Explainer

Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services

Why Congress Should Regulate Cryptocurrency Now

The United States has a chance to become a standard-bearer as digital currencies expand.

Supporters of Honduran presidential candidate for the LIBRE Party Xiomara Castro take part in the campaign’s closing event in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Nov. 21.

Honduras’s Pivotal Election

The country’s opposition finally has a shot at ousting the party that has ruled since a 2009 coup—if voting isn’t rigged.

Peng Shuai plays at a tennis tournament in New Zealand.

What’s Going on With China’s Missing Tennis Star?

Peng Shuai’s disappearance has mobilized the international community—and puts China’s Olympic dreams under even more scrutiny.

Delegates sit in the action zone as they attend the third day of the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 3.

4 Key Takeaways From COP26

After two weeks of intense climate negotiations, here’s where progress was made—and where negotiations fell short.

Indian paramilitary troopers stand guard during a random search along a street in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir, on Nov. 9, a day after a salesman was shot to death by suspected anti-India militants.

What’s Behind the Latest Violence in Kashmir?

Militants are attacking minorities and outsiders in pursuit of demographic hegemony.

A Chinese customer uses her mobile to scan a QR code while paying with the WeChat app at a local market in Beijing on Sept. 19, 2020.

China’s Social Media Explosion

Now that all the major U.S. platforms have left the country, what does the world’s largest social media market look like?

An aerial picture shows smoke rising from a forest fire outside Berdigestyakh, in Sakha, Siberia.

The Gap Between Talk and Action on Climate Is on Full Display in Glasgow

Environmental disasters are rapidly engulfing the world. Can bureaucracy meet their pace?

A man holds his daughter across from a coal power station in Shanghai.

Why Xi’s Coal Pledge Is a Big Deal

With China out, there’s little investment left for global coal projects.

Meng Wanzhou dressed in a red dress waves as she steps out of a plane with a Chinese flag on the side of it.

Another Win for China’s Hostage Diplomacy

A yearslong diplomatic dispute between China and the West has finally ended.

Drivers line up for fuel in London.

What’s Causing the U.K. Fuel Crisis?

One part Brexit and one part coronavirus have derailed Britain’s transportation system—and given the government a huge headache.

Election campaign billboards show Olaf Scholz, chancellor candidate of the German Social Democratic Party, and Armin Laschet, chancellor candidate of the Christian Democratic Union, in Berlin on Sept. 21.

Germany Has Voted. What Happens Next?

Contentious coalition talks mean German Chancellor Angela Merkel could remain in her post for months to come.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati

Does Lebanon Finally Have a Government That Can Fix the Mess?

Probably not. But after a year of stalemate, even old faces are better than none.

A worker in China readies aluminum pistons for manufacturing.

Why Is Aluminum So Expensive Right Now?

A coup in Guinea, one of the world’s top bauxite producers, has spooked an already jittery market.

Serbian firefighters use a water hose to extinguish the burning blaze of a forest fire in the Greek village Glatsona on Evia (Euboea) island on Aug. 9.

Four Key Takeaways From the IPCC Climate Report

The future is bleak—unless policymakers take aggressive actions now to cut global emissions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un listens to then-U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) during a meeting in Hanoi on Feb. 27, 2019.

North Korea’s Curious COVID-19 Strategy

Pyongyang faces a looming catastrophe but is in no hurry to vaccinate its people.

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