The Vladivostok Mistral-class helicopter carrier docks at Saint-Nazaire harbor, France, Nov. 14, 2014 (AP photo by Laetitia Notarianni).

After reports last week that France and Russia reached a deal on compensation for France’s decision to cancel the sale of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said in an interview Friday that the exact amount France will pay Russia will be announced when the deal is approved by Parliament. It was first reported that France would repay Russia $1.3 billion for the nixed deal, which would include compensation for the training of 400 Russian sailors and updated port infrastructure in Vladivostok. Reports later surfaced that the price tag would be closer to $2.2 billion. But […]

Boys drink water being pumped out of the existing potable water system, which is to be improved by the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, Saut d'Eau, Haiti, June 28, 2012 (U.N. photo by Victoria Hazou).

It is turning into a summer of big diplomatic deals at the United Nations. Two weeks ago, the Security Council endorsed the Iranian nuclear deal. This weekend, diplomats signed off on an arguably even more complex bargain: the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a sprawling set of 169 targets that the world is meant to achieve by 2030, ranging from eradicating poverty to fostering peaceful societies. Skeptical commentators worry that this amalgam of good intentions is too unwieldy to gain traction, in contrast to the crisper Millennium Development Goals articulated in 2000. But it is still impressive that […]