Updated: 11:31 PM EST
After only one year out of power at the University of Alabama, the Machine, a secretive collective of historically white fraternities and sororities were swept back into office tonight.
Lillian Roth, a sophomore and Alabama native won over 50% of the vote in the campus wide election, defeating two “Independent” candidates.
Roth’s victory comes only a year after the historic win of Elliot Spillers, who was the first African-American SGA President in over three decades at UA and one of a handful of non- Machine backed candidates to ever win the contest.
Spillers was a supporter of Caroline Morrison, who was perceived by some to be the weaker of the two non-Machine candidates.
Patrick Fitzgerald was the other non-Machine backed candidate.
Final vote tallies have not yet been released.
Voter turnout was only 38% of the entire student body- down from last year.
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By Staff Report
Larry Sanders is not just any doomed Green Party candidate. He is a doomed Green Party candidate that has a political pedigree that now thrives on two continents.
Sanders is the older brother of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and he is embarking on a long-shot bid to replace former Prime Minister David Cameron in Parliament.
It is a long-shot campaign for a number of reasons, but none bigger than the fact that the Witney constituency is a Conservative Party bastion.
Cameron won it last year with 60% of the vote.
But Larry Sanders doesn’t really expect to win.
“Win or lose, the Green Party doing well would make a bigger impact on the country,” Sanders told ABC News. “And we really need to make this impact because dreadful things are afoot.”
The Green Party currently has one member of parliament out of the 650 seats.
Bernie Sanders endorse his brother in a heartfelt video last week.
“I do not know a heck of a lot about British politics,” Sen. Sanders said in the video. “But I do know a lot about my brother, Larry Sanders.”
Larry Sanders is running on a campaign platform that focuses on reducing income inequality and fixing a massive funding shortfall for the National Health Service.
The election will be held on Oct. 20th.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.Post Views: 449
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Multiple reports are indicating that power has been cut off to the entire region of Crimea after two large transmission towers were destroyed.
It is not yet clear who destroyed the towers, although RT reports that supporters of the local group, Right Sector had been rioting in the area earlier in the day.
More to come. Stay with Rise News.
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) November 21, 2015
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By John Massey
An approximately 60 mile stretch of land separates the Russian district of Kaliningrad, from the country of Belarus. It just so happens that this stretch of land is the border between Poland and Lithuania, and one of the most militarized regions in Europe.
As a result, this area has been called by some within the defense community “the New Fulda Gap“, referring to the presumed flashpoint of conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War.
Kaliningrad is a small Russian enclave separated from the rest of the country, and nestled between the Baltic Sea, Poland, and Lithuania. It was awarded to Russia in the Potsdam Accords of 1945, and functions as the home base for the Baltic Fleet. As the Kremlin continues takes an adversarial view of NATO, a heavily armed garrison in the district would seem a rational act. This is precisely what they’ve done by positioning several brigades as well as a Motor Rifle Regiment in the territory.
This in itself is not an overtly aggressive move. The Russian Government has just as much a right to defend its territory as any other.
However, the Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas, said that the types of units being moved to Kaliningrad in large numbers are a threat to the Baltic States.
The Minister reports that “there are 30,000-35,000 troops, two mechanized brigades, armored vehicles in the hundreds rather than the dozens… Moreover, Kaliningrad hosts huge air defense forces. The older complexes get replaced by new and modern ones. Their range is rather extensive, over 400 kilometres.”
Olekas also claims that there is intelligence to suggest the deployment of SS-26 “Stone” ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad which are potentially capable of striking targets at 400 km, with a target accuracy of 5-7m.
An evolution of the infamous “Scud”, this system would be capable of destroying Command and Control Systems, landed aircraft, artillery, and civilian infrastructure. The Baltic States are understandably worried that their key advantages of superior organization and airpower could be knocked out.
Olekas is not the only one worried about Russian capabilities in the Baltic.
Lt. General Ben Hodges, who commands US Army Forces in Europe, recently said that the potential for conflict in the gap as something that keeps him up at night.
According to Hodges, the growing frequency of unannounced Russian military exercises in both Belarus and Kaliningrad can be viewed as a potential scenario to snatch the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, before their allies can muster a coherent response.
Lt. General John Nicholson, Commander of Allied Land Command concurs with Hodges’ fears but cites recent exercises, attended by Russian observers, as demonstrating NATO’s ability to “mobilize brigades and divisions within days”, further underlining the primary mission of the Alliance, deterrence.
Hodges went on to tell NBC News that there is no immediate reason for the Russians to seize the Baltic States, but notes that he was also taken aback by recent Russian adventures in Ukraine and Syria.
Retired General Bob Scales also has some fears related to NATO’s ability to respond to a crisis in the Baltic States. In a recent interview with Ryan Evans of War on the Rocks, Scales said that he has fears that Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty (the provision which calls for mutual defense of members under attack) has a credibility problem.
The claim is that NATO members, in particular Germany, Britain, France, and the United States, would not come to the aid of an alliance member further East, and recent Pew polling among people in NATO countries lends some credence to this fear.
Scales went further to note that NATO has eroded its ability to project on land over the last fifteen years, and while “this is not the Cold War”, and “the Russian military is not what it used to be”, he is adamant that the mission of deterrence is not being adequately filled, and that Anti Ship Missiles in Kaliningrad being able to block off the entire Baltic sea from NATO’s superior naval forces negate that advantage.
Scales did not request a hike in defense spending from the United States, suggesting that a “modest repositioning of existing American forces” would be sufficient.
Such an adventure into the Baltics is likely not going to occur in the near future. RISE NEWS has previously reported on the problems the Russian military has had in recent years with its ability to project. However some unknown rift in the future could ignite this flashpoint.
The immediate objective and cause would not be known to us, but the Grand Strategy objective would be, according to Western understandings of Russian Grand Strategy and history, would be to secure space between Russia and the presumably hostile NATO forces.
This is due to Russia’s industrial and agricultural core being concentrated in the European section of the country.
This seeking of space is a result of several invasions of Russia by aggressive actors to both the East and West, including but not limited to: Germany, Sweden, France, Britain, and the Mongols over the course of history.
Space is therefore a geopolitical imperative when Russia feels threatened. As is the case with Russia’s current adventure in Ukraine, so too could be the case at the Suwalki Gap.
This line of thinking is why NATO expansion is a contentious issue. On the one hand, NATO expansion causes the Kremlin to fear NATO forces crashing through their borders, and annihilating the state.
On the other hand, Article V protection deincentivizes Russian adventures in neighboring states, due to the collective protection offered by the Alliance.
The validity of Russian fears of NATO, much like the validity of the fear of Russians seizing the Baltic States, is irrelevant. What is important is that these fears exist, and are real to those who have them and shape policy.
Working through these issues should then be the key objective of European policy, preferably without “little green men” in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania.
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