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 […]

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech as she launches her reelection campaign in Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).

Just over a year ago, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s political fortunes were stuck in a downward spiral. She resigned as leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, after it suffered a historic rout in local elections in 2018, losing 16 out of 22 key municipal and county-level leadership races. In the weeks following that drubbing, her approval rating dropped to an all-time low of 24 percent. It looked as though Taiwan’s first female president would also be the first to serve only a single term in office. Who could have predicted then that Tsai would “rise from the […]

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Cape Canaveral, Florida, Aug. 22, 2019 (AP photo by John Raoux).

When President Donald Trump signed the latest National Defense Authorization Act last month, he brought into existence the United States Space Force, the sixth branch of the country’s military. The name likely appeals to Trump for the same reasons that it appalls others: It is attention-grabbing and frames the issue of space in terms of American military dominance. At least initially, the new Space Force represents only a modest organizational change, one that is essentially neutral in terms of personnel and budgetary impact. A skeptical Congress appropriated only $40 million of its $738 billion military budget for the new endeavor. […]

Soldiers stand guard in a watchtower flying Jordanian flags, in the area of ​​Baqoura near the Israeli-Jordanian border, Nov. 13, 2019 (AP photo by Raad Adayleh).

The 25th anniversary of the landmark peace treaty between Jordan and Israel came and went without celebration among Jordanians last fall. They did cheer, however, when the Jordanian government refused to renew annexes to the treaty that allowed Israel to lease and farm fertile lands in the Jordan Valley. While Israelis were disappointed by the move, which followed through on a previous announcement, Jordanians welcomed the return of their country’s flag and sovereignty to the territories of Baqura and al-Ghamr. A cold peace, as King Abdullah II has often put it, is getting colder. Relations between Jordan and Israel have […]

A woman casts her ballot at a voting station during a local election in Aceh Besar, Aceh province, Indonesia, April 9, 2012 (AP photo by Heri Juanda).

Hailed as the model for resolving long-running separatist insurgencies in Southeast Asia, the 2005 agreement that ended a nearly 30-year civil war in Indonesia’s Aceh province, on the northwestern tip of Sumatra, is showing its cracks. Under the peace deal, Aceh was granted more political autonomy as the separatist rebels of the Free Aceh Movement, known in Indonesian as the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, or GAM, laid down their arms. Since then, the province has held several democratic elections, while its economy has grown at an annual clip of 5 percent over the past decade. But while the deal has provided […]

Namibian President Hage Geingob arrives to cast his vote in the country’s election, Windhoek, Namibia, Nov. 27, 2019 (AP photo by Brandon van Wyk).

WINDHOEK, Namibia—In an era of political flux around the world, Namibia has long been an outpost of stubborn consistency. The ruling SWAPO Party has won every election since the country’s independence in 1990. Generally, the only matter for political debate was which opposition party would out-perform the others. That changed in the most recent general election in November. Dogged by an economic downturn and a damaging corruption scandal, SWAPO faced its first serious political challenge in 30 years, while President Hage Geingob’s bid for a second five-year term was nearly derailed by a surge in support for an outsider candidate. […]

A Qatari flag flies in front of a banner showing King Salman of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, Dec. 9, 2019 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

Saudi Arabia and its allies began the Qatar blockade in 2017 in an attempt to reorient Doha's foreign policy away from countries seen as inimical to Saudi interests. With Saudi leadership now facing several crises and increasingly willing to compromise, the two sides are inching closer to a resolution. Saudi Arabia and Qatar appear to be closer to resolving a diplomatic feud that has isolated Doha from its neighbors since 2017, although wide gaps still remain. In an attempt to break the impasse, which has sharply divided the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia recently invited Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim […]

Czech President Milos Zeman, right, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the terrace of the Strahov Monastery in Prague, Czech Republic, March 30, 2016 (Photo by Rene Fluger for CTK via AP Images).

PRAGUE—With its foggily lit Gothic alleyways, Prague has long had the image of a hotbed of international espionage. A recent report by the Czech Republic’s national intelligence agency, the Security Information Service, or BIS, does little to dispel that narrative. It cautions that Russia and China are steadily increasing their efforts to sow division and win influence in this small country in the heart of Eastern Europe, which is a member of the European Union and NATO. Both Moscow and Beijing are widely suspected of seeking to provoke instability across the West, but in few countries are these tussles playing […]

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