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5 Top Reads
The World This Weekend
U.S. relations with Iran continued to unravel as South Africa went to the polls.
This week, tensions between the United States and Iran escalated as Washington dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group and four nuclear-capable bombers to the Middle East.
On Wednesday, South Africans went to the polls in the country’s sixth election as a democracy. Voters propelled the incumbent, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his African National Congress (ANC), to another term—but the party saw its slightest margin of victory in years.
Meanwhile in Colombia, migrants from Venezuela continued to establish new ways to navigate their exile, and in the United States, President Donald Trump named a new defense secretary after a four-month wait.
Here are Foreign Policy’s top five weekend reads.
Foreign Policy’s Lara Seligman sat down with Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, to discuss U.S. power projection in the Middle East.
Now that Ramaphosa has been reelected as South Africa’s president, he is facing the wildly challenging task of cleaning up the ANC and attempting to undo the destruction wrought on the country’s democratic institutions during Jacob Zuma’s presidency. In an excerpt from his book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture, Pieter-Louis Myburgh explores the scale and scope of wrongdoing in the ANC during the Zuma era.
With an official nomination making his authority more concrete, Patrick Shanahan is expected to steer the U.S. Defense Department toward a tougher posture on China and Turkey, Lara Seligman reports.
In the Colombian city of Cúcuta, migrants are doing whatever they can to get by, from selling coffee by the border to ferrying people across it. This new wave of arrivals is reshaping the city’s economy in unexpected ways, Afsin Yurdakul writes.
The decision to rerun Istanbul’s mayoral election and annul the mandate of newly elected opposition Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu has undercut faith in Turkish democracy and sparked a major backlash, Can Selcuki writes.