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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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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