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Antony Blinken was in Africa this week for a three-country tour, where he unveiled the Biden administration’s new approach for deepening ties with African nations. The strategy seems to hit all the right notes. But to implement it, the U.S. will have to break long-established habits in its relations with the continent.

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A debate is raging across Europe over whether all Russians should be banned from entering the EU. Politicians are debating whether that would unfairly hold the Russian people collectively responsible for the war in Ukraine, and conversely whether it is fair to let them in while Europeans cannot safely travel to Russia.

Xi Jinping with tea.

In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, much of the commentary in the U.S. has been on the visit’s impact on U.S.-China relations. Unfortunately, the reactions within Taiwan and China have attracted less attention, as they are revealing of domestic factors driving decision-making on both sides of the strait.

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In the wake of Joe Biden’s Middle East visit in mid-July, some U.S. officials suggested that critics of the trip should reserve judgement until they see the “deliverables” agreed upon by the regional leaders Biden met with. Hopefully many such deliverables do materialize, beginning with reviving the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.

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At least 32 people were killed in a July 29 attack by suspected cattle thieves in a village approximately 47 miles north of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. While the country’s president has vowed to bring the killers to justice, the roots of Madagascar’s cattle theft problem date back decades and defy obvious solutions.

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In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China has responded with an unprecedented range of diplomatic, economic and military measures. The entire episode suggests that the One China policy, the diplomatic sleight of hand that has governed U.S.-China relations for over 40 years, might be reaching its expiration date.

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The first ship exporting grain from Ukraine since February left Odessa’s port this week thanks to a deal brokered by Turkey and the U.N. The agreement aims to ease the global food crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but there are doubts as to whether it will hold for long enough to make a difference.

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A video depicting a chained woman in a dark shack in the Chinese city of Xuzhou went viral, racking up more than 1.9 billion views on Chinese social media. But the reaction by authorities to the video show how online outrage is often corralled and stripped of its more systemic critiques of the state.

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The political impasse in Iraq has reached an ominous phase that underscores the danger of litigating politics through displays of force. And in Lebanon, the many twists and turns in its deadlocked politics demonstrate that negotiation through violence can give way to a sustainable—if bloody—alternative to civic democracy.