HJ Mai

HJ Mai is a political reporter for The Well News. He is an award-winning journalist, who has been covering politics, business and sports for various U.S. and European publications. Originally from Munich, Germany, HJ most recently worked as the energy reporter and web editor for Pacific Business News in Hawaii. He is currently traveling the U.S. looking for interesting stories. You can reach him at [email protected].

Recent Work

A Weakened State Department Could Mean Diminishing US Influence
Geopolitics
A Weakened State Department Could Mean Diminishing US Influence
February 13, 2020
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is forging the next chapter of his presidency following the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial which resulted, according to the White House press secretary, in his acquittal and his “full vindication and exoneration.”  But those who thought the experience could... Read More

Iran Nuclear Deal Remains on Life Support
Geopolitics
Iran Nuclear Deal Remains on Life Support
January 24, 2020
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The Iran nuclear deal has been on life support for nearly two years since President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from it. The remaining signatories of the deal, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, have... Read More

Bolton’s Ousting As National Security Adviser May Open Door to Diplomacy
Foreign Affairs
Bolton’s Ousting As National Security Adviser May Open Door to Diplomacy
September 13, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump’s firing of National Security adviser John Bolton earlier this week could have big implications on the administration’s handling of its most challenging foreign policy issues. Bolton, described as a conservative hawk due to his hard-line and interventionist foreign policy approach,... Read More

Amid Trade Disputes and Reform Demands: WTO Stands at a Crossroads
Foreign Affairs
Amid Trade Disputes and Reform Demands: WTO Stands at a Crossroads
September 6, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - International trade disputes have dominated the newscycle in 2019. Whether it’s the United States and China, the U.S. and the European Union or the EU and China, a functioning world economy needs a fair and regulated trade system.  However, the organization tasked with facilitating... Read More

An Afghan Balancing Act: Ending America’s Longest War vs. Guaranteeing Safety
Foreign Affairs
An Afghan Balancing Act: Ending America’s Longest War vs. Guaranteeing Safety
August 30, 2019
by HJ Mai

The longest war in the history of the United States could soon come to an end after reports that the peace negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban have hit the final stretch.  But concerns about the Taliban’s ability to guarantee safety and prevent Afghanistan from... Read More

Recession Fears Are Valid, But Predicting Timing Nearly Impossible, Economist Says
Economy
Recession Fears Are Valid, But Predicting Timing Nearly Impossible, Economist Says
August 23, 2019
by HJ Mai

There are plenty of warning signs that the longest economic expansion in the history of the United States is coming to an end. While the signs indicate an impending recession, predicting the time of it is nearly impossible, Hoyt Bleakley, associate professor of economics at the... Read More

America’s Correctional System Is Broken; Epstein’s Death Not Surprising, Union Official Says
Criminal Justice
America’s Correctional System Is Broken; Epstein’s Death Not Surprising, Union Official Says
August 16, 2019
by HJ Mai

The apparent suicide of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has not only derailed the pursuit of justice for his alleged victims, it also highlighted a slew of problems within America’s federal prison system.  In the aftermath of Epstein’s death on Aug. 10, a number of issues... Read More

Lawmakers Propose ‘Red Flag’ Laws After Mass Shootings: Effect Remains Unclear
Guns
Lawmakers Propose ‘Red Flag’ Laws After Mass Shootings: Effect Remains Unclear
August 9, 2019
by HJ Mai

Lawmakers are facing increased public pressure to take action and stop the gun violence after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio killed 31 people over the past weekend.  President Donald Trump and congressional members of both parties appear eager to take up the issues this... Read More

The INF Treaty Is History and the World Less Safe, Expert Says
Geopolitics
The INF Treaty Is History and the World Less Safe, Expert Says
August 2, 2019
by HJ Mai

The United States on Friday officially withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, more commonly referred to as the INF Treaty. This Cold War-era arms control agreement was hailed as historic at the time of its signing and resulted in the destruction of thousands of missiles... Read More

Mueller’s Testimony Highlights Need for Additional Election Security Funding
2020 Elections
Mueller’s Testimony Highlights Need for Additional Election Security Funding
July 26, 2019
by HJ Mai

Election security has been under the microscope since reports of Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential election first surfaced.  The findings by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence further indicate that the Russian government directed attacks on U.S. elections... Read More

Puerto Rico Governor Clings to Power as Protests Over ‘Chatgate’ Enter 2nd Week
In The News
Puerto Rico Governor Clings to Power as Protests Over ‘Chatgate’ Enter 2nd Week
July 23, 2019
by HJ Mai

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a second straight week demanding the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. The demonstrations arose after hundreds of pages of offensive chat messages between the governor and nearly a dozen of his close... Read More

