Illustration by Megan J. Goff

Inside the i-Soon papers and China’s secret world of hackers-for-hire


Newly leaked files from a private Chinese hackers-for-hire company provide a fresh look into China’s “cyber industrial complex” — and it appears to be bigger and more mature than observers had previously imagined. Dina Temple-Raston, host and managing editor of the Recorded Future News podcast “Click Here,” has the story.

Students cheer on speakers during a gathering to mark the first anniversary of student groups stormed the parliament in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

10 years ago, the Sunflower Movement pushed Taiwan away from China

man in front of river

Paul Salopek treks across China as part of his yearslong ‘Out of Eden Walk’

Out of Eden Walk
Blue, gray and white illustration of flys in cage

China’s dominant role in producing hacking bugs

Global Security
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto.

Henry Kissinger leaves lasting — and controversial — foreign policy legacy

Cast members perform during a rehearsal of the opera "Monkey: A Kung Fu Puppet Parable" at the Emerson Paramount Center in Boston, Sept. 20, 2023.

A modern take on an ancient Chinese folk tale

Arts, Culture & Media

The new opera, “Monkey: A Kung Fu Puppet Parable,” had its world premiere in Boston over the weekend. The story is based on an ancient Chinese folk tale and uses modern and diverse cultural elements to create a unique rendition of the popular fable.

Traveling monks work on a sand mandala at Lake Street Church in Evanston, Illinois.

Tibetan monks on tour in US as China continues to restrict religion in Tibet

Sacred Nation

A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks, living in exile in India, are doing a “sacred arts tour” this month in the US. They’re demonstrating an ancient artistic and spiritual practice, creating big, colorful sand mandalas. They say Buddhist traditions like this are under threat because of Chinese government policies in their historic homeland of Tibet.

Working undercover in 1971, former US narcotics agent Michael Levine meets heroin traffickers in Bangkok, Thailand.

Narcs and spies: The drug war’s murky origins in Southeast Asia

In a nationwide address in the 1970s, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be “public enemy No. 1” and stepped up efforts to shut down the global trade. Much of the initial efforts of the DEA were focused on Southeast Asia where US troops in Vietnam were using heroin. 

The downhill course stands out from the almost snowless landscape ahead of the first men's downhill training run at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 3, 2022, in the Yanqing district of Beijing. 

States at dawn: Part II

Critical State

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into how geography guides state formation, with a focus on the “fractured-land hypothesis.”

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a military promotion ceremony, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. 

Where does Brazil stand with the war in Ukraine?


Over the last week, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva courted controversy with his remarks on the conflict in Ukraine, causing tensions between Brazil and the US.