Will Catalan Separatists Be the Downfall of Spain’s New Coalition Government? (World Politics Review)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s new Cabinet was sworn in last week, marking the official start of Spain’s first coalition government since its democratic transition in the 1970s. Sanchez’s Socialist Party won a general election in November but failed to secure an outright majority in the legislature. After weeks of negotiations, the lower house of Spain’s parliament earlier this month narrowly approved Sanchez’s proposal for a coalition with the far-left Podemos party, by 167 votes to 165, with 18 abstentions.


Alana Moceri is an international relations analyst, writer and professor at the European University of Madrid and the IE School of Global and Public Affairs.

Will Kurz’s Coalition With the Green Party Further Divide Austria, or Unite It? (World Politics Review)

When Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s conservative political boy wonder, and Green Party leader Werner Kogler stepped in front of the nation’s TV cameras to announce an unlikely new coalition government in early January, after months of talks, neither seemed very excited. The gaps between their parties were still wide, and the compromises many. Nevertheless, in the end, they had agreed on a governing program that emphasizes restrictions on migration and more border security, including a much-criticized ban on headscarves for girls under the age of 14 and preemptive detention for migrants who have not committed any crimes. There is also an ambitious if discordant goal to make Austria climate neutral by 2040.


Denise Hruby is a journalist based in Vienna, Austria, who covers politics, environmental and social issues. Her reporting has appeared in National Geographic, CNN, the BBC, the Guardian and The Washington Post. She’s a National Geographic Explorer and International Women’s Media Foundation fellow.

The Bezos Hack and the Dangers of Spyware in the Hands of Autocrats (World Politics Review)

The stunning allegation this week that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hacked the phone of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, according to a report by United Nations investigators, may come as a shock to some. But for most people tracking the rise of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler over the past five years, it’s business as usual. From his disastrous proxy war in Yemen to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, the young crown prince, known as MBS, has demonstrated time and again his hubristic belief that there are no limits to his power.


Candace Rondeaux is a senior fellow and professor of practice at the Center on the Future of War, a joint initiative of New America and Arizona State University.

Being Out and Equal (WEF)

While openness about being LGBTI at work increases well-being and productivity, more than half of the community avoids being open about their sexual orientation and gender identity in professional settings for fear of negative consequences. What are best practices to create open and inclusive workplaces for all?


Speakers: Jill Ader, Geena Rocero

A Decade to Deliver the Global Goals (WEF)

The past five years saw encouraging progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in areas like child mortality, infectious diseases and some gender-related targets, but many other goals are falling behind. From fighting biodiversity loss to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, how are leaders making good on their commitments to create a cohesive and sustainable world?


Speakers: Mohamad Al Jounde, Paul Stoffels, Sarah Kelly, Achim Steiner, Wanjuhi Njoroge

Senior cleric vows US allies trapped at risk of collapse (IRNA)

Tehran’s interim Friday Prayer Leader Mohammad Hassan AbuTorabi Fard said on Friday that assassination of General Soleimani, the commander of Quds Forces of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) paved the way for another power, adding that the main pillar of US politics in the region has been collapsed while US allies feel the same threat.


Iran, China, Russia troika to ponder encountering Trump’s madness: Pak analyst (IRNA)

Senior Consultant at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) Talat Farooq strongly believes that China and Russia must partner with Iran to counter Trump’s madness with a calculated response.