A global affairs awareness service provided by the
Tennessee World Affairs Council
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Thanks to quiz master LCDR Pat Ryan, for this week’s quiz.
LAST WEEK’S QUIZ WINNERS
Beverly Ketel, Peoria, IL
Steve Freidberg, Boston, MA
Joseph Mendenhall, Bedford, TX
Jeethu Elza Cherian Chacko, New Delhi
Pat Miletch, Nashville, TN
Yezzie Dospil, Nashville, TN
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN
Roger French, Washington, IL
Ja Li, Nashville, TN
David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL
Don Samford, Eureka, IL
Sue Cosnef, Cookeville, TN
Austin Travis, Nashville, TN
Jim Shepherd, Nashville, TN
Angela Weck, Peoria, IL
Jack Pantlin, Nashville, TN
Laurie Bergner, Normal, IL
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December 2020 – Quiz Prize
The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal
Ambassador William Burns
“The Back Channel shows how diplomacy works, why it matters, and why its recent demise is so tragic.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci
Over the course of more than three decades as an American diplomat, William J. Burns played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time—from the bloodless end of the Cold War to the collapse of post–Cold War relations with Putin’s Russia, from post–9/11 tumult in the Middle East to the secret nuclear talks with Iran.
In The Back Channel, Burns recounts, with novelistic detail and incisive analysis, some of the seminal moments of his career. Drawing on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos, he gives readers a rare inside look at American diplomacy in action. His dispatches from war-torn Chechnya and Qaddafi’s bizarre camp in the Libyan desert and his warnings of the “Perfect Storm” that would be unleashed by the Iraq War will reshape our understanding of history—and inform the policy debates of the future. Burns sketches the contours of effective American leadership in a world that resembles neither the zero-sum Cold War contest of his early years as a diplomat nor the “unipolar moment” of American primacy that followed.
Ultimately, The Back Channel is an eloquent, deeply informed, and timely story of a life spent in service of American interests abroad. It is also a powerful reminder, in a time of great turmoil, of the enduring importance of diplomacy.
LAST WEEK’S QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What in the World? Quiz – Week of Dec 7-13, 2020
1. THIS nation began vaccinating health care workers, teachers, and social workers against COVID-19 over the weekend. The vaccine being used is called Sputnik V:
Correct Response: C. Russia
2. Farmers have gathered around THIS city, India’s capital, to protest new agricultural laws that remove government officials from acting as intermediaries between growers and large food companies. The farmers are afraid that without government regulation, the companies will be able to take advantage of them and force them either to sell at lower prices, or go out of business:
A. New Delhi
Correct Response: A. New Delhi
3. Bangladeshi authorities are preparing to relocate refugees to Bhasan Char – a flood-prone island off its coast in THIS body of water that emerged from the sea 20 years ago – in order to resolve overcrowding in its refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, home to more than one million Rohingya Muslims. [“Daily Chatter,” Dec 4th]
A. Gulf of Thailand
B. Bay of Bengal
C. Sea of Bangladesh
D. Andaman Sea
Correct Response: B. Bay of Bengal
“Daily Chatter,” Dec 4, 2020
4. Iran enacted a new law this week to begin enriching uranium at levels equal almost to weapons-grade. The law also provides for the expulsion of international nuclear inspectors, if U.S. sanctions aren’t lifted by February 2021. The new law might be a reaction to THIS event:
A. The killing in November of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizaden
B. Trump’s loss in the recent U.S. presidential election
C. Recent unrest in Iraq
D. A recent visit to Iran-rival Saudi Arabia by U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo
Correct Response: A. The killing in November of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizaden
5. With news of a breakthrough in Afghan peace talks, USIP’s Scott Smith warns that future troop withdrawal should be based on THIS approach because if the Taliban believe withdrawal is inevitable, “they have no incentive to compromise.” [USIP Question of the Week]
A. “switch from a time-based deadline approach to a conditions-based approach”
B. “switch to a timetable based on the end of the Trump Administration”
C. “total withdrawal of US troops prior to the usual springtime resumption of fighting”
D. “switch to a time-based approach”
Correct response: A. “switch from a time-based deadline approach to a conditions-based approach”
6. THIS giant object, believed to be the world’s largest at 93 miles long and 30 miles wide, and called A68a by scientists, is headed from Antarctica to South Georgia Islands. The object in question began its journey in 2017, and is now 130 miles from the British territory:
A. Pod of great blue whales
B. A bank of slow-moving tidal waves
C. A red algae bloom
D. An iceberg
Correct Response: D. An iceberg
7. Israel might be heading toward its fourth election in two years as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing partner, Benny Gantz, backed an opposition bill last week to dissolve parliament. TRUE or FALSE: In a fragile unity deal brokered in May 2020, Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to share the post of prime minister, with Netanyahu governing until November 2021:
8. THIS south Asian city-state became the first country in the world to approve the sale of lab-grown chicken. The lab-produced meat could signal the beginning of the end of factory farming, often considered inhumane, and know to be a significant contributor to climate change:
D. South Korea
Correct Response: B. Singapore
9. China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe is returning to Earth after a successful landing, and a fruitful mission collecting soil and rock samples. Chang’e-5 also planted its nation’s flag on the moon’s surface, making it only the second nation after WHICH one to have done so?
D. United States
Correct Response: D. United States
10. Venezuelans went to the polls last week to elect a new National Assembly. For the last two years, the National Assembly has been led by Juan Guaidó, who heads the opposition against THIS man, Venezuela’s current president. Mr. Guaidó’s party is expected to lose its majority in the National Assembly, which has been the only government body in recent years not controlled by those loyal to the current president:
A. Nicolás Maduro
B. Hugo Chávez
C. Evo Morales
D. Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Correct Response: A. Nicolás Maduro
Copyright 2020, Tennessee World Affairs Council
THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS AWARENESS AND EDUCATION OUTREACH
THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS AWARENESS AND EDUCATION OUTREACH
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.