preemptive detention for migrants who have not committed any crimes. There is also an […]

World Economic Forum founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab listens as President Donald Trump delivers opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 21, 2020 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Freddy Deknatel talk about the recent evolution of the World Economic Forum, which was held this week in Davos, Switzerland. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the elite crowd at Davos has tried to critically engage with the negative consequences of globalization, particularly the brand of globalization it has championed. That reflects the degree to which income and wealth inequality, the climate crisis and the downsides of new technologies have become central topics in political debates around the world. But how much of the newfound social […]

Pages from the Senate Intelligence Committee report that details Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, photographed in Washington, July 26, 2019 (AP photo by Jon Elswick).

As the United States girds for highly contentious and consequential elections later this year, federal agencies and local officials remain woefully unprepared to deal with the high likelihood of foreign interference. The House of Representatives has passed three bills to address election-related vulnerabilities, but none has been taken up by the Senate, leaving gaping deficiencies in election infrastructure and the balloting process. A congressional appropriation of $425 million for election security, enacted last month as part of a broader spending package, will help local officials with urgent needs, but it comes late in the cycle and fails to create a […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Sept. 25, 2019 (Pool photo by Sergei Chirikov via AP).

When a wave of popular protests erupted across South America last year, a number of officials in the region claimed the unrest was being promoted by a “foreign hand.” No one argued that the protest movements, from Chile to Colombia, were created entirely or even ignited by outside powers, but leaders like Chilean President Sebastian Pinera suggested the possibility that someone outside the region was pouring fuel on the fire. Now, analysts at the U.S. State Department say they have reviewed the evidence and found that Russia was engaging in an incendiary and divisive disinformation campaign in Latin America waged […]

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, second left, walks next to Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, second right, and First Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, left, at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 14, 2020 (AP photo by Manu Fernandez).

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s new Cabinet was sworn in last week, marking the official start of Spain’s first coalition government since its democratic transition in the 1970s. Sanchez’s Socialist Party won a general election in November but failed to secure an outright majority in the legislature. After weeks of negotiations, the lower house of Spain’s parliament earlier this month narrowly approved Sanchez’s proposal for a coalition with the far-left Podemos party, by 167 votes to 165, with 18 abstentions. From a secessionist push in the northeastern region of Catalonia to the fracturing of its two-party system, long dominated by […]

17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivers a speech after a climate protest in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2020 (Keystone photo by Gabriel Monnet via AP Images).

Once again, Greta Thunberg has addressed a high-profile international event, excoriating the world’s leaders and global elites for their inaction in the face of the climate crisis. Once again, the responses to her speech ranged from hero-worship to character assassination. Whether at the United Nations General Assembly in September or the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday, the cycle has become a familiar one by now. Greta speaks. Greta is lauded and attacked. Wash, rinse, repeat. The sense of déjà-vu all over again is reinforced by the fact that neither Thunberg nor her admirers and critics ever stray far from […]

A protest against President Jimmy Morales' decision to end the work of a U.N. anti-corruption commission, Guatemala City, Sept. 20, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

The Trump administration is due to soon formally release its findings from a review of U.S. foreign assistance programs, aimed at “realigning” them for “a new era of great-power competition,” which critics have described as an effort to curb foreign aid overall. Given this context, aid and development organizations must be prepared to show how their work serves America’s strategic interests. Anti-corruption efforts do just that by striking at the heart of what keeps leaders of adversaries like China and Russia in power. Both countries are increasingly weaponizing corruption by using flows of illicit money and opaque deals to gain […]

President Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting on drafting constitutional changes at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Jan. 16, 2020 (pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev of Sputnik via AP Images).

