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Iranian tanker explosion: East China Sea ecological disaster?
By admin February 27, 2018

Photo: RFA On the afternoon of February 14th, a fiery collision sank an Iranian tanker “Sangqi” from the Iranian National Tanker Company in the East China Sea. Under the raging fire is the tanker, which was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate oil. The contents of the taker entering the sea is very concerning when it

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Syrian Children’s living condition in Jordan
By admin February 26, 2018

UNICEF intends to study refugees’ conditions in Jordan camps. (AFP/ File Photo) If you live in a peaceful country, it is sometimes hard to imagine, at this time, there is a generation of children who are still living with the fear of bombings, starvation and illness on the other side of the world. As the

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China’s Efforts and Challenges in Optimizing its Fuel Consumption Structure
By admin February 23, 2018

© Otto333 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images Beijing, the capital city of China with a population of over 20 million, has experienced not only a fast pace economic growth but also an alarming environmental problem, specifically air pollution. In the past decade, Beijingers found that smog days were exceptionally frequent, particularly in winter times. The

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NASCAR, Talking Animals, and Closing the Protection Gap
By admin February 22, 2018

Many Americans will recognize brand jingles, talking geese and gecko mascots, red umbrellas, and NASCAR race-car drivers endorsing insurance brands. These insurance companies provide help to individuals and businesses to manage and mitigate risks. The traditional insurance market operates as a pooling of resources (through premiums) from its policyholders and pays affected policyholders who experience

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The Pervasiveness of the Rohingya Crisis.
By admin February 21, 2018

Source: The New York Time (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/30/world/asia/rohingya-coxs-bazar-bangladesh-myanmar.html )The picture shows a young individual playing soccer in a Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh In 1982, the state of Myanmar stripped the Rohingya people of citizenship. The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority in the Rakhine state, and 1982 marks the beginning of the crisis of the Rohingya

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Armenia’s Infrastructure: An Overview of Challenges and Possible Solutions
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Presence of well-functioning road and communications infrastructure is the cornerstone of economic progress and an inclusive society. Since its independence in 1991, there has been an urgent need in Armenia to rehabilitate the poor road conditions and upgrade the road system inherited from Soviet Armenia to meet the current political realities of the country and

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2018 Chinese Spring Festival travel is expected to change from “hard to get a ticket” to “back home comfortably”
By admin February 20, 2018

Chunyun, also referred to as the Spring Festival travel season or the Chunyun period, is a period of travel in China with extremely high traffic occurring around the time as the Chinese New Year. The period usually begins 15 days before Lunar New Year’s Day and lasts for about 40 days. The number of passenger-journeys

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Garbage Patch: Sore of the Earth
By admin February 16, 2018

In 2010, according to a research conducted by Dr. Jenna R. Jambeck and her team, an estimated 275 million metric tons of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries bordering the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of that waste has made its

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Tapping Superplatforms to Further Economic Growth & Financial Inclusion
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  Superplatforms, the “Platforms of Platforms” Experts have claimed that banks are decaying, but they have persisted over time. However, the entrance of new internet “superplatforms” into financial services may be the end for some traditional financial institutions.   Superplatforms are successful and regularly recognized on lists of the world’s most innovative and client-centered companies.

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Gender Issues in Armenian Politics
By admin February 14, 2018

After the recent municipality brawl in the capital of Armenia where a female legislator was attacked by her male colleagues, the issues women face in Armenian politics have resurfaced. Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has made progress on ensuring gender equality. Yet, there are still major issues related to gender

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A Massive Exodus of Venezuelans Shakes Latin America
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Source: The Guardian (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5374501/Mass-exodus-thousands-Venezuelans-flee-country.html) The picture shows one of the bridges that connect Venezuela with Colombia.   In the last twenty years, the world has witnessed a significant flow of forced migration. The recurrence of natural disasters due to climate change has affected millions of people living in the Third World, seeing their livelihood shattered

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Islamic Banks and Its Role in Development
By admin February 13, 2018

Islamic Banks appeared in the late 1950s and the earliest ones were established in Pakistan and northern India. Islamic banking is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Sharia (Islamic law) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. As such, a more correct term for Islamic banking is

