Wanuri Kahiu, the director of the film “Rafiki,” stands by an art installation in Nairobi, Kenya, April 27, 2018 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Ever since “Rafiki,” the latest film by the acclaimed Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it has been widely praised by foreign critics and directors and even generated some Oscar buzz. But only in the past week have Kenyans been able to see it for themselves. The film centers on a romance between two women. Ezekiel Mutua, chairman of the Kenya Film Classification Board, or KFCB, banned it domestically, saying it was an […]

Protesters from the Answer Coalition gather in front of the White House, Washington, April 14, 2018 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

As the tragic civil war in Syria grinds through its eighth year, it is impossible to make sense of the Trump administration’s strategy as it moves in one direction and then shifts in another, again and again. American policy is utterly incoherent, and there is no sign that will change. President Donald Trump’s position on Syria, expressed more often in tweets than in formal policy statements, vacillated wildly even before he was elected president. In June 2013, for instance, he contended that the United States should “stay the hell out of Syria.” But two months later, after Syrian President Bashar […]

Supporters of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president-elect of the Maldives, celebrate his election win, Maldives, Sept. 24, 2018 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

The Maldives’ authoritarian president, Abdulla Yameen, began hastily burning documents at his campaign headquarters and moving boxes out of his official residence in the capital, Male, earlier this week, after being resoundingly—and astoundingly—defeated by the opposition in Sunday’s presidential election. Nearly 90 percent of voters turned out, 58 percent of them casting ballots for Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, popularly known as Ibu. Yameen was silent for the better part of a day, before conceding defeat on state television. To say the opposition had the odds stacked against them would be a major understatement. Among Yameen’s first acts after coming to power […]

In this courtroom sketch, Salah Abdeslam, center, sits between two police officers during his trial, Brussels, Feb. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Petra Urban).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss President Donald Trump’s week at the United Nations, including his speech to the General Assembly and the Security Council session he chaired. For the Report, Cara Tabachnick talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about how Belgium and other European countries are dealing with citizens returning from fighting with ISIS in Syria. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your […]

A girl eats boiled leaves from a local vine to stave off starvation, in the extremely impoverished district of Aslam, Hajjah, Yemen (AP photo by Hammadi Issa).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series on food security around the world. As the war in Yemen enters its fifth year, the country’s population is coping with an increasingly severe shortage of food. The United Nations’ humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, said last week that three quarters of Yemenis need some form of humanitarian aid, and the situation is nearing a “tipping point, beyond which it will be impossible to prevent massive loss of life as a result of widespread famine across the country.” WPR spoke via email with Noha Aboueldahab, a visiting fellow at the Brookings […]

A Venezuelan migrant holds her passport while waiting in line for a bus in Tumbes, Peru, Aug. 25, 2018 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

In the hierarchy of global attention, problems affecting Latin America rank well below the various political dramas and turmoil unfolding in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. But that high threshold cannot obscure the daunting reality in the region. Latin America today is facing three simultaneous, largely unrelated migration crises, placing enormous pressure on already limited resources and testing the stability, durability and effectiveness of its leaders, values and institutions. Large numbers of people are currently fleeing for their lives from three separate conflicts in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle, which includes El Salvador, Guatemala […]

Construction work taking place in the port of Gwadar, Balochistan, in southern Pakistan, Oct. 4, 2017 (Photo by Christine-Felice R'hrs for DPA via AP.)

Five years after Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road Initiative to the world, the ambitious multitrillion-dollar infrastructure scheme is experiencing major growing pains. Months of harsh media scrutiny, criticism from the United States and Europe, some surprising grumbling domestically, and backtracking from key partner countries have put a dent in what had been promoted as a seamless chain of China-funded transportation and development projects spreading out across the Asian continent. Xi’s signature foreign policy initiative now faces skepticism in the country that has been its most enthusiastic cheerleader and most willing testing ground: Pakistan. On Sept. 9, […]

Soldiers examine burnt-out cars outside the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, after it was attacked by al-Qaida-linked extremists, Jan. 17, 2016 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

The Islamist militants came on motorbikes, arriving before dawn in two villages in eastern Burkina Faso. In the first village, Diabiga, they struck a mosque, killing a local Muslim leader and four other worshipers; a sixth person later died of his injuries. In the second village, Kompienbiga, they killed three members of the same family. The dual attacks, which occurred on Sept. 15, did not come as a total surprise. In the weeks leading up to them, a series of similar incidents in the east claimed around 20 lives. Analysts suspect the violence is the work of the Islamic State […]

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev attends a joint press conference during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao city, east China’s Shandong province, June 10, 2018 (Photo by Ge Jin for Imaginechina via AP Images).