If one nice thing can be said about Vladimir Putin, it is that he is a master of political jujitsu. This week, Putin’s skills were on full display after he called for far-reaching constitutional changes that would transfer more power from the presidency to parliament—a move many suspect is really designed to extend his 20-year hold on power. Following Putin’s announcement, Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and his entire Cabinet abruptly resigned, and hours later Putin named a new prime minister. Putin is technically barred by constitutional term limits that prohibit more than two consecutive presidential terms. The dramatic reshuffling […]

President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He shake hands after signing the “phase one” trade agreement in the East Room of the White House, Washington, Jan. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Freddy Deknatel talk about the “phase one” trade deal signed by the U.S. and China this week, and whether it lives up to President Donald Trump’s pronouncements. They also discuss what the surprise resignation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reveals about President Vladimir Putin’s plans after his current term expires in 2024. 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 […]

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, right, and Chadian President Idriss Deby during a press conference in Pau, France, Jan. 13, 2020 (Photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo for EPA via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. At a security summit in southern France this week, French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of five countries in Africa’s Sahel region agreed to modest increases in their joint military efforts to combat Islamist extremists. Macron pledged to send an additional 220 French troops to the Sahel to bolster the 4,500-strong French military mission that has been there since 2013. He also issued a plea to President Donald Trump not to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Africa—an appeal the Trump […]

Refugees and migrants wait outside the information office at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos, Sept. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Petros Giannakouris).

ATHENS, Greece—The last dog days of summer are usually quiet in Athens. Most people leave for their summer holiday, scattering to beaches looking out over azure waters or mountains filled with wildflowers. Only a few dazed tourists remain behind to wander the city. But in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarchia last August, the mood was somber and determined as protesters marched through the streets. “You can’t evict a movement!” read one banner, clearly aimed at the right-wing New Democracy government, elected the previous month, and its hard-line policy on migration. Exarchia has long been associated with left-leaning political activism, […]

Lebanese marine special forces soldiers march during a military parade to mark the 76th anniversary of Lebanon's independence, at the Lebanese Defense Ministry, Beirut, Nov. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

The Trump administration created yet another stir in Washington last fall when it mysteriously froze $105 million in military aid to Lebanon for several months. While the hold was quietly lifted on Dec. 2 after pressure from members of Congress, it ignited a debate over how the United States should engage with Lebanon amid an ongoing revolutionary protest movement that has already forced one prime minister in Beirut to resign. There are also signs that Lebanon views the U.S. as an increasingly unreliable security partner, allowing Russia to gain influence in this small but strategically important country in the Middle […]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at 10 Downing Street, in London, Jan. 8, 2020 (AP photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth).

Britain’s impending departure from the European Union on Jan. 31 is merely, as Winston Churchill might have said, the end of the beginning. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will herald Brexit as the moment the nation recovers its sovereignty. The truth, however, is far messier. The ultimate terms and costs of the divorce are yet to be determined. The nature of Britain’s future relationship with the continent, whether the United Kingdom will stay united in Brexit’s wake, and what global role Britain will play after regaining its “splendid isolation” all remain to be seen. The U.K. was always an awkward […]

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, left, speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Damascus, Jan. 7, 2020 (pool photo by Alexei Druzhinin of Sputnik via AP Images).

The assassination of Iran’s top military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, raises a lot of questions about what an all-out war between the United States and Iran might look like. The simple answer is that it will be bad, but how bad may depend as much on Russia as it does on the U.S. and Iran. If there is one player in the dangerous drama unfolding in the Middle East with the ability to flip the script, it’s Russian President Vladimir Putin. Five years ago, Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, dismissed Russia as a “regional power” capable at most of menacing […]

Protesters hold pictures of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia outside Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s office, in Valletta, Malta, Nov. 29, 2019 (AP photo by Rene Rossignaud).

Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia spent her career cataloguing what she believed to be endemic corruption among the political elite in Malta, the European Union’s smallest member state. When she was murdered in a car bomb in October 2017, it was, in the words of one of her three sons, “an assassination to match the scale of the crimes on which she was reporting.” Now, more than two years later, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is set to resign amid growing concerns over his handling of Caruana Galizia’s murder investigation. Partly due to a long delay by Maltese authorities, evidence has […]

The leaders of Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro attend a news conference during a regional summit in Tirana, Albania, Dec. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Hektor Pustina).

It was supposed to be a landmark year for the Balkans. In 2019, the European Union was due to give the green light to accession talks with Albania and what is now called North Macedonia. In Serbia, meanwhile, President Aleksandar Vucic saw a rare window for a lasting peace deal with Kosovo, 20 years after the war that led to Kosovo’s independence. Yet because of a de facto veto by French President Emmanuel Macron at an EU summit back in October, the Balkans now looks as far from a European embrace as it has for years. At that summit in […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 191 2 Last