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What to Expect from the Upcoming Munich Security Conference?
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Photo: MSC / Kuhlmann The 54th annual Munich Security Conference (MSC) will be held from February 16th to 18th in Munich, Germany. Approximately 500 senior government officials from the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia will participate in this meeting. According to the website, the conference agenda for the MSC 2018 will

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Comprehensive Diagnosis: Why are Olympic Games losing attraction?
By admin February 9, 2018

In 2016, nearly 3 billion people – or half of the total population on our planet – watched the Rio de Janeiro summer Olympic Games. In the United States, 27.5 million people watched the opening ceremony, and audience rating peaked at 19 when the U.S team entered the field. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee reports

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MENA: The Final Mobile Money Frontier
By admin February 8, 2018

  The mobile money industry has had a fantastic decade. We have seen how one connected handset can transform the life of not just its owner, but also the lives of his or her family and broader community. A mere ten years after M-Pesa launched in Kenya, the mobile money industry now celebrates an impressive

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The Uncertainty of Latin America’s Election Cycle
By admin February 6, 2018

Source: Brookings Institute (https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-state-of-democracy-in-latin-america/) Latin America has entered a period of significant political uncertainty. Starting last year in Honduras and Chile, between 2017 and 2019, fourteen of the eighteen countries in the region will go through major elections. This period of major political change in the region takes place in the context of major political

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Jerome Powell becomes the new chair of US Federal Reserve
By admin February 5, 2018

After the former US Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, left office, Jerome Powell will be sworn in today. Since the nomination of Powell at the end of last year, what policy the Federal Reserve will adopt has been a subject of concern. The Federal Reserve is responsible for fulfilling the responsibilities of the U.S. Central

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UN Commission on the Status of Women: How is Civil Society Involved?
By admin February 2, 2018

United Nations Headquarters in New York will host the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) from March 12th to 23rd; this year’s priority theme is “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”  CSW62 has a review theme as well: “participation in and access of women

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Major Economic Challenges Faced by MENA Countries
By admin January 31, 2018

Note: Graph from the World Bank The MENA countries contribute around $3.3 trillion in GDP every year, which accounts for about 4.5% of the world’s total economy. Most of the population in the MENA region concentrate in middle-income countries, which are home to about 60% of the world’s oil and 45% of the world’s natural

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Russia’s Upcoming Elections: The Main Challengers of Putin’s Candidacy
By admin January 26, 2018

On December 6, 2017 Russia’s incumbent president Vladimir Putin announced his intention to seek re-election once again. If Putin wins in April, 2018, he will serve another 6-year term as Russia’s president. Despite Russia’s economic challenges and international criticism of president’s crackdown on civil society, Putin has had consistently high approval rates among the electorate,

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Positive signal sent out as North and South Korea agreed to march together with single flag at Winter Olympics
By admin January 24, 2018

Last week, on January 17th, the Yonhap news agency reported that the North and South Koreans have agreed that the two national teams will march together at the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony under the Korean peninsula flag. The two nation-states also decided to form a unified women’s hockey team. North Korea will send 30 Taekwondo

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New Leadership Under South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa
By admin December 21, 2017

On Monday, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) rebuked President Jacob Zuma of South Africa by choosing Cyril Ramaphosa, an anti-apartheid protégé of Nelson Mandela and business tycoon as its new leader. With fierce rivalry in the race that exposed stark divisions in the party, Mr. Ramaphosa defeated cabinet minister Dlamini-Zuma, Mr. Zuma’s ex-wife, 2,440

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The Russian HIV Epidemic Continues to Grow
By admin December 20, 2017

For nearly two decades, Russia has been dealing with an HIV epidemic that has explosively grown in the past five years. Although it has gone unnoticed by the rest of the world until recently, reported cases of HIV have grown by an annual 10 percent since 2012. The crisis been exacerbated for three main reasons: 

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Universal Health Coverage Day 2017
By admin December 19, 2017

In a new report released by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, more than half of the world’s population cannot obtain basic health services. The findings, released in “Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report,” indicate that over 800 million people spend minimally 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses

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The Political Implications of US Recognition of Jerusalem
By admin December 13, 2017

