Author: Sean Newhouse

Sean lives in Greensburg, PA. His academic interests include Political Science, Communication and Public Relations. Sean spent two weeks on Standing Rock Lakota Indian Reservation this past May.

SEATTLE — In February 2018, movie audiences everywhere were introduced to Wakanda, the “uber-developed,” high-tech African country virtually untouched by colonialism, in the Marvel box office hit Black Panther. Wakanda, ruled by T’Challa (the titular Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman), shows how Black Panther and development are intertwined. Foreign Assistance is Virtuous and Effective Initially, Wakanda is an extreme example of isolationism. It’s veiled as a third world country so that the rest of the international community remains unaware of its vast resources. However, T’Challa announces in the post-credit scene that Wakanda will open its technology — including futuristic public…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — On August 1, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin urging him to prioritize combating corruption in South Sudan, especially given U.S. involvement in the region. The letter noted multiple tools available to the Department of the Treasury that it could use to ensure that U.S. aid to South Sudan is received by the South Sudanese people and not by corrupt political and military leaders. The World Bank estimates that corruption accounts for 2 percent of the global GDP…

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During the week of July 23, the Trump administration held “American Heroes Week.” As part of the celebration, State Department employees received credit for their work in combatting worldwide extreme poverty and disease, promoting U.S. national security and economic interests internationally and assisting American citizens traveling abroad. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that State Department employees “are unsung, on the front lines every day, doing things which…define where America stands, what Americans can achieve.” Since the State Department’s founding 228 years ago, the organization has achieved multiple noteworthy successes. In the past 15 years, government-funded interventions contributed to…

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SEATTLE — On July 13, Chivas Regal Whiskey held its third annual Chivas Venture, a pitch-based global search to discover and support startups led by social entrepreneurs who want to be economically successful and lead sustainable development in their region. Chivas Venture awards a total of $1 million to five finalists who pitch their startup to a live audience. Audience members this year included actors Javier Bardem and Don Cheadle. A judging panel comprised of celebrities, nonprofit leaders and businessmen determine the amount of prize money awarded to each startup. Halle Berry, one of this year’s judges, said the social…

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LONDON — On July 10, HIV/AIDS advocate Prince Harry visited the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he met with innovators in the field of health in the developing world and led a roundtable discussion focusing on aiding youth suffering from HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The event was sponsored by Sentebale, an organization co-founded by Prince Harry, that assists young people infected with HIV/AIDS in Lesotho and Botswana. The discussion is part of Sentebale’s Let Youth Lead initiative, which enables young people from Lesotho and Botswana to advocate on behalf of their peers to ensure that they are…

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SEATTLE — Rashida Jones holds many titles. She is actress Rashida Jones, starring in “Angie Tribeca” and “Parks & Recreation.” She is screenwriter Rashida Jones, writing the script for “Celeste & Jesse Forever” and currently penning the screenplay for “Toy Story 4.” She is Emmy-nominated director Rashida Jones for her documentary “Hot Girls Wanted.” She is also advocate Rashida Jones, working on behalf of a variety of causes and nonprofits focusing on issues ranging from Syrian refugees to protecting the world’s oceans. Daughter of record producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton, Jones received the Actors Inspiration Award from the…

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SAN JUAN — On June 11, Puerto Rico held a plebiscite on the status of its relationship to the U.S. While voter turnout was only about 23 percent, 97 percent voted in favor of statehood. The results of the vote highlight the growing issue of poverty in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory after the Spanish-American War, which occurred in the late 1800s. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans pay in full for Social Security and Medicare but can only collect on a restricted amount of benefits. The island receives less than half in Medicare and Medicaid funds compared…

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Foreign aid is most commonly associated with the U.S. House Foreign Affairs and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committees. However, both the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees also have sizable influence over U.S. international aid. The House Agriculture Committee possesses jurisdiction over farm bill programs. These programs range from farm subsidies to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to international food aid. On June 7, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing regarding the future of international food aid and agricultural development. This hearing occurred at an especially tense time, as the current farm bill expires in 2018.…

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