Monday, November 23, 2015

US military helicopter crashes in South Korea, killing 2 Americans

2 Americans have died in a catastrophic helicopter crash. The cause of the crash, however, is under investigation. The crash occurred during a routine training mission. The area in Wonju that the helicopter crashed is located only 80 miles away from Seoul. "The helicopter may have hit high-voltage power lines or a nearby steel tower ", said a South Korea news outlet. Malfunctions in technology happen all the time, but hopefully this was just that: a malfunction.  Luckily there were no casualties on the ground. 
South Korea, which is still technically a war zone, currently houses 28,500 American troops.

Ellen Kent

Photos from Burma’s Civil War

Burma is a country which means its a statistical inevitability that its going to have a civil war, these are some pictures, and even some words talking about those pictures. And also some well placed shilling for the authors book Little Pieces.

Aside from the breathtaking pictures, the article outlines Myanmar's unflattering Guinness world records, like how it is the third largest Opium producer in the world, and how it is second most dangerous place to be a religious minority outside of everything owned by ISIS.

Outside of these Snapple facts, there are the hard truths. Burma was once a colony of Great Britain, who forced the many ethic groups to get along, and so, stop me if you have heard this one before, once Great Britain left, things went from bad to unending violent civil war. "Since 1947 over 30 different ethnic armies have fought the Burmese military for autonomy on some scale." Due to the fact that the conflict has been going on for a little over six decades its no surprise it won't on the news tonight. However, Burma was recently in the news for having their first democratic elections.

And they all lived happily every after, just like every other country with democracy. Which means they have problems involving the legitimacy of this democracy. In reality the less democratic part of the government set up a constitution some years ago in 2008, guaranteeing  the military (the antagonist of this story) at least 25% of the Parliament and requiring over 75% of the vote to change anything significant. What a coincidence.

Finally to put a the sprinkles on top of this shit, so we can call it a cupcake, they have instituted a policy barring any person from running for president if they have children who are foreign citizens. This seems unimportant at first, unless you consider that the most important political figure who could stop this madness just so happens to be ineligible because of that last clause. Maybe someday they will make a clause saying anyone who has a good idea gets thrown in jail immediately, so that the remaining people in power wont be smart enough to breathe properly, then they all suffocate.

Stuart Young

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WHO Criticized While Ebola Continues

A report was released which condemns the World Health Organization’s recent handling of the Ebola epidemic according to The Guardian’s Health Editor, Sarah Boseley. Reviewed by a group of 20 experts as part of a joint Harvard Global Health Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine endeavor, the results of the analysis led to the recommendation that WHO “be stripped of its role in declaring disease outbreaks to be an international emergency.” For the future, the report delineates that a source outside the WHO’s politics should be used for such declarations. Per the director of Harvard Global Health Institute, Ashish Jha, ‘people at WHO were aware that there was an Ebola outbreak that was getting out of control by spring…and yet it took until August to declare a public health emergency. The cost of delay was enormous.’ Just as a few new cases of Ebola have developed in Liberia, Jha and his collaborators are insisting on a transparent and technically strong “emergency standing committee,” which is “protected from political pressures” and has an ensured budget along with accountability within WHO, to determine when an epidemic is an international-scale risk. The experts are also advocating that the United Nations establish a committee on global health to guarantee that “high-level political attention” is given to such outbreaks when necessary. Calling on small countries to respond quicker to these situations, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Peter Piot, hopes to ‘strengthen core capacities in all countries to detect, report and respond rapidly to small outbreaks, in order to prevent them from becoming large-scale emergencies.’
This really hits home given that we had our own Ebola-like virus to deal with in our global simulation exercise. Diseases should definitely be respected and handled in a way that will best limit their impact. It sounds as if there was a lot learned from this Ebola epidemic which claimed 11,000 lives and is still ongoing in Liberia. Hopefully, the new recommendations will avoid such a tragedy in the future as people learn to put safety before any type of politics.

Amanda Zgonina

So Honduras caught people with fake passports. The only reason anyone cares is because there are concerns that they were trying to get into the U.S. via Honduras. They were European passports and apparently most European countries doesn't have to apply for a visa because somehow they are less dangerous than any other part of the world and less likely to stay. It is most definitely not racist at all. While we are on the subject of definitely not racist things going on in the world can I just point out that literally the whole world news in the U.S. is centered around the western powers and Russia. It's all U.S., Belgium, France Russia and Syria, of course Syria is only on the news because it affects the west. It's probably my fault though for only checking U.S. based news sources.
Joceline Hernandez

Understanding Mali: what went wrong and what can we do?

