A boy paddles a kayak down a flooded street in Midland, Mich., May 20, 2020 (Photo by Katy Kildee for Midland Daily News via AP Images).

Historic floods washed over swaths of Michigan after a dam breach earlier this month, just days after a major typhoon struck the Philippines. Last week, Cyclone Amphan slammed into eastern India and Bangladesh, killing dozens of people. And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a busier-than-normal Atlantic hurricane season, which officially kicks off on June 1. The timing, obviously, couldn’t be worse. For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman is joined by Samantha Montano, an assistant professor of emergency management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, for a conversation about the challenges of preparing for, and responding […]

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a joint video press conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, May 18, 2020 (AP photo by Francois Mori).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Freddy Deknatel and Prachi Vidwans talk about the abrupt firing of the U.S. State Department’s inspector general by President Donald Trump last week, and the allegations of misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that have since emerged. They also talk about a potentially game-changing proposal by France and Germany for the European Union to issue collective debt to finance post-pandemic economic recovery plans for its hardest-hit member states. Listen: Download: MP3 Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Spotify Relevant Articles on WPR:The Future of Trump’s ‘America First’ Agenda […]

Pedro dos Santos, the leader of a community named Park of Indigenous Nations, in Manaus, Brazil, May 10, 2020 (AP photo by Felipe Dana).

Far from being a “great equalizer,” the coronavirus pandemic “is reinforcing the brutal inequality that separates the world’s privileged and marginalized communities,” WPR columnist Stewart Patrick wrote recently. Consider the indigenous people of South America, whose populations were decimated long ago by the arrival of European colonizers who introduced new and deadly pathogens to the continent. In an email interview with WPR, Rosaleen Howard, chair of Hispanic Studies at Newcastle University, explains how centuries of exploitation and neglect have left these indigenous communities especially vulnerable to COVID-19. World Politics Review: What kinds of unique challenges are indigenous communities in South […]

President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 7, 2020 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Freddy Deknatel and Prachi Vidwans talk about the big questions hanging over the future of U.S. foreign policy in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election in November. They also discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has underscored and exacerbated the major issues at stake. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Spotify Relevant Articles on WPR:America’s Global Role Was Already Shifting. COVID-19 Will Accelerate ItWith the U.S. Backsliding, Who Will Defend Democracy in the World?The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Risks of America’s Fade-OutPolicing a Pandemic: How Police Were, […]

An officer wearing personal protection equipment at the East Baton Rouge Parish jail, Baton Rouge, La., April 21, 2020 (AP photo by Gerald Herbert).

As the coronavirus has spread across the globe in recent months, prisons and jails have emerged as critical hotspots for outbreaks. According to the Marshall Project, more than 14,000 prisoners have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States alone, over 200 of whom have died from the disease. For a look at the challenges prisons and jails are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the strategies they’re adopting to overcome them, WPR recently spoke by phone with Marc Stern, an assistant professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and a consultant in correctional […]

A man jogs on an empty street along the Seine river in Paris, France, April 4, 2020 (AP photo by Christophe Ena).

After months of living under strict lockdowns, many people have grown accustomed to scenes that once would have been utterly surreal, like normally busy highways and thoroughfares suddenly emptied of vehicles. Photographers around the world have documented how wild animals are reclaiming national parks in the absence of human visitors. Atmospheric researchers have documented dramatic declines in air pollution. All of this will simply be a temporary salve for the environment if the economy comes roaring back, business as usual, once the public health threat recedes. But it could also be the beginning of a new normal, a transition point […]

Thousands of Afghan migrants enter Afghanistan at the Islam Qala border crossing with Iran, March 18, 2020 (AP photo by Hamed Sarfarazi).

Hundreds of thousands of Afghan migrants have returned home from neighboring Iran in recent months, fleeing one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. Iran has more than 94,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a death toll of 6,000, although the real figures are likely higher. The exodus has raised concerns of an impending spike in coronavirus cases in Afghanistan. In an email interview with WPR, Annalisa Perteghella, a research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Center at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, discusses the high risk of coronavirus transmission in Afghanistan and the impact the pandemic […]