Passport

How You Like Me Now?

It's a big day today at Foreign Policy.

Not only are we launching our fifth annual Global Thinkers issue, but we're also unveiling a new website. FP has come a long way since its days as an academic journal founded in 1970, and with the redesign of the website, we take one further step toward revitalizing the magazine for the digital era. The new site is built for the social web, with sharing tools built right into article pages. (For example, try highlighting the text of this piece -- you'll see a pop-up tool that allows you instantly share on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.) A new gallery function beautifully displays FP's photojournalism offerings. And the "My FP" customization feature (look for the thumbprint in the right sidebar, or at the bottom of the page on mobile) will take reader interests into account to deliver content tailored just for you. The new homepage puts all of FP's featured content in one gorgeous, easy-to-navigate space, with a "Breaking News" feed from FP's reporters and a "Stories We're Watching" bar that provides a snapshot of news from international papers.

The redesign also highlights an expansion in the content offered by FP. Regional offerings include channels focusing on the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and South Asia (the new AfPak Channel, with an added focus on India), in addition to channels covering economics, finance, and energy. Regular readers of FP will notice that our defense coverage has been consolidated into one blog, The Complex. The Cable remains the home for our coverage of the State Department, the United Nations, and America's foreign policy establishment. Passport stays as FP's staff blog and offers the day's top news and under-the-radar items from around the world. We also have a slew of new voices and columnists who have joined the FP stable: Adm. James Stavridis, Michael Weiss, Bruce Stokes, Emile Simpson, Xeni Jardin, Kalev Leetaru, Matt Bors, and Michael Peck.

Addtionally, Monday marks the launch of FP's 2013 Global Thinkers issue. During the past several months, the editors of FP have huddled and argued over the biggest stories of the year to pick the 100 individuals making a difference in the world. (Eagle-eyed readers will notice that there are in fact more than 100 thinkers as some of the slots include groups of people.) The issue surveys the world of surveillance and privacy, decision-makers, challengers, environmental activists, innovators, advocates, chroniclers, healers, artists, and moguls in effort to make sense of the chaotic, fascinating world we live in. You'll find essays by novelist William T. Vollmann on surveillance; Douglas Brinkley on Secretary of State John Kerry; E.J. Dionne Jr. on Pope Francis; and Michael Belfiore on Elon Musk. The issue, which is on newsstands now, also features a wonderful dispatch from Dharamsala, ground zero in China's cyberwar; an interview with Leon Panetta, the man who's held just about every job in Washington; and an essay by Robert D. Kaplan on what Late Antiquity says about the 21st century and the Syrian crisis.

In short, it's a magazine to delve into, revel in, and carry with you as you travel around the world, and we hope the new ForeignPolicy.com will become your regular, frequent source of news about that world. So go check out the new site, tweet about it, tell your friends (on Facebook and elsewhere) about it, and let us know what you think. (We'll keep an eye on the comments below for your feedback.)

The past few months at FP have been an intense labor of love as we have put together a new site and a double print issue. We hope that work shows -- and that you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it for you.

Passport

After 20 Years of Nothing, the WTO Finally Reaches a Deal...Sort of

The World Trade Organization lives to fight another day. Amid concern that last week's trade talks would end in failure and render the WTO obsolete after two decades of ineffectual negotiations, member countries finally reached a global trade reform deal Saturday -- for the first time in the WTO's history, and 12 years into the Doha Round of negotiations. In Bali, where the deal was reached, there was a lot of back-patting: European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht exclaimed that "we have saved the WTO," the WTO's Director-General Roberto Azevedo concluded that "for the first time in our history: the WTO has truly delivered," while the president of Indonesia attributed the meeting's success to "the mystique of Bali." But what the group actually accomplished is up for debate.

The aim of the the Doha Round is to lower trade barriers between member countries and, ultimately, to improve the trading prospects of developing nations. But disagreements between rich and poor members have dragged negotiations on for years, and the most contentious issues -- such as efforts to restrict food subsidies in developing countries -- remain unresolved. In order to salvage an agreement, and buy itself more time, the WTO narrowed its agenda and eventually passed an agreement to streamline customs processes and make it easier and cheaper for countries to trade with one another. The deal is expected to increase global trade income by $1 trillion and add 20 million jobs, most of which would be in developing countries.

But critics were quick to highlight the deal's shortcomings. Jeronim Capaldo, a senior researcher at Tufts's Global Development and Environment Institute, argued in a policy paper this month that estimates of the deal's potential benefits are overstated and "depend on too many unjustifiable assumptions." While a trade facilitation agreement may create more jobs in exporting industries, he contends, it would also likely lead to higher unemployment in non-export industries. He also argues that income and savings projections do not take into account the high costs of implementing trade facilitation, which would naturally offset gains for poorer countries. The latter point is one that India brought up prior to last week's trade talks, when its Confederation of Indian Industry called for the WTO to fund implementation costs for developing countries.

Meanwhile, anti-poverty NGOs have criticized the deal for doing little to support global development, which is one of the stated purposes of the Doha round. "The Bali package is hardly going to make a difference for poor countries," Romain Benicchio, senior policy adviser with Oxfam, said in a statement. Oxfam boycotted the WTO meeting this year, saying that "the package on the table is rather meaningless from a development point of view." One point of contention during the talks was India's refusal to curb a new food security program, which will allocate $18 billion a year to support farmers and feed the hungry but would violate trading rules limiting agricultural subsidies. In the end, delegates decided to allow India and other developing countries to temporarily continue their food subsidy programs as long as those programs don't interfere with international trade.

The World Development Movement, another international anti-poverty organization "condemned" the deal, saying it is an agreement for the world's corporations, not the world's poor. "On the positive side, developing countries have forced concessions onto the pro-corporate agenda of the US and European Union," said Nick Dearden, WDM's director. "However, those concessions are only the minimum necessary to get through what remains a deal for corporations, not for the world's poor."

Perhaps the the WTO's biggest achievement, after all of this, is that it hasn't yet faded into obsolescence. 

SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images