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Christian Science Monitor | World



Global Issues



 



2018: The year the European Union stands and delivers?

After a year of challenges from the populist far right, Europe looks set for an opportunity to reform. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – if she can assemble a coalition – may not get a better chance.

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Bangladesh agrees with Myanmar on Rohingya return

Myanmar will begin the repatriation process of refugees currently in Bangladesh next week, but refugees fear mistreatment and that the temporary camps in Myanmar could become permanent.

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A joint women's hockey team could be the first unified Korean Olympics team ever

The two Koreas took a great stride toward unity when they agreed to consider fielding a joint women's Olympic hockey team. If successful, the unified Korean Olympics team would be monumental in reconciling the alienated sister countries and reducing frontline hostilities. 

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As US tightens stance on migrants and refugees, is Mexico prepared to take more?

Over the past year, some US politicians have talked up the idea of returning foreigners without legal documentation to the 'territory from which they came,' whether or not that's their home. Mexico could bear the brunt, but assessments of its asylum system vary.

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New directive by Pakistani Muslim clerics bans suicide bombings

Pakistani Muslim clerics have banded together to issue a fatwa, or religious ruling, against suicide bombing. The ruling, contained in a book published by a state-run university, opposes extremist action and supports moderate Islam within the country.

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Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for Chilean priests

Pope Francis apologized during a visit to Chile for the sexual abuse committed by Chilean pastors. The pope's visit has met with protests and skepticism over the church's credibility. 

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For Senegal island's residents, famed slavery heritage site incurs a cost

Visitors have flocked to Gorée Island, with its memorial to the transatlantic slave trade, since UNESCO designated it a place of 'outstanding universal value.' But locals say the benefits haven't trickled down, echoing a common claim at World Heritage Sites.

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In wake of Fujimori pardon, divided Peru debates meaning of reconciliation

Former President Fujimori received a Christmas Eve pardon on his 25-year sentence for human rights abuses. The government calls it the first step in reconciliation for a still deeply divided country. Protestors took to the streets this week, saying reconciliation looks different to them. 

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Israel's BDS dilemma: Is it wise to blacklist the boycotters?

Israel intensified its battle with the BDS movement this week, listing 20 groups whose members could not enter the country. Critics say such moves corrode Israeli democracy, doing more harm than the pro-Palestinian boycotters themselves.

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Ripple effect of #MeToo in China: Beijing professor dismissed over sexual allegations

Inspired by the #MeToo movement in the United States, a former student of Beihang University in Beijing spoke out against her professor. Her actions, in turn, inspired students from more than 50 universities around the country to do the same.

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Greece's new restrictions on the right to strike leads thousands to protest

Greece's implementation of a series of new reforms has galvanized thousands of Greeks to protest and shut down the city's ability to function. Hospitals, shipping grounds, and transportation systems have been abandoned in the turmoil.

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Africa responds to Trump's vulgar comment

African governments, the African Union, the United Nations, political activists, and others all criticized President Trump's statement about immigrants, with many characterizing it as racist. 

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The rabbi and the rapper: what they see in old Ladino love songs

The musical duo 'Los Serenos Sefarad' sing and rap in Ladino, an old Spanish dialect. The centuries-old love songs in their repertoire, they say, tell more about Jews' painful expulsion from Spain than they do about romantic love.

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In Namibia's abortion debate, echoes of a repressive history

Opponents argue the restrictions represent a troubled legacy of apartheid rule, echoing debates around Africa about what to do with laws left over from colonial days. Others say they reflect contemporary views in a deeply religious country.

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In Venezuelan crisis, gourmet chocolate creates a new hope for some

In a country stunted by recession and a Byzantine bureaucracy, small businesses suffer. Despite this, some Venezuelans have found a way to stay afloat: gourmet chocolate. The country's richness in cacao reserves has created a new economic lifeline for its people.

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May's environmental agenda pushes Britain to forefront of cutting down on plastics

British lawmakers announced last week that they were considering a tax on disposable coffee cups. Now, British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to take environmental efforts further by ridding Britain of avoidable plastic waste within the next 25 years.

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How to enforce gender equality? Iceland tests the waters

A new law requiring Iceland's biggest companies to prove that they offer men and women pay equality went into effect on Jan. 1st. Activists say it illustrates the vital role that top-down accountability plays in effecting lasting change. Part 1 of Reaching for Equity, a global series on gender and power.

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After South-North talks, Seoul tries to chart slow-but-steady course

After months of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, many analysts say the immediate outcomes of Tuesday's talks seem inadequate – or just a bid for time. But South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a champion of dialogue with Pyongyang, appears to be betting on incremental, unity-building moves. 

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In famously slender France, can the tide turn against 'fatphobia'?

Though France has a reputation as a country of slim women and slender men, nearly half of all French people are overweight. Now it is seeing a new 'body positive' movement that encourages tolerance of plus-size physiques.

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Catalan separatists push for Puigdemont to return as president

Three pro-independence Catalan political parties support self-exiled Carles Puigdemont for president of Catalonia, though he has not returned from Brussels since October for fear of arrest by Spanish authorities. The legality of a Puigdemont presidency remains unclear.

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