Millennial Intel


Could Prince Charles Become A Revolutionary King?

Long Live the King?

Queen Elizabeth II has been the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, but what will the monarchy look like when her son, Prince Charles of Wales, ascends to the throne?

While the monarchy is mostly a symbolic institution for the state and the government, the role of the monarchy within the Unites Kingdom is meant to remain political neutral; showing no favorability of one party over another.

The UK is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the monarchy has some technical state authority; however, it must be in line with the constitution.

The UK gives royal assent to Parliament who then has the power to create and enforce legislation.

Within a Parliamentary system, people vote on a political party who has its own leader.

The leader of the winning political party then becomes the prime minister and is made official by the monarch.

The prime minister meets weekly with the monarch to inform him or her of the current matters of state, but the monarch does not have the ability to set any political policies, at least not officially. 

Queen Elizabeth is well known for her lack of public political views.

But her son is something different.

Prince Charles seems to be challenging the political role of the monarchy by showing a large involvement in politics and voicing his opinions.

Some are worried that he may try to be a political force when he eventually takes the throne. (Queen Elizabeth is 90 years old)

Photo Credit: University of Essex ./ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Prince Charles has been more transparent about his political views after the publishing of his letters to government ministers from 2004-05, also known as the “black spider” memos, about a variety of his political views in 2015.

In the memos, Prince Charles states his political views concerning problems ranging from dairy-farming to the UK’s armed forces in Iraq.

He has also in recent years become a strong supporter of taking aggressive action in combating climate change.

Even though the monarchy is meant to be apolitical, it seems strange that the rulers of a democratic society, where free speech is considered a natural right, are meant to keep opinions concealed.

Monarchs do not even have the ability to vote in this case because of their duty to remain neutral.

Why is this exclusive group meant to remain quiet?

If a monarch were to present opinions regarding matters of state and sway the opinions of citizens to be in favor of one particular political party, the monarch would then have some control within matter of state and forming legislation.

While they are meant to act as figure heads and a symbol of national unity, this could be viewed as undemocratic in the sense that monarchs are not democratically elected by the people, and would be in violation of the constitution.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, a well-known journalist and strong defender of the monarchy recently launched a campaign to get Charles to step aside and allow his oldest son- Prince William take the throne.

This doesn’t seem to be a real possibility.

However the idea of a King who gets too involved in contemporary politics is a thought that has pierced through the British zeitgeist before.

In 1993, the British version of House of Cards ran a four episode miniseries titled “To Play The King.” In it, Conservative Prime Minister Francis Urquhart has to fend off a popular and strongly liberal King.

(Spoiler alert: Urquhart is able to win in the end because the British public grew uneasy with a King who involved himself so deeply in politics.)

Prince Charles is also considered “revolutionary” in the fact that he was divorced.

While Prince Charles is widely known, his ex-wife, Princess Diana, stole the attention and hearts of millions across the globe acting as an inspirational link between citizens and the monarchy.

Photo Credit: Peter Broster/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Previously, it was frowned upon for monarchs to get a divorce, let alone be in a relationship with a divorcee.

This was the main reason Prince Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, causing his brother to take the throne and later his daughter the current queen.

Times have changed, but the perception of monarchs getting a divorce is not looked well upon, nonetheless the scandal surrounding the marriage of Charles and Diana.

Charles is also scandalous in the fact that it is rumored he was having an affair with his current wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, now Duchess of Cornwall, while still married to Princess Diana.

Public opinion of a “King Charles” fell after the divorce and sudden death of Princess Diana.

Would the British public abide a King who tried to push a political agenda?

We might get a chance to find out.


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.

Cover Photo Credit: Steenbergs/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Washington D.C.

Recently, I moved near Washington DC from South Florida.

My friend and I decided to go and tour around the city.

Here’s what we saw.

Fruitive DC City Center

We decided to start our tour by stopping at this local restaurant named Fruitive located at the City Center in DC.

It was delicious!

In my opinion, it is a little pricey but definitely healthy and we felt satisfied after, they use organic ingredients as well.

Side Walk in front of Museums

We started walking right in front of the museums and realized how pretty this sidewalk looked!

It looks like a post card, we thought the cherry blossoms were going to be a thing this year, but no.

This photo was taken right before the snowstorm.

