EU parliamentary elections are only a month away, elections in which far-right and far-left parties will potentially secure record seat allocations. Despite their seemingly different ideologies, they have one thing in common: support from the desperate youth and disaffected who have been dispossessed by the policies of the ECB. If real growth cannot emerge soon in Europe, the odds are very real that the political and economic project of the EU may well be fated to fail.
Federal Reserve officials agreed today to keep interest rates steady amid pressure from the White House and economists to keep interest rates low. Jerome Powell and the Fed’s Board of Governors have been criticized for their so-called lackluster, and, at times, inhibitory, stance towards economic growth in the last year.
In the first week of April, the United States chose to snub a G7 meeting in favour of focusing exclusively on NATO. But while the U.S. has chosen to focus on great power politics, France has begun penetrating the now crowded soft power field in Africa to much success in former colonial possessions Algeria and Rwanda. Given France’s success, perhaps it is time for the Trump administration to re-evaluate the role of soft power in American foreign policy.
Saudi Arabia appointed their first female ambassador in late February. Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud has been appointed as ambassador to the United States, while the Crown Prince has undergone a series of meetings with leaders throughout Asia. These actions, as a whole, demonstrate an attempted global soft power campaign which the West must now respond to.
The “city on a hill,” as pronounced by Puritan John Winthrop in 1630, is quickly lagging behind in terms of infrastructure. America has been the at the forefront of infrastructure innovation since the Reconstruction Period, but in recent years, America has seemingly ignored the more basic infrastructure that is used daily by its 325 million citizens every day.
Although the first round of the Ukrainian Presidential elections occur Sunday March 31, many people outside of Eastern Europe are unaware of the issues surrounding the elections or who is running. This elections appears to be a referendum on the ‘ultra-nationalist’ policies and ideology Kiev has condoned—most often at the expense of ethnic Russians. The ultimate question, however, may not be the results of the election but whether the international community will be able to understand what is transpiring within Ukraine.
President Biya continues to preside over Cameroon, a key ally in the West’s fight with ISIS. However, recent elections have left Cameroon in a state of unrest and possible civil war as Biya uses American-trained soldiers to violently suppress the English-speaking minority.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is aimed at buttressing an underdeveloped Chinese interior, securing raw materials, dominating export markets, and creating an alternative to the US order; if China is to be restrained, the United States and the West must act decisively and soon.
While Congress argues over the border wall, President Trump and Kim Jong-Un are beginning to forge a stronger bond in order to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Despite the gridlock at home Trump proclaims that “This is more than has ever been accomplished with North Korea!”… Is this a new round of false promises or has the President made real headway with the Korean Regime?
Society is currently undergoing a paradigm shift involving technology. Within the last decade, corporations and individuals have begun utilizing the vast technological achievements of the 20th century to connect previously isolated populations and further blur the line between the physical and digital worlds – propelling humanity into the 4th Industrial Revolution. And while this period of rapid expansion and globalization is occuring, the world is seemingly shrinking to within the confines of a 5 inch screen.