A youth waits to enter the San Nicolas Tolentino cemetery in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, April 30, 2020 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

While the health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have been primarily endured by elderly populations, there is increasing recognition that young people will disproportionately absorb the economic and social impacts. One study, conducted in April and released last month by the International Labor Organization, found that the pandemic had caused one in six young people to lose their jobs, as well as a 23 percent average reduction in working hours for those still employed. Within this “lockdown generation,” as the ILO calls them, the situation is especially dire for women, ethnic minorities and migrant workers. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general […]

Tires burn during a demonstration to commemorate the first anniversary of a deadly crackdown carried out by security forces on protesters, in Khartoum, Sudan, June 3, 2020 (AP photo by Marwan Ali).

More than a year after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir’s regime, the coronavirus pandemic is hitting Sudan’s still-fragile democratic transition. Differences between the civilian and military leaders in the transitional, power-sharing government are growing, as the military consolidates its authority due to restrictive security measures that went into effect in April, including a ban on public gatherings and protests around the country, with particularly harsh restrictions in effect in the capital, Khartoum. COVID-19 has also brought chaos to Sudan’s troubled economy, damaging the transitional government’s credibility and popularity. The road had not been smooth since last August, when Sudan’s […]

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July 1 is an ominous day for Palestinians, when Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is set to leap forward into formal annexation. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held onto his office by forging a power-sharing agreement with his political rival, Benny Gantz, that gave him the authority he needed to deliver on his biggest campaign promise: unilaterally annexing Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as soon as next month. The plans for annexation prompted a reckoning in Ramallah, where President Mahmoud Abbas announced last month that the Palestinian Authority would no longer coordinate with Israel on security […]

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai displays the flag of India to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United Arab Emirates, Feb. 10, 2018 (AP photo by Jon Gambrell).

One of India’s foreign policy success stories under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the country’s deepening relations with Gulf Arab states. Building on previous Indian governments’ engagement with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council—namely Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates—Modi has zeroed in on common economic and security interests to cement strong ties with GCC countries during his time in office. The coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest disruption in years to these partnerships. For starters, prominent voices in the Gulf have spoken out against rising Islamophobia in India and among some members of the […]

A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Old City of Aleppo, Sept. 27, 2019 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

It might seem like an all-too familiar story: With its economy cratered by civil war, and new pockets of anti-regime resistance, Syria is on the verge of state collapse. President Bashar al-Assad isn’t just on the back foot; he is weaker than ever. Is he about to fall? You might have read this before—back in 2015, perhaps, before Russia intervened to save Assad. Indeed, in May 2015, I wrote about just that, as Syria’s army showed more signs of fracturing and the economy sank further. The value of Syria’s currency that month had hit a record low against the U.S. […]

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It is too soon to tell how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect international security. Whether it will provide opportunities for prolonged peace or create conditions for new rivalries and disputes depends on how long the pandemic lasts, how the world moves forward from bungled initial responses and how quickly countries recover from the virus’s societal and economic fallout. But already, the pandemic is exposing and accelerating trends that have made the world more vulnerable to international conflict. That may be surprising, since before the outbreak, most statistics indicated that, on the whole, the world had never been better. People were […]

A man wearing a face mask leaves one of the markets in the old Habous district of Casablanca, Morocco, May 23, 2020 (AP photo by Abdeljalil Bounhar).

MADRID—In late March, about 100 Moroccan migrants living in Spain paid smugglers 5,400 euros each—roughly $6,100—to make the treacherous journey home in inflatable rafts. In a curious case of reverse migration, they desperately fled a wealthy country that had been crippled by the coronavirus and could not offer them work for the foreseeable future. Yet when they finally reached the beaches of Larache, on Morocco’s western coast, they were hunted by the Moroccan authorities, who were concerned that the migrants would spread the coronavirus. Police conducted a door-to-door search, and at least one migrant was found hiding in a clay […]

A protester holds an Iraqi flag during anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq, May 12, 2020 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

BAGHDAD—The Islamic State is stepping up its attacks in Iraq, fulfilling the expectations of many analysts that the extremist group would mount a comeback after the Iraqi government declared victory over it in 2017. While the Islamic State has yet to show the same capabilities it had at its peak in 2013 and 2014, when it gained control of several provinces and population centers—including Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities—the tempo of attacks has been increasing for over six months. This coincides with a period of domestic unrest due to widespread anti-government protests. The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State […]