Donald Trump

For a few hours on Sunday, Ariana Grande, a 23-year-old pop star from Boca Raton, Florida, was the leader of the free world. The position has been open for months. Contestants ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to, improbably, Chinese President Xi Jinping have been auditioning for the job. [...] While President Trump gutter-tweeted argle-bargle and played another round of golf, Grande delivered what will likely stand as the official American response to the bombing in Manchester and to another terrorist attack, the night before the concert, in London.

President Trump set off a firestorm Tuesday when he conducted diplomacy-by-tweet. The President took credit for the decision by Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries to cut off ties with Qatar, an ally that is home to a large base with as many as 10,000 U.S. military personnel. The tweets were a huge surprise given that a day earlier, top U.S. officials had sought to downplay the dispute. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

When President Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, to be his secretary of state, reactions were mixed. Some saw Tillerson as an accomplished businessman, savvy in world affairs, who was perhaps the only sane person well-positioned to lead a rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. Others saw him as a dangerous neophyte unaccustomed to the constant give-and-take of diplomacy. It turns out that he is neither. Under Tillerson’s watch, and indeed under his direct purview, the State Department’s core is being gutted.

Brown’s upcoming visit to Beijing will focus on keeping up the COP21 Paris accords momentum Trump wants to radically reverse. California’s aggressive stance on pollution controls and environmental standards will be highlighted. The governor wants to make a lasting difference in the world. [...] California’s interest and right to combat climate change and seek China’s support is understandable and has precedent. But what’s in it for China?

Zika has faded from the media spotlight in recent months, but public health officials are gearing up for the virus to resurface as the summer brings warmer weather and mosquitos. The virus is linked to serious birth defects in babies of mothers who were infected while pregnant. But global health experts warn that the infectious disease and others like it will be much more difficult to contain in the future as Trump moves ahead with the reenactment and expansion of the Mexico City Policy, a ruling that blocks U.S.

Smog Mask

Markos Kounalakis on China's attempt to gain global influence through environmental leadership and policy.

As President Trump strains alliances and relationships around the world, some of the nation’s top career diplomats are breaking publicly with him, in what amounts to a quiet revolt by a cadre of public servants known for their professional discretion. On Monday, the chargé d’affaires at the American Embassy in Beijing, David H. Rank, announced his resignation after telling his staff he could not defend the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

Pages