Tag Archives: politics

Obama Announces Plans to Normalize Relations With Cuba and Open Embassy in Havana

us cuba feat

In 1960, the U.S. enacted a series of economic regulations, travel restrictions, and international legal penalties on Cuba in response to Fidel Castro’s nationalization (government seizure) of American property. The embargo’s long-term goal was to create a more democratic government in Cuba, but many critics say that the embargo has failed to accomplish this goal and has only served to hurt the Cuban people. Back in October, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to end

Will Catalonia Win Its Fight for Independence from Spain?


Early last month, nearly two million Catalans voted in favor of separation from Spain in an informal referendum on the issue. Catalonia is a wealthy region in the northeast corner of Spain, with a distinct history stretching back more than 1,000 years. The prosperous region is home to over 7 million people and contributes more to the Spanish economy than it receives from central government funds. And with austerity measures in Europe increasing in recent years, Catalonia has been squeezed as the country attempts to

House Passes Bill That Would Prevent Scientists from Advising EPA On Their Own Research

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The headline issue in Congress last Tuesday (November 18) was the Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,179-mile pipeline extension eventually failed in the Senate by one vote, leading to jubilation from climate activists and other groups opposed to the new pipeline. But while these people celebrated, the House of Representatives was quietly passing a different bill: H.R. 1422. The bill, which passed 229-191 along mostly partisan lines, would reconfigure the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Michael Burgess, a Republican

Sioux Native Americans Release Statement Calling Keystone XL Pipeline “An Act of War”

In 2008, Canadian oil and gas company TransCanada began construction on the Keystone Pipeline, an extensive, four-phase pipeline project to connect Canadian tar sands (a vast source of crude oil) to refineries and distribution centers in the U.S. The first phase, completed in 2010, is a 2,147-mi stretch of pipeline that runs from Hardisty, Alberta to southern Illinois via Steele City, Nebraska. Phase II, completed in early 2011, added another 291 miles of pipeline, connecting the Keystone pipeline in Steele City

Russia and China Just Signed A $400 Billion Gas Deal. What Does It Mean For Global Affairs?

On May 21st of this year, China and Russia signed an enormous gas deal, worth an estimated $400 billion. The agreement calls for Russia’s government-controlled Gazprom to supply state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation with up to 38 billion cubic metres of gas a year over the span of 30 years, beginning in 2018. On November 10th, China and Russia struck a second agreement that deepened their budding energy ties. The new deal lessens Russian reliance on Europe and secures almost a fifth of the gas supplies China

U.N. General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly In Favor of Ending U.S. Embargo On Cuba

For the 23rd straight year, the United Nations General Assembly has once again voted to condemn the American embargo on Cuba. Out of the 193 member countries, 188 voted in favor of the “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” resolution. Only two countries, the U.S. and Israel, voted against the resolution (Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained from the vote). The Cuban embargo was enacted in 1960 to impose economic regulations, travel restrictions,

This 18-Year-Old from West Virginia Just Became America’s Youngest State Lawmaker

Saira Blair is not your average 18-year-old. If the rigors of studying geology and economics as a freshman at West Virginia University weren’t enough, she now has another significant responsibility on her hands: carrying out the duties of a state legislator. After campaigning out of her dorm room, Blair, who describes herself as a fiscally conservative Republican, defeated Democratic candidate Layne Diehl, a 44-year-old attorney from Martinsburg, WV. The race wasn’t even close, actually: Blair carried an impressive 63% of the vote in West Virginia’s 59th district (a small

Midterm 2014 Results: Republicans Take Control of Both Houses of Congress

Last night was a good night for Republicans. First off, they gained 13 seats in the House of Representatives to further strengthen their majority there (they now hold 243 seats vs. the Democrats’ 175). But more importantly, they also gained 7 seats in the Senate, flipping the balance of power there back to the GOP, which now holds 52 seats vs. the Democrat’s 45. This marks the first time that Republicans have held both houses of Congress since 2006. Republican candidates dominated in

Were Our Most Celebrated Leaders All Good, Moral People? (Opinion Piece)

Before I really get into this piece, I just want to warn you that after reading it, you may never look at some of history’s most honored figures the same way ever again. That being said, let’s start off in the present. Next Tuesday, November 4th, Americans will vote in the midterm elections to decide the political fate of the American Congress. As usual, underhanded, and just downright offensive mud-slinging tactics have been being used for political gains all over the

Hong Kong’s Leader: We Have Too Many Poor People to Allow Direct Elections

Since the end of last month, hundreds of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to protest the Chinese government’s attempts to maintain its stranglehold on political authority there. In 2017, Hong Kong is set to choose a new chief executive in the first ever democratic election for that position (all the chief executives up to now have been directly appointed by the Chinese government). The only problem: Beijing wants the power to “vet” any and all candidates for

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