Our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial; inside the temple you will see a massive statue of the 16th President of the United States- ole Honest Abe.

This monument always catches my eye, who would’ve thought that it took more than 50 years for a memorial of Lincoln to built and opened to the public!

Lincoln Memorial: “ In this temple as in the hearts of the people for who he saved the union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever”

Next, we walked by the sidewalk leading to the Washington Monument.

I thought this view was breathtaking.

I also leaned over to see how deep the water is in the reflecting pool. (it’s not that deep).

The Washington Memorial.

You are normally allowed to go up inside the Washington Monument, but it is currently closed because of elevator renovations.

This monument was built to honor George Washington, the first President of the United States.

You can see this monument almost from anywhere, its just like the Eiffel tower in Paris- impossible to miss.

The Trump Hotel.

The Trump International Hotel located a few blocks away from the White House in the Old Post Office building is now one of the most elite and priciest hotels to stay at, one night stays range from $572 to $20,000.

People stop and take photos here constantly and I have to admit that I couldn’t resist doing the same.

Next we went across town to the Library of Congress, I felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie.

The building, located across the street from the US Capitol Building is so pretty and huge.

According to the tour guides, it is one of the largest libraries in the world.

The main reading room is open to the public- but you have to get a library card first.

The Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill. It has research material for more than 450 languages.

The Library of Congress is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill. It has research material in more than 450 languages.

Finally, to end our day we went to the Jefferson Memorial, it was my first time there and I loved it!

Thomas Jefferson of course was the author of “The Declaration of Independence”.

The monument is on the banks of the Tidal Basin of the Potomac River adorned with Japanese cherry trees (cherry blossoms).

The Jefferson Memorial.

Read More: Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Ireland’s Majestic Cliffs Of Moher


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.

Photo Credits:  Juliana Carvajal Yepes

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Is The Biggest Badass In American History

The Civil War is inarguably full of badasses.

From generals like Ulysses S. Grant to spies and medics like Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton, they’re spread out all over the battlefields, like coffee cups in a college library during Finals Week.

“Come with me if you want to live.” Photo Credit: Keith Rowley/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

With all these candidates, it’s hard to say any one of them is the bravest or most accomplished.

But this isn’t about any quantifiable accomplishment.

It’s about fancy battle shenanigans that would look awesome if they were adapted into a movie (which they were).

It’s about explosions and bloodshed and battle-lust and glory.

Which brings us to our biggest badass of American history: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Pictured: Chamberlain’s drink of choice. Photo Credit: Jon Roberts/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This dude was a college professor from Maine who heard there was a war going on, so he saddled up and volunteered to join the Union army.

Said Union army was only too happy to get him, and made him lieutenant colonel, which is a phrase that usually refers to people who’ve had at least some experience with military strategy, with the exception of our man Joshua.

Luckily, Chamberlain was a fast learner, and after scanning every military work he could get his hands on and going through a steeper-than-Everest learning curve, he was all set to be second-in-command of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Fast-forward to the Battle of Gettysburg.

While the Union forces were suffering setbacks, Confederate soldiers attacked their left flank.

The 20th Maine happened to be at the far left, next to a small hill called, appropriately, Little Round Top.

They hold position, and after a period of harsh fighting, Chamberlain orders a bayonet charge on the Confederates.

That mustache tho. Photo Credit: NightThree/ Wikimedia. Photo Credit:

They run down the hill, the entire line swinging nonstop, until finally Chamberlain gets to the guy leading the assault.

He orders the Confederate officer to surrender, and the officer whips out a pistol and shoots him in the face.

And actually misses, but Chamberlain doesn’t even flinch, just puts his sword to the guy’s throat until he gets an official surrender.

They take 101 Confederate soldiers prisoner.

Chamberlain gets a Medal of Honor for this, and goes on to top that at Petersburg.

And that’s saying a lot considering that he probably saved the Union from defeat at Gettysburg and therefore the country from splitting in two.

Unfortunately, there’s no Medal of Superhonor, but if there was, he’d totally have earned it.

If you imagine a storm with bullets instead of raindrops, that might look something like Petersburg – Chamberlain’s directing the action, the bullets are flying, and all of a sudden a Confederate bullet tears through his side, crushing his hipbones and ripping into his bladder and urethra.

So Chamberlain’s suffered what’s basically a mortal wound, by the standards back then (and also, probably, by our standards, just from the sheer pain factor).

