Welcome to our roundup of news and current events related to ethics and international affairs! Here’s what we’ve been reading this February:
Unrest between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists reignited one day after a phone conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, triggering speculation that Mr. Putin is seeking to test his American counterpart. Though the conflict has remained somewhat dormant in recent years, recent geopolitical developments may exacerbate tensions in the country.
Read more on the conflict in Ukraine in Ethics & International Affairs:
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The UN is warning that more than 6 million people are facing acute food insecurity in Somalia. Severe drought, rising food prices and accessibility issues are causing humanitarian agencies to worry that the country could see a repeat of the 2011 famine, when an estimated 260,000 people died of starvation.
Read more on the politics of food security and aid in Africa in Ethics & International Affairs:
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Coal gasification is inefficient and emits higher levels of carbon dioxide than equivalent energy production methods. However, coal-to-gas plants are gaining popularity in some provinces of China, despite the country’s efforts to move away from the fossil fuel. The growing popularity of coal gasification highlights tensions between the Chinese central government, which has continued to voice support for the Paris Climate Agreement, and local leaders, who stand to benefit economically from the process.
Read more on climate change and fossil fuels in Ethics & International Affairs:
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In a reversal of policy outlined by his predecessor, Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has confirmed that the country will remain party to the International Criminal Court. Former President Yahya Jammeh, who was recently ousted after refusing to step down after Barrow’s election, had criticized the court for being biased against African leaders and had initiated the withdrawal process.
Read more on the ICC in Ethics & International Affairs:
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In Lebanon, hundreds of Syrian refugees are choosing to convert from Islam to Christianity. While converting to Christianity is rare in Syria, some refugees hosted in Lebanon are risking taboo in order to benefit from aid provided by Christian charities. Others see conversion as a way to improve their chances of gaining asylum in Christian-majority countries like the U.S. or Canada as Lebanon begins to decrease support for its large refugee population.
Read more on refugees and humanitarian aid in Ethics & International Affairs:
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General John Nicholson told the Armed Services Committee that he believes U.S.-backed forces in Afghanistan have reached a stalemate that can only be broken with additional troops and offensive capability. The conflict, now in its 15th year, resulted in the deaths of at least 6,700 Afghan soldiers in 2016.
Read more on the war in Afghanistan in Ethics & International Affairs:
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As the risks associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) become more widely known, more parents are seeking to have the procedure performed in a clinical setting. This development worries aid organizations, which fear that the practice will grow as clinics start to profit from the dangerous procedure.
Read more on women’s rights in Ethics & International Affairs: