When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: barack obama

This Happened

This Happened — March 21: Obama Goes To Cuba

Barack Obama visited Cuba on this day in 2016 as part of his efforts to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. The visit was the first by a U.S. president in nearly 90 years and came after the two countries had re-established diplomatic relations in 2015.

Watch VideoShow less

Putin's Nuclear Scare Tactics Come With Real Consequences

Russia has announced its withdrawal from a post-Cold War nuclear arms control treaty it signed with the U.S. The decision risks re-launching a global arms race.


PARIS — It began as just another violent diatribe against the West, guilty of both wanted to destroy Russia and of moral decadence. But then Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a major announcement: suspending Russia's participation in the "New Start" nuclear arms control treaty.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Only a small crowd of experts is generally interested in these issues, but the context of the war in Ukraine obviously makes the subject alarming.

The question everyone has a right to ask is whether this announcement makes a nuclear war possible? In other words, did the world become incrementally more dangerous on Tuesday?

Keep reading...Show less

Eyes On U.S. – American Diplomacy Is Unable (Or Unwilling) To Adapt To A New World

Crises worldwide mean we need less nationalism and more cooperation, but the U.S., a weakened superpower, won't accept its diminished status.


BUENOS AIRES — There is widespread international consensus that the post-Cold War period, which began around 1990, is over. Initially, it heralded a "new order" under the guidance of the United States, which promised stability, justice and equity but became instead a run of crises, challenges, conflicts and failures.

Keep reading...Show less

This Happened—January 20: The Obama Presidency Begins

Barack Obama is inaugurated as 44th President of the United States on this date in 2009, making him the first African-American president.

Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.

Keep reading...Show less
Ahmed Rafat

One Clear Sign Iran's Protests Are Working

The Western world has taken note of the desperate fury of Iranians protesting against a 40-year dictatorship in their country. Now there are signs that the West has finally lost patience with the a regime based on repression and subterfuge.


More than a month of anti-government protests and strikes may have finally dragged Western governments from their inaction and complacency toward the Iranian regime. They may even have concluded, belatedly, that it would be best to postpone the multilateral talks to renew a nuclear pact with Tehran.

The slogans, demands and grievances of Iranians against state violence have finally broken through abroad, as the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States gingerly add names to their lists of sanctioned Iran officials and agencies.

Admittedly, the latest inclusions approved by the EU were not related to the suppression of protests in Iran but to the military supplies sent to Russia.

What has prompted the West to temper its appeasement of the Islamic Republic?

Watch VideoShow less
Carlos Pérez Llana

China-Russia Alliance, How The West Failed To See It Coming

A resurgent, ambitious Russia has taken the West by surprise, just when the United States was pivoting and bracing itself to face down China.


BUENOS AIRES — After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the biggest disruption of the Cold War was when communist China's ruler, Mao Zedong, received U.S. President Richard Nixon in Beijing. The diplomatic event was a bold, calculated gamble by the Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to divide the communist block, and paved the way for the Soviet Union's geopolitical depreciation. It also helped the United States mitigate its recent defeat in and withdrawal from Vietnam.

Has another, similar geo-strategic disruption just happened? Everything suggests there is an objective alliance between Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's leader, Xi Jinping. And this may push the United States into a trap to which it has itself helped set, with a string of mistakes that began all the way back with the Clinton administration in the 1990s.

Watch VideoShow less
eyes on the U.S.
Anne Sophie Goninet

Bonjour And Bye-Bye, A Video Postcard Of Obama's Foreign Travels

The end of the road has come for Barack Obama's eight years as President of the United States. From China to Kenya and Argentina to Laos, Obama has traveled thousands of miles around the world and has visited 58 countries. Here is a tour of some of the highlights, as seen through the local media at the ports of call:

Watch VideoShow less
eyes on the U.S.
Massimo Gramellini

Obama's Paradox: A Good Man, A Bad World, A Bitter End

TURIN — The destiny of soon-to-be former President Barack Obama reminds me of history's great love stories. Desire then regret, always longing for something that is never quite fulfilled.

When the 44th President of the United States appeared on the scene he was charismatic, athletic and affable, making history as the first African-American nominee from a major party. It was love at first sight, and the world was so enamored that it wound up giving him the Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up.

Watch VideoShow less
eyes on the U.S.
Richard Herzinger

Flaws And All, The World Will Miss Barack Obama

President Obama was, on many levels, a major disappointment. But his legacy is one of grace and integrity in a political world that grows uglier by the day.

BERLIN — We will miss him dearly.

Barack Obama will have come full circle on his next visit to Germany in November, this time coming at the very end of his second and final term in office. His first visit to Germany in August of 2008 did, after all, mark the beginning of "Obamania" around the world, this boundless euphoria that was ignited by the man onto whom we had pinned our hopes — even we Germans — even before he was elected for the first time.

Watch VideoShow less

Lost In Brazil, Dilma Can Wait


Brazil has won its first gold medal in Rio (courtesy of judoka Rafaela Silva), and other national athletes — especially soccer players after the 2014 World Cup fiasco — will obviously be looking to add to that tally. But one area where the hosts certainly won't be claiming any prizes is organization. Sure, after months of doomsday warnings, the Olympic constructions were ultimately completed in time, but a scathing report in Folha de S. Paulo points its finger at a surprising failure: the Olympic volunteers.

The São Paulo daily chronicled the abysmal level of preparation, with some of volunteers incapable of even helping fellow Brazilians find their way around Rio de Janeiro. When asked about the location of the badminton events, one volunteer replied, "I think it's in Deodoro. Nobody's ever asked me that. But look, don't go there. If I'm wrong, you'll end up being angry."

Anecdotes like this can be shrugged off, especially in the face of far more dire pre-Games warnings about security and Zika. But there's also a less amusing side to it: In many ways, this level of administrative amateurism is symptomatic of Brazil's political woes, the ugly flipside of locals loveable just-go-with-the-flow demeanor. With the latest Senate vote moving President Dilma Rousseff closer to impeachment, most will now set the drama aside as the Games continue for the next 10 days. In the meantime, Brazilians will be rooting for a few more golds — if they can just find their way to the stadium.

Watch VideoShow less
Jakub Halcewicz

Refugees, The Moral Failure Of Poland's Leaders

The recent visit by Pope Francis highlighted how little Polish leaders care about the emergency of Europe's refugee crisis.


WARSAW — The current Polish government is not fit to have talks with the leaders of the modern world — be it Barack Obama or Pope Francis.

Watch VideoShow less