A global affairs awareness service provided by the
Tennessee World Affairs Council
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Thanks to quiz master Matthew Jackson, for this week’s quiz.
LAST WEEK’S QUIZ WINNERS
Derek Hughey, Nashville, TN
Pat Miletich, Nashville, TN
Stephen Freidberg, Nashville, TN
Barbara Cleland, Weston, CT
Rich Buck, Peoria, IL
Judith Zipfel, Peoria, IL
Beverley Ketel, Peoria, IL
Cecilia Frends, Nashville, TN
Ann Wasse-Lyon, Mount Laurel, NJ
Proscovia Mattas, Nashville, TN
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN
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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 14-20, 2020
1. Margaret Keenan, a 90-year old grandmother, was first to get the COVID-19 vaccination “jab” as the UK became the first country to deploy the Pfizer vaccine. Second in line was another senior citizen who shares THIS famous playwright’s name, giving the Internet time for such humor as “Taming of the Flu,” and “Two Gentlemen of Corona.”
A. Charles Dickens
B. William Shakespeare
C. George Orwell
D. George Orwell
Correct Response: B. William Shakespeare
2. The White House called a weekend meeting for the National Security Council to discuss a breach of computer security at the Commerce and Treasury Departments and possibly other U.S. Government agencies believed to be the result of an attack by THIS country.
A. North Korea
3. Morocco became the latest Arab country to normalize relations with Israel in a move that appeared to have been incentivized by the Trump Administration recognizing Rabat’s claim over THIS territory.
B. Western Sahara
Correct Response: B. Western Sahara
4. Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen issued an apology last week for a policy of THIS country in 1951 to remove 22 children from their homes in Greenland, now an autonomous region, “as part of a social experiment to improve cultural links.” Sixteen of the children ended up in orphanages and many never saw their families again.
[“Daily Chatter,” Members’ Newsletter Question of the Week]
Correct Response: A. Denmark
[“Daily Chatter,” Dec 11th]
5. Activists around THIS country are back in the streets in renewed #EndSARS protests that were quieted by the army opening fire on demonstrators in the capital, Lagos, in October. The initial protests responded to police violence by the Special Anti-Robery Squad (SARS), grievances that have not yet been resolved. [USIP Question of the Week]
C. Sierra Leone
D. Ivory Coast
Correct Response: B. Nigeria
“What’s Next for Nigeria’s EndSARS Movement?,” USIP, Dec 10, 2020
6. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen concluded talks last week on a December 31 Brexit agreement deadline with THIS result.
A. A breakthrough trade agreement that compromised on key provisions for UK to continue favored status with EU partners.
B. A breakdown that portends for a non-agreement Brexit on January 1st with chaotic consequences foreseen for both UK and EU traders.
C. An extension of final Brexit agreement talks before the December 31st deadline.
D. An extension of final Brexit agreement talks through March 1, 2021.
Correct Response: C. An extension of final Brexit agreement talks before the December 31st deadline.
7. The Secretary General of the United Nations called on every country to declare a “climate emergency” on the fifth anniversary of the Paris agreement, challenging, “Can anybody still deny that we are facing a dramatic emergency?” WHO is the UN Secretary General?
A. Gilles Michaud
B. Antonio Guterres
C. Volker Turk
D. Movses Abelian
Correct Response: B. Antonio Guterres
8. Iran has angered THIS P5+1 partner with the execution of dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam. He headed “Amandnews” from exile in THIS country before being grabbed last year by Iranian Guard forces in Iraq. The hanging of Zam already has resulted in THIS country pulling out of business talks with Tehran.
9. The Vietnam Communist Party leadership is meeting this week in THIS capital city to discuss top posts that will be confirmed in a January Congress. Vietnam does not have a “paramount” leader instead relying on “four pillars” – president, prime minister, party chief and assembly leader. Leaders are chosen by age and origin, for example general secretaries have been chosen only from the northern half of the country.
B. Ho Chi Minh City
D. Phnom Penh
10. The United States will fund a project to monitor water levels at Chinese dams on the Mekong River that are blamed for damage to 60 million people downstream who rely on the river for fishing and farming. The American role is likely to increase US-China tensions over South East Asian nations’ issues. The 2,700-mile Mekong flows from China through these countries except THIS one.
Correct Response: A. Bangladesh
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.