Surprisingly, his first thought isn’t “oh, jeez, I’m gonna die,” but, rather, “dying right now would be bad for morale, so I’m just gonna walk it off.”

Which he does.

He uses his saber as a crutch to stay upright, while blood is POURING from his vitals, and continues to direct the assault.

He holds himself up by spit and stamina until he can’t anymore, and he collapses, and when the surgeons get to the field he yells at them to go and save his men instead.

Now that’s badassery.

But, of course, the surgeons don’t take orders from commanding officers, so they go ahead and treat his wounds anyway.

He survives, continues to survive for a bunch of other battles, literally getting his horse shot out from under him a few times, and goes on to preside over the surrender at Appomattox.

Proving that he’s a gallant winner as well as a badass, he orders his men to stand at attention and carry arms in a show of respect for their defeated countrymen.

A general would later call him “one of the knightliest soldiers of the Federal Army.”

Now here’s the part where it gets gross.

The Wikipedia article states that he suffered from complications due to his wounds in the Battle of Petersburg, but that doesn’t even begin to describe how much it just. Sucked.

To get shot in the Civil War era and have to live with a hole in your bladder burning like the fires of hell for decades.

He had to wear a Civil War era catheter, which was like a modern-day catheter except ten times worse.

…not fun. Photo Credit: Wellcome Image/ Wikimedia

Because sanitation at the time was not exactly the greatest, his wounds got infected, and left him in what he described as “unspeakable agony” for almost fifty years.

Still, he kept going, running for governor of Maine and getting elected with the support of the Republican Party – this was back when the Republicans were the guys up north – giving speeches at soldiers’ reunions, and even helping to found the Maine Institution for the Blind.

His later years lacked the glory and excitement of his battlefield, but were at least as commendable, if not more so.

At 85, in 1914, he died as he lived – a major badass.

Moment of silence for this BAMF

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.

Cover Photo Credit: Library of Congress/ Wikimedia Commons

Ole Miss Student Group Wants Multicultural Courses To Be Graduation Requirement

A group of students at the University of Mississippi want their university to implement a new policy that would require students to take multicultural courses in order to graduate.

The group, Students Against Social Injustice says that the new policy would put the university in line with the stated aims of its recently released “diversity plan“.

The group has launched an online petition that it hopes to send to Ole Miss Interim Provost Noel Wilkin.

From the text of the petition:

“We propose that UM Liberal Arts students be required to take 6-9 hours of multicultural courses, as well as an additional 12 hours of diversity-related extracurricular/volunteer hours. We believe that a multicultural course requirement will further institutionalize inclusion at the University of Mississippi, and advance UM’s mission of “enabl[ing] students to…understand a variety of world cultures as well as the richness and complexity of American society.” What’s more, such a requirement will push students to center the intellectual and historical contributions of marginalized communities (black, Latino/Chicano, indigenous, Asian, LGBTQIA+, disabled, women, etc.) in their educational narrative.”

Students Against Social Injustice member Makala McNeil told the Daily Mississippian that the additional course requirements would play “an in instrumental part” in bringing about further inclusion to campus.

“We’d be doing students a disservice if after four years they leave the institution without exposure to the wide array of multicultural courses the institution offers,” McNeil told the paper.

Read More: Does An Invitation To A Frat Formal Require You To Have Sex With The Guy?

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.

Cover Photo Credit: Karla/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Ireland’s Majestic Cliffs Of Moher

This semester I am fortunate enough to be studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at University College Dublin.

While very different than my home university back in Massachusetts, Dublin quickly stole my heart and I am loving being across the pond.

There are many perks of studying abroad, but one of the best has to be the opportunity to take travel to places I’ve only seen in pictures.

This past weekend’s day trip- the Cliffs of Moher!

Rising 700 feet above the Atlantic and stretching just under five miles along Ireland’s western coast, the Cliffs of Moher offer some of nature’s more spectacular views.

Getting within a foot of these dropoffs is not for the faint of heart, but my friend and I made the journey west from Dublin to spend the day marvelling at one of the most beautiful places Ireland has to offer.

Finally after a 4-hour bus ride filled with traditional Irish music and Irish fun facts, we made it to the Cliffs along with 300 other people all wanting to see what the hype is about.

