Here are the Top Five Stories that caught our eyes this week:
- Russia’s Doping Ring
- What You Need to Know: On Tuesday morning, a report in Russia was issued about state-sponsored doping among Russian athletes. This came as somewhat of a shock around the world as the Kremlin is intensely denying the allegations. The report was issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), and claimed that Russia was so heavily involved with the doping that the secret services were involved as well. The report said that the All-Russia Athletics Federation (Araf), the Russian Athletics Federation, and the Russian anti-doping agency (Rusada) were all in violation of the anti-doping procedures that are standard world-wide. Since the release of this information, Australia and the UK have rallied to ban Russia from competitions around the world; this includes the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Russia is saying that there is no evidence to support the claims of nationwide doping. Russia has until the end of the week to respond to the claims of doping. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34773534.
- Why You Need to Know This: Russia has been caught in the act and things do not look good for them. With allegations this big, they could be out of the sports world for a long time. Russia is very prideful about their sports and being one of the big winners in the Olympics. What Russia says and does over the next few days/weeks will make a huge impact on their punishment.
- Office Top Tip: Think about this: Without the Russians in the Olympics, what does it mean for the rest of the competition??
- University of Missouri President Resigns
- What You Need to Know: At the start of the 2015-2016 school year, the University of Missouri began with a series of boiling tensions that finally came to a head over the past few weeks. Columbia, Missouri has been in the headlines after black student groups have staged protests, among which was a graduate student Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike that lasted over a week. Students and professors alike were demanding that President Tim Wolfe step down from his position after many issues came to light. The issues included a swastika drawn in feces found in a dorm bathroom, racial slurs being shouted at minority students on campus, and being treated differently than white students on campus. As the protests gained national attention, the biggest strike at the President was when 30 members of the Mizzou Football team stated that they would not play in football games; the biggest support of the protest came from the head coach Gary Pinkel, who tweeted his support of his players at the Concerned Student 1950 student group that had been staging the protests. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34769995.
- Why You Need to Know This: For a country that fought an war that was partially over slavery, we deal with racism so much in the U.S. This the latest of many racism accusations in University’s across the country. For the Concerned Student 1950 group to have stood their ground and gotten the President and the Chancellor of the university to resign is a huge step forward for the University of Missouri.
- Office Top Tip: While you’re abroad, you will be asked questions about race. It is one of the things that is universal, but is more prevalent in the United States. Don’t be surprised if you are asked about race.
- Myanmar Elections
- What You Need to Know: Aung San Suu Kyi is known for being held under house arrest for several years the last time that she took part in an election. Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won in 1990, but the results were nullified. This time, with only half of the seats declared, it looks like the NLD won 90% of the vote. The ruling class Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) has only gained 5% of the votes; this group is backed by the military and won the last election five years ago. The remaining seats are reserved for the military. The most difficult part of the elections is that Suu Kyi cannot hold the presidency because of the constitution; it will be interesting to see what will come of this. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34784291.
- Why You Need to Know This: For a country that has gone through so much diplomatic turmoil, this could be either a great step forward or a tragic step backwards. It all depends on how the USDP handles the election results and whether or not they are willing to step down.
- Office Top Tip: There is really nothing for the outside world to do except wait and honor the results of the elections.
- Spain’s Catalan Pushing for Independence
- What You Need to Know: Catalan is a small portion of Spain in the North-Eastern Region. It has been pushing for independence for a while, and now with almost half of the Catalan parliament vying for independence, it looked like a sure thing. Now, however, the Spanish government has stepped in, stopping the motion from being passed in the Catalan parliament. The Prime Minster of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, stated that he would not allow the independence, claiming that it was a “clear violation” of the constitution. It is a waiting game now to see if Catalan will ignore the Spanish government’s interference or if the game plan will change. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34787795.
- Why You Need to Know This: Making up almost 19% of Spain’s GDP, this would be a huge blow to Spain if Catalan does indeed pursue independence. It is unclear what will happen if Spain does indeed attempt to keep everything from happening or if Catalan does indeed go forward.
- Office Top Tip: If you’re in Spain over the next year, this will undoubtedly be a hot topic. Be prepared to talk about this with Spaniards.
- GOP Square Off
- What You Need to Know: Another GOP Debate this week, left Trump attacked at all sides, particularly when it came to his Immigration Plan. Taking place in Milwaukee, foreign policy took center stage. With the eight candidates involved in the debate on different sides of the Middle East debate, there was no clear winner or loser this time around. Trump got booed as he attempted to counter-attack, Ted Cruz messed up government agencies, and many people took to Twitter to wonder why a British moderator was used. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34783843.
- Why You Need to Know This: Overall, it was the same old song and dance with these candidates. It’s unclear if Trump is gaining or losing ground, but his opponents were on the attack this time around. It seemed to be an even matched fight. Every time there is a new debate, the world will be watching and waiting to see what Americans will do.
- Office Top Tip: Keep up to date about the Elections and the Debates. You don’t need to watch every single one, but at least looking up the highlights would be helpful.
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.