Purpose of this blog

This blog is for the spring 2018 offering of International Studies 4850: Understanding the Global Information Society. Each member of the class will contribute posts to this blog sharing stories of the countries they are following.

Female Mayor of Oxocana


In 2014 Elisia Zepeda had a meeting about women in the city having their land confiscated illegally. Once the women were in the city square the mayor and his associate attacked these women with the focus on Zepeda. They both fired shots at Elisa Zepeda while screaming obscenities to her. They hit her in the face with a shotgun and continued to physically abuse her. They kept screaming “ Don’t meddle in the towns affairs”. They showered her in public to show other women what would happen. She managed to survive the beating and stumbled to her house. Once home a group of men made up of police and city trustee’s attacked her once again. They killed her brother and family friend who was a police officer from out of town when they tried to help her. This group burnt down her home and brothers shop. They beat her again and her mother was beaten so badly that she lost an eye. Elisia Zepeda stated that she lost everything she knew and loved for simply fighting for the rights of women. After this incident she used it as motivation to continue fighting for women’s rights. One and a half years later she became mayor of the city of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Oaxaca. The city is much more peaceful and people happily approach the mayor without fear. She pioneered womens rights in her city and country.

Russian Presidential Candidates Fight with More than Words

The article I read was about a debate between two of the eight presidential candidates on the ballot for the Russian Federation’s elections in March. The article is from RT News and was published February 28th, 2018.

The article talks about the debate between presidential candidates Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the representative for the nationalist party, and Ksenia Sobchak, who does not align herself with a specific political party. The two were in a debate on Russia TV discussing Russia’s armed forces as well as other defense issues. The article goes on to describe how it descending into bickering and accusations from both sides, and then Sobchak threw the water from a glass nearby onto Zhirinovsky.

The article also comments on how Zhirinovsky has been in situations like this before and even cites an incident in 1995. It ends with some factual information on the presidential elections that are to be held in Russia on March 18th and lists several other candidates, including Vladimir Putin, but does not fully give the names and associated parties of all 8 candidates before closing.

RT News is a news source that is funded by the Russian Federation but reports on more than just events in Russia so their biases are not always evident nor do they typically have an end goal for their informative pieces. This article shows how fractured the political parties in Russia are that are not Putin. It contains hyperlinks in the article to go to other articles that list more incidents with presidential candidates like Sobchak. There is also something to be said about how all 8 candidates were not listed by name, but the ones they deemed important were, including Putin and the two making the headline. The article makes the two candidates in this debate seem childish and unfit to become the next leader of the Russian Federation to those who are reading it.

Slurs & water fly at Russian presidential debate as Lib Dem leader faces off with Sobchak

“Russian Presidential Candidates Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Ksenia Sobchak at the TV Debate Hosted by Rossya 1 Channel on February 28, 2018.” RT Russian Politics, 1 Mar. 2018, www.rt.com/politics/420078-presidential-debate-zhirinovsky-sobchak/.

Global News Post #4 – Republic of Korea

Read the full story in “The Korea Times”

The plot thickens for Korean manufacturers navigating the Trump administration. Last week, President Trump declared new tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum that is causing controversy domestically and abroad. Imported steel will have a 25% tariff, and aluminum will have a 10% tariff. This is following an advisory from the US Commerce Department. Although this will certainly hurt Korean manufacturers, especially mid-tier players, they avoided the worst case scenario – a 53% tariff on 12 countries including Korea – that was also proposed as a solution by the Commerce Department.

This move has been met with much criticism, even from US manufacturers, who despite benefitting the most from it still are not sure if it will be a net gain amidst worries that prices will rise too high. Some worry that US manufacturers wont be able to meet the needs of the market. All that is for sure from this move is that the US is further distancing itself from trade partners, and no one is quite sure whether this will help.

This article does a great job explaining the rationale for this decision and discussing the possible outcomes, from a diplomatic and economic point of view. It is always interesting to read about these issues from another country’s media, given how much it is discussed in the states. This will certainly be a story to follow.




Global New Post #4: Chile

Haitiano en San Antonio: “Chile no está preparado para tantos inmigrantes”
Haitian in San Antonio: “Chile isn’t prepared for this many immigrants”

This article examines the recent immigration waves in Chile, most specifically immigration from Haiti. Told from the perspective of a real Haitian immigrant living in the Chilean city of San Antonio, the article describes the negative sentiments thrown towards Haitians trying to live a better life in Chile. The article is very engaging because the Haitian immigrant agrees with both sides. In other words, the immigrant agrees that Chile by no means has the foundation in place to receive a great amount of immigrants and thus understands where negative sentiments might come from. In a country that struggles with an increasing unemployment rate (Statista, 2017), the immigrant recognizes that immigrants looking for jobs are immediately villainized by local Chileans.  On the other hand, the immigrant also notes that him along with his fellow Haitians deserve more respect and tolerance because they came with good intentions to work and live better a better life in Chile. A legal worker and tax payer, the immigrant raises many good points about the nuances of being an immigrant in Latin America.