To understand Mali today, we have to back to its political history and geolocation . As for the geolocation, Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 14.5 million. Its capital is Bamako . Mali is bordered by Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire to the south, Guinea to the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west. Subsequently, the history of Mali is a concoction of majesty -- as the nation which once constituted one of the biggest African empire -- and of anguish -- as the nation becomes more and more devastated by various armed groups. Mali political, social, and economic woes that are ravaging, decimating, and annihilating any hope, aspirations, and prospects of a better tomorrow has equipped the nation to become the hotspot of insurgency movement and more likely, as we witnessed this week, terrorist bases of operation. In brief, the history of the country is really important to understand in order to find optimistic strategies to eradicate the path that the country is heading towards. In addition, we also need to understand how its geopolitical location has affected the country expecially after the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In fact, lawlessness in Libya has spread across the Sahel region of northern Africa due to a spread of weapons which fell into the hands of such armed groups and fueled unrest in the region.

Human Right watch report says Bahrain is torturing detainees

U.K has been helping the small island of Bahrain, but they have been accused of ignoring human rights in the hand of detainees in Bahrain. According to Britain, Bahrain is only following the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent investigation commission to take step to reform police forced judicial system and prison services.  The U.K states that they are only helping this small Island by putting them back on their feet in many aspects including Human rights. There has been many confession of detainees stating that they have been beaten, kicked, stripped naked, blindfolded and handcuff plus many more horrifying things. It was said that non of those who confessed are reliable, but I believe they are, if they were being detained they had to be exposed to these actions. I do not think U.K should keep fuding there security services if they are breaking any type of human right, its inhuman.Why would anybody want to be affiliated with something so bad. Although they said that all those who are detained are terrorist it does not give them right to punish them or to take away their human rights.

Noelia Reyes

Mali Hotel Attack Claimed by Al Qaeda

Earlier this week, a terrorist attack was taken out in Mali, specifically its capital city, Bamako. The attack was reported to have killed 20 people, and claimed by Al Qaeda. In addition to the atrocities, 170 civilians were taken hostage. Relative to the recent terrorist attacks, Mali followed the horrific attacks that took place in Paris,Beirut and Lebanon too. The incidence and time of this attack in Mali links back to 2013 when President of France, Francois Hollande sent 3,700 troops to Mali to aid in halting the Al Qaeda terrorism that was taking place in Mali at the time. It wasn't long before Al Qaeda functions in Mali were stopped by French forces, however, recent attacks portray a form of uprising from the terrorist groups again. One should also keep in mind how these terrorist attacks took place during the same week, and the 2013 incidence of Al Qaeda eraditcation in Mali. It is uncertain whether these attacks have a correlation, nevertheless, the similarity isn't what matters, rather peace should be the goal. Although media isn't doing a phenomenon job of portraying this tyranny in Mali, I believe more should be done. It is evident that certain parts of the world are in crisis, and with the collective action being taken by major powers, hope is vital.

By Arnold Gatondwe

Presidential contest changed due to Paris attacks

Since the Paris bombings, there has been quite the scare here in the United States. It is effecting the presidential runnings too because in a recent poll, Americans are more worried about terrorism, than the economy like they once used to be. American's are now fearing Muslims and Syrian refugee more than before as well because of the recent attacks but its interesting to me in this article that it is automatically blamed on the Muslims to be ISIS. The ISIS people who are in America most likely do not even look Muslim because ISIS members can be anyone. I think that the Americans who are scared of the refugees are also unaware that these are mostly people fleeing for their lives and are not going to be terrorists. ISIS already has many plans and the terrorists can be any average person. They are also fearing that Obama has not done enough for homeland security since the recent attacks, but it is hard to do that because of the fact that many of the terrorists here are homegrown americans or legally here and not exactly people who are trying to get here to attack. We are also in the middle of a war in the Middle East so it is also difficult to enforce homeland security as well because we are trying to figure out relations with some of the countries there as well.

Samantha Koldenhoven

Brussels on security clampdown; new arrests in Paris probe

Although there was no official reason stated, Belgium was in a state of heightened security. The government advised citizens to avoid going to public places that would have large crowds and also closed all subways in the capitol, Brussels. While there were some inconveniences, like a canceled soccer game, most would agree this shutdown was beneficial. On the same day, three other men were arrested on suspicion on helping the Paris attacks last week. A fourth man was also arrested but was later released. The article also goes on to state that Salah Abdeslam is on the run and has an international search warrant. Abdeslam was questioned by the police a few hours after the terrorists attacks but was eventually released since the police did not know he was a suspect during that time.

Ben Reynold

Donald Trump 'not opposed to Muslim database' in US

Apparently the republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that a Muslim data base shall be created in United States or special ID cards be used for Muslims and that it is just a necessary measure needed for proper execution of security. For obtaining ‘information and learning about the enemy’. The article also talks of trump making comments in the past like ‘mosques be taken into surveillance and Syrians be deported’. The article also sheds light on the view of some other republicans who share Trump’s point of view and calls on for halt on the Syrian refugee processing. Also interesting is the comparison made by Ben Carson, perhaps another republican where he calls Muslims Dogs and ISIS a rabid one and he says we should watch out for the rabid dog and put our children away but that doesn't mean we hate all dogs.

