Blame and Responsibility

NEED TO KNOW EL SALVADOR [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/bcd23df8-1409-4584-8cf3-b9450e0f287e.png"] Blame and Responsibility The new president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, took an extraordinary step recently. Upon his inauguration in late June, he immediately took the blame for the ills in his impoverished, corruption-ridden Central American country that have led so many...

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Bromance Politics

NEED TO KNOW NORTH KOREA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/63a7ed44-03d2-4dcc-9832-c468313046db.png"] Bromance Politics US President Donald Trump’s brief encounter with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas on Sunday might have been the dramatic gesture needed to bring American and North Korean diplomats back to the negotiating...

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Wanted: Trust

NEED TO KNOW ALGERIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/954056b5-eefa-4934-9ebe-c7818ba081e5.png"] Wanted: Trust Trust us, say Algerian military leaders. Military brass in the North African country recently made public promises of stability as the country prepares for the expiration of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah’s three-month term in office on July 9. “Our goal is to serve...

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In the Hot Seat

NEED TO KNOW GEORGIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b8147055-0b0d-4dbf-8562-f1d35882c008.png"] In the Hot Seat Business is bad in Georgia’s tourism industry. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently banned flights to the country on the Black Sea, citing allegedly anti-Russian violence. Around 240 people suffered injuries recently in riots that erupted after Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov...

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De Tocqueville’s Moment

NEED TO KNOW ETHIOPIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ebcf7d57-2cd4-4a70-a30c-6c92b9a1b48a.png"] De Tocqueville’s Moment Ethiopians recently mourned the death of Gen. Seare Mekonnen. They might also have shed a tear for their country’s fragile democracy. Mekonnen and other officials were shot and killed during an attempted coup in the northern province of Amhara, the BBC reported. Security...

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Velvet Power

NEED TO KNOW CZECH REPUBLIC [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/44614f6d-d480-461a-b62d-52b11d16ddbe.png"] Velvet Power Czech protesters have been staging the country’s biggest rallies since the fall of the Iron Curtain in a bid to force Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his justice minister, Marie Benesova, to resign. A billionaire who bills himself as a populist...

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Playing Nice, or Not

NEED TO KNOW ALBANIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b4c0d177-bc2a-42a2-9618-00b37ebd1666.png"] Playing Nice, or Not Pjerin Ndreu doesn’t seem like a very nice person. But then playing nice, apparently, doesn't get you very far in Albanian politics. The Socialist Party lawmaker and mayoral candidate in Lezha, on the Adriatic Sea, was caught making some rather menacing...

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Magical Realism

NEED TO KNOW BOLIVIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a9c8ea39-bdb2-43ce-ae0a-f9b246fc2c42.png"] Magical Realism One has to hand it to Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia for the past 13 years. The country’s 2009 constitution, which Morales created in order to achieve his style of left-wing Latin American politics, states that presidents cannot serve more than...

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Bretton Woods, Redux

NEED TO KNOW WORLD [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a2de8519-2f98-475c-ac65-ed81e142c794.png"] Bretton Woods, Redux An expert at Chatham House, a British think tank, recently called for a new Bretton Woods, the 1944 conference in New Hampshire where delegates from 44 countries drew a map of the post-World War II global financial system. Some of the...

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Fifty-Move Rule

NEED TO KNOW ARMENIA & AZERBAIJAN [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/fdad262a-6ed3-433f-b2a8-68df2184bed6.png"] Fifty-Move Rule The ex-Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a cease-fire agreement 25 years ago this month. The conflict stemmed from Joseph Stalin’s decision in 1921 to give Azerbaijan control of an Armenian enclave within its territory called Nagorno-Karabakh. As the Soviet...

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Promises, Promises

NEED TO KNOW HONG KONG [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/69ea348d-c659-4ccf-8c5e-70099ea87e2c.png"] Promises, Promises Thirty years after the Chinese government’s crackdown in Beijing, is the spirit of Tiananmen Square alive and well in Hong Kong today? Time magazine answers that question in the affirmative. On June 4, more than 100,000 people gathered in the south Chinese...

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A Dirty Do-Over

NEED TO KNOW TURKEY [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/7690ac2f-dd96-41b5-a42f-055b31e06d65.png"] A Dirty Do-Over "Who wins Istanbul, wins Turkey" is a popular saying among Turkish politicos. That’s why Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working so hard to make sure his pick from the ruling Justice and Development Party, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, becomes Istanbul’s...

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Of Bondage, Of Shame

NEED TO KNOW MAURITANIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/6545a2b2-6414-43ca-b73b-061adfe073af.png"] Of Bondage, Of Shame Voters in the conservative West African state of Mauritania go to the polls to elect a new president on June 22. It will arguably be their first real exercise of their democratic rights since a series of coups between...

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Mao’s Doppelgänger

NEED TO KNOW NEPAL [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/bca5a16d-e89c-4b9f-8699-1d40a764279d.png"] Mao's Doppelgänger Maoist rebels toppled Nepal’s monarchy more than a decade ago and secured a leading role in government. Now some of their unreformed former comrades might be seeking to oust them from power. Three explosions killed at least four people and injured several others...

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A Monumental Act of Mourning

NEED TO KNOW COLOMBIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/41563617-7883-488c-9ea2-963c15a1df02.png"] A Monumental Act of Mourning Drug lords, death squads and government soldiers used to fight for control of western Colombia. Today, the Telegraph wrote, the lush region has become a magnet for birdwatchers. But memories of the South American country’s violent days remain vivid....

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Bribes and Milestones

NEED TO KNOW ROMANIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/818453c3-155c-40f8-b71f-ad77b6c279cd.png"] Bribes and Milestones For years, Liviu Dragnea has been the de-facto leader of Romania, running the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) while the impoverished country’s government remained mired in corruption. But late last month, he finally received his comeuppance: The Romanian Supreme Court ordered...

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Dried-out Streams and Broken Dreams

NEED TO KNOW GUATEMALA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a3903b60-311e-4a0e-bf52-eb48d15b410d.png"] Dried-out Streams and Broken Dreams Many Americans blame Mexico for the migrant crisis on the southern border. But Guatemalan voters might have a greater say on the issue. Corruption is arguably the primary driver of emigration in Guatemala and the rest of Central America. Corruption...

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Darkness Visible

NEED TO KNOW CHINA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3b24ae0f-40a7-4b9c-90bb-2e75ed1feac6.png"] Darkness Visible Imagine if an American president put facial recognition security cameras in mosques, banned the traditional Islamic greeting “as-salaam alaikum” and compelled Muslims to eat during the fasting hours of the holy month of Ramadan that ended in early June. Imagine if...

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Headwinds

NEED TO KNOW EUROPEAN UNION [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e5b071a0-f819-400f-82ba-dc62c31b3637.png"] Headwinds Left-leaning activists in Europe have been throwing milkshakes on populist politicians like Nigel Farage, who led the campaign for Britain to exit the European Union. It’s immature, the Independent admitted, but “milkshaking” is arguably a form of potent political protest. “The recipient...

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Set in Stone

NEED TO KNOW SYRIA [map url="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a0fb995d-af7e-4394-ad02-ecc76a056a44.png"] Set in Stone New statues of the Assad family are going up around Syria. Rebels tore them down when the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime began in 2011. Now, with the help of Russia and Iran, Assad has largely defeated the insurgency....

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