Watchlist: Victory for Rajoy

Week of October 31 Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy. Africa Drones Revolutionize Healthcare in Madagascar Stony Brook University’s Global Health Institute and Vayu, an American company that specializes in drones, collaborated this summer on a project to improve healthcare in Madagascar. They developed drones that can fly long distances and easily land and lift off. These drones collect blood and stool samples from remote villages and safely transport them to central hospitals. After the samples are tested, the drones return with necessary medical supplies. Multiple diseases are tested for including Tuberculosis, Malaria and Guinea worm. Vayu is planning to expand the project in coming

Regardless of Second Scottish Referendum, Long Negotiations Ahead

On October 13th Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a consultation on a second Scottish independence referendum bill. The consultation marks the first step in the long process of allowing the referendum to go to a vote. But irrespective of whether the country succeeds in its second attempt to pursue independence from the United Kingdom, it faces extensive negotiations with the United Kingdom (UK) in light of its decision to exit the European Union (EU). Although a similar referendum for Scottish independence was rejected by a 5% margin in September of 2014, the country has experienced renewed calls for a revote in response to the Brexit decision last June. Many Scots

Watchlist: Wallonia Holds Out

Week of October 24th A view of Iquala, Mexico, where 43 students were kidnapped in 2014. Africa South Africa to Depart from the ICC This week, South African officials announced their intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Their justice minister, Tshililo Michael Masutha, released a statement saying the ICC and the Rome Statute that created the court are in conflict with parts of customary international law including diplomatic immunity. The move follows concerns the ICC has unfairly targeted African nations. They are not the first country to express their concern with the court and its role on the continent. Both Burundi and Kenya have voiced their desire to separ

CSR in Lebanon: Pipe Dream or Effective Tool for Reform?

Pictured: Downtown Beirut at Night Long plagued by a weak central government and subject to sporadic bouts of political instability, it is no surprise that Lebanon was named one of the world’s worst places to start a business in the Doing Business 2016 report. The report, published annually by the World Bank, has charted a precipitous drop in Lebanon’s rankings in both the ease of doing business and the ease of starting a business since 2009. The trend is alarming to Lebanese policymakers and entrepreneurs alike, especially as the nation has sought to become an attractive place for foreign direct investment. At the same time, Lebanon lags significantly behind its neighbors in terms of corrup

Watchlist: When the Iraqis Come to Town

Week of October 17th An image of Mosul, Iraq, from the Tigris river. Africa Student Protests in South Africa Students in South Africa have taken to the streets in protest over the cost of university tuition. Protesters are calling for free tuition, in what they see as a largely racial issue. They cite the high tuition cost as a roadblock for many black students who wish to attend university. On October 15, President Jacob Zuma called for an end to the “violent campus protests.” Many of the protests have evolved to include a criminal element, with lootings and fires occurring during or around the protests. However, those involved are also accusing police of arresting students for simply parti

The Watchlist: A Letter from the Editorial Board

Over the last few months here at the Michigan Journal of International Affairs, we have been working to make ourselves more accessible to you, our readers. We have committed ourselves to hosting more panels on global issues for the University community, and we have pushed for an increased online presence. We have been lacking, however, in the consistency of our online engagement. With this in mind, we set to work on arguably the greatest single addition to our publication in our short history. Welcome to The Watchlist, MJIA’s new weekly online feature. The Watchlist is a weekly rundown of important events going on in each of the five regions we cover: Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe, and the

Dilma Rousseff's Impeachment: Coup d'Etat or Justice Served?

The Petrobras scandal has unveiled the rampant corruption present in modern-day Brazil. It involved not only the government awarding massive construction contracts to affiliated groups, but also billions in reais for bribes given to Brazilian congressman, judges and other political officials to turn a blind eye to this activity. This continues to be a scandal of massive proportions, and has already caused various resignations and criminal charges against high-ranking Brazilian government officials. Though the now former president, Dilma Rousseff, was never directly implicated in this massive scandal, she was nevertheless impeached on August 31st, 2016. This begs the question: was her impeach

The Colombian Armed Conflict and Giving Peace a Chance

Since the early 1900s, Colombia has experienced a whole host of problems that have propelled the country into the international spotlight—striking banana workers in the 1920s massacred by the Colombian government and the United Fruit Company, ten years of extreme violence in the countryside in the 1940s and 1950s, the rise of communist guerrillas in the 1960s, the rise of the drug trade in the 1970s and 1980s, and the resurgence and strengthening of the communist guerrillas combined with the rise of paramilitaries in the 1990s and early 2000s. All the forces mentioned above, have made the current iteration Colombian conflict, now in its 52nd year, one of the bloodiest and the longest running

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