What Mariupol’s fall means for Russia — and Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers at a steel plant in Mariupol have surrendered. It’s the symbolic seal on Russia’s control, after weeks of a punishing assault against the strategic port city — but it is a victory that comes at a stunning cost. On Monday, more than 260 Ukrainian fighters, including 53 seriously wounded soldiers, were evacuated from … Read more

Lebanon is in political crisis. Sunday’s elections won’t change that.

Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on Sunday hold the possibility of change — however slight — from the corruption, negligence, and stagnation that have crashed the country’s economy, provided relative impunity for the devastating 2020 Beirut port explosion, and allowed the extremist group Hezbollah to pick up a greater proportion of seats in the legislature. Sunday’s turnout … Read more

Why Sri Lanka’s new PM isn’t the change the country needs

Sri Lanka’s president has appointed a new prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, a familiar face in the role, as the country’s economic crisis balloons into a full-blown political disaster and violent conflagration between security forces, supporters of the current president, and protesters demanding radical political and economic change. Wickremesinghe returns to office after five previous stints … Read more

Finland and Sweden are on the verge of joining NATO

Finland and Sweden are on the verge of seeking membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a historic shift for two traditionally non-aligned countries and a major expansion of the Western alliance as war wages in Europe. On Thursday, Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin strongly backed Finland’s NATO membership. “NATO membership … Read more

India and Pakistan’s severe heat wave, explained

Nearly one in eight people on Earth are enduring a relentless, lethal heat wave that is stretching into its third week. Triple-digit temperatures are continuing to bake swaths of India and Pakistan, a region home to 1.5 billion people. Extreme heat has also scorched Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in recent weeks. For India, this past … Read more

“Liam” and “Olivia” are the most popular baby names as birth rates fall

If you’re like me, you’re hearing one word echoing through the playgrounds and preschools of America: “Liam!” It’s not that Americans have rediscovered the underrated contributions of frontman Liam Gallagher to the 1990s Britpop band Oasis, and as far as I know, we’re still waiting for the actor Liam Neeson to bring his very particular … Read more