Dispatch

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South Africans Are Taking the Law Into Their Own Hands

In a country where no one trusts the police, vigilante groups promising to stop gang violence were initially welcomed. Now, with extralegal justice on the rise, some citizens have had enough.

Far-right activists hold flares during a rally in support of martial law and cutting ties with Russia in front of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Nov. 26. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Martial Law Is a Test. Will Ukraine’s Democracy Pass?

Ukraine’s parliament resisted President Petro Poroshenko’s call for an extended state of emergency—but the battle isn’t over yet.

Herto Hamrash Minut, 74, sits outside his house on Sinjar Mountain, where he lives with his two wives and 12 children. Four years ago, he was kidnapped and tortured by the Islamic State for eight months. (Sam Mednick for Foreign Policy)

ISIS May Be Gone, But Iraq’s Yazidis Are Still Suffering

The defeat of the Islamic State has created a power vacuum in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, leaving the Yazidi minority at the mercy of competing militias.

An election official sits in an empty polling station during local elections on October 30, 2018, in the Shuafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Why There’s No Palestinian Protest Vote in Jerusalem

Candidates who ran for local office were subjected to violent threats by fellow Palestinians, but they have vowed to do it again.

Boys in their senior year at the Protection of Civilians Camp 3 study after class in Juba, South Sudan, on March 23. (Alex Potter for Foreign Policy)

For South Sudan, It’s Not So Easy to Declare Independence From Arabic

When the world’s newest country broke away from Khartoum, it discarded Sudan’s main official language, too. But casting aside the oppressor’s tongue did not heal the country’s divisions.

Swedish Speaker of Parliament Andreas Norlen (L) meets with Moderate party leader Ulf Kristersson (R) at the Parliament in Stockholm on September 27, 2018.

Swedish Leaders Will Try Anything to Shut Out the Far-Right

No one wants to enter a coalition with the Sweden Democrats, so the country is resorting to desperate and untested measures to form a new government.

Iraqi protesters watch an official building in flames as they demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services in Basra on Sept. 6. (Haidar Hohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

Northern Iraq May Be Free, but the South Is Seething

The world has focused on rebuilding the country’s north after defeating the Islamic State while ignoring festering resentment and poverty in Basra.

An arrested woman appears before Iraqi judges in a makeshift courtroom in Baghdad on April 17. (Afshin Ismaeli/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Iraq Is Tempting Fate by Punishing Women

The country isn't just flouting international law by collectively punishing the wives of Islamic State fighters—it's inviting a return to war.

Khoisan elders and activists prepare to honor the Khoisan activist Adam Mathysen at his grave on the outskirts of Johannesburg on April 27. (Nathan Siegel for Foreign Policy)

South Africa’s First Nations Have Been Forgotten

As Pretoria prepares to confront the legacy of colonial and apartheid-era land theft, hardly anyone seems to care about the claims of the country’s earliest inhabitants—the Khoisan.

Ships in the Port Louis harbor in Mauritius on Dec. 25, 2015. (T. Vale/Getty Images)

African Governments Are Paying for the World Bank’s Mauritius Miracle

Ghost offices on the small island provide legal but questionable means of siphoning tax dollars away from poor countries and into the pockets of the global elite.

A footbridge over the Nujiang River near Bingzhongluo, in Nujiang prefecture, China, on April 10. The bridge links the increasingly modern village of Bingzhongluo with a group of subsistence agricultural communities found at higher altitudes. (Edward Cavanough for Foreign Policy)

Nowhere to Run in Xi’s China

The Chinese leader’s cult reaches into the most remote regions of the country.

Chinese tourist Zhang Lan, left, awaits X-rays during her check-up at a hospital in Asahikawa, in Hokkaido prefecture, Japan, on June 13, 2012. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Medical Tourists Are Steering Clear of U.S. Hospitals

Shoddy treatment at home is driving patients to Japan and Europe.

Children read the Quran at a temporary shelter after the tsunami and earthquake in Palu, Indonesia, on Oct. 9. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Indonesia’s Indigenous Languages Hold the Secrets of Surviving Disaster

Introducing hard-learned local wisdom into warning efforts could save thousands of lives.

Supporters of opposition leader and newly elected Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan celebrate in the streets of Yerevan on May 8. (Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images)

Armenia’s Post-Revolution Party Is Over

The country’s new government wants to root out corruption—but the ancien régime isn't giving up without a fight.

U.S. Marines land in Stordal, Norway, on Jan. 16, 2017. (Ned Alley/AFP/Getty Images)

A New Cold Front in Russia’s Information War

As NATO’s footprint grows in Norway, Moscow may be using an espionage case to inflame the country’s internal divisions.

A 26-year-old resident of the Indian state of Mizoram visits the drop-in center for female drug users in Aizawl to collect her daily dose of opioid substitution therapy on May 30. She began using in 2013, which has left her with painful abscesses on both her legs. She is one of many users who claim to have been beaten by Young Mizo Association volunteers on the streets. (Sarita Santoshini for Foreign Policy)

India’s Hill Country Is the First Stop on Heroin’s Deadly Route

In the nation’s northeast, Christians and activists struggle over the future of addicts.

Ismail Khan, 14, at the juvenile rehabilitation center in Kabul on Aug. 11. He was caught during an operation to carry ammunition for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, which he joined after his parent and sister were killed by rocket fire in 2014.

Afghanistan Is Trying to Save Its Child Bombers

In a Kabul clinic, staff struggle to help teenagers drafted by the Taliban.

Anna Pavlikova, a Russian teen who was arrested on charges of organizing an extremist group, listens during a hearing in Moscow's Dorogomilovsky District Court on Aug. 16. (Valery Sharifulin/TASS Images/ Getty Images)

Teen’s Detention in Russia Prompts Public Outcry

The young woman belonged to a political group whose members may have been entrapped by a police informant.

Islamic Research Foundation President Zakir Naik delivers a speech at a conference in Istanbul on March 23, 2017. (Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Malaysia Can’t Decide if Zakir Naik Is a Preacher or a Terrorist

The fiery Muslim teacher is wanted back home in India, but Malaysia won’t give him up.

Uali Islam shows photos of his wife Sairagul Sawytbai at his house in Baidibek village, Kazakhstan.  (Izturgan Aldauev/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Central Asia Struggles With Fallout From China’s Internment of Minorities

Kazakh case draws attention to plight of hundreds of thousands detained in Xinjiang

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