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Category : World

Hyeonseo Lee ; Interview with North Korea’s ‘Steel-Plated’ Magnolia

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By Taryana Odayar, Features Editor The first time I met Hyeonseo Lee, I was struck by what a small and diminutive figure she cut. Dressed all in black, with her soft voice and calm, almost serene composure, she looked the part of a doe-eyed ingénue. I wondered how someone who looked as though a gust of wind might blow her away could, at the age of 17, traverse 2,000 miles…

Lukashenko’s Illegitimate Autocracy

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By Daniel Shears, Deputy Features Editor On the 11th October 2015, Belarus witnessed an event which existed not in isolation, but as part of a larger chain of events connected by a historical thread of corruption and intimidation. The event in question was the Belarusian Presidential election. The outcome? A decisively overwhelming victory for Mr Alexander Lukashenko, who won 83.5% of the vote (with an apparent 87% turnout, although this has been…

Tossed but not sunk

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By Alexander Hurst Nearly a year ago tens of thousands of people gathered at Paris’s Place de la République the night of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. I was among them; the mood of the crowd was respectful, yet defiant as it converged around the statue of Marianne—symbol of the French Republic—that stood in the middle of the square, hand outstretched, frozen in copper and time. She was ringed with illuminated…

Belarus: Europe’s Last Dictatorship?

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By Capucine Cogne Where is Belarus? I conducted an informal survey asking this question: the result was that not one person got more than one of the country’s five bordering countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland and Russia) correct. Some people even thought it was a city! Not many people seem to know anything about this small country which currently holds an important role in international relations Although Belarus has a…

Why Are We Burying The Children Of Yemen?

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By Emily Haimeed Nine-year old Fareed Shawky repeatedly cried “don’t bury me” as doctors treated him after his house was hit by a Houthi missile in the Yemeni city of Taiz. Fareed died a few days later from his wounds, and his family had no choice but to bury him. Fareed’s story is sadly the reality for the hundreds of children killed in Yemen since fighting intensified last year, and…

King Salman: Saudi Arabia Resurgent

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By Chaudhary Ibrahim On the 23rd January 2015 Al Saudiya interrupted its daily broadcasts to release a typically laconic statement informing the world that King Abdullah had died. As Saudis congregated at mosques across the country to offer Friday prayers many of the world’s principal leaders were already preparing to visit Riyadh to offer their condolences to the new king. Within hours of the late king’s death, amid concerns about…

On Syria, Facts of Life, and Pomp: An Interview With Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger

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By Daniel Sippel Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger was the German Ambassador to the United States from 2001-2006 and Ambassador to the Court of St James from 2006-2008. Today, he is Senior Fellow of the Dahrendorf Forum and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference. Before the LSE IDEAS public debate on Thursday, 8 October, Daniel Sippel spoke with him on the conflict in Syria and his position on his wife’s memoirs. Daniel…

American Absurdity: Gun Culture In The World’s Superpower

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Thursday night I sat down with my internationally diverse flatmates and started flipping through the pages of an online gun sales website. I have no idea what the different range of calibers and options mean, but I have heard of nine millimeters before, so we start with that and are confronted with 1,047 different options of “beginner” handguns. My flatmates — from Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, and France — are already incredulous. The cheapest is a…

The Case for a European Turkey

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It might not be popular these days to talk of Turkey as a European country, Turkey however today needs Europe more than ever and Europeans should be doing more in further cementing Turkey’s position within Europe. Whereas the prospect of integrating Turkey inside the EU is a far-flung possibility, given the current enlargement fatigue, euro-crisis and the union’s ability to absorb further large states, Europeans elites and people should start…

Social Finance: myth or reality?

Social Finance: myth or reality?

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Witnessing the disastrous social impact of the 2008/2009 financial crisis more and more investors aim at making profit out of their savings while still using their money in a meaningful way. In France the Association Finansol, created in 1995, provides this opportunity to these new social investors. Their label “Finansol”, attributed by an independent committee of experts, distinguishes social financial products from traditional investment. However how can social finance be…