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Human rights activists demand the safe return of Ricardo Lagunes and Antonio Díaz, community defenders who disappeared on January 15. Mexico City, Mexico, January 22, 2023.

Photo by Luis Barron / Eyepix Group/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Environmentalists targeted, World Bank outlook improves, mass shooting in Louisville, fiery cocktails in Northern Ireland, Winnie-the-Pooh gets punched

24: This year alone, at least two dozen environmental activists have already been murdered or disappeared in Mexico and Central America, according to an investigation by The Guardian. Many are from indigenous communities protesting against mining activities on their traditional lands.

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Paige Fusco

Viewpoint: As an angry China looms, Taiwan’s president seeks support in the Americas

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will travel to the US, Guatemala, and Belize from March 29 to April 7 against a backdrop of deepening tensions with China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province. In the US, Tsai is expected to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and in Guatemala and Belize she aims to shore up relations with two of the last 13 countries in the world that recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty. We asked experts at Eurasia Group to explain the motivations behind Tsai’s visit.

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Comparative maps showing which countries had official diplomatic ties with Taiwan just before the UN recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971 to today.

Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Taiwan's shrinking recognition

Honduras announced this week that it’ll sever official diplomatic ties with Taiwan and instead recognize China. This would bring the number of countries with formal ties to the self-ruled island down to 13, with only two Central American allies (Belize and Guatemala) remaining. China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province, has been playing tug-of-war with Taipei for influence in Latin America for years. We look at which countries had official diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1971, just before the UN switched recognition of China’s government to the People’s Republic, compared to today.

A hostess stands before the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.

REUTERS/Cooper Inveen

Hard Numbers: China-Africa trade hits new high, record remittances to Central America, Barry Manilow vs protesters, Indian government vs Chinese apps

254 billion: Trade between Africa and China reached an all-time high of $254 billion in 2021, up more than a third from the previous year. But most of the increase came from a jump in Chinese exports, which continue to dwarf Africa’s exports to China.

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Gabriella Turrisi

What We’re Watching: G7 warns Russia, Israeli PM in UAE, Blinken in Southeast Asia, Nicaragua ditches Taiwan, Poland may stiff EU

Russia’s big plans for Ukraine. G7 foreign ministers warned Sunday of “massive consequences” if Russia invades Ukraine. It was the first joint statement by the group of rich democracies since recent satellite images revealed a significant buildup of Russian troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine. Indeed, according to reports, the force that Moscow is massing near Ukraine is larger than the one it used to annex Crimea in 2014. This comes after the Pentagon said that Russia could have 175,000 troops on the border by the end of January in order to invade the former Soviet republic. In an attempt to lower the temperature last week, President Biden and Vladimir Putin held a long video call, but the Russian president was not deterred by Biden’s threat of more economic sanctions if Russia escalates further. Putin says he wants NATO not to expand membership any further into the former Soviet Union, and to stop military cooperation with Ukraine. Moscow will reportedly send a proposal for a security arrangement this week. But Putin, who has already indicated his willingness to threaten European energy markets, also knows all too well that while Washington talks a tough game, it is not willing to send in troops to defend Ukraine.

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Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and Nicaraguan representative Laureano Ortega attend the signing ceremony of the joint communique on the resumption of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Nicaragua, in Tianjin, China December 10, 2021.

Yue Yuewei/Xinhua via REUTERS

What We're Watching: Nicaragua says hello China, goodbye Taiwan

Taiwan’s decreasing diplomatic traction. Nicaragua is the latest country to drop recognition of Taiwan in favor of the People's Republic of China, which considers the self-governing island as part of its territory. Beijing has long lobbied aggressively for the diplomatic isolation of Taiwan with both carrots (mostly promising a lot of cash to those who switch sides) and sticks (like downgrading ties with Lithuania for allowing Taiwan to open a de-facto embassy in Vilnius). China's efforts are paying off: today only 13 mostly small nations plus the Vatican still recognize Taiwan and not the People’s Republic, down from 21 just five years ago. But in Central America the tilt towards Beijing also has to do with US sanctions against the authoritarian leaders of first El Salvador — which ditched Taiwan to embrace China three years ago — and now Nicaragua. Meanwhile, China continues to invest big in the region, and will likely spend more money in Nicaragua very soon. Ironically, Washington’s actions to aid democracy in Central America may actually bring some of its countries closer to America's authoritarian rival.

Why election reform laws are deadlocked on Capitol Hill
Why Election Reform Laws Are Deadlocked On Capitol Hill | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Why election reform laws are deadlocked on Capitol Hill

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

With the For the People Act not passed in the Senate, what's the outlook on Democrats' election reform?

Well, the thing about election laws is that they're really all about power, how to get it, how to maintain it once you have it. And the Republicans and the Democrats are unlikely to agree on even the basics of what's wrong with our election system today, and they were definitely unlikely to agree on how to reform those things. So there's really no consensus on Capitol Hill on what's broken about the current election law. You've got Republicans at the state level who are pushing, rolling back some of the more generous rules that were laid out during coronavirus. You also have some that are trying to combat President Trump's allegations of widespread fraud during the 2020 election cycle. Democrats, on the other hand, are doing everything they can to make it easier to vote, to expand access to the vote. And that's part of what was in the federal legislation that Republicans voted down.

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GZERO discussion examines how US foreign policy impacts all Americans
GZERO Discussion Examines How US Foreign Policy Impacts All Americans | GZERO Media

GZERO discussion examines how US foreign policy impacts all Americans

Why should Americans care about US foreign policy? Whether or not they relate to most "high-brow" diplomacy issues, they should be interested in how US foreign policy impacts their daily life via immigration, trade, America's role in the world, and even race. A few experts shared their thoughts on Tuesday, June 15, during the livestream conversation "How US Foreign Policy Impacts All Americans" presented by GZERO Media and sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation.

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