Demonstrators from Somali anti-government opposition groups burn photographs of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in Mogadishu, Somalia, April 25, 2021 (AP photo by Farah Abdi Warsameh).

Somalia stepped back from the brink of widespread violence Wednesday, when incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed abandoned his controversial effort to unilaterally extend his term amid months of electoral turmoil. Mohamed’s about-face came after several weeks of escalating conflict, sparked by his decision on April 14 to sign a law extending his mandate and that of federal lawmakers by two years. While the legislation had been passed by the lower house of Parliament, it had yet to gain approval from the Senate, a required step before a bill can become law in Somalia. Mohamed’s decision to sign it anyway led […]

Cooling towers of the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, Sept. 27, 2011 (AP photo by Petr David Josek).

A fight over nuclear power is heating up in the European Union. While the Czech Republic and other Central and Eastern European states insist that the technology is vital to their transition from coal-generated energy, others in the bloc want to cut it out of the equation. The outcome of the debate could also help determine the fate of a stalled tender to build a new reactor at Dukovany, one of the country’s two existing nuclear power plants. Hopes in Prague were boosted in March when the Joint Research Center, an expert group for the European Commission, delivered a report […]

The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, after being sworn in at the National Assembly in Kuwait, Sept. 30, 2021 (AP Photo by Jaber Abdulkhaleg).

Since legislative elections were held in December, Kuwait has seen continued infighting between the National Assembly—where opposition lawmakers are heavily represented—and members of the Cabinet, who are appointed by the emir and also have parliamentary seats. The prolonged standoff has ground the legislative process nearly to a halt, preventing the government from passing measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, including a law that would allow the state to borrow badly needed funds on international markets. Kuwait is unique among Gulf Arab monarchies in that it has relatively free elections and an active legislature that can […]

President Joe Biden turns from the podium after speaking to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April 28, 2021 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

For those excited by Joe Biden’s campaign promises to restore democracy promotion as a central plank of U.S. foreign policy, the months following last year’s presidential election were hair-raising. As Donald Trump refused to concede defeat and his supporters spread baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud, experts raised alarms that the fraught climate and Republican intransigence were eroding America’s global reputation. The ensuing loss of credibility, they warned, would make it all the more difficult for the U.S. to hold other countries accountable for authoritarian behavior. One insurrection, one inauguration, and 100 days later, the democracy promotion community has found […]

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, left, and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, right, during a meeting in Maputo, Mozambique to discuss the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, April 8, 2021 (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

On March 24, Ansar al-Sunna, a militant group linked to the Islamic State, launched a bloody attack on the coastal town of Palma, in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, leaving at least 61 dead and scores more unaccounted for. The assault, which lasted more than a week and took place near a major liquefied natural gas plant under construction by the French energy giant Total, made global headlines and shined a spotlight on a fast-growing insurgency. Though the group has since been pushed out of Palma by Mozambican security forces, the attack highlights the danger should the insurgents expand their […]

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the prime minister’s office, in Jerusalem, April 12, 2021 (pool photo by Menahem Kahana via AP).

While tensions between Israel and Iran have been omnipresent in the Middle East for decades, the prospect of open military conflict between the two countries has never seemed closer than it does now. Over the past few months, the two rivals have escalated an undeclared naval war featuring unclaimed attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-owned ships. At the same time, Israel has continued its air strikes on Iranian weapons shipments transiting across Syria, and a damaging explosion on April 11 at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was widely attributed to Israel. All of this comes against the backdrop of U.S. President Joe […]

Nationalists and loyalists clash at the peace wall on Lanark Way in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 7, 2021 (AP photo by Peter Morrison).

BELFAST, Northern Ireland—For more than a week earlier this month, Northern Ireland was rocked by riots in pro-British unionist communities, with frequent outbursts of violence in areas bordering on pro-Irish nationalist neighborhoods. Thankfully, no one was killed, but almost 90 police officers were injured in efforts to quell the unrest and keep youths on either side of the “peace walls”—effectively enhanced security barriers separating the two communities—from attacking one another. The main trigger for the disorder was the recent decision by local authorities not to prosecute leaders of the staunchly nationalist Sinn Fein party for attending the funeral last summer […]

Bogazici University students hold an LGBT flag and a placard that reads “the youth will win” at a protest in support of their detained friends in Istanbul, Feb. 3, 2021 (AP photo by Emrah Gurel).

For more than three months, Turkey has been rocked by rolling protests centered in Istanbul. Following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s controversial appointment of businessman Melih Bulu as the new rector of Bogazici University in January, students and professors began holding rallies to denounce the pick. They see Bulu as an outsider and lackey for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish abbreviation AKP, and argue that his unilateral appointment is an unacceptable attempt to undermine the independence of one of Turkey’s most prestigious academic institutions. The scope of the demonstrations widened rapidly, as participants vented their frustrations with […]

Then-Prime Minister Igor Matovic announces the resignation of Health Minister Marek Krajci, left, in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 11, 2021 (TASR photo by Pavel Neubauer via AP).

