Spotlight

Spotlight: Western Sahara

Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory on the northwest coast of Africa. Bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria, the former Spanish colony has been under dispute since 1976. Ethnic tensions continue to erupt between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants, and Morocco maintains a large security presence in the territory.

In this episode, we take a deep dive into Western Sahara’s ongoing conflict and tensions with Morocco before discussing what the future might hold.

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Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Photo Credit: NASA

Spotlight: Lesotho

In this episode, we look into the history and current affairs of Lesotho, a country roughly size of Maryland that is landlocked in South Africa.

Much of Lesotho’s history and culture has been shaped by its mountainous terrain, which historically served as a fortress from outside threats. Today,  the Lesotho highlands play an integral part in the local Sotho culture.

However, Lesotho currently faces several challenges, including low life expectancy, water security concerns, tepid economic growth, and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence.

This Spotlight Episode explores the history, culture, and key issues Lesotho faces today.

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Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Spotlight: Papua New Guinea

In today’s episode, we put a spotlight on the island nation of Papua New Guinea. PNG, bordering Indonesia and Australia on the edge of the south Pacific ocean, is defined by its diversity. Incredibly rich in resources and cultures, Papua New Guinea faces unprecedented challenges that many other nations do not face. In this episode, we discuss how PNG’s cultural and political makeup internally challenge any efforts for it to fit into international society.

Spotlight: Urumqi

Positioned in China’s resource-rich northwestern region, the city of Urumqi is gaining strategic importance as China seeks to diversify its energy resources. However, ethnic and cultural tensions between the Chinese government and Uighur minority population continue to threaten the region’s stability. Read More

Spotlight: Cyprus

The island nation of Cyprus can be summed up in one word: divided. Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1960, tensions between the ethnically Greek and Turkish sides of the island escalated to a Greek coup d’Etat attempt and invasion by Turkey in 1974. This conflict has resulted in the island being split, monitored, and guarded by the UN and a reunification debate that continues to this day. Read More

Spotlight: Mali

Following the death of three US soldiers in Nigeria, there has been a re-examination of the relationship between terrorism, Western intervention, and African nations. Given that Africa is seen as a strategic priority in preventing the spread of terrorism, we examine the history, current state, and future of Mali in this context. 

Throughout the show, we discuss the history of the country, including its ancient role on the continent, its modern contemporary history in relation to politics and external influence. Then we will look at the emergence of terrorism in Mali, separatist movements, and French intervention. Lastly, we examine the future of the country and the role of the international community.

Spotlight: Belarus

Today’s episode will feature a spotlight on Belarus only recognized as a country since 1991. Sandwiched between Russia and the European Union, Belarus is known as “Europe’s Last Dictatorship.” Its president, Alexander Lukashenko has held this position since being the first “democratically” elected president in 1994. Since then, Belarus has faced a sensitive diplomatic environment, constantly having to appease its dominant neighbor, Russia, while also balancing its relations with the European Union and the West. In this spotlight episode, we discuss Belarus’ brief history and its place in the international community.

Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s Female PM

Bangladesh is a country with a significant gender gap, steeped in patriarchal tradition. So it may come as a surprise that its Prime Minister is a woman. In this episode, we shine a spotlight on PM Sheikh Hasina. Read More

Spotlight: Guyana

Tucked away in the northeast corner of South America, Guyana is often overshadowed by its larger neighbors Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia. However, the Guyanese are a diverse and resilient people who play an integral role in the region. Read More

Japan’s Emperor Akihito

Emperor Akihito of Japan is not your traditional emperor. In light of Akihito’s unconventional remarks hinting at a possible desire to abdicate, we spend this episode discussing the emperor’s place in Japanese government and culture. Read More