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Updated: 18 hours 5 min ago

African leadership should speak out at the UN, US commercial embargo of Cuba should end, Fan Bingbing’s tax practices are not unusual, India’s ties with Russia can survive American interference, Women’s rights are co-opted for their political impact

October 20, 2018 - 4:00am

“It is ... disheartening to observe that not even one of the African leaders in attendance [at the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations] plucked up the courage to speak poignant truths to the superpowers...,” writes Afam Nkemdiche.

Brazil's election: What's at stake?

October 19, 2018 - 3:13pm

Congressman Jair Bolsonaro had an unexpectedly strong showing in the first round of Brazil’s presidential election earlier this month. How did a veteran politician cast himself as the outsider who could save the country? The Social Liberal Party candidate has made a name for himself by praising the nation’s former dictatorship and its use of torture.

US businesses begin to increase services for deaf people

October 19, 2018 - 3:00pm

Tax preparer Joshua Beal knows well the challenges that a communications barrier can present when it comes to understanding tax policy and the Internal Revenue Service. Add in the extra challenge of being deaf, and overcoming those barriers can seem insurmountable. “We have many deaf clients who are overwhelmed by 10- to 15-page-long letters from the IRS regarding a deficiency or outstanding issue,” says Mr. Beal, who is deaf himself.

How Stacey Abrams has gotten within one point of Georgia governor’s mansion

October 19, 2018 - 8:35am

With one point separating her and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Abrams could very well become not only the first black governor of Georgia, but the first black woman in America to ever lead a state. The razor-tight race has been accompanied by record early voting, national scrutiny, and heated controversy.

Amid complaints of a rigged system, one woman's effort to end gerrymandering

October 18, 2018 - 1:49pm

The post that changed Katie Fahey’s life came to her a couple of days after the 2016 presidential election. 

Why ‘the Kavanaugh effect’ on midterms is so unpredictable

October 18, 2018 - 1:17pm

When big political news occurs close to an impending election, Washington is usually awash in arguments about how it might affect the upcoming vote. As you might have guessed, this brings us to the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Brett Kava­naugh. During recent weeks of struggle there have been lots of predictions about how it will swing the upcoming midterm elections one way or another.

Russia wrestles with a US-style school massacre in Crimea

October 18, 2018 - 12:55pm

Despite Russia’s already rather tough gun regulations, there are also calls to crack down harder. At the end of the day, and as is often the case in the US, there seems to be no clear explanation for why Vladislav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student at Kerch Polytechnic College, came to school on Wednesday with two backpacks stuffed with explosives and a legally acquired shotgun-like hunting rifle, and proceeded to slaughter his fellow students and teachers.

Meanwhile in ... Afghanistan, fans are rejoicing over what’s being called the 'fairy tale' success story of the country’s cricket team

October 18, 2018 - 4:00am

Afghanistan, fans are rejoicing over what’s being called the “fairy tale” success story of the country’s cricket team. In the United Arab Emirates last month, at the 2018 Asia Cup cricket tournament, Afghanistan became the talk of the tournament by trouncing Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and then tying the powerhouse Indian team. Afghanistan’s cricket team is performing way above expectations against far more established competitors.

At stake in Khashoggi affair: control of the Arab world’s narrative

October 17, 2018 - 3:01pm

The disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has done more than strike fear in the hearts of Arab journalists and intellectuals everywhere. The affair’s outcome, they say, holds in its balance the future of access to information across the Middle East. Arab academics and press freedom advocates warn of dire consequences if the United States and the West fail to hold Mr. Khashoggi’s killers accountable.

In Florida's kaleidoscopic politics, a window into America's future

October 17, 2018 - 2:51pm

For Hannah Klein and William Joel Bravo, paid canvassers for the liberal NextGen America, that’s half the challenge – getting people to open the door and engage. “I believe that as a woman, it is my moral obligation to vote for anyone but Donald Trump,” says Batlle, a Cuban-American native of Miami who works as a paralegal. President Trump isn’t literally on the ballot Nov. 6, but really, he is.

Russia's once shadowy spies cast into the light. Why now?

October 17, 2018 - 1:51pm

For lovers of spy lore, the past few years have brought unprecedented glimpses behind the curtain of international espionage. In part thanks to the unpreparedness of many intelligence agencies to grasp the implications of rapidly advancing information technology and the ubiquity of social media, more than one has seen some of its most precious secrets spilled over newspaper front pages. The latest to suffer this fate is Russia's largest spy agency, the Main Directorate of the Russian General Chief of Staff – still widely known by its traditional acronym, GRU.

China's cold but cleaner skies bring an economic challenge

October 16, 2018 - 3:00pm

As winter’s approach brings the first days of heavy smog, thanks to coal-burning heaters, Beijing residents are donning air-filter masks or hunkering down indoors. The good news is that China’s air quality has been improving since 2013, though readings are still several times higher than what the World Health Organization recommends. Beijing has proved its war on pollution can work.

With legal recreational pot, Canada leads way into uncharted territory

October 16, 2018 - 2:37pm

Canada’s capital city is known for being sleepy, sometimes stodgy. In doing so Canada has moved to the forefront of global drug policy. In open breach of the United Nations conventions on drugs, it has clearly stated that in principle, it does not believe that prohibition of marijuana serves the public good, after nearly 100 years of signing laws to the contrary.

To fight corruption, Kenyans study integrity

October 16, 2018 - 1:46pm

Kenya’s official body for fighting corruption conducted a survey last year, and it was shocked at the results. The number of people paying bribes for government services had risen to 62 percent, up from 46 percent two years earlier. The survey found corruption was now seen as the country’s leading problem.

Signs mount of a fundamental shift in US-China ties

October 16, 2018 - 1:43pm

It began as a trade dispute, but it’s becoming much more: a fundamental shift between the United States and China, the single most important great-power relationship in today’s world. One wild card – the initially warm, now decidedly cooler, relationship between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping – could yet exert a restraining effect.

Migration roils global politics, even as it ebbs

October 15, 2018 - 2:01pm

In 2018, the United States is set to take in fewer political refugees than in any year since 1977. President Trump is revoking the protected status Washington has offered for decades to more than 400,000 immigrants who fled turmoil in their home countries. In Hungary, border guards have withheld food from rejected Afghan and Syrian asylum seekers to convince them to drop their appeals.

A lesson from the Sears bankruptcy

October 15, 2018 - 1:40pm

Once called the colossus of retailing, Sears filed for bankruptcy on Monday. While the Sears name may yet reemerge in smaller form, its demise offers a cautionary tale – and not just on the need for constant innovation in business. While Sears was long a trusted brand name, it never was a vital center in the local communities that it served.