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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The Syrian Crisis

“Do not forget Aleppo!” These were the words shouted by an assassin as he gunned down the Russian ambassador to Turkey this past December. The words that accompanied the shocking murder were striking reminder to the Western world to not overlook the suffering occurring in the then-besieged Syrian city. Indeed, what was once an economic, cultural and historical hub of Syria has now been reduced to a city best known for the humanitarian crisis that has existed within it for nearly five yea...
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Puentes de Esperanza : Bridging Gaps in Nicaragua’s Education System

Nicaragua—population 6 million—has over 2 million school-aged children and is largely considered among the poorest countries in Central and Latin America. According to UNICEF, around 500,000 children are not in the formal education system, and half of all adults and children live in poverty. Although in recent years Nicaragua has maintained a stable youth literacy rate of 86.5%,  residents of rural areas continue to suffer from a lack of quality education and funding. Primary...
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How effective is the International Criminal Court?

On March 13, the International Criminal Court formally ended its case against President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, four years after Kenyatta was charged with inciting postelection violence. 1,200 people perished in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. Kenyatta was the first sitting president to appear before the ICC. The African Union heavily criticized the ICC investigation of Kenyatta, stating that the ICC targets Africa almost exclusively.[1] In the past 13 years, the ICC has spent more than $1...
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A Deal With One Winner–And It’s Not The Free World

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent address to a Joint Session of Congress regarding the Iranian nuclear deal received major attention over the past few weeks. But the more important issue at hand cuts much deeper than Bibi’s speech and cries of Israeli electioneering. We ought, instead, to examine why Netanyahu felt it so important to speak out and why the Obama Administration felt so strongly that he shouldn’t. A closer look reveals a critically flawed deal that undermines Ameri...
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In Which Putin Plays Hide and Seek

Well, Putin’s missing. No one has seen him in about a week. For whatever reason, this is not exactly surprising. It would not be hard to imagine the American government devolving into a Rand Paul-led self-parody were Obama to disappear for ten days, yet the average reaction to Putin’s absence seems to be a darkly amused, “Yeah, that sounds about right.” I will make no comment on where I think Putin has scampered off to; I have literally no clue. Others have already tossed their ideas into the...
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Hey, Remember Edward Snowden?

Last night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded the film Citizenfour with “Best Feature Documentary.” The film chronicles Edward Snowden’s leakage of classified NSA documents, which themselves detailed the extent to which the agency was conducting surveillance on private citizens. I haven’t seen it, though I’m sure it’s both a wonderful thriller and the most tangible results of Snowden’s work. For as much a hullabaloo as was rightfully raised over the information Snowden m...
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Where in the World is Commie San Diego?

Perhaps you remember the hullabaloo a while back over the Initial Public Offering of the Alibaba Group in America. It was a joyous occasion, with many a news anchor prattling on about record numbers and almost certainly more than a few lines of cocaine snorted off of Wall Street glass tables. But there was also a tinge of sadness in the investment bonanza. An old rival of these United States passed away that day, one whom we stood toe to toe with several times over the past few decades. But thos...
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Battle of Trafalgar: 3 hours that destroyed the Spanish Empire

On October 21, 1805 - 209 years ago to this day - Admiral Nelson of the British Royal Navy fought with the combined forces of the French and Spanish Navies off the southern coast of Spain in the Battle of Trafalgar. Although the British were outnumbered and outgunned, Nelson annihilated the Franco-Spanish navies in less than three hours. The victory insured the supremacy of the British Empire and signaled the decline of the Spanish Empire.[1] Admiral Nelson had been playing a game of cat and mo...
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Mexico’s Police Force: The “Plata o Plomo” Predicament

When it comes to fighting drug cartels and violence, Mexico’s police force is often “caught between a rock and hard place”. Mexico’s police force is frequently forced to choose between two ugly alternatives, which are commonly referred to as “plata o plomo”. “Plata o plomo” translates to “silver or lead” and describes the predicament that Mexico’s police force is caught in on a daily basis: accepting drug cartel bribes or being killed for carrying out justice. The former is the more common pract...
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