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Progress: Māori new year now a public holiday in New Zealand, and more

1. United States The U.S. Senate confirmed the first openly gay Cabinet secretary. Former mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is officially leading the Transportation Department following an 86-13 vote. He is tasked with managing the country’s aviation, highways, pipelines, and railroads. Mr. Buttigieg will play a key role in allocating government assistance to struggling […]

China’s Communist Party at 100: Vilified abroad, popular at home

A year ago Feb. 7, China’s brave coronavirus whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang died after treating patients in Wuhan, triggering an unprecedented online torrent of grief and anti-government rage along with calls for freedom of speech. The widespread public outrage over the government’s initial mishandling of the virus outbreak and suppression of Dr. Li’s warnings amounted to […]

British, but also European: Brexit strains a nascent identity

Despite the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, many Britons still feel a sense of interconnectedness with the continent. For those like university student and campaigner Alex Agnew, being in the EU meant being part of a “shared cultural identity” that “genuinely worked to bring down artificial travel and work barriers.” And anti-Brexit journalist […]

Nuclear deal? In Iran, the economy drives the debate.

Banking on the 2015 nuclear deal and engagement with the West, President Hassan Rouhani once raised Iranian hopes of openness and prosperity, only to watch them dissolve as more U.S. sanctions crippled the economy. He was pilloried for trusting the United States. Now, with only months left for Mr. Rouhani’s time in office, an American […]

Who is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, first woman and first African to lead WTO?

Frankfurt, Germany Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed Monday to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), becoming the first woman and first African to take on the role amid rising protectionism and disagreement over how the body decides cases involving billions in sales and thousands of jobs. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was named director-general by representatives of […]

Child soldiers: Why do some recover and not others?

Sierra Leone’s civil war spawned a generation of child soldiers and war-affected youth. Some fell into chronic depression and unemployment, while others became lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs.  For Ishmeal Alfred Charles, a former child recruit in Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war, trauma has given way to a fulfilling adulthood as a humanitarian worker.  Why did […]

Myanmar’s military coup creates dilemmas for China

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar’s largest city Thursday, denouncing the military coup earlier this month and accusing Beijing of supporting the generals’ move. China’s staunch support for Myanmar’s military rulers over the decades, coupled with its immense economic sway, has led some observers to conclude Beijing must have given at […]