What in the World?

Test yourself on the first week of 2023: The IMF warns of a recession, an important U.S. consulate reopens, and Ebola cases decline.

By , a deputy copy editor at Foreign Policy.
People queue at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
People queue at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
People queue at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on May 3, 2022, as the consulate resumed issuing some immigrant visa services, which have been suspended since 2017. YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images

What major events kicked off 2023? See what you can remember with our weekly international news quiz!

Have feedback? Email whatintheworld@foreignpolicy.com to let me know your thoughts.

What major events kicked off 2023? See what you can remember with our weekly international news quiz!


1. On Monday, the International Monetary Fund warned that one-third of the world’s economies will experience a recession this year, a slowdown projected to hit China particularly hard. When was the last time China’s economy grew at or below the global average rate?

China’s recently lifted zero-COVID policy caused far less damage to the country’s economy than the “four D’s”: demand, debt, decoupling, and demography, Zongyuan Zoe Liu argued in November 2022.


2. As China’s COVID-19 caseloads rise in the aftermath of zero-COVID, which country has not yet begun screening Chinese travelers for the disease at border crossings?

The World Health Organization has denounced the Chinese government’s lack of transparency in reporting COVID-19 figures, FP’s James Palmer reported in China Brief.


3. More than two dozen inmates escaped from a prison in which country on Sunday after gunmen thought to be part of a cartel opened fire on the facility?

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has fueled the country’s drug war by militarizing security forces, Jared Olson reported in June 2022, just two months before 11 people died during a riot at the same prison.


4. Palestinian leadership criticized new Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir after he visited which contested holy site in Jerusalem on Tuesday?

Ben-Gvir is a member of Israel’s most far-right government in history. He has been convicted of supporting a Jewish supremacist terrorist group and inciting racism against Palestinians, Neri Zilber reported in November 2022.


5. In its latest report on climate change, the United Nations linked extreme weather to domestic violence. Which international body publishes the annual communique?

FP’s Chloe Hadavas rounds up our top climate coverage of 2022.


6. The United States resumed full consular operations at its embassy in Cuba on Wednesday. When was the last time U.S. visa services were available in Havana?

Consular services initially shut down following health incidents known as “Havana syndrome” among U.S. Embassy staff. State Department officials struggled to understand the ailment for years, FP’s Robbie Gramer and Amy Mackinnon reported in June 2021.


7. On Thursday, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the Ebola outbreak in which country was improving after 39 days with no new cases?

Jump through the FP archives to 2019, where FP’s Laurie Garrett predicted today’s outbreak in Uganda and lambasted the World Bank for not funding Ebola prevention measures in Africa.


8. According to new analysis published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change this week, there are fewer populist leaders today than at any point in the past 20 years. Which populist leader did not lose power in 2022?

The year 2022 was good for democracy and bad for authoritarianism and xenophobic populism, FP’s Michael Hirsh highlighted last month.


9. Which country’s military test-launched a rocket last Friday and inadvertently sparked public fears of a UFO sighting in the process?

The country’s defense ministry did not pre-announce the rocket launch to protect national security details, and it later said the test was to build space-based surveillance capabilities, The Associated Press reported—not to “phone home.”


10. In 2022, Denmark did not record a single incident of which illegal act?

Criminals are focusing on defrauding people online as Danes swap cash transactions for digital payments, The Associated Press reported.

You scored

It’s a big world out there! Brush up on global goings-on by subscribing to Morning Brief, Foreign Policy’s flagship daily newsletter.

You scored

Great job! Now, dig deeper by subscribing to Foreign Policy’s one-stop regional newsletters: Africa Brief, China Brief, Latin America Brief, and South Asia Brief.

You scored

Perfection! You’re a pro who needs the in-depth insights offered in Situation Report, our newsletter on national security and defense.


Have feedback? Email whatintheworld@foreignpolicy.com to let me know your thoughts.

Alexandra Sharp is a deputy copy editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @AlexandraSSharp

Join the Conversation

Commenting on this and other recent articles is just one benefit of a Foreign Policy subscription.

Already a subscriber? .

Join the Conversation

Join the conversation on this and other recent Foreign Policy articles when you subscribe now.

Not your account?

Join the Conversation

Please follow our comment guidelines, stay on topic, and be civil, courteous, and respectful of others’ beliefs.

You are commenting as .

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.