One thing to note, I didn’t choose to study abroad in Ireland for the weather.

Usually around 50 degrees with a constant damp breeze, Ireland’s infamous weather is nothing desireable.

However, this past weekend it was all sun.

Throughout our day travelling to and from the Cliffs my friend and I repeatedly said how lucky we were to have such a good day.

Luck of the Irish is obviously a real thing.

This was my second time to the Cliffs since January, but I could go ten more times and still be blown away.

Regardless of how many people are there, the expansiveness makes you feel like you’re there alone.

Sitting in the grass on the side of the cliff (a safe distance because I don’t have a death wish of course), soaking in much needed vitamin D and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is a feeling I’ll never forget.

The town of Kinvara.

The Cliffs of Moher are truly one of the natural wonders of the world and being able to experience such beauty is something I hope everyone can get the chance to experience.

After a classic fish n’ chips lunch is a nearby town, my friend and I hopped back on the bus and made our way back to Dublin.

We stopped in a little town called Kinvara and looked at the iconic Connolly’s Bar.


Travelling coast to coast in one day is something I’m not used to being from the United States, but seeing the Emerald Isle in all its sunny glory last weekend was truly a day trip for the books.

To anyone questioning whether or not to study abroad, take the chance and DO IT!

A day trip to the Cliffs of Moher could be in your future, too.

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.

Photo Credits: Clare Connolly

Should We Let The Nation-State Die In The Middle East?

When you look at a map of the Middle East today, what you are seeing is something artificial.

The borders that define these states were not drawn up by local or regional leaders, but instead by Britain and France following World War One.

In an agreement known as the Sykes-Picot System, these borders, often made with little regard for ethno-religious differences, forced the creation of internally fragmented states with groups often in opposition to one another forced to live side by side.

Many have argued that these artificial boundaries and the European imposed version of the nation-state have been flashpoints of conflict within the region for decades, most recently embodied by the Syrian Civil War.

What would happen then if we allowed some of these artificially constructed states to simply dissolve and be replaced by smaller versions formed along ethnic lines?

Is that something that should be done, and could it usher in the peace and stability that so many long for?

Reality meets the map

There are currently several ethnically charged independence movements at play in the Middle East, the most widely known is that of the Kurds.

The Kurds are the third largest ethnic group in the world without a state and are split up among Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq where they maintain a high degree of autonomy, even issuing their own visas for example.

Other groups fighting for greater autonomy and self-governance include the Balochs in Pakistan, the Berbers in Northern Africa, and the Palestinians along the West Bank, who have yet to be official recognized as a state by the UN.

Aside from independence movements, ethnic conflict within the Middle East also takes the form of internal power struggles.

This is the case in Syria where the conflict is sectarian in nature, but doesn’t resemble a genuine effort toward greater autonomy or self-governance among the individual groups fighting.

A map of the Middle East from 1925. Photo Credit: Gabriel/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Instead, it’s multiple groups vying for power over one another within a defined system; the Alawite minority led by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad fighting Sunni factions and the western backed Free Syrian Army for control of the country.

Given the widespread nature of these conflicts, it seems that the idea of a secular European style nation-state being able to keep the peace among various groups has failed to achieve any sort of meaningful stability.

It may be the case that this system simply does not work when applied outside of Europe.

With the last hundred years dominated by civil wars from Lebanon, to Syria, to Yemen, and Iraq, and with insurgencies in Palestine, Turkey, and Afghanistan, the nation-state system is one that lends itself to either outright failure or harsh authoritarianism to maintain order.

States in the Middle East can now be classified into two groups, those that have through strong authoritarianism been able adapt to the artificial structure, and those that have descended into sectarian violence.

The nations of Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan represent Middle Eastern nations that have, though a dense power structure, incorporated elements of the local culture and religion to build up a sense of national identity that transcends tribal relations.

This was made easy in these regions by the fact that the ethnic division were far less apparent than what we see in Syria or Iraq.

In Egypt and Iran for example, both regions have a strong majority ethnic group, Egyptian and Persian, with a rich history to build off.

In Syria and Iraq, the opposite is true.

The countries could be split almost evenly.

Here, there is no dominate group that embodies the region, and thus, attempts to mimic the authoritarianism that has seen some success elsewhere, has only divulged into a near continual cycle of violence.

