“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of Dec 31, 2017 – Jan 6, 2018


Were you keeping up with global developments in 2017?

Try this quiz taken from the last 52 TNWAC “What in the World?” Weekly Quizzes.

Best wishes for 2018 and good luck with the next 52 “What in the World?” quizzes.

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Don’t forget to sign up as a World Affairs Council member (TNWAC.org/join) to be eligible to win the monthly quiz prize.

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.’  No answer Googling!

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



Anthony Campanella, Avola, Italy

Yezzie Dospil, Nashville, TN

Pat Miletich, Nashville, TN

Deborah Monroe, Croxton, UK

Colleen Ryan, York, UK

John Gates, Arlington, VA

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Jim Knight, Nashville, TN

Chuck Womack, Cookeville, TN

Pete Griffin, Nashville, TN

Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN

Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

Andrea Carlton, Nashville, TN

Well Done!

(If you’re a weekly winner you’ll be entered for the monthly prize drawing but you must be a TNWAC member to win.  TNWAC.org/join )


Alyza Surani


Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Graham Allison

*Must be a TNWAC Member to win the monthly prize.  See www.TNWAC.org/join for membership info. Monthly prize winner drawn from lists of weekly quiz winners.


Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR (Geopolitics in the 21st Century)

by Bruce Riedel

Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR

An insider’s account of the often-fraught U.S.-Saudi relationship

Saudi Arabia and the United States have been partners since 1943, when President Franklin Roosevelt met with two Saudi princes―future monarchs representing their father, King Ibn Saud―at the White House. Subsequent U.S. presidents have had direct relationships with those kings and their successors, setting the tone for a special partnership between an absolute monarchy with a unique Islamic identity and the world’s most powerful democracy.

Although based in large part on economic interests, the U.S.-Saudi relationship has rarely been smooth. Differences over Israel have caused friction since the early days, and ambiguities about Saudi involvement―or lack of it―in the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States continue to haunt the relationship. Now, both countries have new, still-to-be-tested leaders
in President Trump and King Salman.

Bruce Riedel has followed these kings and presidents during his decades-long career at the CIA, the White House, and the Brookings Institution. Kings and Presidents offers an insider’s account of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Using declassified documents, memoirs by both Saudis and Americans, and eyewitness accounts, Riedel’s book takes the reader inside the royal palaces, the holy cities, and the White House to gain an understanding of this complex partnership.


Political histories are often a snooze, but Riedel is a lively, opinionated writer whose sympathy with his subjects’ viewpoints will enlighten most readers.―Kirkus Reviews

Bruce Riedel has written a thorough, insightful and provocative account of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as seen through the eyes of Kings and Presidents. He proves that understanding history is essential to guiding this very important relationship forward during a time of growing regional uncertainty. ―George Tenet, former Director Central Intelligence Agency

This riveting book is essential reading for anyone interested in U.S. policy in the Middle East or Saudi Arabia. Riedel offers a thorough, thoughtful and candid account of the diplomatic highs and lows between two strange bedfellows. A great contribution to the literature by someone who witnessed it play out from inside the policy establishment and who has known the key players.―Robin Wright, author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World

Few if any Americans have the depth of experience of Bruce Riedel in dealing with the volatile neighborhood inhabited by Saudi Arabia. In this excellent new book, Riedel tells the history of US-Saudi ties through the interactions of Saudi kings and American presidents. He leavens the narrative with charming anecdotes, from the movie Ibn Saud saw en route to his meeting with Franklin Roosevelt, to the ‘Dr. No’-style aquarium in the palace of King Abdullah. A must-read for both scholars and the general public, the book raises all the necessary questions about the future of the Kingdom and its complicated alliance with the United States.―Barbara Slavin , Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and author, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

About Bruce Riedel

Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, part of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. In addition, Riedel serves as a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency, including postings overseas. He was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was also deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels.

Riedel was a member of President Bill Clinton’s peace process team and negotiated at Camp David and other Arab-Israeli summits and he organized Clinton’s trip to India in 2000. In January 2009, President Barack Obama asked him to chair a review of American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the president announced in a speech on March 27, 2009.

In 2011, Riedel served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked him to brief the United Kingdom’s National Security Council in London on Pakistan.

