Myanmar Military Vows to ‘Annihilate’ Resistance

Myanmar’s military vowed to crack down on opposition forces as the nation celebrated its Armed Forces Day, reports Al Jazeera. The leader of Myanmar, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, claimed that his forces would ‘annihilate’ civilian opposition groups and urged ethnic minorities away from supporting militia groups that oppose the Tatmadaw, the country’s military-led government. However, one civilian resistance group, the National Unity Government, prompted people to take part in a ‘Power Strike’, turning off their lights and TVs during the parade broadcast ABC News reports. 

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India’s Neutral Foreign Policy Threatened by Ukraine Crisis

On February 24, Russia made the conscious decision to invade Ukraine for yet another time since 2014. This active encroachment into non-Russian territory, which was condemned internationally, triggered the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, reports Reuters. Although Europe has been heavily affected by this Russian aggression, the actions taken by those less impacted by the conflict will set the tone for how the international community reacts to similar crises in the future.

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With the World Watching, Could Taiwan be at Risk?

Considering the strategic and symbolic significance of Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China, several experts have argued that China’s invasion of the island is a matter of when and not if. Many have questioned Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, given that Russia’s actions are in direct contradiction to China’s century-long foreign policy tenet of non-interference.

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Killer of Noor Muqaddam Sentenced in Pakistan

On February 24,  Zahir Jaffer was sentenced to death by hanging for the 2021 high-profile rape and murder of Noor Muqaddam in Pakistan, reports The Guardian. The killing of Muqaddam has been front page news in Pakistan since its occurrence, due to the upper-class status of both individuals. Muqaddam, the daughter of former Pakistan diplomat Shakaut Ali Muqaddam, and Jaffer, the son of one of the wealthiest industrial families in Pakistan, had known each other for most of their lives, as they had grown up in high society with the same circle of friends, reports BBC News. 

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Hong Kong Maintains Zero-Tolerance Policy as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Amidst the ease of pandemic restrictions around the globe, Hong Kong is facing a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases, reports The Guardian. Hong Kong, following in the footsteps of mainland China, has maintained a zero-tolerance COVID-19 restriction policy over the course of the pandemic. This approach proved to be largely effective up until the recent emergence of the Omicron variant.

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Australia Fully Reopens Borders after Two Years of COVID-19 Closure

 Australia has officially reopened its borders to all travelers for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Much of the country lifted restrictions on February 21, sparking an influx of flights into the country as individuals reunited and tourism resumed, Reuters reports. CNN adds that the last state to reopen, Western Australia, accepted its first flights on March 3, fully reopening the country’s borders and ending quarantine requirements for vaccinated individuals.

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Hearings on Rohingya Genocide Resume in Highest UN Courts

February 21 marked the beginning of preliminary arguments at the International Court of Justice regarding the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, according to The Associated Press. Myanmar is currently being represented by military leaders, most of whom came into power after overthrowing the country’s previous leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Women Protest Hijab School Ban in Indian State

Women from across India are protesting the hijab ban which entered effect in Karnataka, a state in the southern region of the country governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The ban, which targets Muslim students, bars hijab-wearing women and girls from entering their respective schools. According to Al Jazeera, schools in Karnataka required women to remove their headscarves before they could be permitted to enter the building.

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Turkish President Visits UAE to Boost Long Strained Ties

On February 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the United Arab Emirates for the first time in nearly a decade in an attempt to revive relations long strained by regional disputes, Barron’s reports. President Erdogan was welcomed in the capital Abu Dhabi by the de facto ruler of the UAE, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, for the second meeting in three months between the Middle Eastern nations, after years of hostility over the role of Islamist groups in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

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Myanmar Marks One Year Since Military Takeover

February 1marked one year since Myanmar’s  military staged a coup to oust democratically elected leader Aung Sann Suu Kyi, less than a decade after its transition into a democratic nation. The U.N. Security Council released a statement regarding the one-year anniversary, calling for those still detained to abe released, including the country’s former president Win Myint, reports U.S. News. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and long-time supporter of democracy, remains detained as well. 

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