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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Deadly Terrorist Attacks, But Do We Care?

Loud explosions rocked Somalia's capital Mogadishu on 28th of October. There was not one but two car bombs going off in the center of the city, leaving at least 23 people dead and 30 wounded. These attacks are not the first instances of bombings in Mogadishu, where approximately 300 people were killed in terrorist attacks last month. So far the militant Al-Shabaab group has taken the responsibility for the most recent attacks, but there are no confirmations from the regional law enforcement. Al-...
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A History of Division: Why Catalonia has chosen to declare independence

Spain faces a sudden political crisis due to Catalonia's declaration of independence. One of Spain's 17 autonomous provinces, Catalonia is one of Spain’s richest regions, containing the major city of Barcelona. The Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled the referendum in favor of secession on September 30, 2017 as illegal. However, president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont officially declared independence from Spain on October 27, 2017. This division between Spain and Catalonia has a histori...
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Crackdowns on LGBTQ+ Rights in Tanzania

Amidst protests and parades for LGBTQ+ equality in the United States, the fight for equal rights in Tanzania seems to be ostensibly getting worse. The recent crackdown certainly came as a surprise, as Tanzania has in the past been relatively tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in comparison to other African countries such as Kenya and Uganda. Although sodomy is punishable by life imprisonment, homosexuality was not criminalised, and as such, many could live normal lives without be...
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Syrian Kurds After ISIS

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated Raqqa from the Islamic State, replacing dead bodies that hung from railings with yellow and green flags and marking the end of ISIS’s control over its self-proclaimed capital. This allows the SDF and their parent group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to nearly complete their unification of a region of northern Syria they refer to as Rojava, which the PYD declared autonomous in 2016. While the liberation of Raqqa represents a triump...
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The Votes Heard Round The World

From Scotland to Crimea, self-determination has attracted much attention as independence movements across the globe have made big leaps towards self-rule. Though these movements, grounded in historical, ethnic and political disputes, have long existed, we have seen a resurgence of late in various regions’ pushes for independence. Recent votes in Catalonia and Kurdistan have captured the world’s attention and are likely to have far-reaching consequences for independence movements worldwide. &n...
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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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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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