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South China Seas Territorial Disputes

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea States that the parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate the disputes in the area. Although reclamation works and the construction of installations and structures on occupied features would seem to be inconsistent with this provision, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have all undertaken such activities on the features they occupy and control in the Spratly Islands

Refugee Crisis in Europe

The problem in the EU is the unequitable distribution of asylum seekers and lack of solidarity among EU member states (1 million migrants is equal to 0.2% of the entire EU population). Some EU member states grapple with the question of how an influx of people of a “different culture” might change their country. Some say that we should seek 'regional solutions' for refugee problems. This may sound sensible but this argument is deceptive as it ignores the fact that the large majority of refugees worldwide already find refuge in their own region. Developing countries host over 86 % of the world's refugees, compared to 70 % ten years ago. This is not only because many refugees lack the resources to travel far, but also because many refugees simply prefer to stay close to home. The vast majority of refugees stay in neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Lebanon, which houses 1.2 million Syrian refugees within a total population of roughly 4.5 million.

Scheldt River: Controversy, Cooperation, International Law

The Separation Treaty of 1839 contains some important provisions for the freedom of navigation on the Scheldt: the Statute of the Western Scheldt. This statute applies Article 108 to 177 of the Final Act of the Vienna Congress (1815) to all trans-boundary watercourses that form or cross the Dutch-Belgian border. These articles deal with the freedom of navigation, and the obligation of the States to carry out the necessary works (‘travaux nécessaires’) for safeguarding the navigability of the river. Ever since the conclusion of the Separation Treaty, the interpretation of the words ‘travaux nécessaires’ has been the most important legal Scheldt issue between the two countries and even continues to be in present day negotiations.

Paris Climate Change Conference 2015

Scientists have warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we will pass the threshold beyond which global warming becomes catastrophic and irreversible. That threshold is estimated to be a temperature rise of 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and with our current emission trajectories we are heading towards a rise of about 5°C. That may not sound like much, but the difference between today’s temperature and the last ice age is about 5°C. It maybe seems a small change in temperature but this can mean a big difference for the Earth. Current commitments on greenhouse gas emissions will expire in 2020. At the Paris conference, governments are expected to produce a global agreement on what should be done in the decade after 2020 and beyond this timeframe.

The Nuremberg Trials Legacy

History has generally designated the International Military Tribunal (IMT) Trial as the Nuremberg Trial, and representations are often accompanied with the now-familiar image: Courtroom 600 in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, with the chief Nazi defendants, most prominently Hermann Göring, in the dock. Held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946, the Tribunal was given the task of trying 23 of the most important political and military leaders of the Third Reich, though one of the defendants, Martin Bormann, was tried in absentia, while another, Robert Ley, committed suicide within a week of the trial's commencement. Not included were Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels, all of whom had committed suicide in the spring of 1945, well before the indictment was signed.