Source: #BlueForSudan Perhaps the largest challenge following the near full internet shutdown in Sudan is the lack of information leaving the country. Activists living in diaspora rely on word of mouth and phone calls with no visual content available, while those within the country struggle to raise awareness for the conflict on the international stage. 26-year old Mohamed Hashim Mattar, the inspiration behind the movement, was killed during the crackdown on protesters by the Sudanese parliamentary rapid support forces in early June. The color blue was displayed on his social media profiles– to honor his death, friends and family matched their profiles to his. This movement soon spread acros

Reflections on the 2019 Election in India

Source: Wikimedia Commons From April 11th to May 19th 2019, the national elections of India, the most populous democracy on Earth, took place to much fanfare and excitement both in the country and worldwide. Going into the voting, polls and pundits alike indicated that while Narendra Modi had a solid shot at maintaining his position as Prime Minister of India, his Bharatiya Janata political party (BJP) and its governing coalition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), were expected to face steep challenges to hold their seats in the Lok Sabha (India’s lower house of parliament) due to economic troubles plaguing the country. In fact, right before the election, unemployment was the highest in 45

Israel Knesset Fails to Form Government Forcing New Elections as Tensions Rise Between Secular and R

Nicholas Fadanelli graduated with a B.S. in Cellular Molecular Biology: Biomedical Engineering in 2018 and a M.S.E in Biomedical Engineering in 2019 from the University of Michigan. Throughout his time at Michigan he has been passionate about international policy, serving as a part of Model United Nations at the University of Michigan from 2014-2019, and working through institutions to create positive change for the community, serving as the President of the Student Government for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts from 2017-2018. Source: Wikimedia Commons The April 9th Israel parliamentary elections were initially declared for incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His c

A Brief Overview of Social Media in the Sudan Protests

Image Source: REUTERS Social media platforms have become a defining characteristic of modern popular revolutions as they remain unmatched in catalyzing collective action within populations. The protests which successfully toppled former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir were not an exception to this phenomenon. With national media monopolized by the State and independent media outlets heavily repressed, protest organizers turned to private platforms as social media remained untouched by the state in recent years despite its growing popularity. These outlets allowed for the development of a counter narrative independent of the state narrative to be displayed on the international sphere. Despi

Palm Oil: Progress or a Pitfall for Latin America?

Image Source: WikiMedia Commons Palm oil is a common ingredient found in everything from shampoo to processed foods, including about half of all products at supermarkets. It is extremely cost-effective to produce, leading to its high prevalence in consumer goods. However, in the vast majority of instances palm oil production is unsustainable. In most cases, rain forests are slashed and burned in order to plant oil palms, which is particularly damaging to local biodiversity and the entire world’s climate. In the future, the repercussions of palm oil farming could drastically spread and increase if the industry does not change its production methods. As this type of unsustainable farming sprea

Far Right Surges in Spain After Four Decades in the Shadows

Cameron Flynn graduated with a B.A. in Romance languages and literature and minor in history from the University of Michigan in 2018. Passionate about education and multilingualism, he has been working since graduation as a teacher at an Ann Arbor area Spanish-immersion preschool. In the fall of 2019, he will begin a PhD. program in Romance languages and literature at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on the prison institution in literature and society in former Spanish, French, and Portuguese colonies. Source: Bernat Armangue/Associated Press Voters across Spain headed to the polls on the 28th of April to elect a new national legislature. Though the third such occurrence in f

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