The US spends billions and billions of dollars on defense, but the novel coronavirus slipped silently and invisibly across US borders and even onto military aircraft carriers. One could say the US was preparing for World War III when it got hammered by World War C — the coronavirus.
Sanctions on Iran have squeezed the economy since the 1970s, and since US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, they have been ratcheting up. Some Iranians are ready to cut and run but others are waiting out the economic storm.
Think tanks with nonprofit status aren't required to say much of anything when it comes to the source of their funding — whether it be billionaires or foreign governments. That can become a problem when such organizations significantly influence foreign policy — such as the Iran nuclear deal — without disclosing to whom they are financially beholden.
Diplomacy is often awkward, stymied by translators, late nights and unsecured yurt communication (yes, that really happened). But diplomacy can also stop a war, as years of secret and not-so-secret negotiations between the US and Iran proved when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was reached in 2015.
It's been a year since the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal ad some experts warn that the threat of a worldwide meltdown is the worst its been since the darkest, most dangerous days of the Cold War.
Casa Nemo Beach Resort and Spa sits on the island of Pulau Weh in Aceh, Indonesia. While the rest of Aceh has its own version of Sharia law, restricting the behavior of women and gay men, things are a little freer at Casa Nemo. The resort's owner says she wants it to be a refuge, but she's not sure how long it will be able to survive as one.
Officially atheist, the Communist Party these days is more tolerant of religion, though it generally demands that people worship in state-controlled settings. And that state control can manifest in weirdly capitalistic ways.