On October 30, Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine, becoming the first European country to do so and joining the 134 countries, mainly from the developing world that already recognized Palestine since its proclamation in Algiers in 1988. More than a symbolic step towards the Palestinian people, the Swedish government led the way for other European countries. Both the British, Spanish and French parliaments voted for resolutions urging their respective governments to recognize Palestine, and the Belgian, Danish and Irish assemblies are planning similar elections. But it also rekindled the debate about the legitimacy of a Palestinian state and its right to exist.
As a landlocked country with few natural resources, the West African nation of Burkina Faso has struggled in many aspects since its independence from France in 1960. Political turmoil characterized Burkina Faso in its early years of independence. Although the nation has been relatively stable since the 1980s, this October the country was shaken by a huge popular uprising. What lead the people to take to the streets and where does the country stand today?
In 2014, over 3,000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Violence in Syria, Eritrea and Libya has contributed to the rise in migrants attempting to reach Europe’s borders from Africa and the Middle East. Many people turn to illegal smugglers who often extort passengers, overload flimsy boats, and even capsize ships deliberately. The increase in sea crossings (over 100,000 people have reached Italy this year) is thought to be a result of stricter border control policies on land, including the fences and border guards that mark the Turkish borders with Greece and Bulgaria.