Turkey Moves Away From U.S. Under President Erdogan, No Signs of Turning Back
Foreign Affairs
Turkey Moves Away From U.S. Under President Erdogan, No Signs of Turning Back
July 19, 2019
by HJ Mai

Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile air defense system has put its relationship with the United States and the NATO alliance in jeopardy.  The White House responded to last week’s news of Ankara accepting the first delivery of the S-400 by ending Turkey’s involvement in... Read More

Leak of Diplomatic Cables Won’t Have Lasting Effect on US-UK Relationship
Foreign Affairs
Leak of Diplomatic Cables Won’t Have Lasting Effect on US-UK Relationship
July 12, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The diplomatic relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom has been rattled by the recent leak of diplomatic cables that described the Trump administration as in a state of disarray.  The leak led to the resignation of Kim Darroch, the British ambassador... Read More

Trump Feud With Soccer Star Rapinoe Rallies Base, Dominates News Cycle
In The News
Trump Feud With Soccer Star Rapinoe Rallies Base, Dominates News Cycle
July 9, 2019
by HJ Mai

American soccer fans were treated to another stellar World Cup performance by the U.S. Women’s National Team, capped off by a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Sunday’s final. Despite winning a record fourth World Cup title, including its second in a row, a lot of... Read More

White House’s Middle East Economic Plan Lacks Historical Understanding
Foreign Affairs
White House’s Middle East Economic Plan Lacks Historical Understanding
June 28, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The White House earlier this week unveiled its long-awaited and highly touted Middle East peace plan. Well, at least the economic portion of it.  To unveil the plan, Washington convened a two-day workshop in Manama, Bahrain, on June 25 and 26. While the workshop... Read More

‘Averse to Using Military Force,’ Trump Calls Off Military Strike, Cites Potential Casualties
Foreign Affairs
‘Averse to Using Military Force,’ Trump Calls Off Military Strike, Cites Potential Casualties
June 21, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The escalation tensions between the United States and Iran nearly reached a tipping point Thursday after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of Iran’s armed forces, confirmed that it shot down an unmanned U.S. Navy drone. President Donald Trump revealed in a series... Read More

US-Saudi Alliance Faces Increased Scrutiny Over MBS Behavior
Foreign Affairs
US-Saudi Alliance Faces Increased Scrutiny Over MBS Behavior
June 14, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - The strategic alliance between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to World War II, though the primary focus in the early years of the relationship at that time was oil. The alliance between Washington and Riyadh has since changed,... Read More

Median Home Prices Continue to Surge in DC Suburbs in Wake of Amazon HQ2 News
Economy
Median Home Prices Continue to Surge in DC Suburbs in Wake of Amazon HQ2 News
June 7, 2019
by HJ Mai

Rising home prices in some of the country's largest urban centers have put the America Dream of owning a home out of reach for many middle- to low-income families. While the nation’s capital and its surrounding suburbs are regularly ranked in the top 10 of the... Read More

Mueller’s Public Remarks Stoke Impeachment Pressures on Capitol Hill
In The News
Mueller’s Public Remarks Stoke Impeachment Pressures on Capitol Hill
May 31, 2019
by HJ Mai

Special Counsel Robert Mueller earlier this week gave his first public remarks following the conclusion of his 22-month investigation into Russian election interference and alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. While the former FBI director did not divulge any new information, his words lit... Read More

Escalating US-Iran Tensions: Sanctions Often Don’t Work in Changing a State’s Behavior
Geopolitics
Escalating US-Iran Tensions: Sanctions Often Don’t Work in Changing a State’s Behavior
May 24, 2019
by HJ Mai

The bilateral relationship between the United States and Iran has been strained for decades, but the recent tensions have led to growing concerns over a potential military conflict. The Trump administration this month deployed an aircraft carrier strike group, bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle... Read More

Experts Say US-Russian Collaboration on Arms Control Still Vital
Foreign Affairs
Experts Say US-Russian Collaboration on Arms Control Still Vital
May 17, 2019
by HJ Mai

The United States and Russia each still possess enough nuclear warheads to ensure mutual destruction in case of an armed conflict between the former superpowers. It’s a scenario that has kept the world and the residents of both countries in a state of collective fear for... Read More

Trump Administration Plays Catch-Up in Arctic
Geopolitics
Trump Administration Plays Catch-Up in Arctic
May 10, 2019
by HJ Mai

The Arctic’s environment is undergoing a dramatic shift, with temperatures in the region heating up faster than anywhere else in the world. An area that has long been considered unforgiving to men and machinery could soon host the next global gold rush. While it might still... Read More

