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US economy 2nd quarter Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Big Slump

Featured in this Big Picture
  1. Simon JohnsonSimon Johnson

The pandemic-battered United States suffered its sharpest economic contraction on record in the second quarter. As has become overwhelmingly clear, any meaningful recovery will require policymakers finally to get serious about combating COVID-19.

  1. EU flag1 Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

    Europe Steps Up

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Hans-Werner Sinn

    European Union leaders have reached a landmark deal on a €750 billion ($867 billion) recovery fund intended to help those member states hit hardest by COVID-19. Next Generation EU, as the rescue package has been dubbed, could pave the way for the bloc to pursue far more ambitious reforms, and may boost Europe’s international standing, too.

  2. Biden speech Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    The Biden Effect

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Sigmar Gabriel

    The United States will not suddenly revert to its post-war global leadership role should presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden win November’s presidential election. But a Biden victory could reinvigorate the transatlantic alliance and revive US engagement on key international issues.

  3. Internet policy Busakorn Pongparnit/Getty Images

    Big Tech’s Big Test

    By forcing much of the world to go online, the COVID-19 crisis has rapidly broadened the global technology debate beyond questions of surveillance and privacy. The digital policies that governments adopt today will increasingly shape how we work, learn, and entertain ourselves – and how we manage future crises.

  4. Trump after Tulsa Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

    The United States Blues

    Not long ago, America was the unchallenged global hegemon. But as inept leadership fuels an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases amid deepening economic distress and nationwide protests against systemic racism and police violence, many are wondering whether the US can govern itself, much less lead the world.

  5. Nepal COVID19 Getty Images

    The Gendered Pandemic

    The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the challenges facing women and girls, and threatens to roll back recent progress toward greater equality and empowerment. Unless governments’ pandemic responses take gender into account, the most vulnerable could be left behind altogether.

  6. Xi Jinping speech Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

    Who Can Check China?

    Heightened trade tensions, the ongoing COVID-19 blame game, and sometimes-deadly border skirmishes have sharpened the debate in the United States, Europe, and Asia about how to rein in China’s geopolitical rise. Policymakers must now weigh a range of options – from cooperation to confrontation.

  7. economic divergence -Antonio-/Getty Images

    The Great Divergence?

    The COVID-19 crisis, and governments’ policy responses to it, could set the world’s leading economies on very different longer-term trajectories. In particular, Europe and China may benefit from stronger and more sustainable post-pandemic recoveries than the United States.

  8. Lincoln Memorial Win McNamee/Getty Images

    America Boils Over

    Mass protests over racial injustice, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a sharp economic downturn have plunged the United States into its deepest crisis in decades. Will the public embrace radical, systemic reforms, or will the specter of civil disorder provoke a conservative backlash?

  9. Hong Kong protests Ivan Abreu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

    China’s Hong Kong Gamble

    The Chinese government’s decision to impose a draconian new security law on the city has sparked a fresh wave of local protests and triggered hostile reactions around the world. The measure will have dramatic consequences for Hong Kong and its people – but potentially for China’s communist regime, too.

  10. bp_sustainabilityfinance Romolo Tavani/Getty Images

    Green Today, Gone Tomorrow?

    The COVID-19 crisis represents an unexpected opportunity to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and resilient economy. But as societies start to emerge from the pandemic, will the temptation to return to business as usual prove too great?

  1. buruma163_Thomas Peter-PoolGetty Images_trumpxi Thomas Peter/Pool/Getty Images

    Trump’s Hypocrisy on China

    Ian Buruma

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently called Richard Nixon's opening to China almost 50 years ago a failure, and went on to declare a virtual cold war against the Chinese. But Trump's blustering unilateralism and contempt for democratically elected leaders have left the US unable to forge the alliances Pompeo rightly says it needs.

    thinks current US policy is at least as harmful to democratic freedom around the world as Chinese bullying is.

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