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Author: TheConversation

Uyghur Genocide: China faces Human Rights investigations over forced organ harvesting

By Ali Iqbal, Transplant Nephrologist, Assistant Professor of Medicine, McMaster University; and Aliya Khan, Clinical professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University Organ transplantation is a life-saving therapy for millions of patients and one of the greatest successes of modern medicine. However, a limited supply of donor organs, paired with a massive demand for transplants, has fueled the global organ trafficking industry which exploits poor, underprivileged and persecuted members of society as a source of organs to be purchased by wealthy transplant tourists. Although this practice occurs in many countries, the situation in China is particularly concerning. China is...

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Threats from Beijing: Why Nancy Pelosi’s congressional visit to Taiwan provoked such diplomatic anger

By Meredith Oyen, Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Before U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had confirmed when, or even if, she would visit Taiwan, the mere suggestion ruffled feathers. Such was the sensitivity over the island’s status that reports of her possible trip resulted in a warning by China of “serious consequences,” and a suggestion by President Joe Biden that the visit was “not a good idea.” Amid the rhetoric and heightened tensions, Taiwan began conducting military drills. The comments followed a report by the Financial Times that Pelosi had planned to...

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Cultural Symbolism: Why heritage sites in Ukraine like Saint Sophia Cathedral remain a threat to Russia

By J. Eugene Clay, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Arizona State University More than 160 Ukrainian cultural sites have been damaged or destroyed since Russia invaded the country in February 2022, according to UNESCO. The Ukrainian government claims the number of damaged sites is far higher. Russia denies these charges. Ukrainian officials accuse Russia of deliberately targeting cultural sites, half of which are churches, monasteries, prayer houses, synagogues and mosques. Such a targeting would be a violation of international law. As a scholar who has spent over 30 years studying Russian and...

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A language for all: Esperanto was created in 1887 for international communication with a promise of peace

By Joshua Holzer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Westminster College The city of Białystok, which was once Polish, then Prussian, then Russian, in the late 1800s and is today again part of Poland, was a hub of diversity, with large numbers of Poles, Germans, Russians and Yiddish-speaking Ashkanazi Jews. Each group spoke a different language and viewed members of the other communities with suspicion. For years, L.L. Zamenhof – a Jewish man from Białystok who had trained as a doctor in Moscow – had dreamed of a way for diverse groups of people to communicate easily and peacefully. On...

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Fred Gray: Landmark-setting Civil Rights lawyer awarded Medal of Freedom for lifetime of work

By Jonathan Entin, Professor Emeritus of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University Over the past seven decades, longtime Alabama civil rights lawyer Fred Gray represented Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and the victims of the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment, in which the U.S. Public Health Service refused for decades to provide readily available treatment to Black men who had the disease. Gray played important roles in landmark Supreme Court decisions that outlawed segregated public transit and affirmed the strategy of the Montgomery bus boycott organizers. He protected the freedom of association guaranteed by...

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Sparked by hot political issues: How American youth could potentially swing elections in key states

By Abby Kiesa, Deputy Director at CIRCLE, Tufts University The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion has far-reaching personal and political implications and may help decide the midterm elections in November 2022. That influence extends to young people’s election participation. People ages 18 to 29 have historically been less likely to vote than older adults. But in recent years, they have been spurred to organize and vote by major national controversies, like school shootings and police violence against Black people. As a researcher with more than 20 years of experience tracking youth voting and...

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