North Koreans attend a mass rally against the U.S., bearing signs that read "decisive revenge" and "death to the American imperialists," Pyongyang, North Korea, Sept. 23, 2017 (AP photo by Jon Chol Jin).

The opening of the United Nations General Assembly has historically been a chance for world leaders to trade platitudes about peace. This year’s edition of the U.N. jamboree may have increased the risks of a major conflict in Asia. U.S. President Donald Trump told the assembly that he would “have no choice but to totally destroy” North Korea if the U.S. is “forced to defend itself or its allies” from Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. In the days that followed, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, threatened to punish the “dotard” Trump, and its foreign minister told the General Assembly […]

Workers sort shrimp at a seafood market, Mahachai, Thailand, Sept. 30, 2015 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, speaks with senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, and associate editor, Omar H. Rahman, about U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly this week, and how the world is adjusting to his outspoken style. For the Report, Johan Bergenas joins Andrew Green to discuss the impact of illegal fishing and why it is shifting from an environmental problem to a security issue as governments tangle over dwindling resources. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines, as well as what you’ve seen on WPR, please think about supporting […]

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry introduces Randy Berry as the first-ever special envoy for LGBT rights, Washington, Feb. 27, 2015 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

A year ago this month, efforts to use high-profile diplomacy in the service of global LGBT rights appeared to be gaining considerable momentum. At the United Nations, the Human Rights Council had selected Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand to serve as the first independent expert tracking violence and discrimination based on gender and sexual identity. And in Washington, Randy Berry was well into his second year as the State Department’s first special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons. To mark the completion of Berry’s first year in that position, the Human Rights Campaign praised him as “a game changer […]

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump before a meeting during the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, New York, Sept. 18, 2017 (AP photo by Seth Wenig).

When U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his fiery first speech at the United Nations General Assembly this week, one person in the audience watched with particular interest, bracing herself for what would come next. After all, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, knew it would be her job to deal with the fallout of her boss’s words, which, predictably, kicked up a storm of controversy. In a surprising twist during a presidency filled with surprises, Haley has become the face of American diplomacy in the age of Trump. It is Haley who has to take Trump’s coarse ideas […]

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This summer, the USS Gerald R. Ford, the first of three new aircraft carriers replacing the aging Nimitz-class supercarriers from the Cold War, was delivered to the United States Navy. This 100,000-ton behemoth—expected to serve the country for more than 50 years—stands ready to fight America’s wars, deter foreign aggression and maintain freedom of navigation at sea. Recent developments in global affairs suggest that the new aircraft carriers and the broader U.S. Navy will face a more comprehensive mission, one that is also pivotal to U.S. and global security: fighting those who are stealing natural resources from the world’s oceans. […]

Actress Angelina Jolie, left, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, U.N. headquarters, New York, Sept. 14, 2017 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).

Antonio Guterres is growing a little less enigmatic. Since becoming secretary-general of the United Nations in January, Guterres has often been a rather opaque figure. As I noted in July, he “tends to take decisions with a small circle of advisers, sidelining perplexed U.N. officials he thinks are not up to snuff.” There has been a good deal of grumbling in the U.N. Secretariat about the new chief’s management style, while human rights advocates have faulted him for failing to speak out strongly enough on global injustices. But with world leaders gathering for a week of high-level meetings in New […]

World Politics Review founder Hampton Stephens, March 25, 2015 (Photo by World Politics Review).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, draw back the curtain on WPR’s editorial process to give an idea of how we select and develop the stories we cover. For the Report, Judah talks with WPR’s publisher, Hampton Stephens, about WPR’s evolution and how our business model is driven by our values and mission. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines, as well as what you’ve seen on WPR, please think about supporting our work by subscribing. We’re currently offering a 25 percent discount on the first year of an […]

Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., listens during the Security Council’s nonproliferation meeting on North Korea at U.N. headquarters, New York, Sept. 4, 2017 (AP photo by Bebeto Matthews).

Russia is flexing its diplomatic muscles at the United Nations again. Moscow appears intent on using the U.N. to complicate American efforts to put pressure on North Korea and sow confusion over its own intentions toward Ukraine. Western diplomats should be alert, because Russia is a fine player of the U.N. game. World leaders gather in New York next week for the new U.N. General Assembly session. All eyes will be on U.S. President Donald Trump. His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will be absent. But Moscow knows how to make its presence felt in New York. Just days after Putin […]