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Matt Schiavenza

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How an ISIS Beheading Might Change Japan

January 26, 2015 A video released on Islamic State-affiliated Twitter accounts shows the apparent beheading of Haruna Yukawa, a 42-year-old Japanese citizen who had been held captive by ISIS forces since last August. Yukawa's death hasn't been independently verified, but the Japanese government said it believes the video to be authentic. The beheading ...

Why North Korea Sanctions Are Unlikely To Be Effective

January 5, 2015 After the FBI announced that North Korea was behind last month's major hack of Sony as it prepared to release The Interview, President Obama vowed to carry out a proportional response (despite some experts pouring skepticism over the FBI's claim that North Korea is responsible). On Friday, the president followed ...

The U.S. Government's Foreign-Language Problem

January 5, 2015 For American citizens wishing to serve their government as linguists, career advancement can present a vexing Catch-22. To acquire the language and cultural skills needed to succeed in the job, a linguist typically must spend years within a foreign country, developing ties with residents. But this experience abroad is a ...

Al-Shabab Escalates Its War Against 'Infidel Powers'

November 25, 2014 The violent campaign between Kenya's government and Somali militants is escalating. On Sunday, a day after members of the al-Shabab group executed 28 passengers on a Kenyan bus, Kenya's Vice President William Ruto announced that the country's military had crossed into Somalia and attacked al-Shabab camps where the bus attack ...

Death on the New York Subway

November 17, 2014 Early Sunday morning in The Bronx, 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok and his wife entered the 167 St. subway station in order to head to Manhattan's Chinatown for breakfast. They never made it. An unknown assailant shoved the couple in front of an oncoming southbound D train. Kwok was killed. His ...

Has China Finally Reached Great Power Status?

November 12, 2014 For several years, China's role in international politics has been that of an overgrown teenager: large and powerful, but clumsy and developing. And no issue exemplified this role more than in the environment. No country in the world emits more carbon dioxide than China, which surpassed the United States in ...

New York City's Incomplete Marijuana Reform

November 11, 2014 Has the marijuana liberalization sweeping the United States finally arrived in its largest city? The New York Times reported Sunday that the NYPD will stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana and will issue a ticket and summons to court instead. New York City's evolution on marijuana enforcement ...

Destroying ISIS Goes Beyond Killing Its Leadership

November 10, 2014 The United States-led campaign against the Islamic State has yielded little tangible success so far. But things may suddenly have changed. The Telegraph reported Sunday that a Coalition bombing attack has killed a close aide to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, near Mosul, Iraq. In addition, a member ...

The Taliban Is Trying To Flame India-Pakistan Tensions

November 3, 2014 Every day before sunset, soldiers from India and Pakistan face stand on opposite sides of the Wagah border crossing and perform an elaborate flag ceremony. The event, which has occurred daily since 1959, attracts a wide audience and is popular with international tourists. At its conclusion, each side folds their ...

Ukrainians Vote To Face West

October 26, 2014 Pro-Western parties have emerged as the big winners in Ukraine's parliamentary elections. According to exit polling, the Poroshenko Bloc—controlled by President Petro Poroshenko—earned 23 percent of the vote, while a party aligned with Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk secured 21.3 percent. Both parties favor policies designed to bring Ukraine closer to ...