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Commentary Headlines

Commentary: How Saudi Arabia has overreached on Iran, Lebanon

On Nov. 19, Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo for an hours-long gripe session against Iran and its ally, Hezbollah. The Arab leaders accused Tehran and the Lebanese Shi’ite movement of destabilizing the Middle East, but they fell short of agreeing on concrete action.

Commentary: Africa’s deft handling of Zimbabwe’s ‘coup’

The sight of a civilian populace wildly cheering soldiers clinging to a tank, is the standard fare of coups d’état. In Africa, which has had a troubling tradition of the military overthrowing civilian administrations, it’s a jubilation that historically has rarely lasted for long, with the new rulers soon proving to be at least as venal and oppressive as those they have replaced.

Commentary: Britain’s gravest economic challenge isn’t Brexit

Few British budgets have mattered as much as the one that Philip Hammond will deliver to the House of Commons on Nov. 22. The chancellor of the exchequer must shore up Theresa May’s perilously shaky government ahead of a vital Brexit summit of European leaders in mid-December. At the same time Hammond has to keep a grip on the public finances. But the gravest challenge he faces is economic: Britain’s persistent productivity blight.

Commentary: Why social democrats have become irrelevant

In almost every country in Europe, parties of the center-left struggle to remain competitive in the political arena. Yet social democracy - though it can claim success in creating and developing public services which have improved the lives and health of citizens - can now rarely convince its former supporters that it’s still worth their votes.

Commentary: Lessons from Zimbabwe’s coup

The speed of events in Zimbabwe this week has taken even experienced Africa watchers by surprise. An effective army takeover; President Robert Mugabe placed under house arrest and his wife – and would-be successor – reportedly fleeing the country.

Commentary: How Trump is making it easier to exploit consumers

Richard Cordray, who has been the head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since 2012, announced Wednesday that he will be resigning before the end of his five-year term. His interim replacement will be self-described "right-wing nutjob" Mick Mulvaney.

Commentary: The next front in the fight against sexual assault

Ever since The New York Times and The New Yorker published the accounts of dozens of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, the social and political tides seem to be turning. More women (and a few men) have spoken out against Hollywood and media luminaries, business giants and, most recently, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Commentary: The truth behind the U.S. show of force in Asia

As President Donald Trump tours Asia, three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier battle groups are exercising together in the Pacific. It’s an awesome display of U.S. military power and reach, a reminder of Washington’s unparalleled ability to project global force. At the same time, however, it’s also a sign of how stretched those forces have become.

Commentary: Britain’s mess extends beyond Brexit

Great Britain – ever ready to boast stable politics and a faultless, often-called “Rolls Royce” civil service – is in a mess. Between scandals over sex, secret meetings, political donors and the royal family, the government is melting down.

Commentary: How Dems may use election wins to re-draw voter districts

Most political observers say that Tuesday’s elections were a referendum on Donald Trump or a signal of what will happen in 2020. “The results across the country represent nothing less than a stinging repudiation of Trump on the first anniversary of his election,” wrote The Washington Post, in a typical statement of the conventional wisdom. True, the Democrats did well, picking up state legislative seats from Georgia to New Hampshire, including a massive swing of at least 15 seats in Virginia, as

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Jeff Sessions orders review of gun background check system

WASHINGTON U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered a review of a government database used for background checks on gun buyers, after a man who killed 26 people in a Texas church was left off the system despite having a criminal record.