Diplomacy Students Voice Concerns, Suggestions at UDSA Forum

The Undergraduate Diplomacy Student Association of Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations held an open forum on March 24 for students to discuss their concerns about the School and the return to campus following the COVID-19 shutdown. 

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Sanctions May Not Stop Putin, But They Will Certainly Hurt the Russian People

As the world watched in horror while Vladimir Putin launched his illegal and indefensible invasion of Ukraine, many immediately called for the harshest sanctions possible to be imposed on Putin’s regime. The United States and its allies showed remarkable unity in implementing comprehensive sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy. According to Vox, the U.S. and Europe immediately sanctioned Putin and other Russian oligarchs by freezing their assets and confiscating properties belonging to individuals close to the Russian government. 

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Yemen War Intensifies as Drones Fired on UAE

On January 17, a drone attack on the UAE by Ansarullah, also known as Houthis, in Yemen marked the first time Yemeni forces were able to strike targets in the UAE, a notable escalation in the Yemen War, reports The Associated Press. The Associated Press further reports that this attack was followed by subsequent strikes on strategic facilities in the UAE, including during the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog, on January 31.

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FOCUS on Pariah Leaders: Bashar al-Assad

In early October, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a phone call from King Abdullah II of Jordan, their first since Abdullah called for Assad to step down in 2011 during the Arab Spring, according to Al Jazeera. Jordan is not alone in normalizing relations with their estranged Arab neighbor—Egypt and the UAE have both contacted the Syrian government. Jordan and the UAE have come to agreements to improve economic ties and resume trade with Syria, despite U.S. sanctions.

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Religious Tensions Flare in Northern India and Bangladesh

On October 26, Hindu nationalist mobs attacked Muslim-owned businesses, homes, and a mosque in the small northeast Indian state of Tripura, reports BBC News. Viral videos show Muslims being attacked and the mosque being set on fire. Videos also show members of the Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad marching through Muslim neighborhoods and chanting insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

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FOCUS on Frozen Conflicts: Israel-Palestine

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict made recent headlines in May after Israeli forces launched devastating airstrikes on Gaza. This latest Gaza war was sparked after Israeli Defense Forces raided one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Al Aqsa Mosque, during the holy month of Ramadan. Israeli forces dispersed worshippers with flashbangs and rubber bullets, wounding nearly 300 people, reports The Guardian.

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Algeria Bans France from Entering Algerian Airspace

In the latest escalation of diplomatic tensions between France and Algeria, the French military announced on October 3 that Algeria had closed its airspace to French military aircraft, reports CNN. Algeria accuses French President Emmanuel Macron of unnecessarily intervening in internal affairs and pushing false narratives about the Algerian government. The restriction comes as a blow to the French military, which regularly uses Algerian airspace to conduct military operations in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Protests Erupt After Tunisia’s President Suspends Constitution

On September 22, Tunisian President Kais Saied announced that he would suspend parts of the country’s constitution and rule by executive decree, according to The Guardian. Tunisian news site Nawaat reports that days after the President announced the suspension, thousands of Tunisians protested in downtown Tunis, calling his actions a coup and unconstitutional.

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FOCUS on Afghanistan: Women

Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country, many questions have arisen regarding women’s rights in the country. The Taliban announced that they would lead an inclusive government where women would work “shoulder to shoulder” with men, promising to govern differently than before, says Al Jazeera.

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Supreme Court Overturns Conviction of Former Brazilian President 

In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court of Brazil overturned the corruption conviction of former two-term President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), according to BBC News. The conviction was related to the massive anti-corruption investigation known as “Operation Car Wash” that exposed the largest corruption scandal in Latin America. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that Lula’s conviction was invalid because the court he was tried in lacked jurisdiction.

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