Why it matters: The U.S. has responded to standoffs with North Korea, Russia, Iran and Venezuela in unorthodox and unpredictable ways. Alliances are rupturing, authoritarians are rising, and China is steadily becoming the most powerful rival America has ever faced.
China late Friday flew at least 19 fighter jets and bombers into Taiwan airspace — just ahead of a series of meetings between a senior American diplomat and leaders of the self-ruled island, according to the R.O.C Ministry of National Defense.
Why it matters: The Chinese military display during Undersecretary of State Keith Krach's visit, the highest-ranking State Department official to visit the island since the U.S. cut ties with Taipei in 1979, comes as a warning to Taiwan and the U.S. about their increasing political and military cooperation, the New York Times reports.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he's recovering at a German hospital from a suspected nerve agent poisoning and slowly regaining his verbal and physical capabilities, in an Instagram post on Saturday, according to AP.
The state of play: Navalny, an anti-corruption lawyer and an open critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on a flight to Moscow in August and was transferred to Germany for treatment.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has tested positive for the coronavirus, his staff confirmed on Friday.
Why it matters: Giammattei, 64, is among a number of world leaders to test positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began — illustrating the universality of the illness.