If asked to analyse I would say it is not only distressing but indeed sad. Such comments coming from a major political party’s candidate who is to run for presidential elections the coming year; it really seems out of place. What else do you call racism when you draw that line of me and you? Would these serve as examples of humanity and religious freedom in today’s time?

Aria Khan

China joins war on ISIS after deaths of four Chinese citizens

China declared yesterday that it will officially join the fight against ISIS after the group executed or "inadvertently" killed four Chinese citizens this week. Two days ago, an ISIS terrorist attack on a Mali hotel killed at least 19 people, many of whom were international citizens; 3 of the dead were Chinese businessmen. Additionally, ISIS also executed two long-held prisoners: Fan Jinghui, a Beijing native, and Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, a Norwegian man. Both men had been published in ISIS' official magazine as "for sale," but the group released a statement saying that negotiations with "kafir" (non-Muslim) nations and organizations had fallen through, and both were executed. President Xi Jinping spoke out strongly against the incidents, saying that China would proceed to entrench itself with the international community in order to crack down on the terrorist organization.

If China follows through on its promises, it would be a huge addition to the existing coalition of major world powers vowed to engage in war against ISIS; indeed, China would be the last of the UN's permanent security council members to join the fight, alongside the U.S., Russia, Britain, and France. China has a massive military force which would make a substantial impact in the war, with over 2 million active personnel on duty. So far, however, China has not said anything about joining the system of airstrikes being carried out by the other major powers. It has also been reluctant thus far to put boots on the ground, despite Beijing loudly pushing for increased Chinese involvement in the physical war. China has a very muddy relationship with other world powers, so it will be interesting to see how this new cooperation will play out. As history has shown us, though, nothing makes stronger bonds between powerful nations like a common enemy.

Samantha Johnson

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brussels on lockdown

Brussels under imminent threat. Brussels is preparing for a terrorist attack similar to the one in Paris. They are securing Brussels and cancelling public events and shutting down the subway system. There is also warnings to all citizens to stay off the streets but if they have to, avoid large crowds.
    This isn't all out of paranoia though; a Brussels resident was arrested because there were weapons found in their house. Apparently the area the resident had lived in had been where atleast 3 of the Paris attackers lived. There has been police raids all over the neighborhood.
    There was a serious threat presented to Belgium and this is why they have increased their security to this extreme. The possible targets are all public places. Due to these terrorist attacks and also Mr. Abdeslam, terrorist involved in the Paris attacks, getting away. There is a huge manhunt for him.
    Over 500 Belgiums have left to go fight FOR Isis and Belgium is  suspected of being a big contributor to these foreign fighters.
    Everything that is happening is absolutely terrifying. People are afraid to lead their normal lives because they are in danger. No one knows when the next attack is coming but  apparently the best way to plan for it or stop it is extreme lockdown? Maybe this is a good idea but maybe not. This is what Isis wants though. They are showing how much power they have and they are installing fear into the people. They are disrupting millions of lives and wreaking havoc. Hopefully this terror ends soon and Isis is put down.

~Paulina Noga

'Four Britons and two Australians' among NZ crash dead

The article is talking about a helicopter crash that happened at around 11am Saturday morning in New Zealand.
The New Zealand police say that they believe that four British and two Australian tourists are among the seven people killed in a helicopter crash that happened on the country's South Island at Fox Glacier.  They talk about the crash sight and say that the helicopter crashed into a crevasse at Fox Glacier.  So far rescuer's have found no sign of survivors of the crash, but bad weather is hindering the search.  The police believe that the helicopter is a Eurocopter "Squirrel" that is operated by the local firm called Alpine Adventure.  The police are also working with the two corresponding embassies in order to notify the families that are involved in the crash about their loved ones.  The crash is also being investigated on how and why it happened.

Ashley Karling

Friday, November 20, 2015

As France and Belgium Strengthen Security, a Classic Debate Arises

France and Belgium have forced their security troops after the shocking attack in Paris. 
However, a debate that arises is how to balance the counterterrorism efforts and the liberties of the civilians. These countries have decided that with everything going on, they will put the citizen's protection ahead of their considerations for now. France is already being patrolled by heavily armed soldiers, and now police officers who are off duty will be allowed to carry firearms and use them. Personally, I think that is a good idea because the citizens need to be protected first. Countries of Europe need to be able to avoid another possible terrorist attack. If for that it takes troops to be everywhere, then that is okay. 