British Red Arrows fly over Kuwait City in 2013. Photo Credit: Defence Images/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

In these instances, if we want to see an end to conflict, the old borders must be done away with.

We must abandon the old notion of the nation-state as we know it in the Middle East as it has caused widespread death and destruction.

Instead, we should allow smaller states along ethnic lines to spring up and establish a form of governance that fits with their culture.

Until this is achieved, we will continue to see civil wars and insurgencies throughout the region.

The Syrian Civil War has dragged on now for six years, but the Kurds have been in conflict with Turkey for 38 years, and Boloch nationalists in Pakistan have been fighting for independence now since the 1940s!

Conflicts like these won’t end until these ethnic groups are granted their own states.

It is imperative that the West support efforts to see these false states properly re-envisioned and cease polices of reluctance.

In order for such a transition to what many have called “The New Middle East” to take place, there must be a paradigm shift, both in the Middle East and the West.

The idea of the Kurds being granted independence or the resolution of the ISIS problem are both major events that could trigger such a rethinking of the current structure.

If these events were to happen, and we began to see more efforts to divide the old Middle Eastern States into new smaller ones, what then would be the consequences?

The transition would likely follow a similar progression to what we’ve seen in Europe.

Present day Europe with NATO and the EU is all buddy-buddy now, but it didn’t happen overnight or without conflict.

The Netherlands had to fight Spain, Ireland fought Britain, Greece broke off from the Ottomans, Austria-Hungary split up, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Yugoslavia became seven different states.

Oh and there were scores of conflicts that spanned the continent and the centuries.

The lasting peace that Europe has been able to achieve following the resolution of these ethnically based conflicts has not come without a price and the Middle East will likely follow a similar progression should the map be redrawn.

The old order won’t simply give up power, and the prospect of new states raises question for existing ones.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the Syrian Civil War because of Assad’s refusal to give up power. Photo Credit: Beshr Abdulhadi/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The formation of Kurdistan, which is looking increasingly possible given the support they’ve received in the fight against ISIS and the weakened state of Iraq, will certainly make Turkey nervous.

Will the 15 million ethnic Kurds living in Eastern Anatolia simply pack up their bags and leave their homes for the new nation, or will they be inspired to redouble efforts at independence within Turkey?

These are questions the Turkish government must ask itself and construct policy around.

This is the area where the West can take on a crucial role in the transition.

Western nations can help aid the development of a new Middle East by working to reduce the severity of conflicts that may arise, providing diplomatic support to the new nations, applying pressure to old ones, curbing human rights abuses, and respecting the right of self-determination.

As a leading cause of the current situation, Western nations maintain an obligation to aid the region in such ways.

Currently, major Western powers, such as the U.S., France, and Great Britain, remain reluctant to see the Middle East broken up, instead continuing to support failing governments and interfering with local politics.

Given the amount of influence they maintain in the region, this must change to make the possibility of new states surviving on their own a reality.

The damage of imperialism has definitely been done, and it will take a long time to reverse it.

What is certain though is that the Middle East must change.

It is time for the old structure to be cast off and re-envisioned in a way that takes into account the sheer diversity of the region and addresses the causes of sectarian violence.

Cover Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Why Did Putin Do It?

It is common knowledge that the Russian government attempted to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The success of that interference is, and may always be, up for debate.

The same can be said for understanding the true nature of their motivations behind these actions.

On January 6, 2017, The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified report, assessing Russian activities and intentions in the most recent U.S. presidential election.

The twenty-three page report, created in union by The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), makes several, high confidence claims about Russia’s – and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin’s – motivations and intentions behind their actions.

These actions, as identified by the report, include cyber espionage, the leaking of data collected by Russian Intelligence, interference in state and local electoral boards, and Russian propaganda efforts.

Getting inside the head of Vladimir Putin is impossible. Photo Credit: Lazopoulos George/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The goals behind these actions were also laid out in the report.

“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the report reads. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

But while understanding these actions is important and necessary, maybe even more important, is to understand the motivations behind them.

“The motivation, if we can guess it, was just to disrupt, and to create doubts, and weaken the integrity of the process,” William Wohlforth, a Dartmouth professor who studies, among other areas, international relations and Russian foreign policy said in an interview with RISE NEWS.

Robert Jervis, the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University, takes a similar view.

