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Commentary: Macron illuminates European hypocrisies

Emmanuel Macron is the largest political force in Europe today, but he is a force now hemmed in, constrained, trapped. The hurricane of his success last year – the defeat of the far-right Marine Le Pen, the sweeping assembly victory of his newly-minted party, La République En Marche!, made him imperial in his power. That power now is much diminished, as is Europe itself. Yet though Macron’s ambitions are curtailed and his power sapped, he has taught the world some useful lessons.

Commentary: Here’s what Trump needs to do at the G20

Last year’s G20 is remembered for the moment when Donald Trump flew off in a huff, leaving differences on issues like climate change unresolved. This year, few Western leaders are likely to have any grand illusions when they arrive in Buenos Aires for this weekend’s 2018 summit. For many, it seems, the U.S. president is operating under one overriding world view. American foreign policy is for sale. The issue is finding just the right price.

Commentary: In Azov Sea, Putin plays a deadly Ukraine game

When Vladimir Putin opened a new bridge linking Crimea to the rest of Russia across the Azov Sea in May, Russian officials said it was intended to integrate the disputed peninsula – seized by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014 – into Russia's transport infrastructure. By limiting ships transiting the Kerch Strait beneath the giant central span of the bridge, however, it also gave the Kremlin the ability to control maritime access to an area of water roughly the size of Switzerland.

Commentary: For governments right and left, a season of discontent

Democratic governments are rarely popular for extended periods, and often have to scrape by with low polls, noisy demonstrations and constant pressure from the media. And though authoritarian regimes can squash dissent and muzzle the news, they too face rising discontent. These patterns aren’t new, but now they happen as administrations of every kind are under increasing, and new, pressures – and the challenge of recession looms.

Commentary: The missing catalyst for Iranian democracy

Just before imposing new sanctions on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the country’s “cabinet is in disarray, and the Iranian people are raising their voices even louder against a corrupt and hypocritical regime.” While this is clearly true, it’s also true that sanctions alone are unlikely to topple the government or force democratic reforms. For that to happen, foreign governments and domestic opposition leaders must take another critical step – to finally acknowledge the importan

Commentary: Can U.S.-China relations be saved?

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting on Saturday afternoon, Chinese diplomats arrived unexpectedly at the Foreign Ministry of host Papua New Guinea. Angry at Papua New Guinea’s support for American wording in the meeting’s final communiqué, they only left after police were called, Australian and other media reported.

Commentary: How Congress can force Saudi Arabia’s hand on Yemen

The Trump administration is ending one of the most important elements of U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led war in Yemen: the refueling of Saudi warplanes. The Nov. 10 announcement is part of the White House response to the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and follows appeals for a ceasefire in the war that Riyadh and its allies have been waging against Iran-backed Houthi rebels since March 2015.

Commentary: Why Mueller’s Russia findings won’t matter

Within hours of the polls closing on Election Day, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had been ousted from the Trump administration, to be replaced by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Few doubt that Sessions was essentially fired because of his failure to curtail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, from which Sessions had recused himself. Whitaker’s previous comment

Commentary: Global leaders must adapt to Trump's post-midterm world

For Donald Trump’s first foreign trip since Americans voted in the midterm elections, the bleak weather in Paris appears to have matched the diplomatic mood. The U.S. president seemed subdued during his visit to mark the centenary of the truce that ended World War One, and insulted many Europeans when rain and traffic were cited as the reason for cancelling one of his visits to an American war cemetery.

Commentary: For election hackers, a new and more dangerous tool

The election interference tactics originally deployed by Russia against the United States and Europe are now global. Hackers across the democratic world have exploited weaknesses in campaign email servers; probed electronic voting machines for vulnerabilities; set up troll farms to spread highly-partisan narratives; and employed armies of bots to distort the truth online. Tech experts in countries such as Iran and Venezuela have borrowed these tactics and joined efforts toward the same goals: to

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