San Francisco News

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Javier Milei: Argentina’s new president presses ahead with economic ‘shock therapy’ as social unrest grows

Sam Halvorsen, Reader in Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London; Sebastián Mauro, Associate professor, Universidad de Buenos Aires Only weeks into his term, Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, seems to be making good on his promise to put a chainsaw to the country’s crisis-ridden economy. In his inaugural address, Milei told the nation: “There is no alternative to shock.” He dissolved half of the country’s ministries days later, and implemented a 50% devaluation of the peso. But amid massive spending cuts, prices continue to spiral. Argentina’s annual rate of inflation has reached a three-decade high of 254.2%. Milei blames the poor economy on years of

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As war in Ukraine enters third year, 3 issues could decide its outcome: Supplies, information and politics

Tara Sonenshine, Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice in Public Diplomacy, Tufts University In retrospect, there was perhaps nothing surprising about Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Vladimir Putin’s intentions were, after all, hiding in plain sight and signaled in the months running up to the incursion. What could not be foreseen, however, is where the conflict finds itself now. Heading into its third year, the war has become bogged down: Neither is it a stalemate, nor does it look like either side could make dramatic advances any time soon. Russia appears to be on the ascendancy, having secured the latest major battlefield

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Cult of the drone: At the two-year mark, UAVs have changed the face of war in Ukraine – but not outcomes

Paul Lushenko, Assistant Professor and Director of Special Operations, US Army War College Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have been central to the war in Ukraine. Some analysts claim that drones have reshaped war, yielding not just tactical-level effects, but shaping operational and strategic outcomes as well. It’s important to distinguish between these different levels of war. The tactical level of war refers to battlefield actions, such as patrols or raids. The operational level of war characterizes a military’s synchronization of tactical actions to achieve broader military objectives, such as destroying components of an adversary’s army. The strategic level of war relates to the way these military

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Why the United States needs NATO – 3 things to know

Klaus W. Larres, Professor of History and International Affairs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Former President Donald Trump has long made it clear that he deeply resents NATO, a 75-year-old military alliance that is composed of the United States and 30 other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Trump escalated his criticism of NATO on Feb. 10, 2024, when he said that, if he is elected president again in November 2024, the U.S. would not defend any member country that had not “paid up.” Trump also said that he would encourage Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, “to

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Mexico is suing US gun-makers for arming its gangs − and a US court could award billions in damages

Timothy D. Lytton, Regents’ Professor & Professor of Law, Georgia State University The government of Mexico is suing U.S. gun-makers for their role in facilitating cross-border gun trafficking that has supercharged violent crime in Mexico. The lawsuit seeks US$10 billion in damages and a court order to force the companies named in the lawsuit – including Smith & Wesson, Colt, Glock, Beretta and Ruger – to change the way they do business. In January, a federal appeals court in Boston decided that the industry’s immunity shield, which so far has protected gun-makers from civil liability, does not apply to Mexico’s lawsuit. As a legal scholar who has analyzed lawsuits against the

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Navalny dies in prison − but his blueprint for anti-Putin activism will live on

Regina Smyth, Professor of Political Science, Indiana University Long lines of Russians endured subzero temperatures in January 2024 to demand that anti-Ukraine war candidate Boris Nadezhdin be allowed to run in the forthcoming presidential election. It was protest by petition – a tactic that reflects the legacy of Alexei Navalny, the longtime Russian pro-democracy campaigner. Authorities say Navalny, a persistent thorn in the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in prison on Feb. 16, 2024. For more than a decade, Navalny fought Russian authoritarianism at the ballot box and on the streets as the most recognizable face of anti-Putinism, filtering support to candidates brave enough

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Is Russia looking to put nukes in space? Doing so would undermine global stability and ignite an anti-satellite arms race

Spenser A. Warren, Postdoctoral Fellow in Technology and International Security, University of California, San Diego Fresh U.S. intelligence circulating in Congress reportedly indicates that Russia is developing an anti-satellite weapon in space with a nuclear component. News reports speculating about what the weapon could be abounded after Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, released a cryptic but alarming statement on Feb. 14, 2024, regarding the information, which he framed as a “serious national security threat.” Some sources suggested a nuclear weapon. Others suspect a weapon

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What do people in the Pacific really think of China? It’s more nuanced than you may imagine

Denghua Zhang, Australian National University and Bernard Yegiora, Divine Word University China has been steadily increasing its footprint in the Pacific in recent years as it attempts to deepen its influence and challenge the traditionally strong relationships many countries have with the US and Australia. But what do people in the Pacific think of China’s expanding interest and engagement in the region? To find out, we conducted surveys with local residents in two countries where China has focused its outreach in recent years – Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Both countries have embraced a foreign policy professing to be

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Israel-Hamas war: there is an important difference between a humanitarian pause and a ceasefire

Malak Benslama-Dabdoub, Royal Holloway University of London The British Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, has come under fire from members of his own party for refusing to call for a ceasefire in the Hamas-Israel war, instead pushing for a humanitarian pause in the conflict. As a result, 50 Labour councillors have quit the party. The controversy raises the question of the difference between a humanitarian pause and a ceasefire. The conflict began in the early morning of October 7 2023 when armed Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack against Israel, killing at least 1,400 Israelis and taking more than 200

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International reaction to Gaza siege has exposed the growing rift between the West and the Global South

Jorge Heine, Boston University The lopsidedness was stark: 120 countries voted in favor of a resolution before the United Nations on Oct. 26, 2023, calling for a “humanitarian truce” in the war in Gaza. A mere 14 countries voted against it. But the numbers tell only half the story; equally significant was the way the votes fell. Those voting against the resolution included the United States and four members of the European Union. Meanwhile, about 45 members abstained – including 15 members of the EU, plus the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Japan. Seldom has the isolation of the West

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In the Israel-Hamas war, children are the ultimate pawns – and ultimate victims

Omer Bartov, Brown University In 1903, a local mob killed 49 Jews, including several children, and raped and wounded 600 others, in the city of Kishinev, then part of the Russian Empire. These three days of violence later became known as the Kishinev pogrom. A few days later, the Jewish-Russian poet Hayim Nahman Bialik published a Hebrew poem that every Israeli school child still knows today. I am a scholar of the Holocaust and genocide. When thinking about the unfolding Israel-Hamas war, I am reminded of this Bialik poem, “On the Slaughter.” It laments Jewish helplessness and victimhood – and

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UN warns that Gaza desperately needs more aid − an emergency relief expert explains why it is especially tough working in Gaza

Paul Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University United Nations agencies on Oct. 24, 2023, pleaded for more aid to be allowed into Gaza, saying that more than 20 times the amount of food, water and medical supplies and other items that are currently reaching people is needed. Egypt first opened its borders for aid deliveries into Gaza on Oct. 21, and since then, 54 trucks with medical supplies had entered Gaza as of Oct. 23, according to the U.N. But the U.N. and other international aid groups are warning that the 2.3 million people living in Gaza remain in dire need of

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Even if Israel can completely eliminate Hamas, does it have a long-term plan for Gaza?

Ian Parmeter, Australian National University Not counting periodic cross-border skirmishes, Israel has fought three major wars against Hamas since withdrawing its forces from Gaza in 2005 – in 2008, 2014 and 2021. Each involved limited ground incursions, with Israeli soldiers in Gaza for about a fortnight. In the past couple weeks, Israel has put together a huge force to mount another ground invasion in retaliation for the Hamas cross-border attacks that killed around 1,400 Israelis on October 7. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have called up their entire armoured corps – more than 1,000 tanks. Around 360,000 reservists will also

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