Author: Nicholas DeMarco

SEATTLE — After centuries of mistrust and war, conflict in Europe hit a crescendo after the Second World War. Left in ruins, the governments of Europe were threatened by the encroachment of communism from the East and needed a way to ensure a peaceful future, especially between Germany and France. It started as the European Coal and Steel Commission, a trade community made up of six countries: Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Now, the European Union is a financial and political union made up of 28 European nations, giving the member nations a stronger voice on the…

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SEATTLE — October 2002 saw the creation of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program by the United States Congress. The bipartisan program was established after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Its mission was to create an exchange program by which high school students from predominantly Muslim countries would be able to attend a year of high school in the United States, and in 2009 U.S. students would have the same opportunity to study abroad. Its goal was to show U.S. goodwill across the Muslim world at a time of great stress. Emotions were running high in America…

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SEATTLE — Chinese investment in Africa began in the early 1960s. While the United States and the Soviet Union vied for influence over the globe, including Africa, the Chinese government saw an opportunity to compete with the two dominant world powers, offering a third option to African countries who sought aid after gaining independence. While the Chinese government has always sought to aid its partners in Africa, much of the aid comes in the form of investments, often as loans to the countries’ governments or business aid. When Chinese governments make deals with a nation’s government to mine or build…

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SEATTLE — Nicaragua shares borders with three countries: Honduras and El Salvador to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Nicaragua is still suffering from the aftereffects of a long civil war and dictatorship. The Sandinista government responsible for much of the longtime suffering was elected fairly in 2006 and since 2008 have regained full control of all of the branches of government. As a result, local and national elections have consistently registered irregularities. Internal political turmoil has hindered the growth of the Nicaraguan economy. Agriculture makes up 14.8 percent of the nation’s GDP and employs 31 percent of…

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SEATTLE — Officially named The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but usually referred to as simply Macedonia, the Eastern European nations sits north of the Greek province with the same name and borders Bulgaria in the east, Serbia to the north and Albania to the west. Since gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonia has endured internal strife and external political pressure from its neighbors. Although much of the external pressure has been relived and Macedonia is a candidate to join both the European Union and NATO, internal political instability mars its attempts to finish these negotiations. To help improve…

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