By: Miljana Kumati

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kazakhstan Jails Pro-Russian 'Separatist' Blogger

A fundamental principle of the human rights is that all individuals have the right to freedom of opinion and expression.  On November 19, 2015, Mansur Mirovalev wrote an article in the human rights section of This article discusses various aspects of a Russian blogger facing five years in prison for publicizing an online poll. “An ethnic Russian blogger from Kazakhstan's east was given five years in jail for publishing an online poll as whether his region should follow Ukraine's Crimea did, court officials said on Thursday.”
The blogger alleged that he did not create the poll and removed the link as soon as the poll became controversial.
        The primary point is that blogs and other various forms of social media are used everywhere without specific rules. Specifically, I have this blog because schools encourage students to participate in this type of communication. Internet is the electronic thread that connects the world. However, the Internet has routinely been blamed for creating chaos such as unauthorized and confidential information leaks and active recruitment of terrorism. As soon as children learn how to read and write, they immediately want to participate in social media. I strongly believe that the Internet needs to be regulated in order to definitely delineate what is truly illegal behavior with respect to Internet usage.

Yiby Person

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Obama Calls on Beijing to Stop Construction in South China Sea

President Obama called on China on Wednesday to halt its construction on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea.  He urged the Chinese to stop military activities there and endorsed a process of arbitration to settle differences between Beijing and its Southeast Asian neighbors. The United States takes no position on the territorial claims of various Asian governments in the region, but President Obama has aggressively sought to defend the right of free navigation in the South China Sea.  I think this will be interesting to see how it all plays out because of the global power race between China and the US. 

Tom Sora

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

King of Jordan warns of 'world war' against humanity

Jordan's King Abdullah II warned us of a third war against humanity and that ISIS is a group of savage outlaws of religion. Obviously everyone around the world has been thinking this especially after the attacks on Paris recently but Jordan's King was really the first one to come out and explicitly say that we are basically in another world war against this very dangerous group. He hopes the acts of ISIS will bring countries closer together. You kind of already see this as Chicago had a meeting to talk about the procedures to take if they are attacked. I'm sure other major cities have done the same. The fear of knowing that ISIS can attack anywhere at anytime has to bring countries and states together so everyone has a plan. Most of Europe is already acting fast on this issue and we hope the US continues to do the same.

Hayden Witt

Monday, November 16, 2015

Putin to send 150,000 troops to Syria to wipe out ISIS

Putin has pledged to send in 150,000 troops, many of the recent conscripts in order to wipe out ISIS. Russian airstrikes have destroyed several ISIS outposts. Al Qaeda have issued a statement warning Russia that Syria will become their Vietnam. It also complicated matters for France, who are unlikely to coordinate their own military campaign with Russia without US backing due to the fact that there is a risk of French troops being killed by Russian friendly fire, which would be an international disaster.

This has become a race to the city of Raqqa, which is vital to the Islamic state due to its adjacent oil fields which they are using to fuel and fund their so called Caliphate. Russia has pledged to scale up their airstrikes.

Following the recent attacks in Paris and Putin's involvement in Syria, the British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama have pledged to send in special forces and ramp up their drone and airstrikes.

Russia reveals giant nuclear torpedo in state TV 'leak'

Russia had accidentally revealed technical details of a torpedo being built on a state television channel in Russia. My first reaction to the article is how dumb could you be to have such a document be leaked on national television. After reading the entire article, I believe Russia leaked these documents deliberately on national television. The torpedo is called the status 6. This torpedo is extremely devastating. I was shocked at its capabilities. The torpedo can go as fast as 115 miles per hour and avoid traps and tracking devices. The trajectory of the torpedo is 1000 meters. It was developed by Rubin, a submarine design station. If the torpedo were to hit the United States, it would cause a tsunami on the coast and radiation. Everything in the ocean would be dead. I do not think this leak should concern the United States, because they already seem to have a plan in place. The United States is developing a sea-based Aegis ballistic missile defense system. Air defense missiles are currently stationed in Romania and Poland. It seems that America already has a planned in placed, which I would hope they do have. Also, the status 6 some say is a cobalt bomb. A cobalt bomb has never been tested, because of the devastating radiation it would cause. I doubt Russia would ever use this type of bomb on the United States, because of our second strike capabilities. America should not be any more concerned of Russia then they were before this leak happened. I think Putin is just up to his usual trying to make Russia seem more powerful than it really is. There could be some sort of national pride happening here. Putin may have had this leak happen, because he wants his Russian citizens to know that Russia is powerful. I think Russia should be very careful messing with America. America is not the tree you want to bark on. It is going to be interesting how not only the United States responded, but also how other European countries respond. This would capture my attention if I was a European country especially a weaker one. Also, the technology that states have today is just scary. We can easily just destroy each other if we wanted to. The power of this technology is in the hands of the few. I hope they do not screw up, because we are all dead if they do.

