5 Top Reads

Our Top Weekend Reads

Australia’s climate denialist media, a pro-independence mandate in Taiwan, and power-sharing returns to Northern Ireland.

Activists rally for climate action at Sydney Town Hall
Activists rally for climate action at Sydney Town Hall in Sydney on Jan. 10. Jenny Evans/Getty Images

The Australian wildfires have put the country’s right-wing, climate denialist media on the defensive as public demands for climate action grow.

In the wake of China’s attempts to further integrate Hong Kong and the mass protests that followed, recent elections in Taiwan show that the public’s pro-independence streak is still strong there, too.

And Iran’s attempts to portray itself as the victim after the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani flopped after it downed a civilian aircraft.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


A woman walks past a mural depicting a koala and firefighters in Melbourne, Australia

A woman walks past a mural depicting a koala and firefighters in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 14. Luis Ascui/Getty Images

1. Australians Are Ready to Break Out of the Cycle of Climate Change Denial

Australia’s media landscape is dominated by right-wingers who reject mainstream science on climate change. But their views are out of touch with those of the public, which increasingly accepts the role of human activity in climate change, Ketan Joshi writes.


Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said sits during a meeting with the U.S. secretary of state at the Beit al-Baraka royal palace in Muscat, Oman, on Jan. 14, 2019.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said sits during a meeting with the U.S. secretary of state at the Beit al-Baraka royal palace in Muscat, Oman, on Jan. 14, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

2. Oman’s Renaissance—and What Will Follow

Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s five-decade reign transformed the country into a modern, stable, and inclusive state. Qaboos’s legacy will outlive him, but his successor must confront a new series of challenges, Linda Pappas Funsch writes.


Supporters celebrate the victory of Tsai Ing-wen

Supporters celebrate the victory of Tsai Ing-wen outside the Democratic Progressive Party’s headquarters in Taipei on Jan. 11. Chris Stowers/AFP via Getty Images

3. Taiwan Deserves to Be a Normal Country

The people of Taiwan overwhelmingly voted to renew the mandate of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, demonstrating the public’s rejection of China’s claim to the country, Salvatore Babones writes.


Northern Ireland's new deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill (left) and First Minister Arlene Foster (right) meet with members of the British and Irish governments in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after signing a deal to restore power-sharing.

Northern Ireland’s new Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill (left) and First Minister Arlene Foster (right) meet with members of the British and Irish governments in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after signing a deal to restore power-sharing on Jan. 13.Liam McBurney/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

4. Brexit Still Looms Over Northern Ireland’s New Government

Northern Ireland’s parties came together last week to sign an agreement to restore the country’s power-sharing government, but several of the region’s fundamental problems remain, Charles Landow writes.


Iranian students at Amirkabir University in Tehran protest

Iranian students at Amirkabir University in Tehran began chanting against the Iranian regime, after a failed government cover-up for the downing of a Ukrainian airliner that killed many Iranian citizens, on Jan. 11.Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

5. A Public Relations Disaster Overtakes Iran

Iran tried to play the victim after the assassination of Suleimani, but its downing of a Ukrainian civilian flight carrying Iranian and Canadian nationals led to national and international condemnation, Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch, Keith Johnson, and Michael Hirsh write.

Dan Haverty is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @dan_haverty

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola