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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WPR Articles Dec. 27 — Jan. 4


WPR Articles Dec. 27 — Jan. 4

Why Once-Welcoming Countries in Scandinavia Closed Their Borders to Refugees

By: Rik Rutten | Briefing
For decades, Swedes have taken pride in providing a safe haven to the world’s huddled masses, and their country took in 163,000 refugees in 2015 alone. But times have changed. Like neighboring Denmark, Sweden now finds itself at the bottom of the European Union when it comes to welcoming refugees.

After the Fall of Aleppo, Turkey’s Erdogan Digs In His Heels Against Syria’s Kurds

By: Iyad Dakka | Briefing
There is no doubt that Turkey and the U.S. do not see eye to eye on Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has successfully turned a military defeat in Aleppo into a diplomatic pressure tactic against Washington, which Erdogan wants to back down on supporting Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIS.

Trump’s Supply-Side Economics Have Little Chance of Working in 2017

By: Robert Looney | Briefing
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises and tax cut plans show him partial to Reagan-era supply-side economics—a commitment confirmed by his early Cabinet appointments and proposed increases in defense spending. Is there any reason to believe these economic policies would be effective today?

What’s Holding Nigeria’s Women Back?

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In late December, Nigeria’s top Muslim cleric called on lawmakers to reject a bill currently under debate that would allow women the right to inherit family wealth and property, saying it goes against the teachings of the Quran. In an email interview, Ngozi Odiaka discusses women’s rights in Nigeria.

Oil Auction Brings Some Good News to Mexico, and China Is Eager to Capitalize

By: Jerónimo Mohar | Briefing
On Dec. 5, Mexico held its first-ever auction for deepwater oil blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, which brought some much-needed economic relief. Mexico faces the most severe crisis originating in the United States since the 2008 financial meltdown, in the form of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Why a Crisis Over Cameroon’s Marginalized Anglophone Regions Could Deepen

By: Robbie Corey-Boulet | Briefing Protests in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions against the use of French in courts and schools and the marginalization of the minority Anglophone population have revived a decades-old source of tension. But President Paul Biya’s government has responded with symbolic half-measures and a deadly crackdown.

2016 in Review

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, and associate editors, Maria Savel and Karina Piser, discuss the biggest events of 2016, including the rise of populism, China’s growing assertiveness, and the election of Donald Trump.

Demystifying Trump’s Confounding Statements About Nuclear Weapons

By: Andrew Futter | Briefing
While often inchoate and contradictory, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s recent comments about nuclear weapons have caused great concern among observers, not to mention many within the U.S. government. It is worth demystifying some of what Trump has said and putting this nuclear debate in context.

How the ‘Russia Threat’ Is Fueling Latvia’s Bitter Identity Politics

By: Matthew Luxmoore | Feature
Twenty-five years since it emerged from Soviet rule, Latvia struggles to forge a national identity—a task made more complex by its sizeable and unintegrated Russian community. Now a NATO and EU member, the Baltic country is bracing itself for a potential attack by an increasingly belligerent Russia.

Thinking Beyond Worst-Case Scenarios for 2017

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
The drama and disruptions of the past year fill some with dread for 2017. Without sounding too naïve, it’s possible to imagine outcomes that are not the worst-case scenarios for three of the world’s enduring problems: the European refugee crisis, the Syrian civil war and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Can Russia Really Sideline the U.S. in the Latest Syria Peace Process?

By: Judah Grunstein | Column
If there is only one certainty about Syria’s civil war, it is that any ultimate resolution at this point will be horribly unsatisfying. But the current tenuous peace process negotiated and overseen by Russia, Turkey and Iran, despite all its many flaws, represents a lesser evil than continued fighting.

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