Watchlist: Protests Erupt Across the Middle East

Week of December 11th A protest outside the US embassy in Lebanon's Beirut turned violent (Source: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters) Africa A Pardon for Child Rapists in Tanzania In an independence day speech on Saturday, December 9th, President Magufuli pardoned a group of select prisoners who had been convicted of raping children. Magufuli announced a pardon of prisoners with the immediate release of 1,828 convicts while 6,329 others would have their sentences reduced. This comes as a huge blow for children’s rights activists who are ultimately unsurprised by the actions of the president. According to Kate Alpine, the director of the Arusha-based Community for Children Rights, the president “has a b

Watchlist: Pope Francis Returns from Myanmar, Met with Senior General Instead of Suu Kyi

Week of December 4th Pope Francis is welcomed as he arrives at Yangon International Airport (Source: Max Rossi/Reuters) Africa Power Struggle in South Africa’s Ruling ANC As South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) heads towards its party conference on December 16th in Johannesburg, the party leadership contest is heating up. As President Jacob Zuma is stepping down after eight years dogged by corruption allegations and electoral losses, the contenders vying for ANC leadership and the South African Presidency in 2019 are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Ramaphosa, a leader of the anti-apartheid movement under Nelson Man

25​ ​Years​ ​On:​ ​Eastern​ ​Europe

A map of Europe with Belarus in orange. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) A map of Europe with Ukraine in orange. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) A map of Europe with Moldova in orange. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Introduction Despite their geographic closeness, the three Eastern European republics of the former Soviet Union have vastly different political and social histories. Belarus has retained many Soviet policies, including state ownership of wide swaths of the economy. Meanwhile, President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled since 1994 and is widely known as ‘the last dictator of Europe.’ Belarus and Russia maintain very close relations, and the two have even floated the idea of reuniting in recent

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