“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of Aug 13-19, 2017

Check your global affairs awareness with these ten questions taken from the week’s news reports provided via @TNWAC #TNWACquiz.

The only rule is to use the ‘honor system.’

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Keep up with global current events by following the World Affairs Council on Twitter @TNWAC. #TNWACquiz


 Pat Miletich, Nashville, TN
David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN
Charles Womack, US
Pratik Yedla, Huntsville, AL
Patricia Paiva, Nashville, TN
Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN



Richard McGregor

Richard McGregor’s Asia’s Reckoning is a compelling account of the widening geopolitical cracks in a region that has flourished under an American security umbrella for more than half a century. The toxic rivalry between China and Japan, two Asian giants consumed with endless history wars and ruled by entrenched political dynasties, is threatening to upend the peace underwritten by Pax Americana since World War II. Combined with Donald Trump’s disdain for America’s old alliances and China’s own regional ambitions, east Asia is entering a new era of instability and conflict. If the United States laid the postwar foundations for modern Asia, now the anchor of the global economy, Asia’s Reckoning reveals how that structure is falling apart.

With unrivaled access to archives in the United States and Asia, as well as to many of the major players in all three countries, Richard McGregor has written a tale that blends the tectonic shifts in diplomacy with bitter domestic politics and the personalities driving them. It is a story not only of an overstretched America, but also of the rise and fall and rise of the great powers of Asia. The about-turn of Japan—from a colossus seemingly poised for world domination to a nation in inexorable decline in the space of two decades—has few parallels in modern history, as does the rapid rise of China—a country whose military is now larger than those of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and southeast Asia’s combined.

The confrontational course on which China and Japan are set is no simple spat between neighbors: the United States would be involved on the side of Japan in any military conflict between the two countries. The fallout would be an economic tsunami, affecting manufacturing centers, trade routes, and political capitals on every continent. Richard McGregor’s book takes us behind the headlines of his years reporting as the Financial Times’s Beijing and Washington bureau chief to show how American power will stand or fall on its ability to hold its ground in Asia.

About the Author

Richard McGregor is a journalist and an author with extensive experience in reporting from east Asia and Washington. A 2015 fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., his work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune and Foreign Policy and he has appeared on the Charlie Rose show, the BBC, and NPR. His previous book, The Party, won numerous awards, including the 2011 Asia Society book of the year and the Asian book of the year prize from Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun.

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We’ll post the answers and the names of the winner(s) in next week’s quiz.

Here’s last week’s questions and answers:


Week of Aug 6-Aug 12, 2017

1. Venezuela “has lost its freedom,” according to Attorney General Luisa Ortega as she was turned out of office by the Constituent Assembly that took office last week. She threatened an investigation into charges that over one million votes were manipulated. The new body is seen as a way for Venezuela’s President to consolidate power as the country continues to weather a chaotic political and economic crisis. Who is the embattled President of Venezuela?

A. Nicolas Maduro
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Rafael Caldera
D. Carlos Andres Perez

Correct Answer: A. Nicolas Maduro

2. Foreign direct investment is an important component of Tennessee’s manufacturing economy. Which automotive manufacturer is looking for a state to build a $1.6 billion car plant?

A. Nissan
B. Toyota
C. Isuzu
D. Honda

Correct Answer: B. Toyota

3. The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to punish North Korea for its long range missile program testing that could reduce its exports by $1 billion, about a third of its annual revenue. The resolution bans exports of its mainstay commodities such as coal, iron, iron ore, lead, and seafood, and bans an increase in workers sent abroad. The US Ambassador to the UN said, “This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime.” Who is the US Ambassador to the UN?

A. Nikki Haley
B. Samantha Powers
C. Susan Rice
D. John Bolton

Correct Answer: A. Nikki Haley

4. Myanmar’s Vice President Myint Swe announced last week that an eight-month probe by the government concluded no evidence existed to support UN claims of human rights violations. In February the UN said Myanmar’s security forces “very likely” committed crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing in dealing with THIS Muslim ethnic group.

A. Uyghurs
B. Rohingya
C. Chechens
D. Yakuts

Correct Answer: B. Rohingya

5. China and its neighbors who have conflicting claims to areas of the South China Sea will begin negotiations on a code of conduct later this year according to the Chinese foreign minister. Wang Yi spoke on the sidelines of a regional conference of THIS group. He said the situation was now more relaxed and conducive to stability, according to Reuters, which may be a reference to aggressive Chinese tactics, such as militarizing many of the disputed islands and regional impressions of less than firm US resolve.

A. Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO)
B. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
C. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
D. Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Correct Answer: D. ASEAN

6. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen told reporters that last week’s airstrikes that killed civilians, including children, were an example of the “disregard” for civilians’ safety shown by all the combatants in Yemen’s civil war, according to Reuters. What country is leading a coalition against the Houthis in Yemen?

A. United Arab Emirates
B. Saudi Arabia
C. Jordan
D. Iran

Correct Answer: B. Saudi Arabia

7. Britain is prepared to pay up to 40 billion Euros in the deal being struck for Brexit – the UK’s exit from the European Union as part of a deal that included trade arrangements. When will the United Kingdom officially leave the EU?

A. December 2018
B. March 2019
C. January 2020
D. July 2025

Correct Answer: B. March 2019

8. The Russian Ambassador to the U.S. who talked to the Tennessee World Affairs Council at a town hall last year and became somewhat of a celebrity in connection with charges about interference in the American elections told Russian television his conversations with incoming Trump administration officials was in the interest of US-Russian cooperation. The ambassador at the center of Trump administration-Russian collusion charges is THIS diplomat:

A. Sergei Lavrov
B. Sergei Kislyak
C. Sergei Kosinski
D. Sergei Kasparov

Correct Answer: B. Sergei Kislyak

9. The US Congress passed and President Trump signed into law new sanctions on Russia as punishment for interference in the 2016 American Presidential campaign. The sanctions included all of these EXCEPT:

A. The law establishes a review process that allows Congress to block any effort by Trump to ease or lift sanctions on Russia.
B. New sanctions are introduced on entities doing business with Russian military or intelligence agencies, companies involved in Russian off-shore oil projects, and those participating in Russian oil or gas pipeline construction within Russia.
C. The sanctions prohibit US athletes from participation in the June 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in the Russian Federation.
D. The law also ramps up sanctions against any entity involved in any cyber attacks on behalf of the Russian government, or that is owned by or acting on behalf of any such entity.

Correct Answer: C. The sanctions prohibit US athletes from participation in the June 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in the Russian Federation.

10. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Europe for meetings intended to demonstrate US support to its NATO allies. What countries did he visit?

A. Hungary, Belgium, Albania
B. Lithuania, Croatia, Czech Republic
C. Macedonia, Latvia, Poland
D. Estonia, Georgia, Montenegro

Correct Answer: D. Estonia, Georgia, Montenegro

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