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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ISIS and Women

Although it seems that the sun is setting on ISIS’ power as a terrorist group and quasi-state, recent findings suggest there has been a resurgence in recruitment, particularly of women. While initially, ISIS was highly reticent of female recruits, even going so far as to discourage them from joining, the need to build the caliphate and even manage women in captured areas has annulled this standard. According to a Times article, the existing social-media framework used to recruit male foreign fi...
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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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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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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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