In The News

Jon Russell October 18, 2017
China’s leaders are convening for the National Congress, held every five years for outlining policy priorities, and government censors are taking no risks. The goal is to prevent internal protests or external disruptions from outside trolls who used social-media messages to influence the 2016 US election. Posting anonymous content is banned in China, and social-media platforms WeChat and Weibo...
Abhi Goyal October 17, 2017
Kyrgyz citizens voted in the first competitive elections for a peaceful transfer of power in Central Asia since 1991 and the end of the Soviet Union. Sooronbai Jeenbekov, with the incumbent Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan and who had served as prime minister, won the presidency with more than 50 percent of the vote. “Kyrgyz voters are well aware of the gravity of the event—their recent...
David Alandete October 12, 2017
The Catalan regional premier relied on results of a referendum to declare and then quickly suspend independence for Catalonia. The declaration has been “received by an unshakeable rejection on the part of the opposition in Catalonia, all of the parties in Spain – whether on the left or the right – and the entire European Union,” explains David Alandete for El País. Opponents of independence held...
Colum Lynch and Elias Groll October 9, 2017
China has strategically pursued leadership roles in global organizations. Colum Lynch and Elias Groll describe the efforts behind a Chinese representative to head the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. “The push reflects Beijing’s desire to project a more visible ‘soft power’ profile around the world and fill a political void left by an American administration that has grown...
David Child and Charlotte Mitchell September 28, 2017
Voters in Catalonia have scheduled a referendum to decide if they want to break from Spain and become an independent republic. The region of 7.5 million people accounts for 15 percent of Spain’s population and 20 percent of economic output, report David Child and Charlotte Mitchell for Al Jazeera. “The region, which forms one of Spain's 17 ‘autonomous communities,’ has its own police force...
Leslie Bank and Tim Hart September 28, 2017
The rural people of South Africa expect land reform. Land is being redistributed, but the demand for small tracts is not being met, reports the Human Sciences Research Council, “as the state has sought to increase the percentage of land in black hands, it has focused increasingly on transferring large farms, often to established black businesses and commercial operators, rather than on supporting...
September 27, 2017
BBC News reports that 92 percent of the people of northern Iraq, including Kurds and non-Kurds, favor pursuing independence for Kurdistan in a non-binding referendum. Turnout was more than 70 percent. Iraq’s prime minister, urging a cancellation of results, encouraged dialogue. “Kurdish leaders say the ‘Yes’ vote will give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the central...

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