A Bittersweet Livelihood: How Cocoa360 plans to improve cocoa farmers’ standard of life

According to the non-profit Oxfam America, cocoa farmers on average make about three percent of the price of a chocolate bar. Farmer Obini says there’s not much left after what he pays for his kids’ school, so he sells vegetables along with home-brewed alcohol to supplement his income during the low production season. With a population of 27 million, 60% of them living in rural areas, Ghana is troubled by health and wealth inequity. As the world's second leading exporter of cocoa, it earns ab...
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The Forgotten Humanitarian Crisis: Boko Haram

As the political drama of the U.S. presidential election unfolded late in 2016, most television sets in northeastern Nigeria tuned into the action. In the heart of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, the food shortage and infrastructural devastation caused by Boko Haram has received little media coverage. Military efforts to combat the region’s terrorist group have reduced wartime violence but left small-scale terror and a humanitarian catastrophe in their wake. National governmen...
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The Humanitarian Cost of the Mosul Offensive

The Mosul offensive is the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the 2003 U.S-led invasion. The second phase of the nearly twelve-week long campaign to drive ISIS out of its last major stronghold in Iraq began last Thursday. The Islamic State has been using Mosul’s urban landscape and its large civilian population of 1.5 million as a cover to maneuver and launch attacks undetected. Although vastly outnumbered by Elite Iraqi Troops in Mosul, ISIS militants still maintain full control of the terr...
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Socialist Santa

Late last week, starting on Thursday, Venezuelan authorities seized almost four million toys from warehouses across the capital city of Caracas. William Contreras, Venezuela's national superintendent for the defense of socioeconomic rights oversaw the seizures from the Kreisel toy company. In addition to arresting two high level employees of the toy company, the consumer protection has requested to the attorney general’s office that all Kreisel executives be prohibited from leaving the countr...
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Avoiding the Revisionist Trap: A Look at Fidel Castro’s Legacy

It is extraordinarily rare that one gets to reflect on the life of a figure who has fundamentally altered the course of world history, and the death of Fidel Castro is one such occasion. Castro was one of the last living reminders of an era marked by the unending battle between Capitalism and Communism – he stood as the leader of a country that plagued American foreign policy and placated our enemies for decades. He also led a regime that victimized its own people and spent fifty years at the he...
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Washington, It’s Time to Start Worrying About Turkey

The Republic of Turkey has long been an important ally for the United States, occupying an extraordinarily strategic geographic location as the bridge between the Middle East and Europe. Established in 1923, Turkey was the successor to the Ottoman Empire, the majority of which had been split up between France and Great Britain in the aftermath of the First World War. Mustafa Kamal Atatürk, a military commander who had helped achieve an Ottoman victory at the Battle of Gallipoli, led the Turkish ...
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Morsi’s Death Sentence Overturned

In a new court ruling, the Court of Cassation overturned the death sentence of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and ordered a retrial. Morsi first came into power in 2012 as the first democratically elected president. Despite this apparent gain for the people, Morsi quickly fostered a great deal of resentment among Egyptians. He was accused of becoming increasingly authoritarian and exploiting his power to push for a more Islamic rule of law. At the same time, Egypt found itself in...
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Venezuela’s Not-Quite-Affordable Lack of Care Act

The way President Nicolás Maduro would tell it, Venezuela has the best health care system on the planet.  (Or, he’s allowed, perhaps second-best after Cuba.) This idea runs counter to every observation that can be made about Venezuela’s current health care crisis.  Against the backdrop of the world’s steepest economic decline, sharpest rising inflation rate, and second highest murder rate, severe scarcities of food, medicine, hospital equipment, and sanitary products have invalidated decades ...
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Drones, Human Rights, and Donald Trump

During the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton announced that it would only take four minutes for an order from the president to launch a nuclear attack to be converted into action, continuing a debate over if Donald Trump has the correct temperament to be in charge of the world’s most advanced nuclear arsenal. While there are indeed no foolproof safeguards in place to prevent Trump from firing irrationally, there’s also not much evidence that his nuclear policy is completely insane. H...
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After King’s Death, Thailand Is Vulnerable

A couple weeks back, the Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej died after years of prolonged illness. Given the king’s reputation, the massive outpouring of grief was unsurprising. Government employees have been ordered to wear black for a year, the infamous red light district in Bangkok has all but shut down, and the mourning has gotten so severe that there is a shortage in black clothing. The response makes sense, given how much the Thai people loved him. For many Thais, Bhumibol was a people’s king...
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