Dispatch

A guard patrols Poland's border with Ukraine.

Poland Needs Migrant Workers. The Pandemic Has Kept Them Away.

Despite the government’s anti-immigration rhetoric, many Polish businesses rely on workers from other parts of Eastern Europe.

Park Sang-Hak, an activist and defector from North Korea, scatters anti-Pyongyang leaflets as police block his planned rally near the tense border on a roadway in Paju, north of Seoul, on Oct. 22, 2012.

He Sends Up Balloons, and North Korea Wants Him Dead 

Meet Park Sang-hak, the North Korean defector and activist who could spark another round of “fire and fury.” 

People walk their dogs as they pass by election posters of Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski (L) in a suburb of Warsaw, on June 25.

Will Poland’s Presidential Race Deal a Blow to Nationalist Conservatives?

President Andrzej Duda is locked in a surprisingly close race with Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski. Their rivalry is the latest battle between the country’s poorer and more religious rural regions and its wealthier, socially liberal cities.

A resident of the Aglomerado da Serra Favela, carries food supplies on June 4, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

For Brazil’s Poor, the Pandemic Is Far From Over

As coronavirus cases there exceed 1 million, the country’s poorest are struggling to access medical care.

A Muslim family offers a special prayer in their home during the Eid-al-Fitr festival.

India’s Islamophobia Creeps Into Nepal

Nationalist media and pandemic fears have caused hatred to go viral.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their tour of the Israeli Innovation Summit in Jerusalem, Oct  24, 2018.

Why the U.S. Can’t Get Israel to Break Up With China

For most Israelis, the deals are enticing and the threat seems remote.

Burundi's national flag is set at half-mast at the state house as Burundi mourns the death of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, in Bujumbura on June 10.

Will Burundi’s New President Seize the Moment?

The sudden death of the outgoing president, the coronavirus pandemic, and an ailing economy mean that wide-ranging reforms are needed more than ever.

Scarecrows known as ting mong stand guard in front of homes in Takeo, Kandal, and Kampong Speu provinces in Cambodia to ward off the coronavirus in May.

In Cambodia, a Spiritual Army Battles an Earthly Pandemic

With little faith in the government’s coronavirus response, many rural Cambodians are turning to the divine.

Protesters hold posters and a Biafra flag as they take part in a demonstration in Durban, South Africa, on May 30, 2019.

50 Years On, Biafra’s Pain Is Still Fresh

Activists are calling for independence in eastern Nigeria once more as the government tries to stamp out separatism.

Children gather in Bangui, Central African Republic

Child Soldiers Are Helping End a Forever War

Children are at the center of the Central African Republic’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic—and to break the country’s cycles of violence.

Workers carry a casket to its burial site as a family member (far right) records the moment on his phone at the San Lorenzo Tezonco public cemetery in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, on May 19.

Mourning in Mexico

As the coronavirus death toll mounts, interrupted mourning rituals leave families unmoored.

Lee Yong-soo, a South Korean victim of Japanese wartime sexual slavery, looks at her supporters during a demonstration in front of the national parliament in Tokyo on Aug. 10, 2005.

Victim of Wartime Sexual Slavery Points Finger at Korean Aid Agency

Allegation of wrongdoing reopens war wound that has marred relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

An Iraqi fighter inspects the site of an Islamic State attack the day before on a unit of the paramilitary force in Mukaishefah, about 110 miles north of Baghdad, on May 3.

How Tensions Between the U.S. and Iran Ended Up Strengthening ISIS

American troops helped keep a lid on the Islamic State in Iraq. The Suleimani killing changed all that.

Released Taliban prisoners depart a government prison outside Kabul near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on May 26.

As Cease-Fire Expires, Afghanistan Yearns for Peace

With new Taliban prisoner releases, the Afghan government hints at progress with peace talks.

Graffiti deriding Dominic Cummings

Boris Johnson and His ‘Svengali’ May Be Facing Their Reckoning at Last

The U.K. prime minister’s refusal to fire Brexit guru Dominic Cummings has provoked nationwide outrage.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comments on the shooting in Nova Scotia during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, on April 20.