This article comes from a regional Chilean newspaper in the city of San Antonio called “Soy San Antonio”. As a regional newspaper, the immigrant is represented more as a positive and beneficial figure. The article’s tone is one of tolerance and suggests that Haitian immigrants have much more to offer than the stereotypical crime and poverty. The evidence, using real quotes from a real Haitian immigrant, gives legitimacy to the article and allows for Chileans to see a more personalized take on the immigration issue. This differs from the national newspaper “El Mercurio”, which focuses more on the negative sides of Haitian immigration and its consequences.



Pizarro, Karem. “Haitiano En San Antonio: ‘Chile No Está Preparado Para Tantos Inmigrantes’ Fuente: Soychile.cl – Http://Www.soychile.cl/San-Antonio/Sociedad/2018/03/02/519724/Haitiano-En-San-Antonio-Chile-No-Esta-Preparado-Para-Tantos-Inmigrantes.aspx.” Http://Www.soychile.cl/San-Antonio/, 2 Mar. 2018, www.soychile.cl/San-Antonio/Sociedad/2018/03/02/519724/Haitiano-en-San-Antonio-Chile-no-esta-preparado-para-tantos-inmigrantes.aspx.


San Antonio Chile 04 de Septiembre 2017 Alumnos de la Escuela Cerro Placilla . Foto: Cristian Socrates Orellana.

Few cases of welfare abuse, labor chief insists


In a recent budget request, the current Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, requested an increase in funding for the Comprehensive Social Security System (CSSA). Under this, beneficiaries would receive an additional two months of support. The current Chief of Labor, Law Chi-Kwang, reminds people that the majority of CSSA funds go to the elderly and disabled, only 4% of which are able bodied enough to work. In light of critics calling that there would be an increase of welfare abuse, he points out that violations have gone down in the last ten years. Law said “Shouldn’t we share the fruits of success with people who cannot support themselves financially, given this year’s surplus?” In Hong Kong there is a term that describes those who are excluded from Hong Kong’s $80 billion dollars a year in social aid, called an N-Nothing. A task force has been created to help reduce the number of N-Nothings, often those who still are in great need despite not qualifying for aid.

Image result for poverty hong kong

Evidence from the article is all from government quotes and sources, likely reliable. The author helps try to change the views of those who are on government benefits as lazy and uses the current government budget increase and official statements as tools of persuasion. It is worth noting that the actual rates of welfare abuse are not precisely stated.

Yeung, Raymond. “How many Hongkongers are really living in poverty?” South China Morning Post, 22 May 2017, www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education-community/article/2095117/how-many-hongkongers-are-really-living-poverty.


Global News Post #3 – Germany

Wie das Kokain nach Berlin kommt – Where the Cocaine in Berlin Comes From

According to a new analysis done by the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), a German Federal Criminal Police unit located in Berlin, the use of cocaine and other narcotics has not only increased in the city of Berlin, it has found new ways of transport. This article written by Marie Rövekamp focuses on the hidden pathways drug dealers use in order to sneak drugs into Berlin, Germany.

Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel explains that although the police force in Germany has done a good job at catching criminals in the streets, even bigger problems in how drugs get to Berlin have yet to be solved. The main transaction for cocaine in Berlin and country-wide occurs with the DarkWeb. The DarkWeb allows users to obtain anonymous IP addresses that cannot be traced. Since there is no face to the name, those looking to score can easily purchase their goods. However, since police have a strong grip on the streets and city, dealers have come up with more intuitive ways at bringing drugs in.

Smuggling drugs into Berlin comes in many forms. The most popular form has been aptly named the “Coke-Taxi”. This is when a cab driver or dealer dressed as such driver around under the guise of a taxi only to be both dealing and transporting narcotics. Another way has been through body transport through which dealers or workers hide drugs inside their bodies in when traveling through checkpoints in order to conceal their product.

The BKA have been trying to find a way to figure out the patterns of cocaine sales. This is a difficult solution to find, especially since “24,000 lines of coke are exchange in Berlin a day” (translated from direct quote: “Berliner ziehen sich im Schnitt 24.000 Lines am Tag rein”. Since the DarkWeb encrypts the identity of dealers and buyers, it is up to police to simply catch a deal in the act and find information from there. This process will take time and diligence since their is no information to go off of in the first place.

This article takes a non-biased approach even when taking into account the pro-drug political view. The evidence being used was statistical information regarding the predicted amount of drugs influxed into Berlin as well as opinions and anecdotes from police on what to do with them. This article takes no point of view and more over analyzes the event of drug usage and transportation within Berlin. Some information may have been misconstrued since it was written in German and was at the fault of my translation.


Works Cited:


Rövekamp, Marie. “Wie Das Kokain Nach Berlin Kommt.” Der Schneesturm, 4 Mar. 2018, www.tagesspiegel.de/wirtschaft/der-schneesturm-wie-das-kokain-nach-berlin-kommt/21029078.html.


