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World Policy Newsletter, Week of July 10th

Welcome to World Policy’s weekly newsletter, featuring the latest news from across our major platforms—media, programming, and fellowship.

Around the World

Last Saturday, the Islamic State released a video showing the gruesome execution of 25 teen-aged captives in the Roman ruins of the ancient Syrian city of Palmrya. Mark V. Vlasic and Helga Turku explore the troubling motivations behind the Islamic State’s mass destruction and exploitation of historical sites, urging the international community to make a collaborative, concerted effort to prevent any further loss of our common cultural heritage. 

Recent reports from the Bureau of Economic Research show South African consumer confidence plunging to the lowest level in 14 years. Alireza Saniei-Pour examines South Africa’s shrinking middle class—a tribute to the growing gulf in wage distribution. 

Across the Atlantic, after more than a half-century of hostility, the United States and Cuban agreed to open embassies in their respective capitals. Kate Maloff showcases Cuba’s introduction to American tourism while reflecting on consequences of rapid industrialization.

And on this week’s episode of World Policy On AirNepali Times editor Kunda Dixit tells host David Alpern about his hopes for major political changes in the wake of April's devastating earthquake.

Around the Institute

Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec, continued the World Policy Institute’s Arctic Deeply Roundtable series, leading a June 23 discussion of Plan Nord, an ambitious development project for the province’s most northern territory. While emphatic about his concern for the well being of the indigenous communities, Couillard nevertheless suggested it was still premature to discuss details of how best to address their concerns. Nellie Peyton probes some of the key disputes and tensions centered on the populations lying in the project’s wake. 

On Thursday, Swarthmore political science professor Dominic Tierny visited the Bard Globalization and International Affairs center at the World Policy Institute to discuss his book, The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts, published last month to praise by Mark Moyer in the Wall Street Journal for “sagely rejecting the notion that the U.S. should sit out of all messy wars simply because it finds them unpleasant.”

And if you haven’t already picked up a copy of the Summer issue of World Policy Journal, go online now. We explore “Climate’s Cliff”—from the debate over nuclear energy in Germany to the environmental cost of the Nicaragua Canal to the dangers of China’s smoke-smothered skies.

Fellow Updates

Siddarth Dube, in a recent article for Pass Bluereflects joyfully on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage by US Supreme court—hoping the decision will spur similar action in India.

Peter Kaufman, in an interview last week with the New York Timesdiscusses his leading role in the nascent “Russian Library,” an ambitious initiative to publish a new, expansive series of translated texts in collaboration with Russian academic and political authorities.

James H. Nolt, in his latest for Polarizing Political Economyexplores what might be the significance if there is a first default (by Greece) on a Euro debt—highlighting intricacies of the European currency experiment.

Jonathan Cristol, in an article forMUN:Planet, discusses the dynamics of U.S.-Iranian relations in the light of the talks on the Iranian nuclear program. 

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[Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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