February 17, 2020

World

"They always anticipated U.S. support would run out, but President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to rapidly pull U.S. forces out of northeast Syria has nevertheless stunned the Kurds..."

"Scarcely a week into Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure as president of Brazil, protections for the environment and indigenous and LGBTQ populations have been removed..."

"The protests have combined legitimate economic grievances with the worst of far-right politics. And the French left has been happy to go along."

"America needs to back up its allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, and potentially Turkey), and isolate its adversaries (Iran, Russia, China, Islamic State). Everything else is secondary."

"It’s almost hard to remember now that the prospect of nuclear conflict between the United States and North Korea seemed very real and imminent a year ago. At the dawning of this new year, we’re in a much different place."

"By some estimates, there are more than 100 “uncontacted tribes” in Brazil, mostly in the western reaches of the Amazon rainforest. These are indigenous peoples who live beyond the direct control, and sometimes knowledge, of the Brazilian state."

"Should we conclude that an autocratic China is sure to become the world’s dominant power in the next few decades? My answer is: no."

"Liberal democrats need to forge a new way of talking about the challenges they face. Instead of calling their opponents Nazis or fascists, liberals should focus on why the popular support for their rule remains high..."

"Almost everywhere (with a few exceptions such as Israel and South Korea), favourable views of the US are declining. Alliances are loosening and the multilateral world order is creaking."

"While the NHS has long been the subject of some scorn in America, it is also often heralded elsewhere as a shining example of how universal health care can succeed. British citizens are fiercely protective of it."

"She was swept into power in a landslide 2015 election that many around the world hoped would bring greater freedom and stability to her country. Three years later, Aung San Suu Kyi is isolated and besieged by critics."

"After Trump was elected, one reaction in global capitals was “maybe this won’t be so bad.” The resignation of Secretary of Defense James Mattis has sent a shock wave through American politics. But its impact overseas may be just as disruptive."

"The West owes them a debt for the price they’ve paid. Instead, a U.S. departure would threaten them with disaster... I heard frequently from Kurds about their fears of ethnic cleansing should Turkey invade."

"...although President Trump didn’t mention Iraq in his tweet, it is not a wholly separate theater from Syria as the Islamic State once ruled over territory covering much of both countries, with its operatives shuttling back and forth."

"The pact comes as Saudi Arabia, which is leading a U.S.-backed air war against a Shiite separatist group known as the Houthis, is facing increasing international and congressional pressure to pursue a peace deal."

"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."

Iran's cyber attacks on the United States are a serious threat to American security. So how come the American media is so disinterested?

"Until recently, most Americans have understood that the biggest threats to their privacy came from their own government."

"There's nothing democratic about forcing through a Brexit deal that voters in 2016 probably wouldn't have approved."

"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."

"The Yellow Vests are many things, but they are not anti-tax. They’re certainly not for the kind of smaller government championed by Macron’s government."

"In 1989 Francis Fukuyama published an essay heralding the “end of history,” by which he meant the triumph of representative democracy over all other forms of government."

"With the weakest of hands, an economy not much larger than that of Spain, and a GDP per capita several thousand dollars smaller than Malaysia, he has asserted massive negative influence over the globalized world."

Check out the Atlantic's compilation of twenty-five memorable news photographs that best capture a dramatic year in the headlines.

" In country after country, the policies embraced by the liberal establishment produced aggregate growth but benefits that were enjoyed only by some — namely, by the relatively well-educated residents of major cities and their surrounding suburbs..."

"Mr. Macron’s posturing aside, the French are nationalist to the core... French diplomacy under President Macron is as nationalist as ever. His core objective is to shift EU economic policy in France’s favor."

"...it's a pretty sad state of affairs when the smartest move Trump could make was canceling meetings -- with Putin, for instance, when a direct, face-to-face confrontation might even have helped put a brake on Russian expansionism..."

"Trump, who normally shuns international travel, is turning the event into a one-stop diplomatic shop, with seven bilateral meetings scheduled in 48 hours."

"From the Kremlin’s pro-Trump meddling in 2016 to its threats to Ukraine, Georgia and other border states, nearly everything has gone its way."

"Since the inception and spread of the Internet in China, the Chinese party-state has attempted to use the Internet for governance and legitimacy-building as well as for weeding out sensitive information."

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