By Dana Lea.
Twenty sixteen has started off with more than a plethora of new top international stories and the continuation of quite a few from last year. ExPatt is excited to be back in action for the spring after a brief break and some changes to our team. We are sad to see our colleagues go, but we know they move on to bright futures and successful careers. We are also thrilled to add four news team members to the board. Furthermore, our spring print edition is due out soon for distribution with excellent and insightful articles from Patterson students.
I have stepped into the shoes of Ryan Kuhns, though they are too large to fill, and am assuming the position of Digital Editor. Lee Clark continues with us as the Print Editor, and both of us under the umbrella and leadership of Marc Dubuis as Editor-in-Chief. It is quite the trifecta.
Now… let’s meet our new ExPatt executive board members and staff editors.
Carson Yates is majoring in international development with a focus on education policy. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in linguistic studies, focusing on Arabic and Russian languages. Her interests include the MENA region and education policy reform.
Joe Gabbard is an intelligence and national security studies Pattersonite. His undergraduate degree is from Centre college with a BA in international relations and history. Joe is greatly interested in national security and foreign affairs with particular enthusiasm for theology and philosophy perspectives.
Hunter Carter graduated with a degree in international relations from High Point University in North Carolina. He pursues his Patterson master’s with a focus on intel and national security. Currently, Hunter is an intern at the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Intelligence Fusion Center.
Kaylyn Wade has a degree in history and political science from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. At Patterson she is concentrating on diplomacy and intel. She has a great interest in U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic practice.
Now that we have all met and are caught up on the happenings of ExPatt thus far, let’s catch up on this exciting year in national and foreign affairs headlines. Just in case you missed something.
The Zika Virus is the new Ebola. There have now been reported cases in Spain and through sexual transmission in Texas. Basically, everyone is freaking out. What we thought could be contained by exterminating all the mosquito population of Central and South America, is turning into a possible pandemic (according to the WHO). Furthermore, they have found live viruses in both urine and saliva! Why is this terrifying? Just a little thing called the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, not to mention the fact we do not have a cure yet, it is effecting a whole generation of babies, and the CDC is flipping out and issuing travel warnings.
The United States election year has kicked off with Donald Trump boycotting a Fox News debate and continuing to slander other candidates and immigrants. I hope you didn’t miss Dr. Ben Carson talking about the “exoatmosphere” and warning us all against cyber attacks… which his medical degree teaches all about. All eyes turned to Iowa this week where Hillary almost got Berned and Trump is now going to sue over obvious fraud since Ted Cruz won the GOP vote. Additionally, Obama shines in his final year as he makes his first mosque visit and the TPP is officially signed.
In other breaking U.S. news, the world was too busy watching Making A Murderer to notice that there was lead in their water. Like a story out of a corrupt, third world country, news breaks that the residents of Flint, Michigan have been drinking local water contaminated with lead and the local government has known for well over a year. It is hard for most Americans to imagine such infrastructure issues taking place within our own great borders. In other shocking homeland news, Oregon experienced “Ya’ll ‘Qaeda” and lived to tell that tale.
In African news, Mugabe is still alive and controlling the drought stricken nation of Zimbabwe, and Cote d’Ivoire’s Laurent Gbagbo denies war crimes to the ICC. Boko Harm continues to terrorize and murder in northern Nigeria long after the Chibok Girls are forgotten. And of course there is the AU peacekeeping mission that never quite happened in Burundi.
In East Asia as China’s growth continues to slow and the Yuan further devalued, North Korea performed nuclear H-Bomb tests… well maybe, we still aren’t sure if it actually happened. But if the DPRK is in possession of an H-Bomb, the rest of the world is saying “oh no” while China releases memes of “Kim the Fat” and resigns to anger. What’s more, Taiwan has elected a female president, a 6-meter tapeworm has been extracted from a man in China, and Coldplay and Beyoncé are accused of Indian cultural appropriation.
As Syrian Peace Talks fail in Geneva this week leaders in London pledge $10 billion to Syrian humanitarian aid. Americans are still worried about Syrian refugee resettlement and not the overcrowding camps in neighboring countries and the countless starving and in need of medical attention locked within the ruined borders of Syrian cities. Nonetheless, the fight against ISIS wages on as Saudi Arabia promises to finally send ground troops into the nation. Speaking of Saudi Arabia, the nation has finally come to the realization that it cannot shower in oil forever as oil prices drop drastically and cutting ties with Iran has not had the best thought-out aftermath.
And finally, in case you missed it, El Chapo has been recaptured and extradited to America to avoid any tunnel digging. Cubans continue to flood into the United States in fear of their immigration door closing. Many Cubans were briefly delayed in Costa Rice for 3 months when Nicaragua decided to close its border, but were flown to El Salvador to continue their journey (and get out of the hair of Costa Rica). Brexit is still in pursuit by English PM David Cameron. AND refugees continue to be everywhere, not just in Europe.
I believe I have hit all the major headlines, but if I have not, I’m sure you will Tweet us (@ExPattMagazine) and let us know! Welcome back and thank you for joining us for another great year.
Dana Lea is a Master’s candidate at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. Her academic and research interest are human rights and migration, with a particular focus on Sub Saharan Africa. She currently works for the Kentucky Refugee Ministries as the Community Engagement Coordinator.