“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of September 2-8, 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.

***Alternate Link to Quiz***

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David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Patricia Pavia, Nashville, TN

Deb Monroe, United Kingdom

Fred Heumann, Franklin, TN

Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

(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)


Deb Monroe, Croxton, UK


A bracing assessment of U.S. foreign policy and world disorder over the past two decades, anchored by a major new Pentagon-commissioned essay—from the renowned geopolitical analyst and bestselling author of The Revenge of Geographyand The Coming Anarchy.

“Elegant and humane . . . [a] prophecy from an observer with a depressingly accurate record of predictions.”—Bret Stephens, The New York Times Book Review

In the late thirteenth century, Marco Polo began a decades-long trek from Venice to China. The strength of that Silk Road—the trade route between Europe and Asia—was a foundation of Kublai Khan’s sprawling empire. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the Chinese regime has proposed a land-and-maritime Silk Road that duplicates exactly the route Marco Polo traveled.

In the major lead essay, recently released by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, Robert D. Kaplan lays out a blueprint of the world’s changing power politics that recalls the late thirteenth century. As Europe fractures from changes in culture and migration, Eurasia coheres into a single conflict system. China is constructing a land bridge to Europe. Iran and India are trying to link the oil fields of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. America’s ability to influence the power balance in Eurasia is declining.

This is Kaplan’s first collection of essays since his classic The Coming Anarchywas published in 2000. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic,as well as encounters with preeminent realist thinkers, Kaplan outlines the timeless principles that should shape America’s role in a turbulent world: a respect for the limits of Western-style democracy; a delineation between American interests and American values; an awareness of the psychological toll of warfare; a projection of power via a strong navy; and more.

From Kaplan’s immediate thoughts on President Trump (“On Foreign Policy, Donald Trump Is No Realist,” 2016) to a frank examination of what will happen in the event of war with North Korea (“When North Korea Falls,” 2006), The Return of Marco Polo’s Worldis a vigorous and honest reckoning with the difficult choices the United States will face in the years ahead.

“These essays constitute a truly pathbreaking, brilliant synthesis and analysis of geographic, political, technological, and economic trends with far-reaching consequences. The Return of Marco Polo’s World is another work by Robert D. Kaplan that will be regarded as a classic.”—General David Petraeus (U.S. Army, Ret.)

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 August 26-September 1, 2018

1. Scott Morrison ousted THIS man to become Australia’s new prime minister. The politician in question had held the nation’s top office since 2015, and was once heralded as a breath of fresh air for Australia. Recently, however, disagreements within his own party over a clean energy policy and his push to pass lower emissions levels led to a loss of support, and he stepped down:

A. Tony Abbott
B. Malcolm Turnbull
C. Peter Dutton
D. John Howard

Correct Response: B. Malcolm Turnbull

2. One year has passed since the army and pro-government militias in Myanmar ramped up an on-going campaign of persecution against Rohingya Muslims. Over 700,000 Rohingya fled to THIS neighboring country, where they now live in refugee camps. Most recently they drew international attention because their lodging, which consists of flimsy lean-tos and makeshift houses, was destroyed by heavy rains and mudslides:

A. Laos
B. Thailand
C. Bangladesh
D. India

Correct Response: C. Bangladesh

3. The United States announced that it would re-direct $200 million in aid initially intended to help address the humanitarian crisis in THIS nation. Officials involved in the decision argue that cutting the aid will strengthen the U.S.’s bargaining position in potential talks to bring peace to the troubled region:

A. Yemen
B. Syria
C. South Sudan
D. Palestine

Correct Response: D. Palestine

4. For the first time since taking office, Donald Trump used the word “Africa” in a tweet. The content of Mr. Trump’s tweet drew a great deal of attention because of THIS:

A. He called on Congress and the U.S. Dept. of State to organize a $1 billion aid package for the continent
B. He mistakenly referred to the continent as “a country”
C. He repeated the false claim that South African officials were “killing farmers” and seizing their land
D. He called China’s massive infrastructure initiatives on the continent a “proxy war” against the U.S.

Correct Response: C. He repeated the false claim that South African officials were “killing farmers” and seizing their land

5. UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab gave advice for nervous business people impacted by withdrawal from the European Union. Despite intense, on-going negotiations, the UK and the EU have yet to sign an agreement that will keep transactions and goods flowing smoothly across the Channel. This incarnation of Brexit, functioning without any specific business guidelines, bears THIS nickname:

A. No-Deal Brexit
B. Hasty-Retreat Brexit
C. Hail-Mary Brexit
D. Bum-Rush Brexit

Correct Response: A. No-Deal Brexit

6. Citing declining traffic due to new sanctions, Air France and British Airways announced that they are cutting their routes to THIS city:

A. Tehran
B. Havana
C. Caracas
D. Pyongyang

Correct Response: A. Tehran

7. Spain’s government passed amendments to the country’s 2007 Historical Memory Law that, if approved by parliament, will allow them to make THIS change to the Valley of the Fallen Memorial, which commemorates those who died in the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War:

A. Remove all of the names of those who fought in support of General Francisco Franco
B. Exhume Franco’s remains and move them to a different location
C. Move the memorial to a different location
D. Destroy the memorial and build a new one, dedicated to peace

Correct Response: B. Exhume Franco’s remains and move them to a different location

8. 140 migrants, mostly from Eritrea, were finally allowed to disembark from a rescue ship that had been docked for six days while THIS country raised objections to taking them in:

A. Italy
B. France
C. Turkey
D. Greece

Correct Response: A. Italy

9. Brazil’s government released rare drone footage this week from an isolated region of the Amazon. The footage shows THIS:

A. An isolated, indigenous tribe going about daily activities
B. Poaching of rare and endangered birds
C. Illegal logging and strip mining
D. A herd of Brazilian dwarf hippopotamus, long believed extinct

Correct Response: A. An isolated, indigenous tribe going about daily activities

10. The world’s largest shipping company, Maersk, announced it’s trying to make positive use of global warming by doing THIS:

A. Using rising sea levels to increase ships’ loads
B. Using rising sea levels to dock larger ships in historically shallow harbors
C. Using a melting polar ice cap to send shipments through the Arctic
D. Using increased wind energy, provided by rising global temperatures

Correct Response: C. Using a melting polar ice cap to send shipments through the Arctic

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