Today's Liberal News

Yasmeen Serhan

The New Pandemic Division Tearing Europe Apart

For a while, during the worst of the pandemic last year, European governments largely seemed to reach a consensus. Barring a few exceptions (such as Sweden), countries in the region locked down their economies, keeping people at home in a bid to slow the pace of infection. In time, bolstered by plentiful vaccines, the continent has seen a resumption of near-normalcy: Public-health restrictions have loosened, and travel has restarted.

The Taliban Is Just as Bad as It Always Was

From the moment when scores of Afghans were filmed clinging to an American aircraft in a desperate bid to escape Taliban rule to the day of the departure of the last American soldier, international attention was trained almost exclusively on Afghanistan—until it wasn’t. By mid-September, just weeks after the Taliban took control of Kabul, the sense of crisis that had galvanized the world’s focus began to wane. Today, Afghanistan has all but disappeared from daily headlines.

How Clinton’s ‘Basket of Deplorables’ Taught Germany a Lesson

In the final days of Germany’s election campaign, the center-left Social Democrats appeared to focus their final message to voters on one idea: respect. The message was plastered across the country on vibrant red posters and featured in the closing campaign speech of the party’s candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who pledged that a Germany under his leadership would recognize the contributions of everyone in society, regardless of their professional or social merit.

What Germany’s Far Right Has Taught Us

When Germany heads to the polls this weekend, the far-right Alternative for Germany will again be on the ballot, once a fringe presence that has become the largest—and most loathed—opposition party in the Bundestag. It has stood at the center of scandal after scandal, yet unlike other far-right parties across Europe, its experience in mainstream politics hasn’t had a moderating effect on its outlook. The AfD of 2021 is more established, but also more radical.

When the Far Right Picks Fights With a Teen

The next front in the culture wars is climate change, and the battle lines have already been drawn. On one side are the climate skeptics—those who see global warming as nothing more than unusual weather, and argue that government interventions and regulations to curb greenhouse-gas emissions are alarmist or “eco-fascist.”On the other side is Greta Thunberg.This, at least, is what the populist right’s next political battleground looks like online.

The Far-Right View on Climate Politics

Perhaps the 234 scientists behind this week’s landmark climate assessment had hoped that their report—published during a summer of deadly flooding, wildfires, and heat waves—would act as a wake-up call, one that would unite the world’s governments and parties.But political consensus on the issue of climate change, much like the goal of limiting global warming to 1.

The Olympics Have Lost Their Appeal

When Tokyo bids farewell to the Olympics this weekend, few people there will be sad to see it go. The Japanese public overwhelmingly opposed hosting the postponed Summer Games, fearing that it could exacerbate the country’s COVID-19 outbreak. In the final week of the competition, Japan broke a record no one wanted, reporting more than 14,000 cases a day—its highest since the pandemic began.

How Much Longer Can the Olympics Survive?

When Tokyo bids farewell to the Olympics this weekend, few people there will be sad to see it go. The Japanese public overwhelmingly opposed hosting the postponed Summer Games, fearing that it could exacerbate the country’s COVID-19 outbreak. In the final week of the competition, Japan broke a record no one wanted, reporting more than 14,000 cases a day—its highest since the pandemic began.

The West Is Failing Belarus

When the Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko plucked a dissident journalist out of the sky, he proved two things: that his 27-year grip on power is unhindered by international isolation, and that, absent meaningful action by the United States and Europe—whose citizens were among the passengers on the hijacked flight—nothing is going to change.That, at least, is how Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya sees it.

Europe Wants Americans Back

“It’s a great time to be an American tourist.”Such a statement would have been nonsensical a year ago, when the COVID-19 surge in the United States was so grim that Americans, who are accustomed to traveling most places without issue, were considered personae non gratae across much of the rest of the world.

India Is a Warning

India considered itself to be “in the endgame” of the pandemic just a few weeks ago. Now it is the global epicenter. The country recently surpassed the devastating milestone of more than 345,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, the biggest total recorded globally since the pandemic began.

The Vaccine-Hesitant Man of Europe

If certain corners of the French internet are anything to go by, COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe, those who refuse them risk becoming “second-class citizens,” and the country has turned into a “health dictatorship.” That such claims have gained currency in France—home to Louis Pasteur, a robust welfare state, and a universal-health-care system—would have been far-fetched 25 years ago.

‘I Believe That the U.S.A. Can Be the Crucial Player’

Protest movements aren’t designed to last forever. And when they do reach their inevitable conclusion, they tend to follow one of two familiar sequences: In one scenario, a protest triggers the resignation of an opposed leader, the reversal of an unpopular policy, or other concessions (think of the successful recent revolutions in Algeria and Sudan).

The Limits of Narendra Modi’s Nationalism

Narendra Modi is no stranger to protests. Since his reelection last year, the Indian prime minister’s policies have triggered a number of mass demonstrations, including his decision to revoke the constitutional autonomy of Kashmir, India’s sole Muslim-majority state, and last year’s contentious move to establish a religious test for people from neighboring countries seeking citizenship that excludes Muslims.

Jacinda Ardern’s Job Will Only Get Harder

In February, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party was down in the polls. Voters were expressing frustrations that her government had overpromised and underdelivered on major campaign issues such as inequality and housing. Some observers suggested that the New Zealand prime minister’s first term would be her last.Then the pandemic happened.

When Women Lead Protest Movements

One of the most striking things about the prodemocracy protests in Belarus has been the outsize role of women. A woman, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, has emerged as the unlikely political challenger to longtime Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Two of the country’s highest-profile opposition figures, who have been abducted or compelled to flee the country, are women.

The Pandemic Isn’t a Death Knell for Populism

In many ways, the coronavirus has been irrefutably bad for populists. It has bolstered the popularity of establishment darlings such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, and Italy’s Giuseppe Conte. It has brought once-anonymous health experts, including the United States’ Anthony Fauci and Britain’s Chris Whitty, to the fore. It has cast some of populists’ favored wedge issues, among them immigration and the European Union, to the wayside.

What the World Could Teach America About Policing

In the weeks since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, nationwide anti-racism protests have called for, among other things, defunding the police. But the members of the Minneapolis City Council decided to go further, announcing their intent to dismantle their police department altogether.Such a promise might have been deemed radical only a few weeks ago.