Carol J Williams

Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.

High Stakes: Amid COVID-19, Trump and Xi Escalate Disputes

“The world should stand with Hong Kong because it belongs to the world, and if Hong Kong burns, the world gets burned too.” -- Ching Kwan Lee, UCLA sociology professor and chairwoman of Society for Hong Kong Studies

Sweden Sees Alarming Rise in Covid-19 Death Rate After Relying on Public “Common Sense” to Halt Its Spread

Sweden’s percentage of confirmed cases leading to death is dramatically higher than its neighbors, with 12% of patients in Sweden succumbing to the virus, 2.6% in Norway, 4% in Finland, 4.7% in Denmark and 3.6% in Germany.

Winning Friends: As US Abdicates International Leadership, China and Russia Happily Offer Pandemic Aid

“European solidarity does not exist. Only China can help,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in announcing emergency powers last month.

Elsewhere: Paris Cafe Culture Reinvents Itself at Home

With people confined to their homes, unable to dine out, one result has been a boom in home cooking. Supermarkets are out of flour – baking is suddenly in.

When One Headline-Grabbing Scandal at the Pentagon Just Isn’t Enough…

The Pentagon last week issued an order to defense installations prohibiting them from public disclosure of coronavirus infections among their ranks. That has stirred fear in civilian and military communities in places like Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Joint Base Lewis McChord

Russia Abruptly Locks Down: Borders Closing, Air Travel Suspended, Public Told to Stay Home

Putin’s posture during the pandemic had for weeks mimicked that of Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who persisted in brushing off the threat to their countries from a virus that was spreading rapidly elsewhere.

Play It Again: Russian Lawmakers Clear Path for Putin to Stay in Power for Life

Putin is now positioned to join the rulers-for-life club whose membership is a Who’s Who of autocracy: Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Punishment We Deserve?

The only clarity to come out of the competition for the loudest voice in the room was that what is needed most for a Democratic victory in November – unity – is nowhere in sight.

China’s Chernobyl Moment? Chinese Leaders Caught Trying To Suppress Reports Of Coronavirus

The Kremlin's attempt to cover up the 1986 Chernobyl disaster eroded public trust of the Communist leadership and set the Soviet Union on the path to breakup in 1991. Could the Chinese government's secrecy on the coronavirus epidemic undermine its authority?

Outlook for a New Decade: Here’s Hoping It’s Darkest Before the Dawn

What we feared during the last decade when autocrats and populists took power in democratic countries like ours has come to pass and surpass our worst nightmares.