In The News

February 17, 2020
Although Haitham bin Tariq’s accession to the position of Oman’s sultan, while surprising, went out with a hitch. Haitham plans to continue down the path laid down by the late Qaboos bin Said. In 1970, backed by the British, Qaboos took the throne from his reclusive father and charted a course towards steady development. As a recent article for the Economist notes, “though it is not as oil rich...
Liz Sly February 17, 2020
Lebanon’s peaceful protests that began in October have turned violent in the face of further economic collapse in early 2020. For instance, a protest in late January saw “heavily armed troops joined riot police at the scene, some carrying shoulder-launched rockets.” Protestors and security forces have begun clashing in recent weeks, with police resorting to firing rubber bullets, teargas and...
February 16, 2020
The European Union is under constant pressure to enact best practices for the bloc regardless of cultural differences. Dutch officials question the need for EU subsidies to promote meat consumption amid growing health and environmental concerns. “The EU has spent some €60m promoting meat since 2017, in direct contradiction to Dutch efforts to cut meat consumption on health grounds, according to...
Lorie Konish February 15, 2020
Life expectancy is higher worldwide, and governments and individuals respond by hiking the retirement age. “Fueled by changes in lifestyles, working practices, diet and medical advances, people living today can expect to live up to 30 to 40 years longer when compared with people at the beginning of the 20th century,” notes the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey. A majority of US workers plan to...
Prashanth Parameswaran February 14, 2020
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he delivered notice of ending the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, triggering a 180-day waiting period. Duterte expressed concern about visa revocation of an official who ran that country’s harsh crackdown on illegal drugs. The two countries have been allies since 1951 under the Mutual Defense Treaty, and ending the agreement that...
Jonathan Marcus February 14, 2020
Global defense spending swells with low interest rates, easy borrowing and technological advancements. Military spending for 2019 rose 4 percent over 2018, reports BBC News. The International Institute for Strategic Studies released the figures. “In both the US and China defence spending increased by 6.6% in 2019, though the rate of growth is accelerating in the US, while it is slowing in China...
Josh Zumbrun, Feliz Solomon, and Jeffrey Lewis February 13, 2020
The trade war between the US and China in the past two years has contributed to slowing global trade growth. Imports for both the US and China declined in 2019 due to additional tariffs and the global trade system has made adjustments. A Wall Street Journal article describes which regions benefited from the dispute: In Asia, cellphones made in Vietnam are growing rapidly while other east and...