Iran marks the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in February amid increasingly existential challenges at home and in relations with the outside world. Four months of nationwide protests — triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September 2022 — reflected deepening discontent among Iran’s Gen Z. Young women on streets and at schools abandoned the headscarves required by law, as shouts of “woman, life, freedom” and “death to the dictator” echoed across campus grounds. The protests were a brazen rejection of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and, more broadly, the theocracy’s basic belief that god’s law supersedes human laws. The scope of fury was reflected on October 8, when female students at Al Zahra University in Tehran shouted “Clerics, get lost” during a visit by President Ebrahim Raisi.
“Reducción histórica en la tasa de homicidios”, tuiteó el gobierno hondureño en un hilo celebrando los logros en materia de seguridad durante el primer año en el cargo de la presidenta Xiomara Castro. La tasa oficial del país de 36 asesinatos por cada 100.000 habitantes en 2022 (seis puntos menos que en 2021) mantiene a Honduras entre los países más violentos de América Latina y del mundo. Pero representa un claro avance desde principios de la década de 2010, cuando el empobrecido país centroamericano parecía atrapado en una espiral de violencia vinculada a las pandillas callejeras y al narcotráfico, con tasas que superaban los 85 asesinatos por cada 100.000 habitantes.
For decades, Algeria has eschewed participation in international affairs. As a member of the non-aligned movement, the country has been described as “anti-Western,” “anti-capitalist,” and “insular.” Privately, American diplomats describe the government as one of the region’s most challenging to penetrate and understand. But over the last two years, there have been signs that Algeria is changing and starting to flex its economic and political muscles, which has accelerated in the wake of the war in Ukraine, with Algeria capitalizing on opportunities created by changes to global energy markets. Algeria has also increasingly asserted itself in the African Union and Arab League, stepped up its lobbying efforts in foreign capitals and is deepening ties with Beijing. But is Algeria ready for the responsibility that accompanies the role it is positioning to play?
A striking feature of many successful nonviolent action campaigns is the outsized presence of young people, especially on the front lines. Recent history is replete with examples — mass movements in Iran, Hong Kong, Sudan, Lebanon, Algeria and others have all drawn strength from major swells of determined youth mobilization.
“Historic reduction in the homicide rate,” the Honduran government tweeted in a thread celebrating security achievements during President Xiomara Castro’s first year in office. The country’s official rate of 36 murders per 100,000 people in 2022 (down six points from 2021) still places Honduras among Latin America’s — and the world’s — most violent countries. But it represents clear progress since the early 2010s, when the impoverished Central American country seemed caught in a spiral of violence linked to street gangs and drug traffickers, with rates topping 85 murders per 100,000.
There is a tension between limiting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and pursuing the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula. To emphasize the former — through arms control and risk-reduction measures — can seem at times like a repudiation of the latter. Conversely, a focus on disarmament — still the core of U.S. policy — can seem outright fanciful given North Korea’s stunning technological advances. In North Korea, the United States faces a nuclear-armed state whose capabilities continue to expand despite international opposition and extensive economic sanctions. Disarmament simply isn’t in the cards right now.
A month after leaders from 49 African states returned home from the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, their region’s struggles have shifted back into their frequent place in global news headlines and discussion, often obscured by crises from Ukraine to China to the Middle East. So it’s a good moment to refocus on a specific “to-do list” for President Joe Biden’s vow that “the United States is ‘all in’” on the future of the continent with the world’s fastest-growing population. To be “all in” on Africa’s future requires concrete steps on at least six needs.
Anti-Korean racism is at the heart of historic and unresolved tensions between Japan and South Korea. It will be near impossible to resolve disputes like the comfort women issue without addressing this racism. This is because the difficulty in reaching a consensus on the Japanese side often derives from the underlying tendency among many Japanese to view Koreans as “inferior” and “untrustworthy.” U.S. actors, including officials, businesses and academics, should understand the consequences of the important role they have played in perpetuating such prejudice and help right this wrong.
El 8 de enero, cientos de manifestantes alimentados por la ira causada por los resultados de las elecciones presidenciales, invadieron los edificios federales en la capital de Brasil, Brasilia, mientras que decenas de miles se reunieron al frente de instalaciones militares en todo el país, pidiendo abiertamente un golpe de Estado.
The Taliban marked the New Year by doubling down on their severe, ever-growing restrictions on women’s rights. On December 20, they banned women from all universities — adding to their prior ban on girls attending middle and high school. Then the Taliban announced on December 24 that women cannot work for NGOs, including humanitarian organizations that are providing vital food and basic health services to the population that is now projected at 90 percent below the poverty rate. Western and regional governments have responded with uncommonly unified outrage and many humanitarian organizations have suspended their operations until women are allowed to return to their jobs.