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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Thursday, February 22, 2024



Venezuela has become a humanitarian emergency

Venezuela was once Latin America’s wealthiest country and was praised for its functioning democracy. Often called South America’s Saudi Arabia due to its oil-dependence, Venezuela was known for its booming economy in the 1970s. Yet, New York Times headlines about Venezuela have turned from  “Democracy, as Usual, in Caracas” and “Democracy in Venezuela” to “The Disaster That Is Venezuela” in recent years. 


How the Democrats lost Florida

0As midterm elections draw closer and voting registration deadlines pass, pundits look at the polling of “swing states” — states with a roughly even population of Democrats and Republicans that have the potential to vote either way in national elections. The results are especially important this year as polls show neither party has a large advantage in either congressional chamber, with Democrats favored in the Senate and Republicans favored in the House. The governorships are also significant, as state law determines hot-button issues like abortion, education and immigration. 


It’s Happened Before: Putin’s scare tactics won’t work

 In the 1930s, Britain was terrified of the bomber. It was thought of as the ultimate weapon: It could swoop in virtually undetected and deliver devastation of biblical proportions upon vulnerable cities, wiping them out. A massive aerial first strike, some military experts claimed, could bring Britain to its knees before it had a chance to fight back. In World War II, these ideas were put to the test. Nazi Germany, victorious in France by 1940, moved on to Britain. 


High maintenance: Biden works to reform federal marijuana policy

Last week, president Joe Biden announced a pardon for all those with federal charges for simple possession of marijuana, calling on governors to do the same at the state level and announcing that current classification of marijuana would be reviewed. The move is restorative, just, and a first step toward reform. Biden acted completely within his domain and made a reasonable adjustment to the national policy on marijuana that focuses on helping people, specifically people of color, rather than just focusing on legalization. 


Ukraine at War: What does grief feel like?

Each time I hear about another Russian military crime, I naively think that the situation cannot get any worse. It always can; apparently, it hits differently when a friend is killed. For me, the grief feels like a heavy fabric thrown all over the body. 


PestWorld Boston 2022: Could this be the “pest” time of your life?

Where can you find an opening ceremony led by the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, a speech by Seinfeld star John O’Hurley, and a 5K run that donates 20% of its earnings to Comfort Zone Camp? You guessed it — PestWorld Boston 2022! It was love at first sight; I knew this was the perfect convention for a casual pesticide enjoyer like myself. However, apart from the $600 entrance fee, there is one condition holding me back: Is it ethical to attend PestWorld Boston 2022?


Snowden's newfound Russian citizenship reignites the debate of privacy versus safety in the US

We all remember the infamous Edward Joseph Snowden: National Security Agency contractor, Rubik’s Cube holder, and the person responsible for leaking the highly classified online surveillance program PRISM in 2013, which revealed that the  NSA was spying on American citizens through SMS messages, tracking phone calls, contact information and a slew of other personal records.


The End of the World Has Just Begun: No policeman

Of the points raised in my last piece concerning the origins of the globalized system, the most relevant to today’s affairs may be the fact that free trade has sprung up under American auspices — particularly the exertion of naval supremacy as the U.S. Navy underpins 90% of global commerce, or over $4.6 trillion worth of trade. However, the lack of a navy with true supremacy in our global system furthers the argument that our experiment in globalization is doomed to fall apart. This article will, consequently, serve as a review of global navies and their ability to protect the sea lanes of trade and communication.


Italy's election is evidence of a right-wing swing

On Sunday, Sept. 25, Italy joined the growing list of democracies led by right-wing governments when it voted the Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni into office. The 45-year-old politician and journalist who now serves as prime minister has gone viral for a speech in Rome where she proclaimed she is a “woman, mother, Italian and Christian.” This slogan holds a mirror to the veiling of xenophobia under the guise of protection of family values by directly emphasizing Meloni’s nationality, religion and duty as a mother stemming from her sex. The mere fact of Meloni’s gender should not be a reason to celebrate her election. Italy joins Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand as a developed country with a female leader; however, unlike the latter three countries, Italy is headed in a direction that is clearly not feminist. Meloni has stated that she does not intend to abolish Italy’s abortion law, but the law provides inadequate support and resources for women wanting an abolition, which results in limited abortion access in Italy. By not amending this law, Meloni ensures that abortion will remain difficult to access in Italy. 


Bridging the gap: Brazil's presidential election

As the United States prepares for its elections in about a month, so too does one of its closest South American allies, Brazil. Amid the tension of the United States’ midterm election season, few are thinking of the past presidential election. Yet, Brazil’s current presidential election cycle is eerily reminiscent of the 2020 election in the U.S. Like the United States, Brazil’s election will feature a closely contested race between two major political players, with one seeking to oust an incumbent. Perhaps more importantly, there’s just as much political leverage at stake. 


Ukraine at War: We don't need another post-nuclear war art movement

Have you ever looked at a painting in a museum of modern art and felt extremely confused attempting to understand the artist’s message? When and why did American creators ‘decide’ that realism is too limited for expressing ideas? What caused the transformation of traditional art to a conceptual one? The phenomena of abstract expressionism and the movements that followed it have blossomed in the United States after 1945, the year U.S. bombers dropped the world's first deployed atomic bombs over two peaceful Japanese cities. 


Has China's "zero-Covid" policy taken on a more insidious political dimension?

When the coronavirus first began to spread across the world, countries were gripped by fear and uncertainty. At the initial stages of the pandemic, China and the United States demonstrated two starkly different approaches to handling the virus. China immediately implemented strict centralized efforts: Lockdowns were put into place and new hospitals were built within weeks. The U.S. however was sorely lacking in efficient and organized efforts. The country faced mass shortages of medical resources and was led by a president who downplayed the severity of the situation and exacerbated many Americans’ distrust of scientific guidelines.


Putin's war falls on shoulders of Russia's ethnic minorities

While brave Ukrainians continue to relentlessly defend their right to existence, freedom and democracy, Moscow’s restaurants are filled with glamorous Instagram influencers indulging in their Sunday brunch. If you were to visit the largest and richest Russian cities, you would not believe that you are located in a country that is currently perpetrating a full-scale war. It’s all business and entertainment as usual. 


International students at Tufts face challenges but gain new perspectives

For decades, the United States has been the most popular destination to go to college internationally. Known to be the ‘land of opportunity,’ students from all around the world choose to go to the world’s top colleges in the United States for the education quality, infinite opportunities and study abroad experience. In fact, according to research from the Institute on International Education, over one million foreign-born students were enrolled in colleges in the U.S. for the 2019–20 academic year, though that number has dipped since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming from over 200 countries, millions of international students share the same goal: finding an opportunity to succeed. 


Why Tufts' search for our new president must prioritize fossil fuel divestment

With President Anthony Monaco stepping down in the summer of 2023, Tufts is getting prepared to lose a leader who “strengthened the university by every possible metric,” as Board of Trustees Chair Peter Dolan stated in an email to the Tufts community in February. It’s inarguable that Monaco's contributions to Tufts have been tremendous in their efforts to rebuild and strengthen the Tufts community. Yet, while many have expressed their disappointment in Monaco’s farewell, his departure has also been met with great anticipation.