Our Top Weekend Reads

Wuhan faces quarantine as coronavirus spreads, Imran Khan discusses China, and Trump picks up Ukraine conspiracy theory.

A police officer checks the temperature of a driver at a highway in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 24, 2020.
A police officer checks the temperature of a driver at a highway in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 24, 2020.
A police officer checks the temperature of a driver at a highway in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 24, 2020. STR/AFP/Getty Images

As the coronavirus spreads out of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, the city’s population is facing mass quarantine as officials try to curb the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, world powers are working to forge a lasting political settlement in Libya, but Russia is playing the country’s warring factions off each other in attempt to secure concessions from the European Union.

And a prominent conspiracy theory asserting that Ukraine was responsible for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has found its way into the White House.

As the coronavirus spreads out of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, the city’s population is facing mass quarantine as officials try to curb the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, world powers are working to forge a lasting political settlement in Libya, but Russia is playing the country’s warring factions off each other in attempt to secure concessions from the European Union.

And a prominent conspiracy theory asserting that Ukraine was responsible for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has found its way into the White House.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


Medical staff transfer patients to hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 17.
Medical staff transfer patients to hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 17.

Medical staff transfer patients to hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 17.Getty Images

1. Wuhan’s 11 Million People Face Quarantine as Virus Fears Spread

An outbreak of the previously unknown coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan is spreading with frightening speed, alarming health officials across the world, Foreign Policy’s James Palmer writes.


Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan delivers a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan delivers a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan delivers a speech at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 22.Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

2. Imran Khan on Trump, Modi, and Why He Won’t Criticize China

In an exclusive Q&A with Foreign Policy editor in chief Jonathan Tepperman at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said his country won’t publicly challenge China on the systematic repression of Muslims in Xinjiang because of the economic assistance Beijing has provided.


Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (right) meets with Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar (left) in Athens, Greece, on Jan. 17, 2020, ahead of a peace conference in Berlin aimed at ending the civil war in Libya.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (right) meets with Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar (left) in Athens, Greece, on Jan. 17, 2020, ahead of a peace conference in Berlin aimed at ending the civil war in Libya.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (right) meets with Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar (left) in Athens, Greece, on Jan. 17, ahead of a peace conference in Berlin aimed at ending the civil war in Libya.Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

3. Russia’s Role in the Libyan Civil War Gives It Leverage Over Europe

Russia is actively exploiting divisions in the Libyan civil war in an apparent attempt to prolong the conflict and win maximum concessions from the EU, Anas El Gomati writes.


Foreign Policy illustration/Getty Images

4. Impeachment Trials and Conspiracy Theories: A Match Made in Hell

A prominent right-wing conspiracy theory asserts that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the large-scale interference campaign that occurred during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It has been picked up by President Donald Trump and other senior Republicans, Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer and Amy Mackinnon report.


An Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) mural in North Belfast, Northern Ireland.
An Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) mural in North Belfast, Northern Ireland.

An Ulster Volunteer Force mural in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Oct. 19, 2019.Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

5. Brexit Could Spark a Return to Violence in Northern Ireland

Republican and loyalist paramilitaries have competing versions of what Brexit means for them, and some of them are preparing to reignite campaigns of violence as a way of advancing their longer-term aspirations, Jason Blazakis and Colin P. Clarke write.

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

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