“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of July 30-Aug 5, 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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 Patricia Miletich, Nashville, TN
Elaine Loughlin, Nashville, TN
Charles Womack, Cookeville, TN
Patricia Paiva, Nashville, TN
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN
Yezzie Dospil, Nashville, TN


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*Must be a TNWAC Member to win.  See www.TNWAC.org/join for membership info.

A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike.

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930’s—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they’d died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West’s compass set toward freedom as its due north.

It’s not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930’s, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini “men we could do business with,” if not in fact saviors. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom—that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted.

In the end, Churchill and Orwell proved their age’s necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940’s to triumph over freedom’s enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell’s reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks’s masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin.

About the Author

Thomas E. Ricks is an adviser on national security at the New America Foundation, where he participates in its “Future of War” project. He was previously a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the prizewinning blog The Best Defense. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, he covered U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of several books, including The Generals, The Gamble, and the number one New York Times bestseller Fiasco, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

More 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 July 23-29, 2017

1. A report commissioned by the Catholic diocese of Regensburg, Germany states that over the course of half a century, 547 boys at the famed choir school Regensburg Domspatzen suffered significant abuse. The period from 1945 to 1992 was of particular note, since during that time whose brother conducted the school’s famed choir?

A. German chancellor Angela Merkel
B. Tennis star Boris Becker
C. Pope Benedict XVI
D. Author Franz Kafka

Correct answer: C. Pope Benedict XVI

2. THIS international media outlet released salary information for its on-air talent, sparking debate over gender inequity

B. Al Jazeera
D. Sky News

Correct answer: A. BBC

3. Dozens of people—including an army general and several politicians—have been found guilty in one of Thailand’s largest trials. Those found guilty were on trial for what crime?

A. Bank fraud
B. Human trafficking
C. Drug smuggling
D. Racketeering

Correct answer: B. Human trafficking

4. North Korea is in the headlines again, this time because it just launched THIS:

A. Another ICBM
B. A self-driving car
C. A new, national brand of vitamins
D. A website to encourage tourism

Correct answer: D. A website to encourage tourism

5. Four boys and two girls, aged 16-18, all from Burundi, have gone missing from THIS U.S. city, where they were attending a robotics competition. Two of the students have reportedly crossed the border into Canada.

A. Seattle
B. Boston
C. Washington, D.C.
D. New York

Correct answer: C. Washington, D.C.

6. India’s new president has distinction of being relatively unknown. Who is the successful candidate set to assume this largely ceremonial office?

A. Ram Nath Kovind
B. Shankar Dayal Sharma
C. Pratibha Patil
D. Zail Singh

Correct answer: A. Ram Nath Kovind

7. In spite of mass demonstrations across the country, as well as potential sanctions from the EU, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party proceeded with legislation that would remove whom from their current position?

A. the President, who is a member of the Polish People’s Party
B. all officials elected to a local office who are not members of the Law and Justice Party
C. all police officers
D. all members of the supreme court, except those selected by the Law and Justice Party

Correct answer: D. all members of the supreme court, except those selected by the Law and Justice Party

8. After a 24-hour general strike was heeded by millions in Venezuela, essentially shutting down the country, a new call for a two-day strike was issued this weekend. The strikes hope to block what event, currently scheduled for July 30?

A. Constituent Assembly elections, designed to favor current president Nicolas Maduro
B. regional elections
C. a constitutional referendum on extending Maduro’s current term
D. a mass trial of hundreds of people, arrested for demonstrating against Maduro

Correct answer: A. Constituent Assembly elections, designed to favor current president Nicolas Maduro

9. Palestinians and Israelis are bracing for continued clashes in Jerusalem, which focus on the installation of what item at the entrance to a holy site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as the Temple Mount?

A. an office to aid with West Bank settlements
B. the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters
C. a police checkpoint
D. metal detectors

Correct answer: D. metal detectors

10. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck THESE two Mediterranean nations, killing two people, injuring hundreds, and leaving thousands afraid to return to their homes

A. Italy and France
B. Greece and Turkey
C. Lebanon and Jordan
D. Morocco and Algeria

Correct answer: B. Greece and Turkey


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