Milto Deli


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Human trafficking survivor: I was raped 43,200 times

Look at that sensationalist headline! It both catches the eye and boggles the mind. That sounds like the kind of number is generally seen in a Mercedes commercial for the cheapest model of their newest car, or when talking about the amount of people who were affected by depression in the US last year. But no, this number reflects the amount of time a woman was sexually abused, and it is very simple. Its math. "She says up to 30 men a day, seven days a week, for the best part of four years -- 43,200." When you multiply those numbers and get the result you can really compare it to the common idea of rape in the US. A woman gets raped a number of times while in an abusive relationship with a relative or "loved one," but in the end, enough is enough and she tries to get help. However, in a place where there may literally be no hope, there is no end to the sexual abuse.

This story comes from a woman named Karla Jacinto who experienced an enormously small part of this incredibly large industry that spans the border between the United States and Mexico. One town in particular seems to facilitate these crimes, Tenancingo, Mexico. It has connections to Mexico City, New York City and Atlanta, among others. This woman's story starts long, long ago in a country not really that far away, where from the age of 5 she recalls being abused. Situations like these clearly illustrate how negatively the criminalization of prostitution affects the sex slaves involved in it. There are no quaint shanty towns in Mexico that serve as the epicenter in the dangerous vacuum cleaner market.

Stuart Young

France Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria in Retaliation for Attacks

President Francois Hollande who vowed to be "unforgiving" with the barbarians, has led bombings to the Syrian city of Raqqa.

On Sunday night, France launched the most aggressive strike against ISIS. Although France had been launching light airstrikes, after the tragic events that occurred on Friday, France plans on making sure that ISIS knows that they are better off staying within the territory that it controls.

With the help of American forces, France led 12 French aircraft and 10 fighter jets that successfully destroyed two Islamic state targets in Raqqa, which is the self proclaimed ISIS' capital.

Although civilians are never the target, there without a doubt had to be some number of injured civilians, however, none have been reported yet, but with the attack on the radicals, there were museums, clinics, and other buildings that were hit.

Rosie Torres

15 Sudanese Migrants Killed at Egypt-Israel Border, Officials Say

15 migrants from Sudan were killed at the border of Egypt and Israel. They were shot by the Egyptian policemen trying to get into Israel through Egypt. Overall, 33 migrants have been killed by Egyptian police officers over the past year and a half. For Egypt, it is going to be hard to get people to want to go there now. It is not good that they are killing people who are trying to get into a bordering country. When people try to get into Israel, they are getting sent back to Egypt and Egypt is then not treating the people humanely. This goes to the human rights issues we were talking about, it is hard to find a good way to go about trying to fix these issues. Something does need to be done about this because people are not going to be able to get to Israel at all anymore if people are still living in fear that they are going to get shot.

Samantha Koldenhoven

French jets bomb Syria in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa

French jets bomb Syria in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa

This article is about France bombing an ISIS stronghold on Sunday after they had claimed responsibility for the multiple terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. The stronghold was in ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa, Syria. The attack included twelve aircrafts, where twenty bombs were dropped and all the targets that France was after were destroyed. However, ISIS has been expecting retaliation so they had evacuated all of their key buildings, causing there to be no casualties during the airstrike. As part of a collaboration with the U.S., France has been directing airstrikes against ISIS since September, but because of the bombings in Paris, the French believe that it is an act of war.
The recent attack in Paris has brought the entire world on alert as ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. In addition to the airstrikes in Syria, the violent acts were continued; as ISIS will not be stopped until action is taken and justified consequences are established for the terrorists responsible for the attacks. I believe the airstrikes by the French was justified retaliation in response to the event in Paris. Although the airstrikes had been in commission since September, the moment for action for the French was now because of the “act of war” from this past Friday. While ISIS has been active for well over a year now, it has just recently broke into the media of the world and I conclude this will initiate a cascading series of attacks via ISIS and global superpowers.

Noelia Reyes

EU offers Aid to Africa to stem migration

As we know, there has been an immense migration crisis in Europe to crisis. However, the increase of migrants called for a meeting of EU leaders to find strategic ways to reduce and possibly eradicate migration in Europe. The topic of African migration has been talked about for years, however, with the recent rise of migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, it seems as if African migration is facing a future halt. The EU leaders decided to donate $2billion to African nations in addition to annual 20 million Euros given to Africa, in an effort to end poverty, and reduce poverty. 

It is interesting to see this sudden change by the European nations, however, one should also keep in mind, Europe is to partially blame for Africa's tyranny. The post-colonial era in Africa is one compromised of hunger, famine, war, and poverty. I am not against the current actions of the EU to help Africa, however, I want to know why they hadn't done it sooner. Despite all this, I believe the action being carried out by the EU will be beneficial for the South Asian and Middle East migrants because it will reduce deaths at sea, and also provide a new life for them. Europe is clearly facing a serious issue, but I don't think reducing African migrants will solve the issue. If you are sending Africans back to a land they fled from due to war and poverty, will the monetary aid buy peace?

