The U.S. will be imposing sanctions on China on May 1, if China does not stop importing oil from Iran. Around May 1, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are going to Beijing to continue trade talks. “Is the priority Iran sanctions or a trade agreement? A trade agreement should be the priority,” said Professor Dennis Wilder.
On Sunday, terrorist attacks killed almost 300 people at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Almost immediately after the attack, people were arrested in connection to the attack, and the National Thowheed Jamath, an Islamist militant group, ended up being responsible for the attacks. Considering that Sri Lanka has little tension between Muslim and Christian Sri Lankans, “it’s far more likely, Fair said, that an outside group, such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, based in the Indian subcontinent is involved in some way.”
This week, President Trump “designated the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)…a ‘terrorist organization.'” The State Department released a statement regarding the designation, explaining that the IRGC has killed Americans, which led to some confusion. Professor Bruce Hoffman suggested that this was in reference to “the intense fighting in Sadr City in Baghdad in 2008 between IRGC and U.S. military forces.”
Anna Landre (SFS’21) was interviewed and profiled by the Washington Post las week. Landre discussed the mainstream language surrounding disabilities–for example, while the term “disabled people” may sound offensive to some people, that’s the term she prefers. “I take pride in my disability,” she says. “It gives me a certain strength. I don’t see it as a deficit or a problem.” Landre also talked about working as a disabled person, and the “antiquated” way of thinking our society has about this particular issue.
Hoda Muthana, an American who traveled to Syria in 2014 to join ISIS, wants to come back to the U.S., and face the consequences of her actions. However, the Trump administration is attempting to bar her return. Professor Daniel Byman argued: “What you want is for these people to be off the streets, having them go to trial, go to jail, is a good thing.”
The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics’s annual CrossCurrents Festival is underway, and this year, features former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka. How did that happen? Lab Co-Director, Cynthia Schneider, says, “The lab tries to leverage the local voices of artists in other parts of the world who are expressing a narrative that’s different from what’s coming out from the government, who express the aspirations of the people. This leads, at the very least, to a deeper understanding of the region
Professor Christine Fair’s book, Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, “argues that Pakistan is a revisionist state in Kashmir and seeks to resist India’s rise in the region.” Fair highlights three main aspects of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba: recruiting (fighters were mainly recruited from madrassas and Urdu medium schools, on average aged 17-18), the role of mothers (LeT pushed mothers to encourage their sons to join and fight), and its role in domestic policy (as it helps the state fight against militia groups that threaten the state).
President Trump signed an order recognizing Golan Heights as Israeli territory, leading to a number of different reactions. Most regional experts agreed that this action was essentially beneficial to Netanyahu’s campaign. “The U.S. position was always that the status (of the Golan Heights) would be determined in negotiations between Israel and its neighbors,” Professor Byman said.
In this article published on the National Catholic Reporter, Father Drew Christiansen posited that in the current political climate, with increasing attention being paid to nuclear deterrence, “it’s time for the Catholic voice to rise to the pinnacle it held in the 1980s and new voices can lead the way.” With his reference to the 1980’s, Father Christiansen brings to mind “The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response,” a letter released by U.S. bishops in 1983 which “offered moral perspectives on war and peace, nuclear deterrence and the possession of nuclear weapons.”