“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of May 20-26, 2018


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


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Michael Bush, Nashville, TN

Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

Anthony Campanella, Avola, Italy

Julia Lydon, Nashville, TN

Debbie Barnard, Lille, France

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Pat Miletich, Nashville, TN

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War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence

By Ronan Farrow


A harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership, by the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.

US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.

In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth―Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them―acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.

Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers―including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson―War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice―but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.


Ronan Farrow is an investigative journalist who writes for The New Yorker and makes documentaries for HBO. He has been an anchor and reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, and his writing has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. A series of stories he wrote in 2017 exposed the first allegations of sexual assault against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Prior to his work as a journalist, he served as a State Department official in Afghanistan and Pakistan and reported to the Secretary of State as a senior official focused on youth uprisings. He is a Yale Law School-educated attorney and studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the George Polk Award, and the National Magazine Award, among other commendations, and has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (and also one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive, which doesn’t have anything to do with his career, but he still brings it up a lot).

More Information and Ordering

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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 May 13-19, 2018

1. Three Americans being held as prisoners in North Korea were released last week, a conciliatory gesture from Pyongyang before the historic meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The meeting is set for June 12th in THIS location:

A. Hong Kong
B. Beijing
C. Singapore
D. Taipei

Correct Response: C. Singapore

2. On Tuesday President Trump moved the United States to break from the 2015 P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called Iran nuclear deal. Which of THESE statements concerning that action is NOT true.

A. National Security Adviser Bolton said sanctions on European companies was “possible” if they maintained business dealings with Iran that resumed under the JCPOA.
B. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA has strengthened the hand of President Hassan Rouhani over hardliners in the Iranian government.
C. France, Germany and the UK announced they are committed to the agreement with Germany saying it would seek to change minds in Washington about the withdrawal.
D. President Trump Tweeted on Sunday, “Remember how badly Iran was behaving with the Iran Deal in place. They were trying to take over the Middle East by whatever means necessary. Now, that will not happen!”

Correct Response: B. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA has strengthened the hand of President Hassan Rouhani over hardliners in the Iranian government.

3. The United States is preparing to expand its nuclear weapons arsenal in terms of numbers and types of warheads – including lower yield tactical weapons – in the wake of the Nuclear Posture Review. The current limits on strategic weapons are covered by THIS US-Russian agreement which expires in February 2021.

A. STOP Treaty
B. SALT Treaty
C. SANE Treaty
D. START Treaty

Correct Response: D. START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)

4. The June European Union summit was said to be the “ultimate deadline” for THIS Brexit issue – a major hurdle – in talks between the EU and the UK.

A. Resolving the status of the land bridge between Gibraltar – a British territory – and Spain.
B. A practical solution to the Northern Ireland – Republic of Ireland open border question.
C. The status of Scotland if the independence movement succeeds in the next vote to separate from the United Kingdom.
D. The status of property in the EU held by British citizens.

Correct Response: B. A practical solution to the Northern Ireland – Republic of Ireland open border question.

5. Last month Chinese President Xi Jinping oversaw a parade of warships and gave a speech in which he said the country was pursuing a “world-class” navy. This week China provided evidence of that goal by THIS action:

A. Beijing announced plans to base submarines at two of its manmade islands in a disputed South China Sea region.
B. China’s navy unveiled a maritime variant of its J-20 stealth fighter.
C. A Chinese ballistic missile submarine launched a new, long-range SLBM.
D. China’s first indigenously produced aircraft carrier set sail for sea trials.

Correct Response: D. China’s first indigenously produced aircraft carrier set sail for sea trials.

6. Andrew Parker, Director General of THIS British organization roughly equivalent to the US FBI, called on his European Union counterparts to retain close ties after the Brexit to fight Islamic State militants and the “pernicious” work of Russia to undermine Western democracies. What organization does Parker head?

A. MI5
C. MI6
D. Scotland Yard

Correct Response: A. MI5

7. As dignitaries gathered for the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, protesters engaged Israeli forces at THIS border. Israel said there were over 35,000 protestors and three who tried to plant explosives at the border were killed. Press reports indicated 37 protesters were killed and about 1,000 wounded in the clashes. Where is THIS border with Israel?

A. Golan
B. Green Line
C. Gaza
D. Sinai

Correct Response: C. Gaza

8. Last week the tensions between Iran and Israel that occasionally flared in tit for tat hostilities broke into the open with brief but intense strikes and counter strikes. What country was the scene of the armed conflict between the two?

A. Lebanon
B. Iraq
C. Saudi Arabia
D. Syria

Correct Response: D. Syria

9. What is the correct country/capital match?

A. Turkey / Istanbul
B. Afghanistan / Tirana
C. Netherlands / The Hague
D. Australia / Canberra

Correct Response: D. Australia / Canberra

10. Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for a spate of bombings in Indonesia this week has worried authorities that the group, previously believed to have been held in check, is regaining its footing in the world’s largest Muslim nation. What about it about the attacks in recent days was remarkable?

A. The targets were Christian elementary schools.
B. The IS claim of responsibility said there would be one attack a day in the coming month of Ramadan.
C. The attackers were family members and included children.
D. The attackers were members of the local police force.

Correct Response: C. The attackers were family members and included children.

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