“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of Feb 4-10, 2018

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


Mike Bush, Nashville, TN

Connie Ryan, Nashville, TN

Sebastian Christensen, Brentwood, UK

Drew Lorelli, Washington, DC

Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN

Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

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 )


David Hillinck, Huntsville, Al

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

by Bruce Riedel


Mike Bush, Nashville, TN
Connie Ryan, Nashville, TN
Sebastian Christensen, Brentwood, UK
Drew Lorelli, Washington, DC
Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN
David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL
Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN
David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL
Isabela Piedrahita, Leawood, KS
Charles Bowers Nashville, TN
Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN
R. Narleski, Nashville, TN
Will Kessler, Huntsville, AL
Mike Bush, Nashville, TN
Patricia Miletich, Nashville, TN
Julia Lydon, Nashville, TN
Bill Zechman, McMinnville, TN
Charles Bowers Nashville, TN
Mike Bush, Nashville, TN
Will Kessler, Huntsville, AL
Philip Lovell, Nashville, TN
Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN
Alyza Surani, Lawrenceville, GA
Pratik Yedla, Huntsville, AL
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


Putin County: A Journey Into the Real Russia

Anne Garrels

More than twenty years ago, the NPR correspondent Anne Garrels first visited Chelyabinsk, a gritty military-industrial center a thousand miles east of Moscow. The longtime home of the Soviet nuclear program, the Chelyabinsk region contained beautiful lakes, shuttered factories, mysterious closed cities, and some of the most polluted places on earth. Garrels’s goal was to chart the aftershocks of the U.S.S.R.’s collapse by traveling to Russia’s heartland.

Returning again and again, Garrels found that the area’s new freedoms and opportunities were exciting but also traumatic. As the economic collapse of the early 1990s abated, the city of Chelyabinsk became richer and more cosmopolitan, even as official corruption and intolerance for minorities grew more entrenched. Sushi restaurants proliferated; so did shakedowns. In the neighboring countryside, villages crumbled into the ground. Far from the glitz of Moscow, the people of Chelyabinsk were working out their country’s destiny, person by person.

In Putin Country, Garrels crafts an intimate portrait of Middle Russia. We meet upwardly mobile professionals, impassioned activists who champion the rights of orphans and disabled children, and ostentatious mafiosi. We discover surprising subcultures, such as a vibrant underground gay community and a circle of determined Protestant evangelicals. And we watch doctors and teachers trying to cope with inescapable payoffs and institutionalized negligence. As Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on power and war in Ukraine leads to Western sanctions and a lower standard of living, the local population mingles belligerent nationalism with a deep ambivalence about their country’s direction. Through it all, Garrels sympathetically charts an ongoing identity crisis. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union, what is Russia? What kind of pride and cohesion can it offer? Drawing on close friendships sustained over many years, Garrels explains why Putin commands the loyalty of so many Russians, even those who decry the abuses of power they regularly encounter.

Correcting the misconceptions of Putin’s supporters and critics alike, Garrels’s portrait of Russia’s silent majority is both essential and engaging reading at a time when cold war tensions are resurgent.

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 Jan 28-Feb 3, 2018

1. THIS opposition leader in Russia was detained Sunday for organizing protests aimed at the March 18th vote that will probably see Vladimir Putin reelected as President of the Russian Federation. He tweeted, “I’ve been detained. This doesn’t matter. Come to Tverskaya (Street). You are not going there for me, it’s for you and your future.”

A. Alexei Navalny
B. Dmitry Nizovtsev
C. Dmitry Medvedev
D. Sergei Kislyak

Correct response: A. Alexei Navalny

2. A rising trend in global oil prices has restored the prospects for US crude oil production especially the shale-drilling industry. The approximate price of one barrel of crude in late January was:

A. $30
B. $65
C. $90
D. $120

Correct response: B. $65

3. THIS NATO country’s legislators agreed last week to boost military spending 20 percent over current levels by 2023 in response to threats from Russia such as the deployment of nuclear capable missiles and other advanced weapons in the Baltic region, and cyber attacks.

A. Norway
B. Finland
C. Sweden
D. Denmark

Correct response: D. Denmark

4. Last week the United States invited China to participate in THIS program as a way to improve military to military relations.

A. Joint “freedom of navigation” patrols in the Persian Gulf
B. Multilateral air defense exercises in the Korean Peninsula
C. International naval exercises in Hawaii
D. Joint “anti-piracy” patrols off the coast of Somalia

Correct response: C. International naval exercises in Hawaii

5. Beijing said it would show great goodwill toward “breakaway province” of Taiwan but its recent military exercises in the area have been interpreted as threatening by its President Tsai Ing-Wen. For the People’s Republic of China THIS development would be a “red-line” not to be crossed by Taipei.

A. Seeking military sales agreements with the United States
B. Seeking formal independence
C. Seeking international recognition by other countries
D. Seeking control of disputed islands in the Western Pacific

Correct response: B. Seeking formal independence

6. China signaled a new approach to its signature commercial relationships’ expansion when President Xi Jinping announced it would begin trading via polar sea lanes opened through warming of the ice cap. The new “Polar Silk Road” would serve as an extension of THIS comprehensive development of infrastructure and trade ties across Asia to Europe known as:

A. Shanghai Cooperation Organization
B. TransEurAsia Partnership
C. One World Trade Cooperative
D. Belt and Road Initiative

Correct response: D. Belt and Road Initiative

7. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on Saturday that THIS action has been taken with regard to Iran?

A. American and EU working groups have begun discussions to fix flaws in the “nuclear deal.”
B. The Trump Administration planned to freeze repatriation of Iranian bank assets.
C. The US Ambassador to the UN would open Security Council dialogue on nuclear deal violations.
D. The United States no longer considered the Russian Federation as part of the “P5+1” nuclear deal agreement.

Correct response: A. American and EU working groups have begun discussions to fix flaws in the “nuclear deal.”

8. Turkish President Erdogan pledged to “Step by step … clean our entire border” in reference to THIS ongoing activity:

A. Turkish military operations against Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq
B. Turkish military operations against Iranian-backed Syrian forces in Syria
C. Turkish military operations against rebel militias along the Armenian border
D. Turkish military operations against US-backed Kurdish militias in Syria

Correct response: D. Turkish military operations against US-backed Kurdish militias in Syria

9. Over 200 prominent business people, former government ministers and members of the royal family have been detailed in the posh Ritz Carlton hotel in the capital of THIS Middle East nation as the government says it is cracking down on corruption.

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

Correct response: C. Saudi Arabia

10. The world economy is expected to grow by 3.9 percent this year and next, up from 3.7 last year, and 3.2 percent in 2016, according to an IMF report cited by “The New York Times” which characterized the global economy as:

A. “Every major economy on earth is expanding, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent.”
B. “The BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are driving global growth while Southeast Asia still seeks to recover its previous pace.”
C. “While most G-20 nations are expanding their economies those in the European Union have stalled amid worries over Brexit-induced shocks.”
D. “A reassessment of World Trade Organization rules for commercial ties has encouraged growth among nations that were challenged by upside-down balance of trade ratios.”

Correct response: A. “Every major economy on earth is expanding, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent.”

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THE MISSION of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.

THE VISION of  the Tennessee World Affairs Council is a well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.   

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