As historic as the move to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba is, it is just the beginning of a lengthy process, says Mark Entwistle.
After decades, the U.S. and Cuba announced a thaw in diplomatic relations. Here are 15 key reactions to the news.
Ninette Kelley, UNHCR’s representative in Lebanon, on what it means to be living as a Syrian refugee there.
If the US-China climate deal created optimism, the talks in Lima demonstrated how far the two sides still are from one another. By Siobhan Neyland.
Canada’s digital diplomacy falls back on divisive, “you are either with us or against us” strategies. By David Carment and Ariane Sadjed.
Is reunification worth the gamble? By Tina Jiwon Park.
The secret talks to save Peter Kassig
The U.S. aid worker was killed by his ISIS captors in November. But before he was, a radical New York lawyer, U.S. officials, and a jihadi scholar worked to free him, reports The Guardian: “That’s when he picked up the phone, called his best jihadist contact, and launched an improbable series of back-channel talks.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Syria was considered a sturdy police state while Lebanon was teetering on the edge of complete chaos. Now Syria is in shambles while Lebanon soldiers on, despite a massive influx of refugees from Syria. Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton on what makes a real fragile state, for Foreign Affairs.
China’s nouveau riche
China is certainly much much richer than it was when Deng Xiaoping opened up the country’s markets. But is it happier? Nathan Vanderklippe profiles six of “Deng’s children” – the nouveau riche of China – for the Globe and Mail: “As China’s economy slows to a pace not seen in decades, it also faces a moment to consider the sweep of its modern history.”
The new nuclear pioneers
There is a renewed interest in nuclear energy, both from young engineers and wealthy investors, writes Josh Freed in the latest Brookings essay. That interest is being spurred by climate change. And this isn’t your grandfather’s nuclear energy. New plants have the potential to be cleaner and safer than ever before.
Meet the self-declared rulers of Donetsk and Lugansk. Currently in charge of Donetsk is Alexander Zakharchenko, who “has been slow to take on some of the deftness required of an elected politician”. In the Lugansk People’s Republic, it’s Igor Plotnitsky, “who looks like a Godfather extra with the eyebrows of Brezhnev.” By Courtney Weaver for FT.
Britain’s war in Afghanistan
“The extent of the military and political catastrophe [the British army’s mission in Afghanistan] represents is hard to overstate,” writes James Meek for the London Review of Books. “In a way it was worse than a defeat, because to be defeated, an army and its masters must understand the nature of the conflict they are fighting. Britain never did understand.”