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The Invisible Children of Central America

Many may know of the problem with unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. Fewer know that the problem is even bigger in the southern boarders of Mexico where many children begin their journey north, towards the U.S. By their means of transport, often on the roofs of cargo …

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Trolling ISIS: The West Battling Jihad on Social Media

Social media propaganda. Source: birgerking, Flickr CC The breakthrough of social media has given different actors the ability to communicate their message to an immense audience in a matter of seconds. It has provided individuals and organizations with the ability to spread ideas, mobilize supporters, and perhaps even start revolutions. …

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The Right to Play for Development

Kids playing basketball in Farah, Afghanistan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

One of the most difficult tasks for international developers today is reaching the most vulnerable populations in the developing world who are often missed by typical outreach programs. This generally includes young women and children. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to “to engage in play and recreational activities.” Since the convention, sports have become evermore popular as a tool in humanitarian outreach programs. However, it has taken nearly 90 years for sports to be taken seriously as a platform for development and even today several skeptics remain unconvinced about the impact of sports on development.

by Sofia Murad

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No Pain, No Spain?

Catalonian Bank vandalized with placates stating that the economic situation is the banks' fault. Photo: Linn AnderssonWhen people from the richer, northern parts of Europe complain about problematic situations in Spain, Spanish residents retort “Well, at least we have sun and you don't”. However, the warm sun neither feeds the unemployed Spaniards nor solves the issue of the Spanish recession, but for some reason it seems to have a calming affect on the Spanish people, an assurance that things will turn out all right no matter what the rest of the world may argue.                                    

 

                                                        By Linn Andersson

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The Unwanted Legacy of Euro 2012

With only days to go until the first ball of Euro 2012 is kicked, the tournament’s hosts, Poland and Ukraine, are preparing to hold a major sporting event for the first time. From June 8 until July 1, their major cities will fill with enthusiastic supporters of Europe’s 16 best national football teams. There is little doubt that the host nations’ promise of a fantastic atmosphere and wonderful, lasting memories for visiting fans will be fulfilled. However, while both Poland and Ukraine will undoubtedly benefit from the massive influx of tourists, once the tournament’s final whistle blows on July 1 only one thing will remain: the tournament’s costs.

By: Sean Kearns

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Algeria’s Recent Elections: Plus ça change…

Algeria remains a country stagnated. In countries both to its east and west, radical developments have been taking place as a result of the Arab Spring. Libya managed to oust Gaddafi and his infamous regime.  Egypt was arguably the epicentre of the revolutionary movement that swept across North Africa and the Middle East. Tunisia successfully toppled a ruling family and is now on the smooth path to a functioning democracy. Morocco’s King Mohammed recently ceded some ground to an elected government. As for Algeria? Well, when Algeria went to the polls on May 10th to elect a new parliament, the question was raised once again: why did effectively nothing happen in North Africa’s largest country during the Arab Spring of 2011?

By: Brian Bolger

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A Tsunami of Justice for Pakistanis?

On the world stage Pakistan is set as a land of contradiction, described as being “on the brink,” a nation where notions of the western and eastern worlds intersect and rule over one another, political elite over a socially conservative and religious populace. In Pakistan, a country where politics has been marred by corruption and foreign nations’ policy initiatives, politics is a dirty business.

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Changing Perceptions – Female Circumcision in Kenya

The East African nation of Kenya, like many other African countries, has a long history of performing female circumcision—also known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)—on girls as young as nine years old. Recent years, however, have seen efforts to eradicate female circumcision as a cultural practice not just in Kenya, but throughout the world. Despite these efforts, each year approximately three million girls face the prospect of female circumcision—the practice remains difficult to remove from local communities due to the traditional significance it has to people’s lives.

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The European Student – Just Another Brick in the Wall?

When the British newspaper the Guardian let their readers vote for the person of the year 2011, the winner was not Angela Merkel or Aung San Suu Kyi, who were also nominated. Instead, the nominee who received the most votes was a 23 year old student and communist from Chile, named Camila Vallejo. She, together with other student leaders in Chile, led demonstrations with up to 200,000 students demanding increased financial support for public universities.

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Occupy Wall Street Calls for End to Corporate Personhood

Occupy Wall Street protesters. Photo: S51438.wikimedia commonA little over four months has passed since protesters began gathering in Zuccotti Park, New York in a movement now known globally as Occupy Wall Street (OWS). What began as just a few hundred people gathered in a park in lower Manhattan protesting against political disenfranchisement and social and economic inequality has spread to over a hundred cities across the United States and to over a thousand cities worldwide. Opponents say this is a group of left-wing liberal extremists seeking to divide the United States through class warfare. Advocates say they are expressing their rights to free assembly and free speech against institutions they feel are corrupt and have failed them. Despite having no clear leadership and lacking a clearly articulated agenda, this amorphous group is gaining support and changing the tone of political discourse in America. One of the issues OWS has been most vocal about is the corruption they see in America’s political system and how it is responsible for the growing wealth disparity in the United States.

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