“What in the World? Weekly Quiz” | Nov 30-Dec 6, 2020

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


Thanks to quiz master Patrick Ryan, for this week’s quiz.


Stephen Friedberg, Boston, MA
George Pruden, Townsend, GA
Joseph Mendenhall, Bedford, TX
Sarah Knutson, Schenectady, NY
Lee Maki, Peoria, IL
Barbara Dickerson, Cincinnati, OH
Jeetha Elza Cherlan, New Delhi, India
Angela, Peoria, IL
Judy Hollinger, Houston, TX
Rich Buck, Peoria, IL
Parwan Ahmed Machingal, Nashville, TN
Barbara Gubbin, Jacksonville, FL
Laurie Berger, Normal, IL
Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN


Lots of perfect scores last week, maybe the quiz is getting too easy! Peter from Peoria enjoyed the challenge. Sarah from Schenectady and Barbara from Cincinnati appreciate our programs; we appreciate you too, Sarah and Barbara. Angela in Peoria can tell when she hasn’t kept up with the news and Himanshu in Nashville found the questions interesting. Welcome, Jeetha in New Delhi; we’re glad you find the quiz fun.

The World Affairs Council needs your support now more than ever. With a suggested donation of $100, you can help the Council continue to offer free and public programming to discuss critical global issues affecting Americans’ security and prosperity.

You can give in one of several ways:
  • Pay with your credit card via the donation button below.
  • Mail a check to the TNWAC Office (Fidelity 304A, Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212)
  • Planned giving through a bequest. Consult the attorney who assisted with your estate planning.
  • Request a distribution from your Donor Advised Fund
  • Check with your employer to see if they will match your gift!
With the passing of the CARES Act, most individual taxpayers will become eligible for significant tax benefits for charitable contributions made this year. Two of these benefits will be:
  • A $300 Above-the-Line Charitable deduction, meaning that individuals who do not itemize their deductions will be eligible to claim up to $300 of charitable deductions in 2020, on top of the standard deduction
  • Modified Limitations on Cash Charitable Contributions – for 2020, the 60% AGI limitation on cash contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as WACA, is suspended

Please give to support global affairs awareness programs in the community and in your schools

November 2020 – Quiz Prize

A prominent authority on China’s Belt and Road Initiative reveals the global risks lurking within Beijing’s project of the century

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is the world’s most ambitious and misunderstood geoeconomic vision. To carry out President Xi Jinping’s flagship foreign-policy effort, China promises to spend over one trillion dollars for new ports, railways, fiber-optic cables, power plants, and other connections. The plan touches more than one hundred and thirty countries and has expanded into the Arctic, cyberspace, and even outer space. Beijing says that it is promoting global development, but Washington warns that it is charting a path to global dominance.
Taking readers on a journey to China’s projects in Asia, Europe, and Africa, Jonathan E. Hillman reveals how this grand vision is unfolding. As China pushes beyond its borders and deep into dangerous territory, it is repeating the mistakes of the great powers that came before it, Hillman argues. If China succeeds, it will remake the world and place itself at the center of everything. But Xi may be overreaching: all roads do not yet lead to Beijing.

Jonathan E. Hillman is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of the Reconnecting Asia Project, one of the most extensive open-source databases tracking China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Hillman has testified before Congress, briefed government officials and Fortune 500 executives, and written on economics, national security, and foreign policy issues for the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other outlets. His first book is THE EMPEROR’S NEW ROAD: China and the Project of the Century (Yale University Press, 2020).

Prior to joining CSIS, Hillman served as a policy adviser at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where he contributed to the 2015 U.S. National Security Strategy and the President’s Trade Agenda and directed the research and writing process for essays, speeches, and other materials explaining U.S. trade and investment policy. He has also worked as a researcher at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, and in Kyrgyzstan as a Fulbright scholar. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a presidential scholar, and Brown University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the Garrison Prize for best thesis in international relations.

What in the World? Quiz – Week of Nov 23-29, 2020

1. Stating that they don’t “negotiate with criminals,” the government of Ethiopia refused to meet with representatives of the northern Tigray region in talks organized by THIS international organization, headed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa:

A. United Nations
B. US Institute of Peace
C. Arab League
D. African Union

Correct Response: D. African Union

2. Despite the threat of anti-election violence from jihadist militias that kept 400,000 people from voting in the north and east, citizens in other parts of THIS country were going to the polls Sunday to elect a president. Among the 13 candidates are the incumbent, Roch Kaboré, seeking a second term, and the former president, Blaise Compaoré, whose 27-year hold on power ended in 2014 after wide-spread protests started in the capital, Ouagadougou, and swept the nation:

A. Ivory Coast
B. Burkina Faso
C. Ghana
D. Sierra Leone

Correct Response: B. Burkina Faso

3. A spike in COVID-19 cases delayed the launch of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and THIS Asian city-state, known as a center of international finance. The travel bubble would allow up to 200 people to travel freely between the two destinations, with no need to self-isolate upon arrival:

A. Seoul
B. Tokyo
C. Singapore
D. Kuala Lumpur

Correct Response: C. Singapore

4. The Trump administration announced this week that it would begin significant troop reductions in Iraq and Afghanistan, cutting its forces in the former by 20%, and in the latter by almost half. Which of the following has been a reaction to the news [Daily Chatter Question of the Week, Thu, Nov 19]:

A. Rockets were fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone, landing near the US embassy, in the first such attack since “Iraqi militias tied to Iran agreed to stop targeting the embassy last month”
B. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the pullout could threaten Afghanistan’s fragile security situation and make it a haven for international militias
C. Analysts argue that a troop reduction could weaken the Afghan government’s ability to fight the Taliban
D. All of the above

Correct Response: D. All of the above

5. The most likely sources of violent conflict in the post-Soviet nations of Central Asia — ethno-nationalism and nativism, Islam and secularism, water resources and climate change, and labor migration and economic conflict – were discussed in a recent USIP report by Dr. Gavin Helf, Ph.D. The Central Asia region is considered to include these states EXCEPT which one? [USIP Question of the Week]

A. Kyrgyzstan
B. Turkmenistan
C. Kazakhstan
D. Afghanistan

Correct Response: D. Afghanistan

6. Anger over a budget passed that includes heavy cuts to education and healthcare spending boiled over in Guatemala City this week, as protesters covered Guatemala’s congress building in graffiti, and then set it on fire. The protesters accused legislators of passing the cuts to vital programs in secret, while most of the nation was distracted by THIS devastating event:

A. Hurricane Eta, which brought category-4 winds and heavy flooding
B. Hurricane Iota, which hit just 2 weeks after Hurricane Eta, further damaging parts of Guatemala
C. The COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of which have been exacerbated by back-to-back hurricanes
D. All of the above

Correct Response: D. All of the above

7. In a historic first for France, the trial of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on THESE charges will begin on Monday. Mr. Sarkozy is the first French president ever to face trial for criminal offenses:

A. The attempted murder of the late French rock start Johnny Hallyday
B. Conspiracy to remove valuable items from the Louvre
C. “Wine Gate,” a criminal plot to pawn off sparking wine as region-certified champagne
D. Corruption and influence peddling: Mr. Sarkozy allegedly secured a posting on the French Riviera for a high-ranking judge in exchange for insider information related to another corruption charge Mr. Sarkozy was facing

Correct Response: D. Corruption and influence peddling: Mr. Sarkozy allegedly secured a posting on the French Riviera for a high-ranking judge in exchange for insider information related to another corruption charge Mr. Sarkozy was facing

8. After a multi-year investigation conducted by the US government, former Mexican defense minister former Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda was arrested in Los Angeles on drug-trafficking charges in October. This week, US Attorney General William Barr asked a federal judge to dismiss all charges against the accused. WHICH of the following prompted Mr. Barr’s request:

A. Overcrowding in New York City jails prompted officials to release Mr. Cienfuegos Zepeda
B. The Mexican government threatened to expel all US drug agents working in Mexico if Mr. Cienfuegos Zepeda was not released
C. Mr. Cienfuegos Zepeda tested positive for COVID-19
D. President Trump pardoned Mr. Cienfuegos Zepeda

Correct Response: B. The Mexican government threatened to expel all US drug agents working in Mexico if Mr. Cienfuegos Zepeda was not released
Mexico, Outraged at Arrest of Ex-Official Zepeda, Threatened to Toss U.S. Agents – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

9. Jonathan Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst and one of the most prolific spies in U.S. history, completed his parole this week. In 1987, Mr. Pollard was convicted of delivering hundreds of classified documents to THIS country, making him the only American spy ever convicted of giving secrets to a US ally:

A. Russia
B. Spain
C. Vietnam
D. Israel

Correct Response: D. Israel

10. Skeletal remains of what appear to be a wealthy man and his slave trying to escape the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius 2,000 years ago were discovered this week in THIS famous Italian archaeological site:

A. Tuscany’s Lake of the Idols
B. Rome’s Pantheon
C. The ruins of Pompeii
D. Sardinia’s city of Sulci

Correct Response: C. The ruins of Pompeii

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.