“It was a general attempt to discredit American democracy here and abroad,” Jervis said in an interview.

These attempts are not necessarily unusual – during the Cold War, the Soviet Union engaged in similar “active measures.”

In fact, the tactics used in 2016 are eerily similar to those used throughout much of the Cold War – primarily, the spreading of false information in an attempt to delegitimize or scandalize a perceived political opponent.

This horse really wanted Trump to win so Putin just went with it- probably. Ok not really. Photo Credit: Jedimentat44/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Mark Kramer recently wrote about this history on WBUR’s Cognoscenti website:

“[The KGB’s] Service A, formed in the 1950s, almost immediately set to work spreading disinformation, producing forgeries, transmitting propaganda, and disrupting U.S. and Western public diplomacy.”

Some of the misinformation spread by the KGB includes rumors that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was a “gay transvestite” and that Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson were colluding to continue black suppression.

During the Cold War- now seen as a more conventional battle between capitalism and communism, all behaviors stemmed from a fairly defined ideological starting point.

But in a post-Cold War era, these ideologies have become less defined, leaving the motivations behind these active measures more mysterious.

“Now, all bets are off, they don’t need to be particularly consistent with any political ideology,” Wohlforth said. “As long as it has the potential to weaken the cohesiveness of the block of states that they perceive to be against them.”

One of the more popular speculations is that Putin saw interference in the U.S. election as payback.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the United States was secretly active in orchestrating the Color Revolutions of the early 2000s – a set of revolutions and protests in former Soviet republics.

Putin believes that the U.S. interfered so as to create a new geopolitical order.

Putin may also view his active measures as payback for his belief that the U.S. – and Secretary Clinton – was behind the massive protests in Moscow over his election in December 2011.

In 2014, Putin likened protests in his own country to the Color Revolutions.

“In the modern world, extremism is being used as a geopolitical instrument and for remaking spheres of influence,” Putin said in 2014. “We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called color revolutions led to.”

“I really love this boat. Also, I like interfering with American elections.” Photo Credit: Jedimentat44/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

By interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Putin attempted to ruin the chances of victory for his perceived nemesis, Secretary Clinton, while also attempting to avoid any chance that he may have to interact with her as President of the U.S.

Also a popular speculation about Russia’s motivation is that Putin was actively hoping to change the outcome of the election – although there is little to no evidence to support this claim.

“I suspect that by some time in the fall that was one of the objectives,” Jervis said. “But the evidence for that is much weaker.”

When polls began to show Clinton as weaker than conventionally believed, Moscow may have seen an opportunity to test the ability of their active measures.

What is interesting about this possible motivation is that there is little evidence to suggest that any time Soviet/Russian active measures favored a candidate, the candidate ended up favoring the Kremlin.

In 1968, the Soviet Union was worried that if Richard Nixon won the presidential election, Soviet-U.S. relations would suffer even more than if the Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey won.

Instead, Nixon acted somewhat favorably towards the Soviet state after being elected.

Even in painting form, Putin looks unhappy. Photo Credit: Nikolay Volnov/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“The candidate that they often seek to undermine may not be so bad for Russian relations,” Wohlforth said.

The opposite can be said as well – it may have been easier for Secretary Clinton to act more favorably towards Russia than President Trump, who has received a mass of scrutiny for even just speaking favorably about Putin or Russia.

The true motivations behind Russia’s most recent active measures may never be known – needless to say, it is impossible to get inside the head of Putin.

Russia’s current posture towards the United States is not new – and the medium through which they acted is – and in truth, this behavior is not limited to Russia.

These actions are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

America is under siege.

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.

Cover Photo Credit: michael kooiman/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

While America Closes Up Shop, Mexico Opens Its Arms To Syrian Students

Mexico has a long and historic tradition of welcoming refugees from all over the world and unlike its closest neighbor to the north, it is still living true to that tradition.

As a gesture of support to reinforce the international community’s confidence in Mexico’s advocacy for peace, the country welcomes Syrian refugee students through its “Project Habesha“.

Project Habesha is a humanitarian initiative with the main goal of welcoming 30 Syrian students to Mexico for the purpose of providing them with a college education.

Welcoming Syrian students also provides Mexico with the opportunity of promoting intercultural dialogue as an inspiration for development and creating an atmosphere of understanding and sympathy within Mexican society.

