Explainer

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.

A man takes a selfie in Iceland.

Why Is Everyone Going to Iceland?

How Reykjavik successfully managed the pandemic and brought tourism back.

A Russian armored personnel carrier in the Central African Republic

Russia’s Wagner Group Doesn’t Actually Exist

And that makes it all the more challenging to get to grips with.

A displaced child from western Tigray waits to receive a plate of food in Mekele, Tigray.

Ethiopia Faces a Famine Resurgence

As Ethiopians head to the polls, a dire humanitarian crisis is unfolding.

A Sotheby's NFT sale.

Are NFTs Always Bad?

The digital assets known as “nonfungible tokens” could help artists make money from their work.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin wearing sunglasses

What to Expect From the Biden-Putin Summit in Geneva

The two leaders have much to discuss. Just don’t hold your breath for a breakthrough.

Protesters hold smoke flares as they take part in a demonstration organized by the global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion and the Dutch climate activist group Code Rood at the Shell headquarters in The Hague on May 18.

Big Oil’s Tobacco Moment

Shell is responsible for more emissions than most countries. A new court ruling holds it accountable.

People walk past a mural showing the face of George Floyd on a section of Israel's controversial separation barrier in the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on March 31.

Does America Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Transitional justice has worked for dozens of countries with a legacy of systemic abuses.

A rare-earth refinery.

Why Rare Earths Are the Key to Just About Everything

They’re not actually that rare, but their importance to almost all modern technologies cannot be overstated.

Demonstrators in Berlin display banners in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny

Sanctioning Russia Is Easier Said Than Done

Quiet threats, not public pronouncements, could be the best way to save Navalny.

A group of Jehovah's Witnesses in Massachusetts

Why Is Putin Afraid of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Since they were labeled an extremist group in 2017, more than 400 have been charged or convicted.

Supporters of Ousmane Sonko in Senegal.

What’s Going On in Senegal?

Protests over the arrest of a popular opposition leader highlight the decline in what was a beacon of democracy in West Africa.

Protesters demonstrate against the so-called "anti-separatism" bill in Paris on Feb. 14.

Why Has France’s Islamist Separatism Bill Caused Such Controversy?

While the French far-right believes the bill could do more to fight extremism, the country’s Muslim population feels the legislation is unfairly targeting their community.

Load 10 More Articles