Last week, President Trump announced that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, overturning decades of official US policy. Trump justify the move as a method to advance the peace process in the Middle East. Immediate reactions included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lambasting Trump’s announcement, warning that such a decision actually poses insecurity

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UNICEF Innovation Fund Investing in Social Change Technology
By admin December 12, 2017

  On December 8th, UNICEF announced the six start-up businesses that will receive funding from the Innovation Fund to continue their work in improving children’s lives using frontier technologies such as data science, virtual reality (VR), drones, and artificial intelligence (AI). The $12.6 million fund provides capital to early stage emerging tech companies that develop

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Initial Brexit Talks Result in Agreement, What Next?
By admin December 8, 2017

On Friday, British Prime Minister Theresa May and members of the European Union were able to finally hash out an initial round of Brexit agreements necessary to move talks on to a more serious phase. Though this agreement is the first of the many needed to enable Britain’s transition out of the EU, the pact

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President Trump Officially Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
By admin December 7, 2017

Palestinians have not taken the decision lightly, as hundreds of protestors rioted in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza this morning, viewing their capital as stolen from them by Israel and the West. The Palestinian Authority called for a strike in Palestinian cities and Hamas has called for a third intifada against Israel. All of

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The Death of Former Yemeni President Saleh
By admin December 5, 2017

In a recent turn of events, Yemen’s deadly war has also claimed the life of the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday. This comes as a shock to most Yemenis, as it occurred only days after Saleh had announced he was open to negotiating talks with a Saudi-led coalition that Yemen’s Houthi rebels have

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Celebrating World AIDS Day 2017
By admin December 4, 2017

  On December 1st, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated World Aids Day, a celebration for people worldwide to unite together in the fight against HIV. Founded in 1988, World Aids Day was the first ever global health day focused on galvanizing support for eradication efforts. Today, over 21 million people are receiving antiretroviral therapy

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No Results Yet in Honduras Election
By admin December 1, 2017

Amid contested presidential election results in Honduras, tensions are mounting as protesters angrily take to the street. It has been almost a week since Sunday’s attempted election and the electoral commission has still not yet declared a winner. Incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez is accused of attempting to hold onto the presidency through illegal meddling in

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Net Neutrality Policies: Proponents and Opponents
By admin November 28, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proceeding with long-anticipated plans to dismantle net neutrality protections, a decision that would have large implications for much of the general public. Last week, Ajit Pai, the chair of the FCC declared his intention to change the way access to the internet is regulated. The FCC subsequently released a

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WHO’s Commitment to Curbing Global Tuberculosis Cases
By admin November 27, 2017

On November 17th, 2017 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an urgent action to end Tuberculosis (TB) by 2030. Seventy-five ministers and high-level officials affirmed their action to end TB at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response. Over 1000 participants were in attendance at

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Poland Reprimanded by the EU
By admin November 24, 2017

The European Union (EU) has worked for a long time to achieve economic and political peace within its member states through the mechanisms of collective action, including threat of loss of funding, privileges or expulsion from the Union. The power of the EU is largely in its capability to orchestrate a concerted action against a

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The Outcomes of the COP23 Talks
By admin November 22, 2017

From November 6th to 17th, diplomats from all over the world traveled to Bonn, Germany for the 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) hosted by Fiji. While several large scale decisions were resolved for the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change, many major decisions were pushed off for

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The Political Fall of Mugabe and his Legacy
By admin November 21, 2017

In a highly anticipated nationalized speech on Sunday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe stunned the nation by announcing he would not be stepping down. This unexpected turnaround also comes moments after the governing party, ZANU-PF, expelled Mugabe from the party and gave him a Monday noon ultimatum to step down as president, or expect impeachment. Now

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Is this the end of Robert Mugabe’s political career?
By admin November 16, 2017

Robert Mugabe, the long-term President of Zimbabwe, is currently under house arrest after a military takeover occurred to rid the government of “criminals.” The ruling party, Zanu PF, posted on Twitter than the ousted vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will take over the party. Although the military said it was not a coup, it seems the

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Trump’s Asia Tour: Insights and Implications
By admin November 14, 2017

President Trump wrapped up his 12-day, 5-nation tour of Asia on Monday in Manila, Philippines, capping off a trip filled with new implications for what role the United States will play going forward in the Eastern Hemisphere. Monday’s visit also ended with Trump meeting Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte, a highly anticipated meeting due to Duterte’s