America Must Adapt to New Realities As Fight Against Terror Continues
Military
America Must Adapt to New Realities As Fight Against Terror Continues
May 7, 2019
by HJ Mai

In late March, United States-backed fighters took control of the last remaining ISIS stronghold in Syria. The battle for Baghouz, which dragged on for weeks, gave President Donald Trump his long-awaited military victory. But while the terror groups’ physical caliphate has been defeated, the fight against... Read More

China’s Xi Pledges ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Corruption to Calm Belt and Road Initiative Criticism
Geopolitics
China’s Xi Pledges ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Corruption to Calm Belt and Road Initiative Criticism
April 26, 2019
by HJ Mai

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged transparency and zero tolerance for corruption in an attempt to alleviate criticism for his country’s Belt and Road Initiative from the United States that described the massive infrastructure project as a debt trap for poorer countries. “Everything should be done in... Read More

Bolton Declares Monroe Doctrine ‘Alive and Well’ As White House Eyes Venezuela
Foreign Affairs
Bolton Declares Monroe Doctrine ‘Alive and Well’ As White House Eyes Venezuela
April 19, 2019
by HJ Mai

The Trump administration’s ongoing pressure campaign to force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro out of office is based on an almost 200-year-old doctrine – one that was never meant to be a doctrine after all. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Wednesday said that the Monroe Doctrine... Read More

Senators Demand Oversight for Nuclear Energy Talks With Saudi Arabia
Foreign Affairs
Senators Demand Oversight for Nuclear Energy Talks With Saudi Arabia
April 15, 2019
by HJ Mai

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would require the  executive branch to issue quarterly reports to Congress when it allows U.S. companies to engage in nuclear energy cooperation with foreign nations. The move comes amid reports that the Trump administration gave several... Read More

As NATO Celebrates 70th Anniversary New Challenges Emerge
NATO
As NATO Celebrates 70th Anniversary New Challenges Emerge
April 5, 2019
by HJ Mai

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization celebrated its 70th anniversary this week, making it the longest lasting alliance in history. It may also be the “most successful alliance” in history, according to current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “No NATO ally has been attacked by another country.... Read More

International Collaboration Seen As Key to Future Space Exploration
NASA
International Collaboration Seen As Key to Future Space Exploration
March 29, 2019
by HJ Mai

When Vice President Mike Pence announced earlier this week that the United States plans to put astronauts back on the moon within five years, he appealed to America’s competitive spirit by declaring a new space race against U.S. adversaries China and Russia. Though the U.S. space... Read More

A Merit-Based System Might Not Be The Answer to America’s Immigration Woes
Immigration
A Merit-Based System Might Not Be The Answer to America’s Immigration Woes
March 22, 2019
by HJ Mai

The history of the United States is inextricably linked to immigration, but creating a legislative framework that balances economic need with national security concerns appears to be an insurmountable challenge for today’s lawmakers. President Donald Trump has been very clear about his priorities when it comes... Read More

America’s Oil and Natural Gas Boom Continues To Reshape Foreign Policy
Energy
America’s Oil and Natural Gas Boom Continues To Reshape Foreign Policy
March 15, 2019
by HJ Mai

For decades, U.S. presidents have pursued energy policies aimed at reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. The first commander in chief to achieve the goal of energy independence could be President Donald Trump, with the United States expected to become a net energy exporter next year.... Read More

Is Europe Turning Its Back on Trump’s America?
Foreign Affairs
Is Europe Turning Its Back on Trump’s America?
February 23, 2019
by HJ Mai

The historical alliance between the United States and Western Europe has resulted in an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, but U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is causing a rift. Tensions at the recent Munich Security Conference highlighted the... Read More

Fixing America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Infrastructure
Fixing America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
February 23, 2019
by HJ Mai

In his 2018 State of the Union address, U.S. President Donald Trump promised the American people “gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land,” but even back then reports already suggested that the president “hates” part of the infrastructure plan he would unveil... Read More

Venezuela – Trump’s Foreign Policy Excursion
Venezuela
Venezuela – Trump’s Foreign Policy Excursion
February 13, 2019
by HJ Mai

In his first two years as the leader of the free world, U.S. President Donald Trump aggressively pushed his “America First” agenda and selectively disengaged the United States from the international stage. He also publicly questioned America’s traditional alliances and called for reforms to international treaties... Read More

Failure to Resolve U.S.-China Trade Dispute Could Lead to a Global Recession
Trade
Failure to Resolve U.S.-China Trade Dispute Could Lead to a Global Recession
January 29, 2019
by HJ Mai

Cabinet-level delegations from the U.S. and China will meet in Washington, D.C. starting Wednesday for a pivotal round of negotiations to resolve the ongoing trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Read More

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