Netherlands

298: One Year after the Downing of MH17

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by Ashlee Pitts

Amsterdam Airport: Flight MH17 Memorial. Photo by Roman Boed/ Flickr.
Amsterdam Airport: Flight MH17 Memorial. Photo by Roman Boed/ Flickr.

Every day tens of thousands of planes take flight worldwide. Families pack their bags for vacations, professionals enjoy much-needed time-off, students return home from college and many are looking for just a quick weekend getaway. Countless airports are filled with heart-felt “hellos” and tearful “goodbyes”. On 17 July 2014, a Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines was violently struck and disintegrated into flames as 298 innocent civilians fell over 30,000 feet and lay scattered around a warzone. What should have been a smooth-sailing thirteen-hour flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia resulted in an international crime scene.

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The European Union: Outmanoeuvred by a Populist Century?

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by Frederick Brock

The number of asylum-seekers who reach the Southern coasts of Europe has soared dramatically since last year as numerous violent conflicts such as the one in Syria continue to force migration. Image source: Flickr/ Royal Navy Media Archive (Creative Commons)
The number of people reaching the Southern coasts of Europe in search for asylum has soared dramatically since last year. Image source: Flickr/ Royal Navy Media Archive (Creative Commons).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Husein, recently criticised a columnist in a British tabloid for ‘inciting racial hatred’ and referring to migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing as ‘cockroaches.’ [1] The tabloid in question has the widest readership of any paper in Britain. The High Commissioner went on to compare the xenophobia in elements of the British press as akin to that found in propaganda produced by Rwandan media outlets prior to the genocide in the 1990’s. Self-evidently such sentiment has no place in any society that professes to be civilised, however the increasing confidence and impunity with which those not simply on the fringes of the political spectrum, but the mainstream as well, attack migrants is a worrying development for all in Europe. Our history as a continent is an illustration of where divisive, anti-migrant and nationalist rhetoric can lead. The modern migrant crisis, with 1 in every 122 people displaced due to war, environmental pressures and state oppression, is a situation unprecedented in the years since the formation of the European Union. [2] This article will consider the potential havoc the invocation of resurgent nationalist identities across the continent, partially in response to this crisis, could cause to one of the biggest political projects in the modern world: the European Union.

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Under the Influence: The “Bali Nine” and the Effectiveness of the Death Penalty

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by Ashlee Pitts

Warning sign for drug trafficker violation in Jakarta. Photo credit: Serenity, Wikimedia Commons.
Warning sign for drug trafficker violation in Jakarta. Photo credit: Serenity, Wikimedia Commons.

Bali, a beautiful island with stunning views of the ocean, breathtaking volcanic mountains and daily Balinese offerings made by the local women that lie peacefully on nearly every corner. Bali continues to be a popular vacation destination for visitors all over the world. The excitement of the tourists after stepping off the plane and witnessing the initial scenery through the windows of Denpasar airport quickly vanishes when the drug trafficking warning appears. The less than subtle cautionary sign enlightens drug smugglers of the consequences that would follow if they are caught with any illicit contraband. The Indonesian government assures the world that this is no idle threat.

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