Robbing Refugees? Denmark’s “Jewelry Bill” and Refugees’ Dignity

On January 26th, the Danish Parliament passed a controversial bill that, in addition to lengthening the required time of residence before refugees can apply for separated family members to relocate, empowers Danish authorities to seize cash and valuables from asylum-seeking refugees. The law allows the seizure of assets worth more than 10,000 Danish kroner (approximately $1,400), excluding items that are “necessary to maintain a modest standard of living” or “have a certain personal, sentimental value,” according to the Danish Integration Ministry. This newly enacted law serves a dual purpose: to deter future migrants and to fund the Danish welfare state by treating refugees as Danish citize

6 Ways Justin Trudeau Will Change Canadian Politics

As the second youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history and son of former PM Pierre, Justin Trudeau has been making waves as the fresh new face of Canadian Politics. But more than just his image, Trudeau has made a number of proposals that promise to reform a decade of Conservative policies, making him not only the most memorable, but perhaps the most ambitious prime minister right out of the gate. Here is a list of initiatives his Liberal Party has pledged to accomplish in office: [if !supportLists]1. [endif]Increase Spending Throughout his campaign, Trudeau has promised to reverse the former policy of balanced budgets in favor of running deficits to fund infrastructure development pr

Profile: Taiwanese President-Elect Tsai Ing-wen

Meet Tsai Ing-wen: Tsai Ing-wen was born on August 31, 1956 in Taipei, Taiwan. The daughter of automobile repair shop owners, she dreamed of studying history before switching to the more practical study of law. Following graduation from the College of Law at the National Taiwan University, Tsai earned a Masters of Laws at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Law from the London School of Economics. During her early years as a law professor, Tsai served as an advisor to the Taiwanese government on issues such as Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization. She began an active political career in 2000 as the chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, which manages interactions with Chin

Advice to Iraq: Don’t Fall for Russia

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced a sweeping reform package this past August in a politically ambitious gambit aimed at removing excess in the Iraqi government and cracking down on rampant corruption. His push to implement reforms follows widespread protests throughout Iraq over frequent energy shortages and deep-rooted political corruption and mismanagement, and comes at a time when Baghdad should do more to improve the destabilized Iraqi political environment that ISIS exploits. These reform initiatives include cutting spending and consolidating ministries, restructuring the sectarian quota appointment system, and removing the Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister posts. Th

Bacha Khan Attacks: A Recurring Pakistani Nightmare

Despite the concerted efforts of the Pakistani military in the past year, the terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, shocked the nation and the world. In a scene eerily similar to the Peshawar school massacre of December 2014, four gunmen entered the campus in the northwest town of Charsadda, killing 22 students with hand grenades and automatic weapons. In order to address both the domestic drivers of terrorism and the international systems that allow for the resilience of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, the official title of the Pakistani Taliban), the government of Pakistan must push for agreements with the Afghan government to create mechanisms for bord

The Arab Spring: Five Years On

Five years ago, many people from a variety of backgrounds came out to the streets in many Arab-majority countries demanding change. The protests came at a time when economic growth was too low to hire the thousands of young people joining the workforce every day. Moreover, the benefits of that economic growth went m­ostly to relatively few already well-off people. The revolutions were a result of many people in Arab-majority countries becoming increasingly disillusioned with a status quo that tolerated and allowed an epidemic of corruption and gross mismanagement of resources. Protesters demanded decentralization of power, higher accountability for officials, and an end to repressive governa

The Declining Morale of a Growing Economy: Turbulent Times in Brazil

Protests, similar in character to the ones that rocked the country in 2013, erupted in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte in early January. The protests convened in light of a new announcement that bus fares would be raised around the country. While public transportation systems are usually chronically underfunded and subjected to byzantine bureaucratic measures, this fare increase and its subsequent demonstrations are a harbinger of things to come in a nation where the citizens are being shortchanged by a failing government and ailing economy. From 2002 to 2011, under the stewardship of President Luiz Inacio da Silva, the economy of Brazil rode a wave of i

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