U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is on a nine-day tour of Africa that includes stops in Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia. But while Harris has strenuously avoided making references to Washington’s rivals, the growing competition for influence in Africa between the U.S. and China nonetheless loomed large during Harris’ tour.
The European Union’s member states are locked in some heated debates this week about Europe’s energy future. The discussions involve about 10 different pieces of legislation, but they center on one fundamental question: Should the EU be technologically neutral about how it meets its climate targets?
Last week’s congressional hearing on the alleged security risk posed by TikTok put into stark contrast the gap between the app’s fans and critics. The push in Washington to ban the social media app comes against the backdrop of increasing U.S.-China tensions over technology and the economic and political influence it generates.
Last Thursday, the International Monetary Fund released a statement describing Lebanon’s situation as “very dangerous,” due to the government’s failure to implement reforms. For ordinary Lebanese, that means navigating a landscape that combines the volitivity of a crashing stock market with the horrors of a dystopian movie.
After his reelection in April 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to pursue consensus to advance his agenda. Less than a year later, however, millions of protesters have paralyzed the country, after Macron forced through a pension reform over widespread popular opposition and a lack of votes in parliament.
Citizens in Kenya and South Africa took to the streets this week to protest the skyrocketing cost of living and the decline in the quality of public goods and services. But the protests also raise vital questions about the limits of elections and their ability to engender broader democratic accountability.
A day of nationwide strikes against French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans, which would lift the French retirement age by two years, has paralyzed France. The big question now is whether Macron will blink and retract the law, which he pushed through last week without a parliamentary vote.
President Xi Jinping was in Moscow this week, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The visit comes just weeks after Beijing released a 12-point position paper on a political settlement to what it calls the “Ukraine Crisis.” But expectations that China is going to help broker a breakthrough in the near term are low.
It has been 20 years since the U.S. led an illegal invasion of Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. The invasion unleashed a series of catastrophes for Iraq, the wider Middle East and the world. These catastrophic outcomes remain with us today, and it is worth reflecting on the most enduring ones and their effects.
What do we mean when we talk about the Iraq War? In the flurry of appraisals marking the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the question seems particularly relevant. Most of the bitter debates that preceded, accompanied and outlived the war now seem settled. But in many ways, that apparent resolution is illusory.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ethiopia and Niger this week, as part of Washington’s efforts to step up bilateral engagement with countries on the continent. Still, Washington’s framing of the visit is unlikely to convince skeptical African governments that the U.S. is sincere about treating them as equal partners.
The effects of the migration surge to the EU are being keenly felt at the union’s internal borders. For months now, “temporary” border checks have been imposed to stop people-smugglers from bringing migrants into the EU via the Balkan route. Now tensions are heating up ahead of a leaders summit next week to discuss the issue.
As was widely expected, China’s rubber-stamp parliament reappointed Xi Jinping for an unprecedented third term as president of the People’s Republic of China on Friday. The highly choreographed pageant was another glimpse into just how successfully he has managed to tighten his grip on power since his rise to power in 2012.
Saudi Arabia, Iran and China Offer the U.S. a Lesson in Pragmatism
Rather than signaling a definitive resolution of their broader conflict, Saudi Arabia and Iran’s agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties can be read as Riyadh’s response to what it sees as lukewarm support by the U.S. on countering Tehran. It is also a pragmatic move by China to safeguard its interests in the Middle East.
When Nayib Bukele was elected president of El Salvador four years ago, many observers hoped it might signal the start of a new era for the country, one characterized by accountability for the military and the defense of human rights. It’s hard to imagine how those hopes could have been more bitterly disappointed.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa named a new minister this week to tackle the country’s electricity crisis as part of a Cabinet shakeup ahead of general elections next year. But many regard it as a half-hearted measure that is unlikely to produce the tangible policy reforms they argue South Africa desperately needs.
European officials are whispering nervously about this week’s reports that a pro-Ukraine group, and not Russia, may have been behind the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline. Should that be proven, it would create an immensely awkward diplomatic headache for Europe, particularly the countries through which the pipeline passes.