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Inhumane Conditions in Makeshift Refugee Camps in Papua New Guinea
By admin November 10, 2017

Following a decision in mid-August to close a detention center in Papua New Guinea (PNG) there has been a severe humanitarian crisis regarding the relocation of the many hundreds of detainees who were held there as asylum seekers. Many fear leaving the detention camps because of violence in the surrounding areas and thus refuse to

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Catalonia in Political Chaos
By admin November 9, 2017

In early October, The Bassiouni Group (TBG) posted a blog on the Catalonian independence movement outlining the options both sides had in the situation. At the time, the referendum vote just happened, producing a “yes” vote to secede from the central government. Potential negotiations were on the table, and if those failed, the central government

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COP23 Climate Change Summit Still Strong Despite Trump
By admin November 7, 2017

On Monday, diplomats from nearly 200 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany to participate in COP23, a two-weeklong series of climate negotiations and meetings related to the implementation of the Paris Agreement signed in 2016. The United States, once a pivotal player in climate talks, will be taking a diminished, if not antagonizing role at COP23

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UNCCC 2017: Major Challenges in Working Towards Renewable Energy
By admin

The 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) is happening in Germany between November 6th and 17th. While extensive preparations are leading up to the conference, Rachel Kyte, the special representative for sustainable energy has announced the need for developing and ensuring a “smooth and speedy energy transition” for all. As the special representative for

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Interest Rates Indicate Uncertain Economic Future for Britian
By admin November 3, 2017

The National bank of England has announced that it will raise interest rates for the first time in almost 10 years. This change in monetary policy may be indicative of increased confidence in a post-Brexit economy.  However, some analysts say otherwise. While the initial economic shock of the Brexit vote has been wearied, analysts say

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Palestine Begins Process of Unification
By admin November 2, 2017

Yesterday marked another major step in the unification of Palestine, as the Palestinian Authority took control over Gaza Strip crossings from Hamas. This was a primary step in the historic peace agreement struck in mid October between Hamas and Fatah. Although the agreement has held steady so far, the future will bring considerable difficulties that

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UNICEF Reports Demographic Shift in Africa
By admin November 1, 2017

UNICEF released a report this week regarding the projected increase in Africa’s child population. The population of children in Africa is projected to increase by 170 million in the next 13 years, according to UNESCO study: “A Generation 2030 Africa 2.0.” The report reviews the demographic transition occurring in Africa to gain a better understanding of the

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Senate Republicans Push for Oil Drilling in the Alaskan Arctic
By admin October 26, 2017

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska is the largest wildlife refuge in the country, with a little over 19 million acres of land protected by the federal government. A portion named area 1002 is coastal land designated for petroleum reserves, but has not been touched since it was federally protected in 1980. After

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Xi Jinping’s “New Era” of China
By admin October 24, 2017

On October 18, the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) convened to set the tone for policymaking in the next five years, but this weeklong quinquennial party congress made of more than 2300 delegates will also largely be consolidating President Xi Jinping’s already enormous power. With nearly 400 members, about 70 percent, of

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After ISIS: Economic Impacts
By admin October 20, 2017

This week the Islamic State was ousted from Raqqa, which had served as the de-facto capital of the militants self- declared caliphate. Though this week’s military victory is one in a series in which US backed Kurdish army and other forces retook territory held by the militant group many of the cites are destroyed, forcing

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Recent Victories Over the Islamic State are Worth Celebrating, but the Fight is far From Over
By admin October 19, 2017

It’s been over three years since Western media sources broadcast images of militants storming across the Iraq-Syria border while the Iraqi military fled south, leaving behinds billions of dollars worth of military equipment and millions of civilians to the wrath of a new enemy, the Islamic State. The news shocked the United States and its

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Implications of Trump’s Hardline with Iran’s Nuclear Treaty
By admin October 17, 2017

On Friday, President Trump announced he would terminate the Iran nuclear deal if Congress does not strengthen it, arguing that the current deal served only as a temporary delay in Iran’s eventual goal to obtain nuclear weapons. Trump also accused Iran of violating parts of the agreement, including heavy-water limits and access to international inspectors

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