Habesha has already brought 10 students to Mexico.

With the support of private universities and organizations, these students will receive a full scholarship as well as medical insurance and a monthly allowance for their personal expenses.

Last week, after a long flight and a rigorous selection process, Silva Namo and Jackdar Mohammed arrived to Mexico City.

“Thanks to Habesha, we have hope again and something real for the future,” Mohammed said, two days after arriving to Mexico City. “Habesha has helped us and, just as Habesha has helped us, I want to help countries that are in war. There is nothing impossible.”

Since 2011, millions of people have fled from the country as a direct result of the conflict in Syria and its neighbouring regions.

This has led to the greatest humanitarian crisis in decades.

Namo, a 22 year old student from the Syrian province of Malikiyah, reflected in an interview with RISE NEWS how the war in her homeland has affected her life.

“In the beginning, it was really difficult to live in refugee camps,” Namo said. “We were forced into another way of life with people we didn´t know. You lose everything. You lose direction and you don’t know what you’re going to do with your future; you walk around without thinking or knowing what the next step is.”

Jackdar Mohammed (L) and Silva Namo (R) are two Syrian students a Mexican organization is helping go to college. Photo Credit: Jimena Pacheli/ RISE NEWS

In only two days after Namo and Mohammed’s arrival in Mexico, they said that they felt big and positive changes in their lives after experiencing Mexico’s culture.

“A big change for me is the food,” Mohammed said. “In two days I have eaten a lot of things. The food is really good and spicy. I like it.”

Before attending college in Mexico, Namo, Mohammed and the other Syrian students will spend six months studying Spanish in the state of Aguascalientes.

“This is our chance to learn and to do as much as we can to be stronger and provide something in the future,” Namo said.

Mohammed’s studies were interrupted due to the increasing violence and development of the war in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Today, he looks forward to starting his economy degree again.

“[The] Economy can help me and my country,” Mohammed about the field he is interested in pursuing. “It can have a great impact in Syria’s future. [The] Economy will be needed for rebuilding the country, creating factories and jobs and working on development.”

Namo’s goal is to make an impact not only in Mexican communities, but also in Syrian communities too.

To achieve this, she will study Business Administration.

“Everything is developing so quickly. Syria will need technology and development,” she told RISE NEWS.

For Namo and Mohammed, coming to Mexico is not only a personal achievement.

They plan to use their studies to aid Syria in its uncertain future.

“Syria needs us,” Mohammed said. “We are the generation that has a chance to complete their studies outside of the country. That’s the people Syria needs right now for its future. We, as students, are the hope for Syria’s future.”

It’s part of Mohammed and Namo’s goal to return to Syria.

Read More: Meet Daniela Núñez, The 23 Year Old Mexican Who Wants To Change The Way We Bury People

“This education is not just for me, it’s for all Syrians,” Mohammed said, “I want to learn and have new experiences so I can go back and transmit it to those who may not have a chance to complete their studies.”

Project Habesha is providing Syrian youth with an opportunity to receive a college education.

Mexico is providing these Syrians with a place to call home.

“It’s an amazing feeling to come into these people who are really nice and friendly,”  Namo said. “People have welcomed us and have let us know that this can be our home too. I’m away from my country but I feel safe and I feel at peace.”

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.

Florida State Students Vote Overwhelmingly To Become A Sanctuary Campus

Florida State University students voted overwhelmingly to make their campus a “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants.

The vote, which is not binding is a strong indication of student opinion on the issue of whether to allow campus officials to aid in the potential deportation of students who are undocumented.

According to FSU News, it is unclear whether the FSU SGA will lobby the university to make the decision binding.

According to the student newspaper, if FSU became a sanctuary campus then the Immigration Customs Enforcement would not be allowed to conduct operations on FSU grounds.

66.9% of students who voted in the referendum, voted to make FSU a sanctuary campus.

Here was the language put to the student body:

“We the students of Florida State University believe in maintaining equality of access to higher education for all students. We therefore support the classification of Florida State University as a sanctuary campus for undocumented students. In particular, we want the FSU administration to guarantee that no FSU agencies will release the immigration status of students to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or allow ICE to come on campus. We also want the FSU administration to guarantee that undocumented students residing in Florida will continue to receive instate tuition waivers. We also want the FSU administration to guarantee that any tuition assistance for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or undocumented student that has already been awarded will not be withheld or revoked on the basis of their legal status.”

