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.
Content Warning: This article includes mentions of suicide and drug abuse. Find on- and off-campus resources for substance abuse recovery here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All of us know that texting during a class is a strategy for failure and is to be avoided unless something urgent comes up, which happens quite rarely. Or does it? For every Ukrainian student, any text message or phone call can be critical.
Who is Roger Federer? A legend in the tennis world? A humble Swiss ball boy? When asked by Joe Sabia in the “73 Questions” series for Vogue, he said he wanted to be remembered as “philanthropic” and “a good tennis player.” I am here to tell you that both descriptions are understatements of who he is, both as a tennis player and a philanthropic foundation president.
On Sept. 21, famed conservative talk show host Sean Hannity televised an exclusive interview with former President Trump. With mounting pressure on Trump and his legal team, discussion of the search warrant that found classified documents on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property was inevitable. However, an attempt by Hannity to lob softball questions at Trump and allow him to continue his talking points about the politicization of the Department of Justice quickly made for a revealing interview.
The China-Taiwan conflict has lasted for decades, from the establishment of the People's Republic of China to the present. When the PRC was established in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party’s adversary, the Kuomintang, retreated to the island of Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. Since then, China has always claimed to hold sovereignty over Taiwan, an “inalienable” part of China.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in police custody after having a “heart attack” and falling into a coma. She was arrested by the Iranian morality police for wearing her hijab “improperly” and violating the “dress code.” Although the police denied the allegations, witnesses have reported that Amini was beaten in the police van. Iranian authorities stated “heart attack” as the cause for her “unfortunate death;” however, her family mentioned that she had no preexisting heart condition.
On Sept. 16, Tufts Health Service announced that all students, faculty and staff would be required to receive both the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster and the annual influenza vaccine by Friday, Dec. 2. As our world oscillates between pandemic restrictions and relative normalcy, vaccine requirements remind people that coronavirus is still spreading and causing long-lasting harm; the only way to prevent more damage is to get vaccinated.
On Sept. 16, students gathered in a passionate protest against the CIA hosting a recruitment event at Tufts through the Career Center. They leveled attacks against the CIA in response to its alleged involvement in the overthrow of leftist democratically elected governments in developing countries, as well as its participation in drug trafficking. Students have a right to protest, and I would not attempt to deny or defend the CIA against such accusations. I do believe, however, that students who would like to participate in the CIA recruitment process should be allowed to do so, and that it is reasonable for Tufts to maintain a relationship with the agency.
Almost two years into his presidency, we are seeing a different Joe Biden than the one we saw on the campaign trail. For example, his recent comments on Trumpism and Taiwan reflect a boldness that has thus far been relatively absent from his presidency. Last week, President Biden issued yet another signal of this changed approach, one that impacts all Americans.
In early 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Though Russia was certain of a swift victory over their neighbor, Ukraine has proved resilient over the last seven months. Reports on the war have been somewhat inconsistent, hampered by Russian authorities’ efforts to restrict the flow of information, at times explicitly targeting journalists.
A recent case study that signals the breakdown of the globalized system is the crisis in Sri Lanka. To those who observe from the sidelines, it seems that the crisis flared up on July 9, when demonstrators stormed the presidential palace. This sequence of events forced then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee to the Maldives and eventually step down from his position, handing it over to Ranil Wickremesinghe, a veteran of the political scene.
Watching the news has been difficult this summer, from conflicts in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to the horror of American politics, where a Supreme Court decision stripped the American people of their right to make choices about their own bodies. On top of these regular violations of human rights across the globe, we are also still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic while fearing the next global health emergency: monkeypox. Data displays how far from over the COVID-19 pandemic is, especially for the United States, as the U.S. remains in the top five countries for new COVID-19 cases and deaths.