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Posts published in “North America”

Largest Climate Bill in U.S. History Is a Start, but Is It Enough?

Met with an enthusiastic round of applause and cheers, US President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law on Aug. 16, 2022. In his address to the American people, Biden triumphantly said the IRA–a bill dedicated to fighting climate change and reducing fossil fuel emissions in a way that will also lower inflation–is one of the most significant laws in American history.

Poland Under Fire: What the Missile Crisis Teaches Us About NATO’s Response and the Containment of the Ukraine Conflict

On Tuesday, November 15, Poland reported two missile strikes against the town of Przewodów, located 6 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border. The strike resulted in two civilian casualties. While Russia was initially suspected, it has since been confirmed that the missiles were fired by Ukrainian air defenses against an incoming Russian missile. Regardless of the missile’s origin, we have never been closer to the risk of a global war since the start of the Ukrainian conflict.

Jeff Bezos: Billionaire, Philanthropist, Greenwasher?

The 27th UN Conference on Climate Change, COP27, saw a pronouncement from French President Emmanuel Macron that the Bezos Earth Fund had pledged $1 billion to protect carbon reserves and biodiversity. With such a prominent pledge, many have begun to ask, what is the Earth Fund, and where is it situated in the architecture of global environmental governance? Non-state actors are not new to the area, with NGOs and activists becoming increasingly prominent at these international conferences. But philanthropic groups like the Bezos Earth Fund are comparatively new. While they may be able to bring large amounts of money to the table, these actors raise concerns about legitimacy and the power of wealthy individuals like Jeff Bezos. As a result, the fund and its plans are worth a closer look.

Power Politics in the Arctic: China and India

The melting of the glaciers is changing geopolitical arrangements. In the Arctic, global warming is opening opportunities for the allocation of needed resources even to non-Arctic states. The region is indeed opening up to new power dynamics and competition as states propel their economic, military, and political claims. New powers, such as China and India, have joined the resources race; but what can they really gain from the frozen Arctic lands? And how will this affect the regional and global balance of power?

Emerging Conversations on Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and the Legalities Behind Them

On Sept. 29, the US-Asia Law Institute at NYU Law invited attorneys Jennifer Wu (NYU Law, 2004) and Lawrence Wee (Harvard Law, 1994) from the Paul Weiss Law firm to discuss anti-Asian hate crime. Wu and Wee spoke on the difficulty of prosecuting hate crimes through the nature of collecting evidence, and why the community response, both digital and protest advocacy, should be made first and foremost with the voice of the victims in mind. In a city-campus where students are already cautious of daily safety, the rise in hate crimes and the deaths of young professionals alarmed safety concerns and brought forward attention and support for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community.

On Iran’s Ambitions, Gulf States and the US Keep Passing the Buck

Much of the Middle East is facing a crisis of indecision on Iran. Despite extensive reporting on Iran’s expansionist ambitions, the Islamic Republic has been making bold demands with the expectation of both Western and Arab acquiescence. Iranian proxy footholds have long eroded the sovereignties of sectarian states. Regional tensions have further deepened due to Tehran’s insistence that a renewed nuclear agreement must preclude the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate undisclosed uranium enrichment facilities.

Beijing – The Next Target of US Sanctions?

Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has animated the use of economic sanctions in an unprecedented way. Strenuous US-China relations, exacerbated by Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan, raise the question of whether Washington would impose similar measures on Beijing in the face of a military invasion of Taiwan.

A Brief History of the US Labor Movement

The first national federation of unions, the National Labor Union, was created in 1872 after workers demanded for an eight-hour workday. In the following decades, unions representing an assortment of trades and demands sprang up across the US. Their goal was to protect the rights – to safety, humane conditions, and social and economic freedom – of workers as booming corporations seemingly sought to eliminate them.