5 Top Reads

Our Top Weekend Reads

Trump loyalist moves to the State Department, the United Arab Emirates prolongs the conflict in Libya, and Orthodox churches turn into coronavirus hotspots.

The U.S. Department of State.
The U.S. State Department is seen in Washington on Jan. 6. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A prominent Trump loyalist is being moved from the White House to the State Department in the first shuffle of its kind since the impeachment.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s denialist approach to the coronavirus could exacerbate the problems the country’s health system already faces.

And a decision by North Macedonia’s government to allow church services to go ahead before Easter might accelerate the spread of the virus.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


The U.S. State Department

The U.S. State Department is seen in Washington on Nov. 29, 2010. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

1. In Latest Impeachment Move, Trump Administration Shifts a Loyalist to the State Department

Alexander Alden is being moved to the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, the first political appointee to take up a senior post in that bureau since President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer reports.


An aerial view of an emergency makeshift field hospital at Pacaembu Stadium for coronavirus patients with a capacity of 200 beds in São Paulo on March 27.

An aerial view of an emergency makeshift field hospital at Pacaembu Stadium for coronavirus patients, with a capacity of 200 beds, in São Paulo on March 27. Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images

2. Brazil’s Health System Isn’t Ready for the Coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis has further tested an already stretched public health care system in many parts of Brazil, and Bolsonaro continues to balk at the seriousness of the pandemic, Ana Ionova writes.


French President Emmanuel Macron walks with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, after talks aimed at easing tensions in Libya.

French President Emmanuel Macron walks with Gen. Khalifa Haftar (right), the commander of the Libyan National Army, and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj after talks aimed at easing tensions in Libya, near Paris, on July 25, 2017.Philippe Wojazer/AFP/Getty Images

3. Russia Isn’t the Only Ones Getting Its Hands Dirty in Libya

The United Arab Emirates is one of the primary actors involved in the Libyan civil war. This needs to change if the international community is serious about forging a resolution between the country’s warring factions, Emadeddin Badi writes.


An Orthodox believer with protective mask attends a religious service at an Orthodox church in Skopje, North Macedonia, on April 16.

An Orthodox believer with a protective mask attends a religious service at an Orthodox church in Skopje, North Macedonia, on April 16. ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP via Getty Images

4. North Macedonia’s Orthodox Church Could Become a Coronavirus Super-Spreader

North Macedonia’s government decided to allow churches to be open on the Orthodox Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, paving the way for believers to share the same communion spoons and kiss the same icons, Igor Bosilkovski writes.


The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge

The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, which spans the Yalu River, vanishes into darkness on the North Korean side, at the Chinese border town of Dandong on Dec. 14, 2013. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

5. Guesswork and Rumors Make for Bad North Korea Policy

The latest rumors about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health highlight a major problem in U.S.-North Korean relations: Pyongyang’s opacity forces U.S. leaders to make decisions about war and peace on the basis of rumors and misinformation, Jessica Lee writes.

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

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