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Commentary: Five myths about U.S. aid to Egypt

August 14 marks the fifth anniversary of the massacre at Cairo’s Rabaa and Nahda Squares, in which Egyptian security forces killed at least 800 supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi and injured thousands more. The Obama administration responded by reviewing military assistance to Egypt and withholding delivery of fighter jets, attack helicopters, tanks, and missiles. Yet Barack Obama eventually yielded to Egyptian complaints and lifted the arms holds, despite the growing repress

Commentary: How the White House is rewriting the law to curb asylum seekers

President Donald Trump wants to end asylum for Central Americans to keep his campaign promise of halting immigration along the southwest U.S. border. Yet that goal runs afoul of U.S. immigration law, which allows people to enter the United States to seek asylum if they are at a U.S. port of entry or already in the country.

Commentary: China’s plans to reshape the world

Ten years ago on Wednesday, the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics showcased a fast-growing, economically powerful China with unmistakable ambitions to be a major global player. Just a few days ago, the Chinese authorities demolished the studio of artist Ai Weiwei, designer of the Games' iconic “bird’s nest” stadium and now an exiled dissident in Germany. It was the latest sign of how the world’s most populous country has evolved under President Xi Jinping – simultaneously more self-confid

Commentary: China could yet win Trump’s trade war

If you want to know why Donald Trump shouldn’t expect to win a trade war against China, look no further than Alibaba, the country’s giant e-commerce version of Amazon. Last month, I had two in-depth conversations with Ming Zeng, the e-commerce giant’s head of strategic planning and among the smartest minds in business and finance in China. Ming made it clear that China has little real need for America any more – not U.S. products, but especially not U.S. ideas. When thwarted, China has shown it

Commentary: Steve Bannon’s boost to Europe’s far right

The various movements gathered under the name of Europe’s “far right” have not risen like a straight line on a graph. There have been – still are – lows as well as highs. Yet there is a new sense of purpose, thanks to a new movement – called “The Movement,” and launched by former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon – and to Hungarian premier Viktor Orban’s call to the right to “concentrate our strength” on the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament.

Commentary: Zimbabwe’s sour election a blow to the country – and the region

There were high hopes that this week’s general election in Zimbabwe would unambiguously mark the end of this southern African nation’s long, painful slide towards totalitarianism and economic implosion under Robert Mugabe. But the violence-marred triumph of ZANU-PF, which has governed Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, dashes any such optimism.

Commentary: Why freezing U.S. fuel standards may heat up Chinese auto industry

The Trump administration on Thursday took a giant step backward on transportation innovation by issuing a proposal to freeze federal rules requiring automakers to design more efficient, cleaner-running cars. In April, then-Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt called the current standards “too high” and said they did not “comport with reality.” But globally, these standards have helped American automakers to remain competitive as other countries – particularly China – embrace the tr

Commentary: Israel-Gaza’s risky brinkmanship

Israel and Gaza are increasingly alternating between ceasefires and gunfire. This violent instability – the worst in four years – isn’t surprising, as each side inches closer to war while hoping their provocations will make the other side back down. It’s a classic form of brinkmanship – and understanding this strategy means understanding just how easy it is for the situation to unintentionally spin out of both sides' control.

Commentary: Manafort’s trial is about Putin, not tax evasion

The trial of Paul Manafort has begun. The first of 35 federal grand-jury targets to face allegations in court, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager stands accused of more than 30 criminal counts in a Virginia federal court. The granularity of the charges might lead us to believe it’s a trial about tax evasion, or the failure to comply with arcane regulations covering registration as a foreign agent, or money laundering to hide the resources required for the lavish lifestyle, the expensive rugs