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Author: TheConversation

Bombed-out hospitals from Syria’s civil war make disaster recovery difficult for earthquake survivors

By Ora Szekely, Associate Professor of Political Science, Clark University After a pair of devastating earthquakes struck southern Türkiye and northwestern Syria, the number of confirmed deaths continues to rise, surpassing 52,000 as of March 23. The United Nations estimates that millions of people on both sides of the border have been affected, including 9 million in Syria alone. Many across northwest Syria are enduring winter conditions without adequate shelter or access to food, drinking water, electricity, or heating fuel. Indian economist Amartya Sen famously argued that famines must be understood as problems with human origins rather than merely...

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Aid groups play vital role in helping Syria’s quake-devastated areas that were already disaster zones

By Kimberly Howe, University of Virginia Humanitarian Collaborative Practitioner Fellow; Assistant Research Professor of International Relations, Tufts University Three weeks after the February 2023 earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria, I stood amid the rubble in Jindires, a devastated Syrian village. An estimated 50,000 people had lost their lives in the two countries by that point, with the number of casualties still climbing. Around me, heaps of concrete and twisted metal mixed with bursts of color — fragments of furniture, children’s toys, clothing — that served as reminders of the lives that crumbled when homes crumbled, trapping people inside and...

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An undivided Ukraine: How wartime unity is forging a national vision for rebuilding the future

By Erik S. Herron, Professor of Political Science, West Virginia University; and Ralph S. Clem, Professor Emeritus of Geography, Florida International University Once divided, Ukrainians are thinking about how to rebuild their nation and are prioritizing national interests over regional ones. It is undeniable that Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine has wrought devastating death and destruction on the Ukrainian people and their country. Millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes, with many of them seeking refuge abroad. Yet despite their incredible hardships, Ukrainians have been united in rallying around their country and their president from the...

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Child Victims: Why prosecuting Putin for abductions in Ukraine will not guarantee the kids can return home

By Stefan Schmitt, Project Lead for International Technical Forensic Services, Florida International University The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 17, 2023, over war crimes in Ukraine, alleging he bears “individual criminal responsibility” for abducting thousands of children from occupied parts of the country. Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, was also cited by the court on similar charges. They mark the first arrest warrants the independent tribunal, based in The Hague, has issued since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But the development will...

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When kids become a prop: Understanding legal protections for the children of influencers

By Jessica Maddox, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Creative Media, University of Alabama When it comes to sharing content of children on social media, particularly via sponsored posts and brand deals, what is legal is not always what is ethical. Influencer Brittany Dawn, who initially gained a following for her fitness workouts before pivoting to religious content, recently came under fire for monetizing her foster child on social media. While Dawn has blurred out her child’s image in photos shared – a stipulation decreed by the U.S. Children’s Bureau for foster parents in their social media rules – she...

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Measuring the Freedom Gap: George W. Bush’s promise of democracy for the people of Iraq still falls short

By Brian Urlacher, Department Chair and Professor, Political Science & Public Administration, University of North Dakota President George W. Bush and his administration put forward a variety of reasons to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In the months before the U.S. invasion, Bush said the looming conflict was about eradicating terrorism and seizing weapons of mass destruction – but also because of a “freedom deficit” in the Middle East, a reference to the perceived lag in participatory government in the region. Many of these arguments would emerge as poorly grounded, given later events. In 2004, then Secretary of...

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