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.

Cover Photo Credit: librarianfinsen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Science Academia Is Still Sexist As Hell

Science is not supposed to be about gender.

The purpose of science is to allow clarity in a world with very little understanding.

Unfortunately, many in prominent positions of American life have made it about gender.

In 2015, a reporter from Breitbart News published an article called, “Here’s why there ought to be a cap on women studying science and maths”.


We can laugh at the ridiculous concept of it, but science is still a sexist field.

Women are expected to fail because they supposedly cannot handle the competition from being in a predominately male field.

They are expected to either deal with sexism in the workplace, or leave.

Dr. Gillian Foulger works at Durham University in the U.K., and she worries that women are still treated the same way that she was in graduate school during the 1980’s.

Her graduate program gave women 1/10 of the spots that men had.

Students on a class trip to a science fair in 1985. Photo Credit: Chad Kainz/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Her teachers were supposed to be all female, and there were so few women in geology that many of her professors did not know new scientific concepts.

After she graduated, she was refused the same opportunities that men were getting, such as positions at geological societies and oil companies, despite the fact she excelled in university.

Foulger was forced to look for opportunities abroad, eventually becoming a volcanologist in Iceland.

There, she had to continuously deal with sexist and xenophobic stereotypes during her tenure.

Students in the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment record soil structure. Photo Credit: Dave Brenner/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

At one point, her male field assistant sexually harassed her.

“I had to lock my door at night to prevent him from breaking in and raping me,” she told me over the phone with little emotion.

It was, and still is, a fact that women are commonly sexually harassed during their time in academia.

“This is the sort of thing I have done for science, Hannah,” Foulger said to me as her voice hardened slightly. “I have done this because science is me. I love science. I don’t consider myself really ‘a woman’, or ‘a man’, or ‘a person’. I consider myself ‘a scientist’.”

She accepted the scorn and abuse from her male colleagues in order to further science.

The main argument of the Breitbart article is that the retention rate for women is low, so funding women in science is a waste of money.

The author is not wrong about the poor retention rate.

Women may earn more than 50% of the degrees in STEM PhD programs, but after graduate school, the numbers of women in science begin to decline rapidly.

In fact, women only make up 21% of full science professors and tend to make half of what their male counterparts make.

Dr. Foulger told me that women leave science because “the environment is stacked against women.”

She also said it is hostile to women.

“Women are not in positions where they can help those who are at a more junior level than themselves,” Foulger said. “So of course they drop out! They are forced out! Males expect women to drop out.”

If you also consider that married mothers are 35% less likely to get a tenure track position than married fathers, and 27% less likely to become tenured, you can probably guess why women feel like they cannot succeed in science.

Dr. Catherine Cardelús, an ecologist at Colgate University, has a similar perspective.

“The author [of the Breitbart article] does not look at the heart of the problem, which is that women do not have the support or infrastructure that they needed,” Cardelús said.

When Cardelús got her PhD in 2002, she was married with children to another professor, and she said that the men in her program expected her and the other women to fail.

Dr. Catherine Cardelús, is an ecologist at Colgate University. She claims that science is not welcoming to women. Photo Credit: Colgate University

Luckily she and one of her friends, who was also a mother, made a deal that they would not drop out of their program.

Despite the discrimination against them, the two women received their degrees and pursued success.

The best way to deal with discrimination in science is by creating representation.

“My presence alone as a woman in science teaching tells people that women can do it,” Dr. Cardelús said, leaning across the small wooden table in her office, her eyes full of defiance. “Everybody should be able to do what they want. There should not be barriers.”

Unfortunately, it is difficult to convince anyone to pursue a career in academia when the odds are already stacked against you.

A lot of the time, it is less emotionally draining to leave academia with a PhD and pursue opportunities in industry.

To compensate for the extra pressure women tend to feel in science, it is important to build a community.

While we can succeed alone, science is much more likely to move forward with everyone working towards a common goal—education and progress.

The best way to get more women in science is establishing a community of women from the beginning, and moving past stereotypes to allow women to take on more important roles.

We need to support our women and other oppressed groups as they pursue a career in science, because the inclusion of different perspectives will push science into the future.

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.

Cover Photo Credit: simpleinsomnia/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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