By Arnold Gatondwe


Obama and Putin Talk at G20 Meeting

Per BBC, President Obama shook hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin today at the Group of Twenty, or G20, global economic summit meeting and the two not so compatible leaders have been talking in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. According to European Council President Donald Tusk, while speaking at the meeting, Russia’s cooperation with the U.S. is ‘crucial’ to stopping IS in Syria. He urged that Russian military operations, particularly those forces on the ground, concentrate on opposing the militants of IS rather than ‘moderate’ Syrians. He further asserted that Russia’s air strikes are aggravating the Syrian refugee situation, causing a “new wave of refugees.”  In light of the Paris killings, Obama has pledged to ‘redouble’ his efforts in ending the civil clash in Syria. Both he and U.S. ally leaders believe Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad should “stand down” to resolve the political unrest, while Putin is thought to be supportive of keeping his known ally Assad in power.

It will be interesting to see what agreement Obama and Putin will make under the push of the European Council President. One would hope that Putin would see a benefit to halting IS regardless of his relationship with Assad. Perhaps the recent tragedies of the Russian plane crash victims and the Paris terrorist victims will soften Putin on the idea of working with the U.S. and its allies. Also, if an end can be brought to Syria’s civil war through the stepping down of Assad, will that facilitate an end to IS?

Amanda Zgonina

Ghosts of the Mountains

High up in the Himalayan mountains, lives an animal that is a perfect example of evolutionary adaptation. This animal is the Snow Leopard and they are extremely rare to find in wild, but now due to rapid climate change, it is even harder to find one of these fantastic beasts. The snow leopard is perfectly adapted to the steep mountain cliffs and the frigid temperatures that are present in the Himalayas. Unfortunately for the snow leopard, this habitat is becoming ever smaller due to increasing global temperatures. Not only is the snow leopard losing its habitat, its food supply is also diminishing due to increasing advancement of humans.

Now the governments of the 12 Asian countries that the snow leopard currently inhabits are banding together in an attempt to protect the animal from extinction. These countries of agreed to enforce stricter penalties on illegal pouching of these animals and to set up safe sanctuaries for the snow leopard to live in. In addition, the UN Secretary-General has called on all nations to implement stricter pollution regulation in an attempt decrease the trend of climate change that affects all animal species on this planet, humans included.

While the decreasing population of an already rare animal may seem trivial given some of the world events currently playing out, the reasons for these decreases affect humans everyday. The increased temperatures in the Himalayas affect the water supply for the nearly 330 million people that live in that area. Also, the melting of the snow caps can and already has caused sever flooding. Such drastic affects of climate change are seen throughout the entire planet and can dire consequences for every single living creature that inhabits this planet.

Tyler Allen
Full Article:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's family members indicted in U.S. court

Well this is awkward. The U.S. arrested the Venezuelan resident's family members while they were in Haiti and accused them of drug trafficking. It is too early in the investigation to know how true anything is but there are still so many other questions. For example were they diplomats from Venezuela to Haiti in which case doesn't the arrest violate diplomatic immunity? If for some reason it doesn't, Haiti has said that they were not a part of the raid in which case doesn't it violate state rights? I don't know but I'm sure it doesn't matter since it is the U.S. that is doing it.
Joceline Hernandez

Paris Attacks

We are all very aware of the situation that is developing in Paris and the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks. We as Americans are too familiar with the situation that Paris is in, sadly. The hardest part of the aftermath now is finding the individuals that are responsible for the attacks. Right now it is believed to be three brothers that are responsible for the attacks on Paris. One of the brothers died in the attacks and another was later arrested. The third was stopped heading towards the Belgian border and questioned there but nothing came of it and he was let go, we have no idea where he is now. There was a car that was found later that had three guns in it that are believed to have been the weapon that the terrorists used in the attack.  The terrorists are believed to be coming in with the refugees from Syria in the last couple of months.

Sadly, we are all familiar with what is happening in Paris due to the attacks on September 11th 2001. The situation they are going through is difficult for anyone to deal with and although it is happening in a foreign country it still hits people hard here because of what we went through as a country. Due to the attacks the security in New York City has been amped up and everyday there is a growing concern among the civilians about national security because we are well aware that they can strike at any time and we are way to familiar with the attacks and what they bring.
Jacob Cox

France launches major airstrike on ISIS stronghold in Syria

Sunday evening France carried out massive airstrikes on Raqqa, Syria, the stronghold thought to be the main center of ISIS activity. The airstrikes come very shortly after ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre in Paris this weekend that left well over 100 people dead at the hands of multiple suicide bombers and gunmen. France dropped over 20 bombs on Syria today, which comes as no surprise after the tragedy and after French officials vowed to escalate their force against the terrorist group. The bombs were targeting a command center, a training facility, an arms dealer, and a recruitment center in the terrorist-run city. The bombing is the most extensive use of force that France has demonstrated so far in the Middle East, but is still not as expansive as the airstrikes led by the U.S.

