Know Before You Go: News From Around the World

Here are the Top 5 things around the globe that caught our eyes this week! Here’s what you need to know!

  1. The Confederate Flag
    1. What You Need to Know: The Confederate Flag was the flag that was flown by the Confederate troops in the Civil War. To many people, it is a symbol of the South, where slavery was rampant. It is no secret that this flag is still flown, worn, and used in many different ways across the United States, but now it is making headlines because of Dylann Roof, the man who walked into a church and murdered nine African-Americans in a racially motivated killing. In a website found by news organizations across the country, Roof was seen holding the flag in photos. This has sparked debates in nine states (South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina) about removing the flag from license plates, Capitol grounds, state flags, and other places as well. For more information about this story, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/23/politics/confederate-flags-southern-states-debate-legislators/index.html.
    2. Why You Need to Know This: The Civil War is a key moment in American History. It is one of the turning points for the United States of America. It is important to respect history, but at the same time be relevant and respectful to who we are as a country now. This debate could stretch out for many months, and people in other countries will ask you about your opinion of this.
    3. Office Top Tip: Be mindful about what you say. You are a representation of Indiana State University and the United States of America. It is important to be aware of what is going on and how the rest of the world is reacting to us.
  2. Protests Close the Chunnel Between England and France
    1. What You Need to Know: The Chunnel is the tunnel that trains use to go from England to France. It runs under the English Channel (hence the name “Chunnel” for Channel Tunnel) and is an important transportation link from the British Isles and the rest of continental Europe. This 31-mile long tunnel was shut down on Tuesday afternoon after protesters broke into the tunnel and set train tires on fire. It is believed to be the work of international migrants who are attempting to cross into England. News footage shows migrants jumping into the backs of trucks in attempts to cross on ferries as well. For more information about this story, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/23/europe/eurotunnel-closed/index.html.
    2. Why You Need to Know This: Train travel is one of the most popular forms of transportation in Europe. Not only is it very cheap, Europe is a very small continent. It is easy to hop on a train and get to another county in less than a day. The shutting down of this major tunnel could spell trouble for people who need to travel back and forth between France and England, as well as any vacationers trying to go between countries.
    3. Office Top Tip: Keep an eye on the news for any trouble spots in transportation. This is an extremely rare occurrence, but it is also something that you should be aware of. An easy way to keep track of what’s going on with Eurostar, the main train rails service in Europe, follow them on Twitter at @Eurostar.
  3. Great Britain vs. the European Union
    1. What You Need to Know: The European Union was formed after World War II in attempt to unify a shattered Europe. With Germany’s economy in shambles and the rest of Europe still feeling the sting of war, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands came together to have economic and political peace. Now in its 70th year and almost 30 member countries, the EU seems to be in a bit of a tight spot. Britain’s main concern is about three little words that has been written into treaties throughout the EU’s history: the hope for an “ever closer union”. Prime Mister David Cameron is looking to scrap that phrase from every treaty (something all 28 of the countries in the EU will need to agree upon) or it could be that Britain walks out of the EU in 2017 or even sooner. For more information about this story, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/world/europe/cameron-eu-brexit.html?ref=world&_r=0. For more information on the EU, visit: http://europa.eu/index_en.htm.
    2. Why You Need to Know This: If you are planning on traveling to Great Britain within the next few years, this is definitely something to watch out for. It will be a big deal if Great Britain removes itself from the EU and the repercussions of this action will not be clear for some time. This could also affect you if you are in any EU country. Some countries might follow suit and leave the EU as well.
    3. Office Top Tip: Keep an eye on the papers. This will be a hot topic in the coming months, so be up to date on what’s going on. You might be asked about your opinion about the EU and Britain’s threat to leave.
  4. WikiLeaks Documents Threaten U.S. and French Ties
    1. What You Need to Know: WikiLeaks is known for releasing Top Secret documents from around the world. It was brought into the eyes of the United States after founder Julian Assange published thousands of U.S. documents almost 5 years ago and when Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s secrets were published. Late Tuesday night (6/23/15), WikiLeaks posted documents that show that the U.S. has spied on three French presidents. The U.S. had taped the phones of not only the French President, but other cabinet members and the French ambassador. The taps recorded a myriad of topics, from concerns about the EU, the United Nations, and other crises from around the globe. These documents show that the U.S. isn’t just spying on enemies; it is spying on its allies as well. For more information about this story, visit: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/23/francois-hollande-emergency-meeting-wikileaks-us-spied-three-presidents-france.
    2. Why You Need to Know This: This could be a huge issue for the U.S. Ties with France and the U.S. could fray quickly, especially since current French President François Hollande was one of the three presidents that the U.S. had listened to. At time of press, Hollande called an emergency defense council meeting. It is unclear what the repercussions will be at this time.
    3. Office Top Tip: If you’re going to France, this is something you will undoubtedly be confronted about. It is no secret to the world that the United States has a spy network that crosses the globe. The CIA is well known, as is the FBI. It is important to be aware of what France will do because of this WikiLeaks release.
  5. New UN base in Seoul, South Korea may spell Trouble for North Korea
    1. What You Need to Know: In a report released by the United Nations last year, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) was found to be committing a vast array of human rights violations. These violations were so brutal that it prompted immediate action of the UN. There was testimony from many exiles and escapes from North Korea, stating that the prison camps that North Korea has been running could be holding more than 120,000 people. Many of the North Korean escapees have come forward with stories of rape, torture, and executions. This new UN base in Seoul, South Korea could spark new tensions in the already tense region. For more information about this story, visit: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/24/north-korea-un-human-rights-office-seoul.
    2. Why You Need to Know This: North Korea and South Korea have always had a tense relationship. But this year, things have been getting more and more intense, prompting U.S. and UN involvement in the region. North Korea has been testing missiles in the region as well as threatening nuclear retaliation towards South Korea and its allies. It is unclear whether or not North Korea actually has any nuclear weapons, or if any military action will be taken. Up to this point is has been usually a lot of angry words, but no action. If you are planning on being in the Asian region, it is always a smart idea to keep an eye on what North Korea is up to.
    3. Office Top Tip: Become aware of what is going on in North Korea. There are many articles that have been published about the atrocities that are happening in the North Korean prison camps. We recommend “Escape from Camp 14” by Blaine Harden and “Nothing to Envy” by Barbara Demick. These books are intensely gruesome, but also showcase the horrors that North Koreans are going through.

Check back next week for more news so you can Know Before You Go!

All stories are based off of information gather from CNN, the New York Times, The Guardian, The BBC, and the Telegraph.

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