How Canada Got Tough on Guns

Within weeks of a mass shooting, the Canadian government passed a ban on assault-style weapons despite widespread firearms ownership and vocal gun rights groups.

Lebanese protesters ride horses past burning tires in front of the house of former youth and sports minister Faisal Karami, during a protest against dire economic conditions in the coastal city of Tripoli on Oct. 18, 2019.

The Death of Lebanon’s Middle Class

A country with a proud history of trade and commerce is starting to crumble into permanent poverty.

A man wearing a face mask walks his dog across a deserted St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, on May 13.

Without Tourism, Italy’s Economy Faces Disaster

Foreign visitors have helped prop up the faltering Italian economy. If they don’t come back, the country is in trouble.

A worker from the Iztapalapa government waits to apply antibacterial gel at the San Nicolas Tolentino Civil Pantheon in Mexico City, on May 12.

Coronavirus Brings Mexico’s Governors to the Fore

State leaders are showing up the president in their pandemic response, giving López Obrador’s critics their loudest opportunity yet to oppose his policies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, tours the new coronavirus information center in Moscow on March 17.

Putin Is Using the Pandemic to Consolidate Power

Public health is a convenient pretext for extending authoritarian controls.

U.S. soldiers intervene against Iraqi protesters carrying flags of Kataib Hezbollah as they storm the U.S. Embassy.

A Powerful Iran-Backed Militia Is Losing Influence in Iraq

The Iraqi government is finally starting to make progress in its attempt to curb the influence of Kataib Hezbollah.

Volunteers distribute food boxes and a traditional sweet drink among people for breaking their Ramadan fast in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on May 3.

On the Coronavirus, Pakistan’s Government Is Missing in Action

As the pandemic threatens livelihoods, the country’s poor are relying almost exclusively on the charity of fellow citizens.

A police officer gestures at the railway station in Stockholm on Sept. 12, 2015.

The Hidden Flaw in Sweden’s Anti-Lockdown Strategy

The government expects citizens to freely follow its advice—but not all ethnic groups have equal access to expertise.

An aerial view of  an emergency makeshift field hospital at Pacaembu Stadium for coronavirus patients with a capacity of 200 beds in São Paulo on March 27.

Brazil’s Health System Isn’t Ready for the Coronavirus

The country’s public hospital capacity is already strained, and Jair Bolsonaro’s reckless policies will hit the poor the hardest.

Men wearing face masks walk past a wall painted with images of U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on April 5.

In Afghanistan, the Coronavirus Could Be Deadlier Than War

The pandemic has hit the war-ravaged country at the worst possible time—just as peace appeared possible and as foreign military aid disappears.

Alexander Gauland (foreground), the parliamentary group co-leader of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany, and members of his party's parliamentary group attend a session at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, in Berlin on March 25.

The Coronavirus Has Paralyzed Europe’s Far-Right

The continent’s borders are closed, as extreme nationalists always wanted—but they’re one of the pandemic's victims anyway.

A general view shows an almost deserted street with closed shops and restaurants during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the coronavirus in Lukla, northeast of Kathmandu, on March 28.

Nepal May Escape the Coronavirus but Not the Crash

The remote mountain country has only five confirmed coronavirus cases.

A Muslim man walks inside a burned house in a riot-affected area in New Delhi on March 1, 2020, after violence broke out in India's capital.

In Delhi, First Came the Pogroms. Then Came Coronavirus.

For Indian Muslims forced from their homes by mob violence, not even displaced persons camps can protect them now.

An almost empty Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate on March 19, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

In Germany, Coronavirus Is No Longer a Distant Threat

Germans used to be happy they were far away from China, but as COVID-19 ravages Europe, they no longer feel safely removed.  

People gather for a drink at a pub in central Stockholm

Sweden Is Open for Business During Its Coronavirus Outbreak

The Scandinavian country believes its distinctive high-trust culture will protect it from needing to shut down for the pandemic.

Visitors to Luang Prabang town, Laos, a world heritage site, are drastically lower than usual

Claims of a Coronavirus-Free Laos Are Probably Fiction

China’s poor rural neighbor says it has no cases. That’s unlikely to be true.

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