Articles on Barack Obama

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Supreme Court justices stood with Brett Kavanaugh, his wife Ashley, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the day of Kavanaugh’s investiture. AP/Supreme Court provided

Kavanaugh’s impact on the Supreme Court and the country may not be as profound as predicted

With Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, many predict that the court will move to the right on issues from abortion to gun rights. But Supreme Court rulings are often not the last word on a matter.
For decades, native-born American Jews changed their names to improve their job prospects. Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

Why are some Americans changing their names?

The demographics of name change petitioners today – and the reasons that they give – tell a complicated story of race, class and culture.
Images of Donald Trump from the midterm campaign. Illustration by Bob Britten

What image will define the 2018 election?

Here's a riddle: What's the dominant image of the 2018 election campaign? There isn't one. But there are many.
Andrew Gillum with wife R. Jai Gillum addresses supporters after winning the Democrat primary for governor. AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Could Andrew Gillum be the next governor of Florida?

The mayor of Tallahassee underspent three rivals to win the state's Democratic primary. But what awaits in the general election?
A United Nations staff member pays tribute to Kofi Annan during a ceremony at the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. EPA-EFE/ Salvatore Di Nolfi

Honouring Annan, McCain and others: why eulogies have blind spots

Kofi Annan and John McCain's positive eulogies could be because both men seized moments of human dignity and decency.
In what became one of the defining moments of his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, Republican candidate John McCain takes back the microphone from Gayle Quinnell, who said Barack Obama “was an Arab.” The moment occurred during a town hall meeting on Oct. 10, 2008, in Lakeville, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

What we can learn from John McCain’s civic vulnerability

John McCain did something during the 2008 U.S. presidential election that would seem very out of place today: he made himself vulnerable by speaking up about the character of opponent Barack Obama.
The U.S. won’t be able to walk all over Putin with unilateral sanctions. Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

New sanctions on Russia and Iran are unlikely to work. Here’s why

American policymakers and lawmakers are floating unilateral sanctions against Russia, Iran and even Turkey in an effort to change behavior. But research shows sanctions only work in narrow circumstances.
Former US president Barack Obama delivers a speech in Kenya ahead of his visit to South Africa. Dai Kurokawa/EPA

Obama and active citizenship: why his Mandela address matters

Barack Obama is delivering the Nelson Mandela lecture in a changing world dominated by the often outrageous utterances of his successor, US President Donald Trump.
Sens. Bob Corker and Bob Menendez look on during the second round of questioning of Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Senate confirmation: The grilling can be grueling

Senate confirmation for many of President Trump's nominees has been tough. In this speed read, The Conversation asks: What is Senate confirmation, and why do we do it?
Thousands of high school students across the US walked out of their schools to protest gun violence and to call for changes to gun laws. EPA/Tannen Maury

How lowering the voting age to 16 could save democracy

Lowering the voting age to 16 would bring the age of political responsibility more in line with the age of criminal responsibility and the age of informed consent for medical procedures.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Oct. 5, 2017. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Why is Saudi Arabia suddenly so paranoid?

When it comes to foreign policy, Saudi Arabia has recently become far more aggressive. A historian of the modern Middle East sees three possible causes for the shift.
Donald Trump’s justification for decertifying the Iran nuclear deal stems from his view that Iran is violating the deal’s spirit. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Why Trump’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal may prove a costly mistake

Aside from vague threats of violence and suggestions he could 'renegotiate' the Iran nuclear agreement, Donald Trump has provided little in the way of coherent or viable policy options.

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