World Health Organization declares Zika virus global health emergency

In May of last year, an outbreak of the Zika virus was discovered in Brazil.  Less than a year later, the virus has spread to over twenty countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, prompting the World Health Organization to declare it an international public health emergency in early February. An increasing body of evidence links the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, to microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and, consequently, inco...
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U.N. crowdfunding app helps feed Syrian refugees

On Thursday, the United Nations World Food Programme released a new crowdfunding app in order to help feed Syrian children in Jordanian refugee camps. ShareTheMeal, available for iPhone and Android smartphones, encourages users to “share their meals” with these young refugees by donating as little as $0.50, enough to feed a child for one day.  Those who log in to the app through Facebook can even compare their charity efforts to those of their Facebook friends -- a special gamification featur...
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Paris to ban traffic when pollution levels peak

Last week, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo rejoiced as France’s Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal agreed to institute cuts to traffic in Paris when pollution levels peak. Royal had previously called for the bans to be introduced after three consecutive days of high pollution levels, but later conceded that the bans, which will allocate alternate driving days for cars based on odd or even registration plate numbers, will be installed “whenever the region and city authorities demand it.” The move wa...
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Helping Refugees from Syria and Iraq

On Monday afternoon, the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society held a lunchtime meeting on refugee issues.  The event featured Rami Al-Maqsadi, the former director of the Syrian Refugees Ministry with the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse.  Al-Maqsadi spoke extensively about his first-hand experience working with refugees from Iraq and Syria, particularly emphasizing the challenges these displaced individuals face upon arriving in their new home country. Born in Bas...
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Weighing the Effects of Mass Sporting Events

When first thinking about mass sporting events such as the Olympics or World Cup, what comes to mind is a goldmine with unlimited tourism and buckets of money pouring down the streets of the host country. However, the reality usually pales in comparison to this image. The losses suffered by Greece at the end of the 2004 Olympics held in Athens are said to be a contributing factor to the country’s present financial instability. In addition, the profits made by South Africa for the World Cup were ...
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