Back to the Future: A wind powered shipping revolution?

While the aerospace industry has attracted much attention given the terrible blow it was dealt by the Coronavirus crisis, another giant transport industry has also been seeking to adapt to the challenges of this century: the shipping industry. The globalization and intensification of trade links, accompanied by the emergence of transitioning economies, along with a growing culture of consumerism and delivery culture has resulted in cargo ships handling 11 billion tons of product per year. These range from raw materials to manufactured goods and amounts to 90% of the world’s global trade. The cargo shipping industry is now caught in between the pressure of a growing demand for goods and the imperatives of climate change. Nearly everything around us has once been on a boat meaning that ships and ports are a key part of the infrastructure on which our ways of life rely. As such they represent an important source of reducing our environmental footprint. The solution of wind-powered cargo ships is slowly making its return after being replaced two centuries ago by the coal-powered steamships. 

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Rohingya: Citizens of Nowhere

Nationality has been a cornerstone of every major human rights treaty and statelessness has been a conundrum of it. Article 15 of the 1948 United Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to a nationality”. The Rohingya refugees have been one of the most persecuted groups in the world, and they predominantly belong to the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Myanmar considered them ‘Illegal Bengali Immigrants’ and denied them citizenship, though historical evidence clearly states that they are inhabitants of Myanmar. As per the 1982 Burmese Citizenship Law, Rohingya people were excluded from the list of 135 national ethnic communities. Consequently, it effectively rendered 800,000 Rohingya stateless, denying them their rights to study, access to health services, marry, work, and practice their religion. Post-1992, the situation of Rohingya people worsened when an ‘Interagency Border Protection Force’ was formed to oppress them. After being denied citizenship and persuaded into the country, some 250,000 Rohingya left the country and fled to Cox Bazar, Bangladesh. According to World Vision, since 2017 after genocidal acts and constant brutal campaign violence against them, over 700,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar. Another brutal campaign, “Operation Clean and Beautiful Nation”, propelled 200,000 Rohingya to flee from Myanmar. 

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Terrorism and its impact on tourism in India

India is a diverse country and a popular tourist destination, one that has been vulnerable to terrorist activities for a long time. Not only has terrorism claimed the lives of many people but it has also hampered the smooth functioning of the country’s economy. This article studies the direct negative relationship between tourism and terrorism.

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The Green Transition: South Korea and Japan follow UK Pledge to Work Towards Carbon Neutrality by 2050

The South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, has formally pledged that the country will become carbon neutral by 2050. This commitment to achieving net-zero emissions within the next 30 years is not an unprecedented step, but is in line with recent global efforts to tackle climate change.  

Major world economies have now vowed to end their dependence on coal and replace it with other forms of renewable resources as part of their Green New Deal, which involves a shift towards renewable energy and energy storage systems, as well as low-carbon energy systems. In 2019, the European Union set itself a similar target, with EU leaders agreeing to make their then 28 member states carbon neutral by 2050. Japan quickly followed suit with Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga making an ambitious pledge to accelerate the country’s global warming targets. China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, has promised to become carbon neutral by 2060, and vowed to begin cutting its emissions within the next ten years. It must not be underestimated how bold and ambitious these targets actually are. 

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Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, a new climatic momentum is emerging

Introduction

In December 2015, 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement, a new climate treaty, aiming to limit rising temperatures at +2 °C above pre-industrial levels. This “monumental triumph for the people and our planet,” as exclaimed by UN Secretary-General at the time Ban Ki-Moon, states that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must come down to ‘net-zero’ levels between 2050 and 2100. As a decentralized and bottom-up system relying on signatories’ nationally determined contributions, the success of the Paris Agreement can only be achieved if countries ratchet up their ambitions. 

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Tales of a Pandemic: Migrants, Dissidents and the State

With the Covid-19 vaccine(s) seemingly on the horizon, it is important to reflect upon this period of acute stress and paranoia with regards to national politics. India, as far as domestic political discourse is concerned, has declared itself the champion of lockdowns and preventive measures.

While the world was grappling with the monumental failures of the American government pertaining to healthcare and the oppression of its own people, many aspects of the Indian lockdown flew under the radar, barely questioned by even the most vehement critics of the Indian government, out of fear, reservation, or bewilderment. It has been observed for over six years now that the current government exercises something of a blitzkrieg in the announcement and implementation of its policies. This suddenness is, indeed, an extremely deliberate political strategy that incapacitates any thought of opposition. This is evident in one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent speeches where he remarked how people in other countries resisted lockdown measures, but the Indian people immediately fell in line. What the Prime Minister leaves out in his speech, however, was the manner in which the citizens of India were confronted with the lockdown. 

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Overcoming the Legacy of Section 28: Reaffirming the Need for LGBT+ Inclusive Education

In 2018, Scotland became the first country in the world to commit to fully integrating LGBT+ identities and the history of gay rights into the national curriculum following the recommendations of an LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group. From 2021, all public schools in Scotland will be required to teach lessons on the HIV and AIDS epidemic, the history of equality campaigning, same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting, alongside an exploration of homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, and their impact upon wider society.  

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence

Recently, new research is being published which outlines the various ways in which inequalities that were already present in society are being reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, gender-based inequality which can lead to gender-based violence has been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. This article will discuss the extent of the problem in the UK, namely how much the recurrence of gender-based violence has increased over the lockdown period from March 2020 to June 2020. Moreover, the article will touch on the intersection of inequalities that leave certain groups of women more at risk than others. It is important to note, however, that this is not to say that gender-based violence is a problem that only women face. However, for the sake of space, this article will focus primarily on violence against women. 

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China’s oppression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang

Introduction

Xinjiang provides a fascinating example of the fusion of diverse and complex heritage by the cultural and spiritual influence of Islam and Buddhism. The trade and complementary influences enriched human development and left a profound impression on the political, economic, and social life throughout the region. Referred to as the ‘pivot of Asia’ by noted American scholar Owen Lattimore, Xinjiang is China’s declared core strategic area, where it brooks no international interference in its internal affairs.

The status of Xinjiang (a provincial-level autonomous zone of China) can be classified as highly geostrategic. It shares borders with the Central Asian Republics of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan in the west and north, Mongolia in the northeast, India’s Jammu and Kashmir in the southwest, Tibet in the southeast, and Afghanistan in the south. Covering a vast amount of land amounting to nearly one-sixth of China’s total territory, Xinjiang is its largest province with a majority of Muslims.

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Tackling the EU democratic deficit by increasing the representativity of the European Parliament

  1. Background

In recent years, political participation of European citizens has been decreasing. Voter turnout has declined from 62% in the first European Parliament (EP) elections in 1979 to 43% in 2014. At the same time, the 2018 Eurobarometer shows low levels of trust of citizens in the European Parliament (50%) and the European Commission (46%). Many critics argue that the EU suffers from a democratic deficit, noting that EU decision-making procedures are either inaccessible or excessively complex for ordinary citizens to comprehend and engage with. The latter accusation contradicts the notion of liberal democracy, which is one of the EU’s core values and a condition of membership.  

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