Prohibition Continues for Women in Sri Lanka

On January 14, 2018, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena reversed a new law that would have allowed women over the age of 18 to purchase alcohol for the first time in 39 years since 1979. The law had been decided just a week earlier by the country’s finance minister, mangala Samaraweera in an effort to “restore gender neutrality” and remove remnants of sexism from the statutes. It would have also allowed women to work in bars without a state permit. To put the law in context, when it wa...
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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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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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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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Brewing War in Myanmar

Violence has once again found its place in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar. On October 9th, a group of militants launched a coordinated attack on three border posts, killing nine police officers and wounding five. In retaliation, according to eyewitness reports, Myanmar soldiers shot several unarmed civilians the next morning. Since then, several groups of armed civilians began aggressively calling for war. One man said, “The fighting can start now, today. The Myanmar Army tried to search for...
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While US Tightens Sanctions, North Korea Continues Unfazed

On Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order imposing even more sanctions against the DPRK for its continued violations of the six-party talks. In response to these and UN sanctions, Kim Jong-Un ordered nuclear missile tests to come in the near future. Today, North Korea also announced that American Otto Warmbier has been sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor. Warmbier, a student at UVA, was arrested in January at the end of his holiday trip to the DPRK for “perpetrating a host...
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Red Alert: China’s Suffocating Smog Problem

Beijing, as well as a vast area from Xian in central to China to Harbin in the frigid north-east are in the midst of a hazardous “red-alert” smog. This is the second alert to be issued in Chin, the first warning was given only a little more than a week ago. Residents in Beijing especially are being advised to omit from going outdoors and are even undergoing restrictions on the use of vehicles, factories and construction work. The health effects are alarming. Long-term exposure to PM2.5—particul...
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After Massacre, Le Pen and National Front Benefits

Amid the aftermath of massacre in Paris on Saturday, some French politicians have decided to politicize the tragedy in time for December’s regional elections. The main culprit: Marine le Pen and the National Front, the far-right party she leads. In the last three weeks of the campaign season, Le Pen and her party has called for the immediate halt of all intake of migrants in France in a statement released following the massacre. These statements also echo similar ones from other far-right gro...
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Breakfast at Sodiam’s: The Central African Republic’s Diamond Nightmare

Civil war rages on in the Central African Republic for nearly three years now, with tremendous human suffering. The most recent figures put the number of displaced people at 800,000, with another 2 million in dire need of assistance. For a country whose pre-war population was close to 4.6 million people, these statistics attest to the chaos that has engulfed civil society. Before taking on its current magnitude, the conflict started with a quasi-routine coup d’état: President François Bozize was...
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