UK Ends COVID-19 Restrictions in “Living With COVID” Plan

For the first time in two years, England has lifted all government-sponsored COVID-19 restrictions in what has been dubbed the “living with COVID” plan. According to ABC News, England will no longer require mask wearing, mandatory isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19, or financial aid for people who have lost part of their income due to isolation. Beginning on April 1, free testing will also be scaled back. Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are all following suit in reopening, however with slightly more cautious policies.

Read more

80-Year-Old Italian President Elected to Second Term

Leading up to Italy’s presidential election, President Sergio Mattarella had plans that did not involve serving a second term. The 80-year-old president made this known, posting images of a packed-up presidential palace and making sure to be spotted on house hunting excursions. But after a week of struggles in Parliament to elect his replacement, Mattarella was asked to stay and accepted.

Read more

Tonga Suffers Nationwide Communications Blackout Amid Volcanic Eruption

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on January 15 created continuous challenges in aiding Tonga, the nation of Pacific islands caught in the disaster. One of the main challenges resulting from the eruption, according to PBS News, was the severing of Tonga’s fiber-optic cable, cutting off communication with the rest of the world.

Read more

“Commemorating 9/11”: A Discussion on Counterterrorism and Diplomacy

20 years after the events of September 11, 2001 shook the nation, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations welcomed three experts to speak on the tragedy’s impact on diplomacy, the United States military, and counterterrorism. The three panelists invited were Ambassador Joseph Westphal, former acting Secretary of the Army in 2001 and ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Rear Admiral Douglas Fears, a former presidential advisor on counterterrorism, and Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price, former director of West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.

Read more