“DPA.” Russian ‘mastermind’ in Argentina cocaine plot arrested in Berlin. AFP, Version 1, The Local de, 2 March, 2018, 11:03 PM, https://www.thelocal.de/20180302/russian-mastermind-in-argentina-cocaine-plot-arrested-in-berlin

GNP #4 United Arab Emirates الإمارات العربية المتحدة

New York Times report says UAE adviser pushed for a private meeting between the crown prince and Donald Trump [Chris Kleponis/EPA]

According to International news agencies Aljazeera expanding upon the report initially covered by The New York Times reported this past Saturday 03/03/2018 that George Nader, a Lebanese-American advisor to the current ruler of the UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, he has been questioned regarding the suspected influence that The United Arab Emirates has financed over the United States’ recent presidential election of Donald Trump.


The article cites the existence of memos which cites both Russian and United Arab Emirati entities seeking to purchase political favor within the Trump administration. It is unclear at this time whether or not connection between the two governments are official political entities or if they are related to one another. Such policies would be influenced in favor to the UAE and would set up a systematic and financial arrangement to give an advantage to the US-UAE trade system.

Between the two articles there was clearly purpose behind the investigation carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Such evidence regarding foreign-policy would not however be the first time such negoations have occurred. According to former US deputy attorney-general Bruce Fein said “while it is not necessarily illegal for foreign governments to try to influence policy, these efforts have to be documented.”

Mark Mazzetti, David D. Kirkpatrick & Maggie Haberman, Mueller’s Focus on Adviser to Emirates Suggests Broader Investigation – New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/03/us/politics/george-nader-mueller-investigation-united-arab-emirates.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Aljazeera, US Investigator probes possible UAE Attempts to buy influence https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/investigator-probes-uae-attempts-buy-influence-180304164925122.html

Discontent in the Political system in Brazil

Millennials are showing up to protest the upcoming elections that feel like that do not represent their interests. When looking at the problems expressed by these young Brazilians its hard not to compare them to the issues expressed by our own American youth. The Brazilian protests are in a way a continuation of the discontent expressed in 2013 over the hikes of public transportation.  After months of protest and many arrests and some deaths some changes where made.

The millennials want an end to government corruption, and only a 6% of Brazilians are happy with their government.  The way the elections are set up is that candidate must be affiliated with a political party and cant run unless they are. Furthermore some believe that the system makes it extremely difficult for new comers to be successful, it is made so that people in power continue to thrive. The current accessibility of social media has allowed peoples voices to be heard all over the country. Brazil has a massive population of smart phone users  that has attributed to their knowledge and involvement in the political system.


Global News Post #4 – Netherlands

Record numbers of foreign students at Dutch universities of technology

The article I am sharing for my fourth post is entitled Record numbers of foreign students at Dutch universities of technology by Senay Boztas of DutchNews. Boztas comments on the increasing number of students from outside of the Netherlands that are enrolling at Dutch universities and the concern that they are taking spots from students native to the Netherlands. Many Dutch people account the rise of foreign students to the high number of classes offered in English at Netherlands universities, and Peter Duisenberg, chairman of the Dutch Universities Association suggested maybe universities should consider lessening the number of courses taught in English if this trend continues. Some universities have taken further steps in order to ensure Dutch-born students are getting the best education opportunities when it comes to in-country schools. Delft University of Technology has said that from February 1st, 2018 on, no non-european students will be considered for its bachelors of computer sciences program. A representative from Delft stated that while intercultural experiences is important, “we want to ensure the quality our education”. Whether other universities will follow suit is yet to be seen, but it is obvious higher education will continue to be molded by the increasingly globalized world we are experiencing.

This article used quotes from knowledgeable individuals within the higher education field in the Netherlands which provided a sense of credibility. These sources included: Nuffic, an international education body; Peter Duisenberg, chairman to the Dutch Universities Association; as well as representatives from various Dutch universities. They also contacted representatives from both sides of the argument when formulating their account on the situation.

Image result for delft university of technology


Boztas, Senay. “Record Numbers of Foreign Students at Dutch Universities of Technology.”DutchNews.nl, 16 Feb. 2018, www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2018/02/record-numbers-of-foreign-students-at-dutch-technical-universities/.

TU Delft 2. Digital Image. University of Rochester Study Abroad. Web. 3/04/2018.


South Africa – Global News Post

EFF wants to remove Trollip because he’s white


FILE PICTURE: Speaker Jonathan Lawack places the mayoral chain around Athol Trollip’s neck to symbolise his election as mayor.

According to this article written on March 4th, 2018 by Nico Gous, it appears the head of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, is pushing for the removal of Athol Trollip as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro effective April 6th of this year because he is white. At one of Malena’s speaking events in Johannesburg, he mentioned that they do not care for white feelings. He further goes on to justify his statement by saying that it is not that they, referring to himself and his following, hate white people, they just love black people.

This situation created an issue that was in turn debated in the National Assembly in Parliament after the ANC decided to expropriate land without compensation at their 54th Congress in December. Due to the DA’s refusal to back the motion of the EEF to amend section 25 of the constitution, which deals with property, Malema declared that the DA was being a typical bully to the EFF. Malema does not want any political party to claim ownership of the metros where the DA and the EFF are in coalition due to the fact that neither party had won with the majority in these metros.