Foreign policy played a bigger role in last night's Democratic presidential debate than in previous ones, in part because of events that came on the heels of President Trump's surprise, and disastrous, withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. Some candidates used the opportunity to play up their foreign policy bona fides, but not all of their punches landed cleanly. Here are some key takeaways.

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Since Syria's brutal civil war began eight years ago, millions of Syrians have fled their country to escape the bombs and bullets. But hundreds of thousands have been displaced within Syria's borders, where they languish in packed refugee camps. The al-Hol camp in northern Syria is sprawling, and of its nearly 70,000 residents, some 11,000 are family members of foreign ISIS fighters, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The surprise American withdrawal from northern Syria last week paved the way for Turkey and Syria's Bashar al-Assad to move in. Some 160,000 civilians have now fled the border region that Turkey is bombarding, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a stretch of Syria that had been relatively secure since the defeat of ISIS's self-declared caliphate back in March. Here's a look at the camps for displaced people in the area.

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Donald Trump announced a fresh "phase 1" trade deal with China last week, part of his ongoing bid to reduce the United States' huge trade deficit with China. The US has been buying more from China than China buys from the US for decades, but since coming into office Trump has made reducing that deficit central to his "America First" agenda. It's not easy to do. Consider that in 2018, after two full years of the Trump administration, the trade deficit with China actually swelled to its highest level since the Clinton years. That's because many perfectly healthy economic factors contribute to a trade deficit: stronger economic growth under Trump has meant more demand for foreign goods, so as long as the economy keeps humming along, it will be hard for Trump to reduce the deficit. Likewise, the strong US dollar makes foreign goods cheaper for US consumers to import, while China's own economic slowdown in 2018 decreased Chinese demand for American goods. For a historical perspective on all of this, here's a look at how the US-China trade balance has developed under each US president going back to 1993.

The BRICS – a bloc of nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – meets next month in Brazil's capital for its annual summit. The idea of the "BRIC" grouping comes from a 2001 Goldman Sachs paper, which predicted that these rising economies, despite their major differences, would soon be among the world's largest, and that as a group they would command more global clout as a result. The idea took on a real-world structure in 2009, when Brazil, Russia, India and China began holding regular BRIC summits, and in 2010 they invited South Africa to join as well. But this vision of BRICS power hasn't necessarily materialized: China's share of global GDP has boomed – and India's growth has been significant, too. But the B, R, and S shares of the global economy have actually shrunk over the past 20 years. Here's a look at how these economies have fared since the idea of the BRICS was born.

The BRICS – a bloc of nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – meets today in Brazil's capital for its annual summit. The idea of the "BRIC" grouping comes from a 2001 Goldman Sachs paper, which predicted that these rising economies, despite their major differences, would soon be among the world's largest, and that as a group they would command more global clout as a result. The idea took on a real-world structure in 2009, when Brazil, Russia, India and China began holding regular BRIC summits, and in 2010 they invited South Africa to join as well. But this vision of BRICS power hasn't necessarily materialized: China's share of global GDP has boomed – and India's growth has been significant, too. But the B, R, and S shares of the global economy have actually shrunk over the past 20 years. Here's a look at how these economies have fared since the idea of the BRICS was born.

From the bloodied streets of Baghdad to the umbrella-filled parks of Hong Kong, from Haiti to Ukraine, and Bolivia to Zimbabwe, protesters are out in force in just about every region of the world right now. Here's a look at four of the biggest protests going on today.

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Whether Energy Secretary Rick Perry resigns or – it now seems – not, the Trump White House has already seen the highest turnover of any recent administration. To date, six people have served as White House communications director and there have been three chiefs of staff. Since President Trump took office less than three years ago, the rate of replacement for principal positions – designated the "A-Team" by the Brookings Institution – is 78 percent, higher than the five most recent presidents over their respective four-year terms. Based on the methodology outlined by the National Journal's "Decision Makers" series between 1981-2009 – and continued by Brookings – the first chart reflects turnover among the most influential positions within the Executive Office of the President. It doesn't include cabinet secretaries, which are reflected in the second chart. Here's a look at the numbers from the days of Reagan until today.