African Nations Push Back Against Omicron Travel Bans

Several African nations are pushing back against what they call a discriminatory imposition of travel bans on countries in Southern Africa following the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The protests come amidst the fact that despite cases of the new variant being discovered in several countries, including Israel, Hong Kong, The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and The Czech Republic, travel bans have only been placed against countries in Africa, reports CNN.

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Emergence of Omicron Variant Provokes Global Fears

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) distinguished the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, or Omicron. Although South Africa was the first nation to report the Omicron variant to WHO on November 24, scientists are unsure of where and when it originated. According to The Washington Post, the variant has been detected all over the world, including in the United States, UK, EU, Israel, Hong Kong, and Botswana.

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Thucydides’ Trap: A New Era of Great-Power Competition Between the United States and China

Thucydides’ Trap posits that when a great power’s hegemony is threatened by a rising power, there is a high likelihood of war between the two nations. This proposition is relevant when examining the relationship between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States. Allison coined this term precisely to characterize increasing U.S.-China tensions, worrying that it would eventually result in a war between the world’s two greatest powers.

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The International Community Can Redress its Failed Response to the 2010 Haitian Earthquake

When a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in August 2021, countries and international organizations from around the world expressed their concern and sent aid in the form of donations and emergency relief. However, many Haitians fear that aid from international organizations and governments will not effectively help those in need.

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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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Cold War Policy Tactics Doom Yet Another Developing Nation

“We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones” is hardly a statement one might anticipate hearing from a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but Abiy Ahmed’s tenure as Prime Minister of Ethiopia has been far from what anyone has anticipated. On October 31, Ahmed sounded the alarm of a near state collapse when he urged citizens to take up arms and brace for a battle over the capital of Africa’s second most populous country, reports The New York Times. Now, with almost every global power keen on remaining influential in Africa, many remain baffled as to why the world has remained largely indifferent towards Africa’s second most populous nation.

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Cato Institute Defense Policy Director Talks Nuclear Policy and U.S.-China Relations

On November 11, Eric Gomez, the Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, held a presentation comparing the nuclear weapons policies of the Trump and Biden administrations. Mr. Gomez also discussed China’s nuclear arsenal in relation to the United States, and the growing tensions among China, the United States, and Taiwan. The event was hosted by Seton Hall’s chapter of the John Quincy Adams Society. The presentation was soon followed by a question and answer session with the attendees. 

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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Re-Elected in Denounced Election

Early results from the Nicaraguan general election on November 7 indicate that incumbent President Daniel Ortega has won by a landslide, BBC News reports. The result was unsurprising to many onlookers across the globe, as President Ortega secured nearly 76 percent of the vote, winning his fourth consecutive term in office. 

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Are Vaccine Mandates Increasing Safety or Driving People from Vaccinations?

Taking efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19, some leaders around the world have decided to enact vaccine mandates. In many developed nations, such as the United States, vaccination rates for adults range between 70 to 80 percent, according to Reuters, with a slim subsection of the population extremely reluctant to get the vaccine. 

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