Following the Paris terrorist attack, the U.S. decided to incorporate France into its intelligence system, revealing information about targets in Syria for French airstrikes. The U.S. government plans to further open communication between France and the U.S. in order to assist France in expanding retaliation against ISIS. It is uncertain whether France will be allowed into the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance of the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Britain, but France will certainly now be privy to much more intelligence regarding the Islamic State than it was before. French and U.S. officials have been in close contact since the Paris attack, and both are talking of "concrete steps" to unite U.S. and French militaries in the fight against ISIS.

Samantha Johnson

Paris attacks: How will France respond?

In response to the recent terrorist attacks France has seen, President Francois Hollande stated Isis will now face a determined and united France. The article stated that a possible way for France to retaliate would be to use their advanced air striking capability. Though this is a good option, there is no clear Isis target which will make it difficult to single any of them out. This was not the first time France has seen an act of terrorism within its borders. France heighten its security after the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year, which resulted in the murder of 12 people. France also preformed air strikes in Syria a few months ago. With a long history of fighting terrorism, France is likely to retaliate against Isis for these attacks. There are some theories however, that these attacks could have been thought of inside of France, but seems very unlikely there was no outside influences.

Ben Reynold

Going back in History: Understanding Burundi political crisis ,and uses and abuses of the G-word

Burundi is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. It is also sometimes considered part of Central Africa. Burundi's capital is Bujumbura. Although the country is landlocked, much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika. Burundians -- a person from Burundi or of Burundian descent -- as well as Rwandans -- a person from Rwanda, or of Rwandan descent -- people are distinguished into three ethnic groups: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. However,in Rwanda, it is important to remark that after the genocide of 1994 ,and the aftermath audacity and tenacity of the government to rebuild the nation, the government policy adapted to recognize one main ethnicity: "Rwandan".
Recently, Burundi has undergone political turmoil that have claimed several hundreds casualties and left more than several thousands to flee the country into neighboring countries. In addition, the Burundian political unrest is more alarming to the the ongoing suspicions that the conflict may result into another Genocide as what happened in Rwanda, when Hutu led government perpetrated and implemented a widespread mass atrocity of Tutsi and any Hutu sympathizer. The Burundian political instability evoked in April 2015 after the ruling party announced President Pierre Nkurunziza would seek a third term in office. Protesters claimed Nkurunziza could not run for a third term in office but the country's constitutional court agreed with the President (although some of its members had fled the country at the time of its vote). While Nkurunziza was visiting Tanzania on May 13th, an attempted coup d'état failed to depose him. Nkurunziza returned to Burundi the following day and began purging his government and arrested several of the coup leaders. Following the attempted coup, protests however continued and over 100,000 people had fled the country by 20 May causing a humanitarian emergency.
To sum up, the use of the genocide to describe the ongoing political crisis is quite a misrepresentation of the conflict ,and further the country into more disdain and antipathy as the memory of past atrocities have still yet to be reconciled. Although, using the term ‘genocide’ to describe the killings in Burundi may suit the political objectives of those who indulge in it -- mainly, the opposition --, but it is also producing a negative side-effect which may well come back to haunt us all in the future. Among the negative effect, it is spreading fear, panic, and suspicion among the Burundians themselves and their neighbors, Rwandans, to whom the memory of Genocide is still dreadful and troublesome. Therefore, we should understand the conflict in Burundi which is for now mainly post election violence, as the opposition continues at large to denounce Nkurunziza's presidency as illegitimate while Nkurunziza and his supporters have responded with violence.

Seoul Rallies

Thousands of protesters rallied together in Seoul to protest against the South Korean President Park Geun-hye's labor and education policies. The President wants to give more power and leeway to the employers on firing their employees and also on having a few government-selected people write the high school history textbook. People in South Kore have a huge problem with these and they rallied. Unfortunately, the rally turned violent. The police used water cannon son the protesters and many got hurt. The police have detained people and are looking for the heads of the protests. Many believe that the police used excessive force and I agree. It seemed like a peaceful protest until the police started using water cannons and tear gas which prompted the protesters to go after some of the police with steel pipes and to try and move the buses that the police were on.

Another problem that South Korean citizens have been having with the president is the slow response to the disaster with the ferry last year. 300 people died and people were angry about "authorities' slow response to the capsized vessel and for lax regulation of the shipping industry." Many want the president to step down. This protest was just one step that showed how many people had a problem with the president's actions. We constantly talk about the problems with North Korea but here are problems with South Korea too. Hopefully the government and the president hear the people out.

~ Paulina Noga

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Libya IS head 'killed in US air strike'

The Pentagon has made a statement saying that the Libyan IS head has been killed and that this plan had been already put into action before the terrorist strike took place in Paris.  By killing Abu Nabil, the recruitment of new Isil operatives in Libya is put to a standstill along with degrading Isil's ability to meet the groups objectives in Libya. This also hinders Isil's chances for finding new areas within Libya to be based out of.