Riedel is the author of “The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future” (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), “Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad” (Brookings Institution Press, 2011; translated into Persian) and “Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back” (Brookings Institution Press, 2013). He is a contributor to “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (Brookings Institution Press, 2009), “The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East” (Brookings Institution Press, 2011) and “Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988” (Brookings Institution Press, 2012). His book “What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979-1989” (Brookings Institution Press, 2014) won the gold medal for best new book on war and military affairs at the INDIEFAB awards. His new book is “JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015).

Riedel is a graduate of Brown (B.A.), Harvard (M.A.), and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London. He has taught at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, and he has been a guest lecturer at Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, and other universities. Riedel is a recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Distinguished Intelligence Career Medal.

Source: Brookings

More book information and ordering

To get in on the quiz make sure you’re getting TNWAC emails (here’s the free subscription link: http://eepurl.com/gt6dn) and make sure you’re following @TNWAC on Twitter.

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 Dec 24-31, 2017

1. The United Nations’ General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to approve a non-binding resolution against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Many of the 128 nations that voted in favor of the measure are long-time U.S. allies. Days before the scheduled vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned member states that the U.S. government was watching the vote closely and would do THIS:

A. “Take names” of the countries that voted against the U.S. policy
B. “Cut ties” with the countries that voted against the U.S. policy
C. “Declare war” on the countries that voted against the U.S. policy
D. “Levy fines” against the countries that voted against the U.S. policy

Correct Answer: A. “Take names” of the countries that voted against the U.S. policy

2. A man was charged with 18 counts of attempted murder after he ploughed an SUV into pedestrians in a crowded business district of THIS Australian city:

A. Sydney
B. Melbourne
C. Perth
D. Canberra

Correct Answer: B. Melbourne

3. Bringing flash flooding and mudslides, tropical storm Tembin killed a reported 180 people in THIS Asian nation:

A. Japan
B. Vietnam
C. Philippines
D. China

Correct Answer: C. Philippines

4. Citing meddling in internal affairs, Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly expelled Canada’s top diplomat. Nicolas Maduro’s government also expelled the ambassador from THIS country, citing violations of the rule of law. The 2016 impeachment of the nation in question’s left-wing president, Dilma Roussef, has soured its relations with the Maduro government considerably:

A. France
B. Japan
C. Brazil
D. Germany

Correct Answer: C. Brazil

5. After three weeks of uncertainty and unrest, incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández was declared the winner of Honduras’s presidential election, despite calls by THIS international organization for new elections, citing irregularities, lack of integrity, and “low technical quality” in the November 26 voting.

A. The European Union
B. The Organization of American States
C. The United Nations
D. Amnesty International

Correct Answer: B. The Organization of American States https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/18/honduras-election-president-juan-orlando-hernandez-declared-winner-amid-unrest

6. The president of THIS nation narrowly escaped impeachment over charges of corruption in a scandal involving a Brazilian construction company.

A. Mexico
B. Peru
C. Venezuela
D. Honduras

Correct Answer: B. Peru

7. Poland’s top judicial official wrote an open letter to her nation’s government, accusing it of “a coup d’état” against the judiciary. President Andrzej Duda has signed two laws reforming the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary. The first law allows politicians to appoint judges, while the second law does THIS:

A. Requires judges to swear an oath of loyalty to the ruling Law and Justice Party
B. Revokes any rulings that impact parliamentary elections dating back to 2015
C. Requires all judicial decisions be reviewed by a committee of the Law and Justice Party
D. Lowers the mandatory retirement age of judicial officials, forcing 40% of the current judiciary to retire immediately

Correct Answer: D. Lowers the mandatory retirement age of judicial officials, forcing 40% of the current judiciary to retire immediately

8. A pro-separatist majority was elected to the parliament of THIS Spanish region:

A. Valencia
B. Andalucía
C. Catalonia
D. Galicia

Correct Answer: C. Catalonia

9. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that the number of suspected cases of THIS disease has reached one million in Yemen:

A. Ebola
C. Cholera
D. Measles

Correct Answer: C. Cholera

10. Common to the southern regions of the country, a truffle was found growing in THIS unusual location in France, filling French foodies with hope that the expensive fungus might be cultivated far from the gentle Mediterranean climate:

A. On a rooftop in Paris
B. At the base of Mont St. Michel
C. In the Alps
D. In the undergrowth along Omaha Beach

Correct Answer: A. On a rooftop in Paris










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