Japanese Parliament Reverses Precedent of Pacifism

  Last week, in a move that reversed a seventy-year-old precedent, the Japanese Diet, led by Premier Shinzo Abe, curtailed its constitutionally-mandated pacifism. On September 18, 2015, late in the evening, the Diet passed legislation expanding the ability for the nation to engage in war for “collective self-defense.” Under the planned changes, Japan can now assume combat roles to aid […]

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A Womanless World

The world is missing approximately 160 million women as a result of prenatal female infanticide, sex–selective abortions, differential mortality rates, and other discriminatory practices against women. This figure is equivalent to more than the entire female population of the United States. While normal sex birth ratios range between 105 and 107 male births per 100 female births, the gender ratios […]

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Blood Ivory: Africa's Next Conflict Resource

A few weeks ago, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service crushed six tons of confiscated ivory tusks and trinkets, turning tens of millions of dollars of contraband ivory into useless powder. This event sent a resounding message to the world that elephant poaching would not be tolerated.[1] Although the international commercial trade of African elephant ivory has been banned since […]

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Opium: From China to Afghanistan

Heroin is one of the world’s most addictive and profitable drugs, with world consumption currently valued at 340 tons annually.[1] Conversely, prescription opiates are an invaluable painkiller for many patients. People have been trying to balance opiates’ medical properties with their addictive nature for thousands of years. Ancient Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, for example, realized the potential for opium and […]

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A Changing Strategy: China in Third World countries

  By examining China’s different focus on Africa since mid-1950, when the People’s Republic of China was just founded, and Latin America since the recent decades, one can clearly see how Beijing’s strategy in dealing with third world countries evolved and became more sophisticated. This change of policy results not only from different contemporary context but also China’s different diplomatic […]

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Factionalism: Conflicting or Balancing

Though the Communist Party retains monopoly in Chinese government, the political competition over the power transition is in no way mild or simple. Particularly on the eve of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party, the competition between different factions within the party, mainly among Shanghai Clique, Princeling and Tuanpai, remains the focus in the election of the fifth […]

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