Stories by Willis Sparks of GZERO Media

Trump's cash for troops plan has some logic, and big risks

U.S. troops based in Germany ahead of NATO exercises in Hungary. Photo: Matej Divizna/Getty Images

Being a U.S. ally might soon get a lot more expensive. The Trump administration is reportedly preparing a plan that would force countries not only to pay for the full cost of hosting American troops in their territory, but also to pony up an additional 50% premium on that bill for the security that the U.S. soldiers provide.

By the numbers: Under those terms, some countries will pay as much as six times the amount they currently pay. To put this in perspective, U.S. troops are stationed in more than 100 countries around the world. There are 56,000 American soldiers in Japan, 35,000 in Germany, 28,500 in South Korea, 12,000 in Italy, and 9,000 in the U.K.

5 years on, Ukraine grapples with lessons of Maidan revolution

A woman lights a candle in memory of slain protesters in February 2014. Photo: Monique Jaques/Corbis via Getty Images

We’re now 5 years on from the mass protests on the Maidan, Kiev’s central square, where Ukrainians with widely diverging values and visions of their country’s future braved bullets to oust then-President Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow’s man in Kiev.

Flashback: During weeks of demonstrations, more than 100 were killed and 2,500 injured in clashes with police. Yanukovych then fled to Moscow under cover of darkness, and Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Crimea. A continuing Kremlin-backed insurrection in two of Ukraine's eastern provinces has killed more than 10,000 people.

Europe's age of Aquarius

Aquarius pull into port in Valencia. Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

The Aquarius migrant rescue ship made headlines across Europe in June when Italy refused entry to it and the 630 rescued migrants on board. Now, it's back.

The bottom line: The Aquarius, the only rescue ship now patrolling the waters off Libya, will keep returning to a continent that's still in search of a burden-sharing solution on migration. It’s both a moral dilemma and a serious political problem.