A display of hubris by Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovic over a controversial Russian coronavirus vaccine has cost him his job and shaken a reformist government in which many Slovaks had invested so much hope. On April 1, Matovic resigned, just over a year after coming to power following an election victory billed as a political earthquake. He has stayed on as finance minister in a government now led by Eduard Heger, of Matovic’s Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party, in a neat job-swap that saved the four-party ruling coalition. Matovic’s government had embarked upon tough judicial reforms and sought […]

Raul Castro, right, with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the closing session of the Cuban Communist Party’s eighth congress, in Havana, April 19, 2021 (ACN photo by Ariel Ley Royero via AP).

On Monday, the 60th anniversary of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Raul Castro stepped down as leader of the Cuban Communist Party. Between them, Raul and his late brother, Fidel, led Cuba since the triumph of the revolution in January 1959. But Raul Castro’s resignation more than six decades later, at the party’s Eighth Congress, represents more than just the retirement of an aging revolutionary with a storied last name. His departure marks the final stage of a leadership transition from the “historic” generation that founded the revolutionary regime to a successor generation born after 1959. All five of […]

French President Emmanuel Macron attends the state funeral for the late Chadian President Idriss Deby, with Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, N’Djamena, Chad, April 23, 2021 (pool photo by Christophe Petit Tesson via AP).

On Tuesday, just one day after Chad’s incumbent president, Idriss Deby, was declared the winner of the country’s April 11 presidential election, a military spokesperson announced that Deby had been killed on the battlefield while overseeing fighting with rebels known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, or FACT, in the country’s northern region. Deby, 68, had been poised to claim a sixth term in office, having won almost 80 percent of the vote in an election victory most observers considered to be guaranteed in advance. He had led Chad since seizing power in a 1990 rebellion, making […]

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, at a signing ceremony in Tehran, March 27, 2021 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

The recently finalized 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement between Iran and China has been referred to in the media as a “game-changer,” a “breakthrough” and a “major geopolitical shift,” but in reality, it is much ado about nothing. Signed with great fanfare on March 27, during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Tehran, the deal does provide Iran with a political and rhetorical win in the context of its ongoing negotiations over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal. Beyond the optics of the agreement with China, though, the substance follows the same playbook that Beijing and Tehran have developed […]

President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide walk from the Oval Office to speak at a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 16, 2021 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Last Friday’s summit in Washington between President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide was one of the most closely watched diplomatic events of the year, for good reason. It was Biden’s first in-person meeting with a foreign leader since taking office, having conducted most of his engagements virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our commitment to meet in person is indicative of the importance, the value we both place on this relationship,” Biden said at a joint press conference with Suga at the White House. For both leaders, it was a valuable opportunity to restore a sense of […]

Anti-coup protesters hold up a three-fingers salute, a symbol of pro-democracy resistance, during a demonstration in Thaketa township, Yangon, Myanmar, March 27, 2021 (AP photo).

In the weeks since the Feb. 1 coup that overthrew Myanmar’s democratically elected government, civilians have responded with relentless, organized outrage, mobilizing street protests, general strikes and other disruptive forms of nonviolent resistance. Ousted lawmakers have formed a parallel administration, called the National Unity Government, in defiance of the military regime. The Tatmadaw, as the armed forces are known in Myanmar, has countered with an escalating crackdown, killing over 700 demonstrators and injuring or detaining thousands more. The rest of the world, meanwhile, has issued statements of condemnation and piecemeal sanctions that have had little impact on a country descending […]

A woman walks past a Nike store in Beijing, March 25, 2021 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

China has a long history of wielding its immense market power as a tool of economic coercion. During the first half of the 20th century, it fought back against colonial powers by organizing boycotts of goods from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. Nearly a century later, China is again using the boycott as a weapon against what it views as unwanted outside interference—in this case, criticism from foreign officials and businesses over allegations of human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang region. Yet despite its $14 trillion economy—the world’s second-largest—the threat of a Chinese boycott […]

Girls chant slogans at a protest in front of the U.N. building in Sanaa, Yemen, May 12, 2016 (AP photo by Hani Mohammed).

It is easy to forget how quickly outsiders’ ideas about places like Yemen changed during the early days of the Arab Spring uprisings that began a decade ago—and how quickly those new impressions faded when the uprisings did not deliver rapid transformation. Such short memories are proving costly for Yemeni women, who gained a place at the political table during and after the 2011 protest movement that ousted then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s autocratic regime, only to be shunted aside amid the violent conflict and international indifference that has plagued the country since. With a cease-fire deal reportedly in the offing […]

Mansour Abbas, leader of the United Arab List party, at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, April 5, 2021 (pool photo by Abir Sultan via AP).

Right after last month’s general election in Israel, the fourth in two years, the remnants of the country’s center-left parties were unofficially absorbed into a newly formed political concoction called the “change bloc.” In politics, the term “change” is usually invoked to suggest a difference in policies or convictions from the status quo, but in this case, it refers to a single event: ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule. To achieve this goal, the change bloc brought together politicians so ideologically distant from one another that it is hard to imagine them forming a book club, let alone a […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 361 2 3 Last