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Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama takes off his hat at the start of the final session of the U.N. Climate Change Conference hosted by Fiji and held in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 18, 2017.

First Fiji, Then the World

How the prime minister of a tiny group of Pacific islands has become an international power player.

Katherine Tai speaks after then President-elect Joe Biden announced her nomination to be U.S. trade representative

Why Everyone Likes Katherine Tai

Biden’s nominee to be U.S. trade representative is admired on both sides of the aisle, but she faces some of the toughest conditions ever when it comes to winning over the rest of the world.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield answers questions during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on Jan. 27.

Gumbo Diplomacy Comes to Turtle Bay

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is set to take center stage at the United Nations.

Activist Stella Nyanzi is arrested by police officers at a protest for more government food distribution amid the coronavirus lockdown in Kampala, Uganda, on May 18, 2020.

Uganda’s Chief Provocateur

Through radical protest, Stella Nyanzi has become a thorn in long-serving President Yoweri Museveni’s side. Now, she could be headed to parliament.

An Iraqi protester uses his phone to film another next to burning tires while blocking a road during a demonstration against corruption and lack of services in the southern city of Basra on Jan.  11, 2019.

The War for the Future of Syria and Iraq Will Be Fought on Smartphones

As the number of U.S. forces on the ground dwindles and Russian and Iranian propaganda efforts increase, Col. Myles Caggins prepared the soldiers who remain for information warfare.

Hodan Osman on Harvard University’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 16, 2018.

Can One Woman Fix a Failed State?

Hodan Osman couldn’t stamp out Somalia’s endemic corruption. But she made sure the country’s soldiers got paid.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin

Finland’s President Can Hold His Own With Both Putin and Trump

Sauli Niinisto is hugely popular at home—and is one of the few world leaders who has the respect of both Washington and Moscow.

profile-Xu-zhangrun-china-dissident-academic-a7.3_SW_V1-hp

Xu Zhangrun Was China’s Loyal Opposition. Now, He’s In Jail.

One of the few remaining scholars openly standing against Xi Jinping is a reformist, not a revolutionary.

Canan Kaftancioglu

A Motorcycle-Riding Leftist Feminist Is Coming for Erdogan

Canan Kaftancioglu has fueled the rise of Turkey’s increasingly effective opposition—and earned the president’s ire.

Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom, on Jan. 19, 2017.

The Future of Korean Politics Might Be This Defector From Pyongyang

Thae Yong-ho went from North Korean diplomat to South Korean politician.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok arrives prior to a bilateral meeting with the European Union's minister for foreign affairs and security policy at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 11, 2019.

Sudan’s New Prime Minister Grapples With His Country’s Past

Abdalla Hamdok wasn't sure he wanted the job, but six months later there is reason to hope—despite the failed mutiny this week.

Domingos Simões Pereira campaigns in São Domingos, Guinea-Bissau, on Nov. 9.

Is Liberal Democracy Always the Answer?

Guinea-Bissau challenges the imposition of Western forms of government.

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman

Can a Young Saudi Prince End the War in Yemen?

Khalid bin Salman is working full time to extricate Saudi Arabia from the disastrous conflict begun by his brother. Some regional and U.S. officials are cautiously optimistic. 

Supporters of Lebanese President Michel Aoun hold posters of him as they gather near the presidential palace in Baabda on Nov. 3.

How Michel Aoun Failed in Lebanon

More and more protesters say the general-turned-president has broken too many promises and must go.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. President Donald Trump

The Pentagon’s Invisible Man Is Winning Washington’s Power Game

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is quiet, deferential—and on his way to becoming the Trump administration’s most influential player.

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