French police officers evacuate a migrant during a large operation to dismantle makeshift migrant camps in the north of Paris, Nov. 7, 2019 (AP photo by Francois Mori).

French President Emmanuel Macron has maintained a frosty rapport with the national media since taking office in 2017, giving just two press conferences and accusing journalists of “no longer seeking the truth.” So it was a bit out of character when in late October he sat down for a lengthy interview with the magazine Valeurs Actuelles, to outline his priorities for the second half of his five-year term. Immigration—notably, how to reduce it—was chief among them. Valeurs Actuelles isn’t mainstream or widely read. It’s a conservative weekly magazine known for alarmist tropes against migrants and Muslims, so it seemed like […]

An aerial view of the Qingbaijiang Railway Port, where freight trains travel between China and Europe, in Chengdu city, Sichuan province, China, April 30, 2019 (Imaginechina photo by Yi Fang via AP Images).

Seven years into a sweeping and costly effort to rebuild Asia with itself at the center, China has a publicity problem with its Belt and Road Initiative. What has become the guiding macroeconomic centerpiece of Chinese foreign policy is in many ways stranded on shaky ground. Some of the Belt and Road Initiative’s trouble is superficial, like its unwieldy name, which had to be rebranded from its earlier form, “One Belt, One Road,” that itself was an abbreviation for two interrelated investment strategies called the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. But fundamentally, Beijing’s problems […]

Uruguayan President-elect Luis Lacalle Pou arrives at the country’s presidential palace for a meeting with outgoing President Tabare Vazquez in Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec. 2, 2019 (AP photo by Matilde Campodonico).

Ending 15 years of governing by the leftist Broad Front coalition, Luis Lacalle Pou of the center-right National Party was declared the winner on Nov. 30 of Uruguay’s closely contested presidential runoff. The results of the second-round vote a week earlier, on Nov. 24, came down to just 28,666 votes out of 2.43 million cast, according to the Electoral Court. With turnout at 90 percent, Lacalle Pou, a lawyer, veteran congressman and son of a former president, edged the Broad Front’s candidate, Daniel Martinez, a former mayor of Montevideo, 48.7 to 47.5 percent. During the Broad Front’s decade and a […]

President Donald Trump addresses members of the military during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to Afghanistan, Bagram Air Field, Nov. 28, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

When President Donald Trump granted pardons to two Army officers—one convicted of war crimes, the other accused of them—and reversed the demotion of a Navy SEAL who was convicted of posing with the corpse of an enemy combatant, he exposed several troubling ambiguities about civilian-military relations in the United States. Civilian and uniformed defense officials feel most at ease when the dynamics of their relationship are clear-cut, with formal and tacit assignments of roles and responsibilities that leave little room for uncertainty. In practice, though, things are rarely so black and white. There is only one certainty so far in […]

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