In The News

John Bew April 23, 2018
After seven years of civil war, Syria is in peril. UN peace efforts have flailed, and leaders of Iran, Turkey and Russia have met just before a chemical attack on Ghouta. The three countries do not agree on a role for Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad, but are “are increasingly alienated from the West, have a substantive military presence on the ground within Syria, want to keep the Saudis and...
April 20, 2018
Trade flourished in Central Asia until shipping routes became faster and more affordable than the Silk Road’s land routes: “many Eurasian hubs floundered,” reports the Economist. The leaders of China and many governments expect that infrastructure investments of the Belt and Road Initiative could revive the region as transport routes. But the Economist questions if the flow of trade will be one...
Clea Simon April 20, 2018
Distributing power may be more challenging than discovering or producing power. State Grid Corporation of China is the world’s largest utility company, and its former Chairman and President, Liu Zhenya, describes how the company's work on transmitting power via ultra-high-voltage lines throughout China could be applied to a global energy grid, “effectively revolutionizing the practicality of...
Sonam Sheth and Eliza Relman April 19, 2018
With evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, global audiences pay attention to US policies and messages on the subject. The Trump administration had made plans for a new round of sanctions for Russia after a suspected chemical attack in Syria. US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the sanctions without knowing that Donald Trump had reversed the...
Yen Nee Lee April 19, 2018
The world’s largest importer of waste changed its mind and stopped taking in 24 types of scrap. China’s ban on waste imports went into effect this year and Europe, Japan and the United States are scrambling: Europe considers a tax on plastics, Britain looks for other export destinations, and the United States tries to convince China to reverse the ban. “China was the dumping ground for more than...
Alex Harris April 18, 2018
In April, the New York Federal Reserve Bank launched a new US benchmark rate – the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, SOFR – to compete with the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. Libor offers a range of rates depending on currencies and loan duration, but is based on human expectations – a system deemed a problem after investigations revealed that some bankers had been rigging rates profits...
Kim Rahn April 18, 2018
A formal peace treaty will be the topic for two summits, one between North and South Korea in April and a later one with the United States and North Korea. “The two Koreas remain technically at war as the Korean War ended only with the armistice agreement,” reports Kim Rahn for the Korea Times. North Korea, China and the United Nations Command signed the armistice agreement that suspended...