Since he turned 78 in July, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has appointed a number of new ministers to his Cabinet, fueling speculation about whether he will run for another term in elections scheduled for 2020. Such speculation is not new in Kazakhstan, but given Nazarbayev’s advanced age, observers fear that without a clearly defined succession plan, the country’s stability could deteriorate. In an email interview with WPR, Paul Stronski, a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, discusses Kazakhstan’s political outlook. World Politics Review: What is driving Nazarbayev’s ongoing Cabinet reshuffle? Paul […]

French President Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of the plenary session of the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria, Sept. 20, 2018 (AP photo by Matthias Schrader).

PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron is probably glad to be in New York this week. His meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump—always a risky affair given Trump’s unpredictable bent—surprisingly went off without a hitch. And his address to the United Nations General Assembly offered him another high-profile opportunity to burnish his global image as the defender of the multilateral order. But the real appeal of the trip for Macron is that it took him out of France, where a series of self-inflicted wounds have dented his approval ratings. After winning the presidential election in April 2017 with a lopsided 66 percent […]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd from left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd from right) pose with their wives on Mt. Paektu, a volcano on the North Korean-Chinese border, on Sept. 20, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP).

The traditional harvest festival of Chuseok is one of the most important days in Korean culture. It is a time to celebrate and rekindle family ties, aided by good food and good drink—that is, if you can make it through the traffic. Chuseok falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which this year was Sept. 24, days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un met in Pyongyang for their third summit. In keeping with the spirit of the season, the two men and their spouses put on […]

A memorial is set up to mark the second anniversary of fighting in Ilovaysk between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Ukraine paramilitaries and pro-Russia insurgents, Kiev, Ukraine, Aug. 29, 2016 (Sipa photo via AP).

Under the cover of darkness, eight cargo trucks from Russia rumbled down a dirt road just inside the Ukrainian border. A breeze cooled the early August night, drifting over the Russian countryside into this swath of coal-mining country in Donetsk, before being caught in the swells of the Black Sea. It was clear. A perfect night for a drone from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which has been monitoring a shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine for the past four years, to record video of the convoys of KamAZ-4310s, the green army trucks once called the “workhorse of […]

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, gets into a car to leave a detention center in Uiwang, South Korea, Feb. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about corruption in various countries around the world. South Korean President Moon Jae-in entered office in May 2017 pledging to crack down on rampant corruption, in a country where political leaders often enjoy cozy relations with the business elite. But his push to reform South Korea’s giant conglomerates, known as chaebols, has stalled amid weak economic performance and a high-profile rapprochement with North Korea. In an email interview with WPR, Park Sang-in, professor of economics and public administration at Seoul National University, discusses the Moon administration’s efforts to address the […]

Pro-government protesters hold both the Hong Kong flag, left, and the Chinese national flag outside the convention center, Hong Kong, May 18, 2016 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday banned the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, which reportedly has “at most a few dozen” members, on the grounds that it threatened national security and public order. In justifying the decision, the government invoked the city’s colonial-era security ordinance, which has mostly been used to combat organized crime. Though the move was without precedent, it came as no surprise. Under President Xi Jinping, China has consistently restricted efforts […]

A young demonstrator plays a trumpet during a protest against austerity measures put in place by the government of President Mauricio Macri, Buenos Aires, Sept. 24, 2018 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

BUENOS AIRES—Once again, Argentina has become synonymous with crisis. The Argentine peso has already lost half of its value against the dollar this year, and the economy is projected to contract by at least 2 percent while inflation reaches 40 percent. Beleaguered President Mauricio Macri is asking the International Monetary Fund for additional assistance, only three months after finalizing a loan agreement. Not surprisingly, Macri’s domestic popularity has suffered, weakening his re-election prospects next year. But while the situation is indeed serious, comparing it with Argentina’s total economic, political and social collapse in 2001—as some Argentine and foreign commentators have—is […]

Belgian soldiers patrol near the court where Salah Abdeslam, the top suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, appeared before a judge, Brussels, March 24, 2016 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

BRUSSELS—One morning in November 2015, Ahmed Khaddine, then 25, was in his apartment in central Brussels, typing away on his computer at his desk, when the front door flew open. Before he really knew what was happening, two policemen burst in, grabbed him, pushed his face down onto the wooden floor and handcuffed him before taking him to the police station. For Ahmed, a son of Moroccan immigrants who was born and raised in Brussels, the arrest had been a long time coming. Many years earlier, during his final years of high school, he had begun attending a local mosque […]

Thousands of people march to demand that Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado scrap a proposed fiscal reform before congress that includes new taxes, in the streets of San Jose, Costa Rica, Sept. 12, 2018 (AP Photo by Carlos Gonzalez).

An indefinite nationwide strike by Costa Rica’s public workers is now in its third week, as unions remain bitterly opposed to a proposed package of tax reforms and changes to public servants’ compensation that aims to rein in the country’s public debt. Union representatives have met with their government counterparts for marathon negotiating sessions in recent days but have failed to resolve the dispute. In an email interview with WPR, Layla Zaglul, a Costa Rican doctoral candidate at the University of Sussex, discusses the strike and its political and fiscal implications. World Politics Review: What are the main reasons for […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 751 2 3 5 Last