Author: Kelsey Ritchie

Q&A with Bob Schieffer, Legendary American Newsman

Bob Schieffer has covered politics for over half a century, from the White House to the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom and Capitol Hill. The host of CBS’s “Face the Nation” for 24 years, he has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon. Despite the thousands of high-level interviews he’s conducted over this career, he enthusiastically set aside an afternoon to speak with an overly caffeinated and highly curious graduate student. If I took one thing from my conversation with Mr. Schieffer, it was this: there is a place for and a need for young, fresh perspectives in our current political...

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The Turks vs. the Kurds: a New Dimension in Syrian Conflict?

This month marks the seven-year anniversary of the Syrian Civil War. The country, an arena of catastrophic destruction since March 2011, has witnessed a reign of terror from ISIS, proxy wars between major powers, and an incomprehensibly large-scale humanitarian crisis. Last fall, the international community celebrated the liberation of Raqqa, the self-designated capitol of the ISIS caliphate. With the fall of the caliphate began a new era of reconstruction in Syria. Now, reconstruction efforts have encountered a new obstacle: growing tensions in northern Syria between U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds and the neighboring Turks. Also known as the Euphrates River Valley,...

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Rohingya, Religion, Response: Part Two

Some of the most devastating wars in history have been fought in the name of religion. It is undeniable that differences in belief systems and ways of worship can cause irreconcilable disputes. Though religion plays a role in causing many conflicts, it also has the unique power to resolve them. In part one, I examined the core beliefs and the history of the two religious groups at odds in Myanmar: the Buddhist majority and the Rohingya Muslim minority. As tensions continue to escalate and more Rohingya flee to surrounding countries, there is a growing need for international action. It...

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Rohingya, Religion, Response: Part One

How religious beliefs and ethnic groups shape culture in the Rakhine State The refugee crisis in Rohingya has dominated news headlines since the end of August. Reports of violence and human rights atrocities have led to international criticism. As a result, the Myanmar military has been accused of religious persecution of the Rohingya Muslims. While longstanding tensions have simmered in the Rakhine State between the Rohingya Muslims and Myanmar’s Buddhist majority, the situation escalated after Rohingya militants attacked police posts on August 25. Since this triggering event and the violent response from the Myanmar military, over 500,000 Rohingya Muslim...

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Saudi Arabia Gives Women the Wheel: Why Now, and What Now?

Photo: Mattia Panciroli (CC) On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Saudi Arabia announced via televised royal decree that it will finally allow women to drive, marking a watershed moment in the fight for women’s rights. The verdict gives Saudi Arabian women both the literal and metaphorical wheel: as they are handed the keys, they will reach an unprecedented degree of independence and agency. Since activist Manal al-Sharif posted a video of herself driving on YouTube in 2011, women’s rights movements in Saudi Arabia have accelerated at a considerable rate. The decision to lift the ban was immediately heralded by the international...

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