What in the World?

Test yourself on the week of Jan. 14: China’s birthrates fall, New Zealand’s prime minister resigns, and Italy arrests a mob boss.

By , a deputy copy editor at Foreign Policy.
Members of the National Public Security Force secure a Brazilian plaza.
Members of the National Public Security Force secure a Brazilian plaza.
Members of the National Public Security Force secure the Three Powers Plaza after a demonstration held by supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasília, Brazil, on Jan. 17. DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images

It’s been another wild week in foreign affairs. See what you can remember with our international news quiz!

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

It’s been another wild week in foreign affairs. See what you can remember with our international news quiz!


1. Italy’s most wanted mob boss, Matteo Messina Denaro, was arrested on Monday after 30 years on the run. Which organization did he lead?

Italians may be forced to depend on mafias for loans as a pandemic recession looms, Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern predicted in February 2021.


2. Japanese economists on Monday began reconsidering Japan’s long-standing fiscal and monetary policies—known as “Abenomics” for late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—after the country last month registered its highest annual consumer inflation rate in how many years?

To ensure economic security, Japan’s new National Security Strategy calls for counterstrike capabilities—a stark reversal from its post-World War II policy of pacificism, David E. Adler argues.


3. Also on Monday, 39 people were charged in connection with Brazil’s Jan. 8 attempted insurrection. Which was not one of the charges prosecutors filed against them?

Although efforts to overthrow President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva failed, the attempted coup highlights the endurance of Bolsonarism in Brazilian society, FP’s Catherine Osborn argued last week.


4. The German government announced on Tuesday that Boris Pistorius would replace whom as Germany’s defense minister?

Pistorius takes office as Berlin’s defense policy undergoes a Zeitenwende, or epochal shift. Emily Tamkin explored the term in our roundup of 2022’s biggest geopolitical words.


5. On Tuesday, authorities in Beijing reported that China’s population declined by how many people in 2022?

It’s the first time China’s birthrates have fallen since the 1959-61 Great Famine. The government will likely respond with policies to encourage population growth, FP’s James Palmer forecasts in China Brief.


6. In the past year, most of the world’s largest economies have decreased their dependence on Russian oil. Which nation bucked the trend and now imports more oil from Russia than from any other country?

The Indian and Russian energy sectors are closely interlinked, Charu Sudan Kasturi argued in July 2022.


7. On Thursday, New Zealand’s prime minister unexpectedly announced that they would resign from office due to burnout. Who is the now-outgoing leader?

Ardern was chosen as a 2019 FP Global Thinker for her policy of kindness in a world of increasing polarization, Helen Clark spotlighted at the time.


8. On Friday, Western defense leaders met at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss the war in Ukraine. Which issue was at the top of their agenda?

“[Ukraine has] been very blunt with the Pentagon that what we’re providing them is not addressing these critical gaps,” a senior U.S. congressional aide recently told FP’s Jack Detsch and Amy Mackinnon.


9. Australia and China are reportedly considering meeting in the coming weeks to discuss trade. Which is not a reason Canberra-Beijing relations have been rocky in recent years?

Australia would welcome closer relations with China if Beijing removes sanctions on Canberra, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd explained to FP’s Amelia Lester in May 2022.


10. Last week, Sweden’s coalition government proposed abolishing an old requirement that restaurants and nightclubs do what?

If the parliament removes the Footloose-esque law, revelers across Sweden would be allowed to dance anywhere starting July 1, The Associated Press reported.

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

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