“What in the World? Weekly Quiz” | Dec 7-13, 2020

A global affairs awareness service provided by the
Tennessee World Affairs Council



Thanks to quiz master Prof. Debbie Barnard, for this week’s quiz.


David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL
Pete Griffin, Nashville, TN
Himanshu Manchanda, Nashville, TN
Stephen Freidberg, Boston, MA
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN
Derek Hughey, Nashville, TN
Anstey Brock, London, UK
Jim Shepherd, Nashville, TN
Lee Maki, Peoria, IL
Patricia Miletich, Nashville, TN
Austin Travis, Nashville, TN
Joseph Mendenhall, Bedford, TX
George Pruden, Townsend, GA
Rich Buck, Peoria, IL
Amanda, Nashville, TN
Angela, Peoria, IL
Barbara Gubbin, Jacksonville, FL
Yezzie Dospil, Nashville, TN
Jeethu Elza Cherian Chacko, New Delhi
Lauri Bergner, Normal, IL
Bernard Drake, Peoria, IL

Hey! Dozens of quiz takers are on our weekly winners list. You would be eligible for our end of month quiz prize if you were a TNWAC member. Join today to be in the running for the December quiz prize.

Lots of perfect scores again last week, looks like we’re making it too easy!  “Easy,” that’s what Himanshu in Nashville says. Although Judy in Houston said it was “harder than last week,” and Jeethu in New Delhi agreed. Joe in Texas said, “Lots of guessing,” but he aced it so he must be a good guesser. And, yes, Yezzie in Nashville, we’ll “keep them coming.”

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November 2020 – Quiz Prize Winner

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Academic WorldQuest Team Coach


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.

What in the World? Quiz – Week of Nov 30-Dec 6, 2020

1. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called out the “Global Arrogance and Zionist mercenaries” – referring to the United States and THIS country – as being responsible for the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, regarded as the “father” of the country’s nuclear program last week.

A. Saudi Arabia
B. Israel
C. Iraq
D. France

Correct Response: B. Israel
Economist Espresso, November 28, 2020

2. The communiqué from last week’s summit of THIS association of leading global economic powers committed the group to fund fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries along with debt relief saying, “We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good.”

A. EU-3
B. P5+1
C. G-8
D. G-20

Correct Response: D. G-20

3. Post-U.S. election discussions with Russia over THIS treaty have stalled but President-elect Biden has indicated he will pursue the built-in five-year extension when he takes office. THIS 2010 treaty, set to expire February 5, 2021 if not extended, limits the United States and Russia to 700 deployed strategic nuclear launchers and a maximum of 1,550 such warheads deployed on those launchers.

A. New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)
B. Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT)
C. Nuclear Arms Stability Treaty (NAST)
D. Defensive Armaments Reduction Treaty (DART)

Correct Response: A. New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)

4. A Turkish court sentenced more than 300 military officers and civilians to multiple life sentences over their involvement in the failed 2016 coup according to “Daily Chatter.” Indicted in absentia was THIS US-based Muslim cleric, whom Turkish President Erdogan has accused of masterminding the plot, a charge HE denies. The president has demanded HIS extradition. [Daily Chatter (Nov 27) Question of the Week]:

A. Zühtü Arslan
B. Mehmet Akarca
C. Fethullah Gulen
D. Mustafa Şentop

Correct Response: C. Fethullah Gulen
Economist Espresso, November 28, 2020

5. While the fighting of the last few weeks in Ethiopia may have significantly degraded THIS group’s military capacity, it is unlikely that the federal government can entirely subdue THIS group as a political entity, which retains the support of a substantial number of Tigrayans according to USIP’s Aly Verjee. Further, THIS group’s historic capacity to wage guerrilla warfare from the rural mountains of Tigray may not be definitively eroded by its losses in conventional warfare. [USIP Question of the Week]

A. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
B. Ethiopian People’s Liberation Front (EPLF)
C. Popular Front for the Freedom of Tigray (PFFT)
D. Rastafarian People’s Party (RPP)

Correct Response: A. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)

6. Who is the choice of President-Elect Biden to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations?

A. Veteran Foreign Service Officer Linda Thomas-Greenfield
B. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul
C. California Congressman Adam Schiff
D. Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill

Correct Response: A. Veteran Foreign Service Officer Linda Thomas-Greenfield

7. Four prominent women’s activists appeared in court in THIS country, which has been charged by rights group with abusing them. The judge transferred the case of at least one of the women, Lina al-Hathloul, from criminal court to terrorism court. The four were rounded up in 2018 along with other activists who had protested a ban on women driving.

A. Venezuela
B. Egypt
C. Saudi Arabia
D. Iraq

Correct Response: C. Saudi Arabia

8. A petition backed by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and signed by half a million Australians called for a Royal Commission to “investigate threats to media diversity.” The petition mentioned Google and Facebook but focused on THIS Australian-born, American media magnate.

A. David Thomson
B. Rupert Murdoch
C. Sir David Barkley
D. Ted Turner

Correct Response: B. Rupert Murdoch

9. Belarus’ self-proclaimed president said once the country adopted a new constitution he would resign. THIS Belarusian leader has faced wide-scale protests and police violence since the August 9th election. Opposition leaders charge HIM with stealing the election and they say the pledge to resign was a ploy to remain in power.

A. Alexander Lukashenko
B. Victor Orban
C. Ilir Meta
D. Vladimir Medvedev

Correct Response:
Economist Espresso, November 28, 2020

10. Beijing announced tariffs up to 212% on wine from THIS major trading partner whose trade minister said it would be a devastating blow as China accounts for 42% of its wine exports. It was the latest sign of tension in the bilateral relationship with this country that has joined the American-led “Quad” alignment poised against China.

A. India
B. New Zealand
C. Indonesia
D. Australia

Correct Response: D. Australia

Copyright 2020, Tennessee World Affairs Council



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.