Friday, April 7, 2017

Trump's Newest Exec Order - Current Affairs

Trump's Previous Ban
 - Banned travelers from Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria,  Iraq and Libya
 - Bars refugees from coming into the US for around 120 days


This order had been halted by a judge

Why was it challenged?
It was stated that this ban would hurt the economy, it was unconstitutional and was simply a way of banning Muslims.

"[A] Muslim ban by another name"? - (NY attorney general)
Trump had stated in 2015:  “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” 
Opinion: Just by reading this quote, it gives an idea of what Trump's true intentions might be. It is a possibility that he is living up to his own words, however, is going ahead with the proposed 'muslim ban' in a different and almost discreet way.


What makes the new ban any different?
 - The same countries are subjected to this ban except for Iraq
 - The indefinite ban that was placed on Syrian refugees is now removed because of this new ban
 - Green Card holders are no longer affected by this ban


Argument on the ban being unconstitutional
To understand this, we first need to take a look at the US constitution
The first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". If president Trump had made an exec order that regards a certain religion, would that make it unconstitutional? And by establishing a 'Muslim ban' would that mean he is "prohibiting the free exercise" of Islam by not allowing those who practice it in the U.S. I believe so. If you have anything to say on this be sure to write a comment!




Source
Source

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Opinion, Analysis, Annotations on the ICJ Court Case: "Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile v. Bolivia)"

"Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile v. Bolivia)"

Before reading the actual analysis, know this:
The Silala River is a body of water that flows through two sovereign states. It starts as a "spring" in Bolivia and continues to flow to Chile. In brief, the dispute revolves around the fact that Chile believes the river is an international one, whereas Bolivia believes that it is not a river and would not be one if canals had not been built around it. Keep in mind that an "international river" is "a river that flows through or between two or more countries". Now that you understand the background information, here is the actual analysis and evidence.  (I am including screenshots of the application to the ICJ which outlines the details of the case, here is a link: Chile Application)

Subject of the Dispute:

The definition comes from Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses ofInternational Watercourses(1977).


Image of the Silala River

 Chile's Argument:


By stating this, Chile shows that Bolivia's argument is invalid as the river emerging through a spring still makes it a watercourse. However, because "Bolivia claims that waters from the Silala Spring, which crosses their shared border, ... and that Chile has been artificially diverting water", means that Bolivia has never officially recognized this body of water as a "River". The state of Bolivia (as shown in the quote) refers to this as a "Spring". This means that because Bolivia did not recognize the body of water as a river, therefore, the waters cannot 'form' or be emerged through a spring if the body of water itself has always been one. In other words, a "the waters forming" a spring cannot "emerge" from/through a spring.
I predict that a possible argument Bolivia would have would be that since "Chile has been artificially diverting water", it is unfair to call this water source a "river" if it had originally been a spring.


More Information + Source
More information + Source #2
More information + Source #3


Remember, I am still learning and if my opinion, analysis, arguments, or anything at all could be improved in some way let me know! Also, keep in mind that  I am just providing my own opinion and would be happy to have feedback and opinions from you as well.  

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Donald Trump's Impact on the Rest of the World

Donald Trump
Is the President-elect of the United States. His statements and policy changes have earned him support in the election race. Though he has made some controversial statements, he still ended up beating his main competitor, Hillary Clinton.


President-elect Donald Trump


What impact does this have on the rest of the world?

 - It could possibly mean better relations with Russia

Putin and Trump have seemed to be on good terms with each other and this could definitely benefit the relations between the two States. Putin has stated that he wishes that the two countries will"work together" to put their "crisis state" to an end.


 - May benefit the U.K after Brexit

The E.U may seem more "detached" or "separated" from the US because of the results of the election. As a result, they may try and have tighter relations with the U.K because of this. Stephen Booth, a member of a political analysis group says, "It could be helpful for the U.K. in the sense that EU member states may be more concerned about U.S. disengagement from Europe on security and foreign policy matters and therefore turn to the U.K. for a closer partnership on these issues."

- Different Relations with China

This may sound a little more extreme and less likely, but because of the remarks Trump has made concerning China and some of his foreign policies directing to the country could have an effect on the U.S and China's foreign relations. An example of this is when Trump has sent tweets accusing China of stealing a U.S drone. When it has been discovered that China would return the drone and does not appreciate the issue being hyped, Trump reacted by stating that "We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!". These statements resulted in the state-run newspaper known as The Global Times saying that if Donald Trump “treats China after assuming office in the same way as in his tweets, China will not exercise restraint.” 

Sources:
           "China Responds to "inaccurate" Trump Tweet about U.S. Drone Seizure." CBSNews. CBS Interactive Inc., 19 Dec. 2016. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-us-underwater-drone-return-controversy-donald-trump/>.

           Acton, Gemma. "Here's the Stark Impact That Trump's Victory Will Have on Europe's Fractured Politics." CNBC. CNBC LLC., 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/10/heres-the-stark-impact-that-trumps-victory-will-have-europes-fractured-politics.html>.


Image Link: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/18/politics/new-york-city-donald-trump/

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

New UN Secretary - General: Antonio Guterres

Secretary-General of the UN
This is defined as "a title given to the principal administrator of some organizations, most notably the United Nations."


