The United States is the only western democracy that continues to uphold the death penalty. Globally, executions from a death penalty sentence are on the decline. This practice places the United States at odds with the rest of the world as violations of human rights are typically a key United States’ interest in foreign policy.
As of July 20, Brazil officially has the second highest rate of COVID-19 infections after the United States. They have surpassed 79,000 deaths and have over 2.1 million cases. In addition to the pandemic, Brazil continues to struggle with political instability, a right-wing controversial leader in their President Jair Bolsonaro, and a weakened economy.
Russia is on an influence campaign through Africa. Over the past decade, Russia has sought to build relations and establish a strategic presence by means of a unique diplomatic tool: nuclear power. Key to Russia’s growing access to the African continent is Rosatom, a Russian state run nuclear energy corporation. Rosatom’s state-like tool belt and Africa’s crippling power scarcity provide the opportunity for Russian infiltration.
Even when SpaceX is not launching Teslas into orbit, buying small towns in Texas, or synchronizing rocket booster landings, it continues to push boundaries. This launch, the first time that a private company has put American astronauts into orbit, marks a fundamental shift in the space industry.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, for almost nine minutes during his arrest. Floyd’s consequent death ignited an ongoing series of protests in the United States. These protests have brought to the surface a history of discrimination which has resonated in countries worldwide.