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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After King’s Cremation, Thailand Potentially Unstable

After a year and two weeks since his death, the former Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej has finally been cremated, ending a year-long mourning period, and making the reign of his son Maha Vajiralongkorn official. During the cremation, hundreds of thousands of Thais, all dressed in black, mourned along the procession in Bangkok, hoping to see the elaborate golden royal urn. Once the king’s ashes were interred, people went back to work in a Thailand that has been in political limbo. One issue i...
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North Korea Is Not Backing Down Anytime Soon: Here’s Why (or Here’s Who)

On October 1st, TransTeleCom began providing Internet connection to North Korea. What is interesting about this is that TransTeleCom is a major state-owned telecommunications company- from Russia. The connection first appeared on routing databases around 5:38p.m. in Pyongyang time (which is not in line with how time is tracked by location, in its effort to “break from imperialism”). Prior to this, Internet connection was funneled through only one line: the route between North Korean ISP Star ...
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In Case You Forgot, It’s Dangerous To Be The Opposition In Russia

  On October 2nd, a Russian court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 20 days in prison after he was accused of violating a law on organizing public meetings. The charges, which can carry a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail, were in response to a major rally Navalny had planned to hold in Vladimir Putin’s hometown of Saint Petersburg on October 7th, the Russian president’s 65th birthday. His sentence of 20 days will prevent him from being able to attend his rally,...
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A Modern Medieval Nightmare

Streets that lack asphalt, houses without water and electricity and whole communities wanting in proper access to schooling and healthcare— while this might sound like a description of a medieval town this is the reality for hundred millions of people in India. The Indian slums are known as prime examples of the economic theory of the poverty traps. What this theory states is that a certain set of factors such as low level of savings, poor education and/or poor healthcare can cause a self-perpet...
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