The Role of the UN Secretary-GeneralThis position is highly prestigious and comes with many benefits. The Secretary General of the UN does these things:
1).  Carries out duties, affairs, or tasks recommended or given by the SC, GA, ECOSOC, and more.
2). At times, is seen as a mediator during conflict situations
3). Establishes yearly reports on the UN's achievements and what shall be done in the future.
(The Secretary - General does much more, and this is a brief description of their duties.)


New UN Secretary - GeneralThe current UN Secretary-General is Ban Ki-Moon, and he ends his term at the end of this year. Antonio Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal, will replace him. He is known for aiding refugees in various ways.


Video
Here is a video of UN Secretary-General is Ban Ki-Moon, praising the man that will replace him. Antonio Guterres.


Keep in mind that I am just providing my own opinion and would be happy to have feedback and opinions from you as well. Also, I apologize for not posting in a while, and sorry that this post wasn't exactly lengthy. My opinion wasn't added as this post was meant to inform. 

Sources:
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Friday, October 21, 2016

UN Veto Power


What is UN Veto Power?
The power to veto a resolution is essentially the right to rule out, or block a resolution from being adopted. Permanent members in the UN Security Council are privileged with the right to veto a resolution. These members are the Russian Federation, China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Great video that summarizes the role of the UN Security Council

Russia and China vetoing a resolution related to Syria Conflict
Why is it important?
Veto power surprisingly enough helps when finding compromises. Without this right, issues cannot be solved efficiently and effectually as there are disagreements between member states. An article written by Dr. Alexander Yakovenko states that "By creating this right, those who drafted the UN Charter showed understanding that if there is no agreement between the P5, problems can’t be resolved collectively and efficiently, and thus, can’t be resolved at all."
Graph showing number of vetoes per country





Pros:
Veto power as stated above, can definitely help when finding compromises between member states, as there are less disagreements. Without veto power, some influential member states may not have even accepted the UN's creation without this privilege.

Cons:
Misuse. There has been an ongoing debate on whether or not member states in the Security Council should have this privilege. The most important point is that member States at times have constantly been abusing this power, where a resolution is needed immediately.

Opinion:
The entire point of the UN is to solve existing issues, and by vetoing resolutions, member states are doing exactly the opposite. They are hindering a resolution from being implemented. A better solution to this issue, could be giving member states in the Security Council only one veto. This way, they aren't able to misuse the power as they are only given one chance to veto a resolution.


Keep in mind that I am just providing my own opinion and would be happy to have feedback and opinions from you as well.  



Sources
https://www.globalpolicy.org/security-council/security-council-as-an-institution/the-power-of-the-veto-0-40.html
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/193352-un-urkaine-human-rights/
http://www.un.org/en/sc/meetings/voting.shtml
Graph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_veto_power
Picture: http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.592316!/image/2348766226.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_609x343/2348766226.jpg


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Syrian Conflict and War Crime

INFORMATION/NEWS
The Syrian Civil War is a complicated issue that repeatedly appears all over the media. Though this war is not very easy to understand, I suggest reading articles or videos on how it started to gain more information about it. Such as this one: Syrian Civil War Video.
So today, I will be discussing about Russia's part in the civil war.  Russia and Syria's current president(Bashar-Al-Assad) are allies and Russia backs Assad's forces in the war. And because of this, Russia plays a tremendous part in the war. However, suspicions have arisen on whether or not Russia has been committing war crimes. The President of France, Francois Hollande believes that Russia should be charged with war crimes and the U.S Secretary  of State John Kerry believes Russia should be investigated for this as well. They both believe that Russia should be investigated for the bombardment of Aleppo and attacks on hospitals that according to Mr. Kerry are deliberate.
AUTHOR'S INPUT
Article 27  in the Laws and customs of war on land (Hague, IV) states that "In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes." There have been instances where Russia has violated the text stated in this article. For example, Russian airstrikes throughout a 6 month period had resulted in the death of 2000 civilians. (guardian) Do you believe Russia should be charged with committing war crimes or not?  Write your answer in the comments.
Russia Vetoes Resolution
Russia has also vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council which designed to end aerial bombs conducted by Russia and Syria. This veto has a great impact on the Syrian unrest. If this solution had been implemented humanitarian aid could've reached Syria and there could've been a decrease in casualties. So this brings us to the question of veto power in the UN Security Council. There are times when individuals are in need of serious help and a resolution should be implemented quickly in order to resolve an issue. Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch says “Russia has once again abused its veto privilege and sabotaged the UN security council, this time stonewalling efforts to stop the vicious assault on east Aleppo’s civilians...”  But this topic will be discussed more in-depth in the next post. So do you think member states in the UN Security Council should have the power of vetoing? Comment your answer.
Sources:
https://www.loc.gov/law/help/us-treaties/bevans/m-ust000001-0631.pdf
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/15/russian-airstrikes-in-syria-killed-2000-civilians-in-six-months
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37611151
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/war/overview/crimes_1.shtml
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/08/russia-vetoes-un-resolution-syria-bombing-aleppo


Keep in mind that I am just providing my own opinion and would be happy to have feedback and opinions from you as well.
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