Macron’s “New Policy” Towards Immigration

Last summer, French President Emmanuel Macron declared France a land of welcome for those fleeing political persecution and war, saying he wanted all refugees “off the streets, out of the woods” by the end of the year. However, 2017 has passed and it is estimated that hundreds of refugees are still sleeping on the streets of Paris. In November 2017, Doctors Without Borders claimed that “some 1,000 migrants are aimlessly wandering [Paris’s] streets.” One of Macron’s policies towards refugees and...
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When Existence Is A Provocation

Three Swiss players were fined by FIFA after a remarkable game against Serbia. Their crime? “Unsporting behavior” per FIFA, “provocations” per the Serbians, and in practice, for showing a hand sign evocative of the double-headed eagle on the Albanian flag. This gesture, while demonstrative of Albanian pride, has never been used in the history of its practice in a widespread manner for any call to aggression against any other ethnic or national group. Instead it functions simply as a symbol of pr...
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Turkey’s Invasion of Afrin: Erdogan’s Newest Betrayal of NATO

After the 2016 attempted coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has simultaneously tightened his control over the country while moving it away from its NATO allies. Turkey has blamed the United States for supporting or even orchestrating the coup after US Central Command’s General Votel stated his concern over Erdogan’s silencing of dissidents, while others have claimed that Erdogan may have staged the coup himself in order to justify his attempts at obtaining more power. Since the coup at...
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Prohibition Continues for Women in Sri Lanka

On January 14, 2018, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena reversed a new law that would have allowed women over the age of 18 to purchase alcohol for the first time in 39 years since 1979. The law had been decided just a week earlier by the country’s finance minister, mangala Samaraweera in an effort to “restore gender neutrality” and remove remnants of sexism from the statutes. It would have also allowed women to work in bars without a state permit. To put the law in context, when it wa...
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The Concerns behind a Finely-Balanced Political Landscape

With the new regional elections to be held this month (December 21) and official campaigning starting this Tuesday, Catalonia is deep in election mode. A variety of new and old players are running in the elections: some abroad, some in jail, and some on bail. One particular man will have to run his campaign for now from behind bars. After six separatist leaders were released on bail, four politicians and activists were denied bail by a Supreme Court Judge on December 4, 2017. This includes form...
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A Success Story: Madagascar in Remission

After months of treating patients and enacting public health measures, it appears that the WHO and the government of Madagascar have successfully battled the plague into remission on the African island nation. The plague, the same disease that killed 50 million in Europe during the Middle Ages, is a regular occurrence in Madagascar, with the plague season lasting from September to April. Yet this year’s outbreak was particularly severe, with around 1800 suspected cases and 127 deaths by the end...
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Why Putin Underplayed the Centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution

Earlier this month Russia marked the 100th anniversary of the day Vladimir Lenin and his small band of  Bolshevik revolutionaries successfully staged an armed insurrection in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg), overthrowing the weak provisional government that came to power when the Tsar abdicated power months earlier. Within a year the Romanov dynasty was destroyed, Tsar Nicholas II and his family executed, and Russian society irreparably altered. Imperial Russia was dead, and a classless, rapidl...
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The New Autocratic State

On November 16th, Cambodia’s Supreme Court announced a ruling that effectively dissolved the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). With this, Prime Minister Hun Sen is likely set to retain his position of three decades in the upcoming general elections next year. The ruling also included a five-year political ban for 118 members of the party. But to understand the tension between the two parties necessitates a look at the history of the relationship between CNRP an...
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100 Years Since Balfour: A History of the Balfour Declaration From 1917 to 2017

November 2nd marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which established the British government’s formal support for the Zionist movement and the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The motives behind this declaration varied, from a genuine support for the Zionist movement to a hope that such a declaration would increase support for the Allies of World War One in countries with a significant Jewish population (namely the United States and post-tsarist Russia). The text itse...
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The DRC’s Dilemma

Since its founding, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been riddled with conflict. The Second Congo War (2003-2016) and its ongoing violent aftermath in the east of the country comprised the bloodiest conflict since World War II. More violence flared up at the end of 2016, when President Joseph Kabila failed to hold elections at the arrival of his constitutionally-mandated two-term limit. In the end, the government and opposition agreed to a deal brokered by the Roman Catholic Church under...
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