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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: Why the Danske Bank money laundering scandal is a problem for Putin

The ever-widening Danske Bank money laundering scandal, involving 200 billion euros ($228.5 billion) of “suspicious transfers” over eight years, is not only a disaster for the reputation of Denmark and its largest bank. It also points to the deep institutionalized corruption in Vladimir Putin’s Russia – and the political challenge facing the president himself.

Commentary: The prolonged torture that is Brexit

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason stood outside of the mother of parliaments on Monday morning and said he didn’t have the “foggiest idea” about where Brexit is going. Then he made what have been described as “exasperated noises” – and promptly became an online viral sensation.

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.

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