Ashley Karling

Internal Political Confusion in Iran

As often as we hear about the radical policies and anti-American rhetoric from Iran, it seems the country is divided within itself, with the nuclear deal and the closing of the "not KFC" within the country.

The fact that a businessman was looking to  open a "not KFC" indicates that there likely would have been a market for it, the Iranian people are not immune to cultural diffusion from the United States. The current president has moderate views, and looks to strengthen relations with the west, and there are many moderate journalists.

However, the KFC was closed by hardliners fearing said cultural diffusion,  and several moderate journalists have been arrested for supporting the nuclear deal. To which the President responded by removing funding from hardline newspapers who were criticizing the nuclear deal.

We may only be shown the more extreme side of Iran, but the situation is much more complex than that, and although Iran won't be opening up for good any time soon, there are people, even some with positions of power, who want to do so.

Blane Erwin

Friday, November 13, 2015

Paris Attacks Kill More Than 100, Police Say; Border Controls Tightened

About 120 were killed in Paris after the terrorist attack. There was a massive shooting and explosions. The French president Francois Holland have announced that police and army troops will be mobilize. Also Holland said that the borders will be closed so no one can get in or out till they know who is behind this. In addition the French president has made a decision of emergency alert.
This terrorist attack comes after the attack on the French news paper Charlie Hebdo earlier this year. This attack is actually a serious of attacks that happened in one area starting from shooting in a concert and hostage were taken to the explosion near the stadium also there been a shooting in a restaurant at the same are. So far according the French news its about 120 people were killed and the number can go up because in this moment the police is trying to rescue some hostages. So far there is no claims responsibility about these series of attacks.
This is been a serious impact and the whole world is supporting Paris. this attack is not an attacking French its an attack for all humanity.  
Radhouane Ben Ida

Paris' 9/11

ISIS has struck again. French President has declared a state of emergency and has closed French borders. Absolute chaos in Paris right now. Multiple cases of suicide bombers, AK47s used on innocent civilians, and hundreds of hostages have been taken. One of the terrorists that is in custody in Paris has allegedly said that he is from Syria and he is an ISIS member. Concert-goers in one of the 7 locations has said that one of the gunman shouted "This is for Syria!" as he began his blind gunfire.
Some of the terrorists in the concert hall allegedly threw grenades at the faces of hostages in the concert hall. When is Obama FINALLY going to get it through his head that this is not an issue to be dealt with lightly? We may think we're safe, but I wouldn't be surprised if we have our own massacre by terrorists on home soil very, very soon.

Can we just make a damn move already, or will we continue to let ISIS and other radical groups murder hundreds and thousands of citizens? I have no doubt that we'll still be waiting at the end of 2016. I don't know about you all, but I'm not down with people massacring hundreds of citizens in France, beheading my fellow citizens, and the continuation of "Death to America" threats from states like Iran and Syria. I'm sick of this pacifist attitude that Obama has, with the exception of an occasional airstrike. ISIS should be long gone by now, and because of the lack of action by all states, they still exist and gun down hundreds of Parisians in a matter of hours.

Figure it out, Obama, do your job and get rid of ISIS.

Ellen Kent

Jihadi John Dead??

 U.S. officials announced Friday morning that after tracking “Jihadi John” for days, they launched an airstrike against him. The airstrike consisted of two hellfire missiles that hit his convoy outside of Raqqa at around 11:21pm. Officials are confident that he’s been killed; they believe this is a symbolic victory, not only for the U.S., but also for the collation and our partners.

Mohammed Emwaz better known as “Jihadi John” was a British citizen who began radicalization in 2009 and joined ISIS in 2012. He rose through the ranks of ISIS and became a central figure in recruitment and hostage videos for ISIS.

He has been described as “a human animal, and manifestation of evil.” It is said “killing him is probably making the world a little bit better place." British Prime Minister David Cameron said that once it is confirmed Emwazi is dead "it will strike at the heart of ISIS."

“Syrian activists in Raqqa reported that four ISIS foreign fighters, including a leader with British nationality, were killed by the coalition airstrike.”

If in fact Emwazi was the British leader “it would be a significant step in the anti-ISIS fight for the West.” He wasn’t a major political or tactical figure within ISIS but he was a symbolic one, especially because of the role he played in recruiting efforts and the groups overall public image. He is well known for hostage beheading videos in which he appeared with American, British and Japanese citizens.

It will be interesting to see if in fact Emwazi is dead how ISIS will retaliate, and where or not this his death will really be a significant enough factor to effect the war against ISIS. Only time will tell weather or not killing him was a better move then trying to keep him alive to gain information that could help us in the war against ISIS.

Ashley Rot