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Weekly Roundup
Modi's Big Win, Asia's Game of Thrones, and Our Storyteller in Chief

Good afternoon, TAI readers! We hope you’ve had an excellent weekend thus far, but to keep things going, take the time to look back at what you may have missed on the site over the past week:

What Modi’s big win means for America. It was the largest election in history, and Narendra Modi’s BJP party won in a landslide. David Danelo unpacked what his ascendancy means for US-India relations.

The West’s commitment to the defense of freedom is being tested by Russia. So argues David J. Kramer, the head of Freedom House, who calls for expansion of sanctions against Russia. The West’s response doesn’t just matter for Ukraine, it sets a precedent.

…and here’s how the West should approach those sanctions: by targeting energy sanctions to specifically prevent new oil and gas technology from making its way into Russia, Washington and Brussels can stall future Russian energy projects—a long-term concern for Moscow—without significantly affecting Europe’s immediate energy security.

A Saudi recalibration is underway, as Prince Bandar bin Sultan was removed from his post as the country’s intelligence chief and replaced by a counter-terrorism hawk. Hassan Hassan and Michael Weiss take a close look at what this shift means for the recently strained relationship between Riyadh and Washington.

President Obama: Storyteller in Chief. The President has shown himself to be an excellent orator and savvy manager, writes TAI editor Adam Garfinkle, but his policies in the Middle East show a distressing lack of creative thinking.

Student debtors have very little net worth. Whether they completed college or not, student debtors accumulate far less wealth and far more debt—including vehicular and credit card debts. And a recent poll suggests the toll these debts take will be felt well into students’ middle age.

Hang ten? Putin rides the tide. Vlad is coasting on his recent successes, but Lilia Shevtsova takes a closer look at his position and sees a strategic defeat looming on the horizon.

Long-simmering tensions are boiling over in the South China Sea. China pushed its first deep-sea oil-drilling rig into disputed waters in the South China Sea, and Vietnam was not pleased. Factories have been burned, fisherman have been jailed, and lives have been lost in the aftermath.

Jews flee France while anti-Semitism persists around the world. More than four times as many Jews have left France in the first months of this year than over the same period last year. That news comes just as a new survey finds anti-Semitic thinking to be a persistent and global problem.

Greens have a new motto: Not in Your Backyard. Environmentalist groups successfully blocked the construction of a coal export facility in Oakland, California, on grounds that the dirty energy source will contribute to climate change. That the coal in question would be burned by many in the developed world without cheaper alternatives didn’t seem to phase them.

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