It would be tempting to try to portray the French presidential election as something other than a struggle of globalism versus parochialism, modernity versus nostalgia, tolerance versus intolerance, open-mindedness versus narrow-mindedness, education versus ignorance, ideas versus prejudices. Yet those issues are exactly what the French elections are about. The emergence of the progressive Emmanuel Macron as the front-runner in the first round of the presidential election on April 23, and his virtually assured victory in the second round on May 7, constitute a bulwark against the know-nothing populism which gave rise to Brexit in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States.

Macron and his France represent the triumph of the principles which have been championed by Western civilization since the 18th century. It is not too much to assert that the French election outcome heralds the revenge of the Enlightenment and its values of respect for people and ideas.

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“Multilateralism” takes up a lot of characters in a tweet. That alone might make it unpopular with some political figures. More than that, it represents a positive outlook on the world that is at odds with the inwardness of populist discourse. Nonetheless, it is the word that should be at the center of today’s turbulent conversation.

We face monumental challenges and only together can we surmount them. Though there’s no denying that currently Europe has many problems, it is still collectively convinced of the need to reach out beyond its borders to other continents, to other peoples.

The framework on which this international cooperation takes place is diplomatic and financial. The diplomatic pillar is founded on the United Nations and the financial pillar is based partly around the work of the world’s multilateral development banks. So, tweet this: Multilateralism, the bulwark of our world order, promotes peace and sustainable development. It’s the foundation of our children’s futures.

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The snap UK general election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May for June 8 is likely to strengthen her political authority and ease the tortuous negotiation of Britain's departure from the EU - provided of course she wins. All the signs are that she will.  

The political climate is unlikely to be as favorable to May as it is now for a long time. With Brexit negotiations due to start later in June, May has a valid claim that she needs a personal and political mandate from the country to conduct the talks in the way she chooses. Equally important, much of the country has not yet woken up to the pain of Brexit that the negotiations will progressively reveal. 

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The controversial referendum which consolidated the executive powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will negatively impact Turkey’s relationship with the European Union, and may doom prospects for Turkey’s EU membership, according to an Atlantic Council analyst.

“The EU process is like a zombie—it moves along, but it’s dead,” said Aaron Stein, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) “has already come out and raised some serious questions about the conduct of the election,” adding, “it is almost certain that elements of the European Union will say the same thing.”

In light of Turkey’s “considerable democratic backslide,” further demonstrated by Sunday’s referendum, “it looks poor for EU-Turkish relations moving forward,” said Stein.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May’s surprise decision to call for a snap general election is a powerful admission by her government that Brexit will not be an easy process.  The next United Kingdom (UK) general election had been scheduled for May 2020, a date that would force May to campaign just as all the disadvantages of Brexit become clear. On April 18, May called for the election to be moved up to June 8, 2017. With five years allowed between elections, and assuming she wins the contest in June , the prime minister will have an additional two years—until spring 2022—to get through a difficult post-Brexit “transitional” phase before facing the voters again.

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On April 23, France will head to the polls for what is shaping up to be the most competitive presidential race in decades. Of the eleven candidates running for president, only the top two finishers will head to the second round, which is scheduled for two weeks later. The 2017 presidential campaign has not been short on surprises: scandals that sunk a once certain victory for the right wing, a strong far-right and anti-EU Front National, the rise of Emmanuel Macron (who had never before run for public office), and the demise of the Socialist Party. Still, the biggest shock may be yet to come.

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Accountability in the region creates space for safer investments

Odebrecht was once synonymous with Latin America’s most ambitious public works projects. Today, those who hear the name think only of the web of malfeasance that has engulfed the region and continues to extend beyond the continent. But, as negative as these new revelations may seem, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and opportunities along the way. The pragmatic efforts of police and judicial actors show that some countries in the region are ready to face impunity head on. If Latin America can continue down the road to accountability, US investors could be the first to benefit.

What started as a money laundering investigation in Brazil in 2014, the case of Odebrecht, Brazil’s largest construction company, has today developed into the deepest corruption scandal Latin America has seen, with top leaders implicated. Just this week, major newspapers reported the Brazilian Supreme Court has authorized investigations into more than one hundred Brazilian politicians. In December, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in a US court to paying nearly $800 million in bribes to win business in more than ten countries, dating back to the early 2000s. The company was subsequently slapped with a record fine of $3.5 billion by the Brazilian, US, and Swiss judiciaries in December. It seems the times are changing.

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By dropping the ‘mother of all bombs’ on an Islamic State target, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to fighting terrorism, said the Atlantic Council’s James B. Cunningham

The United States sent a clear message of its commitment to fighting terrorism when it dropped the so-called mother of all bombs on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan on April 13, said James B. Cunningham, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.

“It really is a military instrument used to accomplish a military task,” said Cunningham, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan, adding, “there is a political element to it as well in terms of showing our commitment and determination in this particular fight.”

The US military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State cave and tunnel complex in Achin district in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), dubbed the “mother of all bombs,” is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition. While dozens of people are believed to have been killed in the explosion, the Afghan defense ministry said civilians were not among the casualties.

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At first glance, Russian actions since the 2014 annexation of Crimea appear to signal a resurgence of power in the international system. Increases in military spending, forays into the Middle East, and a foreign policy punching above its weight have all served to remind the world that Russia maintains influence on the global stage.

However, behind the Cold War-levels of military activity and violations of international laws are fundamental issues which will plague Russia going forward. Demographic struggles have stricken the state since World War II, commodity price fluctuations and sanctions have crippled economic output, and the current defense spending trends are unsustainable. Against the backdrop of harsh economic reality, the illusion of Russian resurgence can only be maintained for so long, and NATO policymakers should take note.

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Over the course of the 2016 election, Donald Trump routinely flip-flopped on issues of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* Americans. After first saying he would consider appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn nationwide marriage equality, he soon made it a recurring talking point to highlight how he would be “better for the gays” than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. This was mainly to bolster his extreme anti-Muslim stance on immigration after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last June left forty-nine people dead. The shooter, who had indeed pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, was in fact American-born.

LGBT Americans have good reason to be nervous about what the Trump administration means for the huge advances made under former US President Barack Obama.

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