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.

In this episode we look at Gwadar port, a deep-sea port located in the Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, along a strategic trade route in the Arabian Sea. A Chinese state-owned company, Overseas Ports Holding Company, signed a 40-year lease for the port in 2014 to advance China’s economic and trade interests in the region. Continue reading

Comoros_in_relation_to_Afrika_mapMaybe you’ve at least heard of most countries around the world. But have you ever heard of Comoros? This small island nation east of Africa and north of Madagascar has had an outsized impact on international trade and the the history of its region. Today’s Comoros has a complex political system and a rich diversity of culture. Join us as we discuss Comoros in this latest installment of our Spotlight series!

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This week, we  debut our Spotlight series. Unlike in our traditional round table discussions, the spotlight series will allow us to occasionally choose an interesting figure, location, or phenomenon to discuss. This episode’s figure is the world’s longest-reigning monarch alive: King Bhumibol Adulyadej. We start from his birth in the United States, move to his unexpected rise to the throne, and finally discuss his apotheosis.

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