Labor Activists Must Leverage their Bargaining Power

With the socio-economic conditions created by COVID-19 both exposing and worsening a myriad of systemic issues throughout the world, the last thing global labor rights activists expected was to gain more bargaining power. However, CBNC emphasizes that the pandemic has resulted in a massive labor shortage in almost every country, putting power back in the hands of the working class.

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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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As the Global West Prepares to Relax COVID Restrictions, is it Doing Enough to Combat Vaccine Inequality across Africa?

It has been two years since the World Health Organization’s designation of the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Since then, there have been 452,201,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 6,029,852 related deaths worldwide, reports WHO. As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments relax COVID-19 restrictions within the United States, the pandemic is still raging in developing nations, as both their economy and national morale struggle to regain normalcy. The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately highlighted the growing global divide in the distribution of vaccine doses, particularly exposing vaccine inequality across Africa. 

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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.

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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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‘Freedom Convoy’ Protests COVID Restrictions in France

On February 12, protesters in the “Freedom Convoy” in France clashed against the pandemic restrictions with the French police. These clashes are the latest in a series of protests that have been spreading around the world in response to COVID-19 restrictions and mandates. Protesters were trying to enter the “Arc de Triomphe,” which is the entrance in central Paris to the famous Champs-Elysees Avenue.

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“Partygate” Covers Up Deeper Problems Within UK Media

In November of 2021, a series of rumors about social gatherings at Downing Street, the home and office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, set off a spiraling crisis that put his career in jeopardy. According to Foreign Policy, Johnson’s residence hosted over a dozen gatherings with more than 100 staff. At the same time, COVID-19 restrictions kept working class Britons from “mixing, visiting elderly relatives, or attending the funerals of loved ones.”

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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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