“Our training camps are open; so are our battlefields. Come on youths of Islam! Let’s take Baghdad together.” So expresses the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in one of the group’s many online recruitment videos. This call to fight has resonated with people from all around the world as the Islamic State calls Muslims to serve Allah. Unlike its predecessors, the Islamic State pervades the Internet and therefore possesses the ability to grow its cult-like terrorist organization at an exponential speed. According to Adrian Furnham, a professor of psychology at the University College London and the Norwegian Business School, the majority of cults begin by inducting members and remaking them as one of them. This evolution begins the second someone hits play.
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A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who work over 48 hours a week have a 13 percent higher chance of engaging in risky drinking than people who work 35 to 40 hours a week. Heavy drinking, according to the study, has cost the global economy $220 billion a year. This is because of accidents and health conditions that excessive drinking can cause. The study involved data from over 300,000 people in 14 different countries and defined “risky drinking” to be 14 drinks per week for women and 21 drinks per week for men. It is important to note that the definition of risky drinking in the United States is different: seven drinks per week for women and 14 drinks per week for men. Therefore, using the U.S.’s definition of “risky drinking,” the likelihood of risky drinking behaviors for people working more than 48 hours per week is actually higher than 13 percent.
Yes, it’s true after 50 years, the U.S. embargo has not done much to reform Cuba. And after over 20 years, it’s about time we free ourselves from the Cold War mentality that put it in place. But on the path to meaningful change in Cuba, a step away from the past is not necessarily one toward a future we want.
College Factual has recently placed Brandeis University in the top-10 list of colleges for both Economics and Sociology degrees. This editorial board applauds the Economics and Sociology departments for these achievements. As a school with a background in liberal arts, the University must remain competitve in these areas of study, including Sociology. To additionally be recognized in the more technical social science of Economics speaks to the well-rounded education available at Brandeis.
Following the assassinations of two New York City Police Department officers on Dec. 20, Khadijah Lynch ’16 tweeted “i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.” Daniel Mael ’15, a writer for the news website Truth Revolt, reposted Lynch’s tweets in an article. A Facebook group soon emerged called “Expel Khadijah Lynch from Brandeis University.” Group members posted rape, lynching and death threats against Lynch.
On Dec. 17, President Barack Obama announced that after 53 years, the United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopen its embassy in Havana. His announcement marked the first diplomatic arrangement between the countries since the Cuban Revolution in 1959. This arrangement severed all relations between the U.S. and the Soviet-supported Cuba. The president noted that this decision aims to end the bitter past that had ensnared the two North American neighbors for more than half a century. He also stated it would utilize a new approach for political and economic change in the island nation.
Last Friday, congressional Republicans doubled down on their criticism of the Obama administration’s unwillingness to support the Keystone XL Pipeline project following the Nebraska Supreme Court’s clearance.
Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York were, for a time, just two locations in America without much significance. However, that fundamentally changed after the recent policing incidents in those two areas. Protests took place across the United States, and an international community attentively watched how race and police-citizen relations would evolve. The attention slowly started to wither. Then, everything quickly changed.
On Nov. 24, a grand jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking a new wave of protest nationwide. Protestors have blocked traffic on highways and tunnels in California and D.C., and lain down in the middle of malls and city streets at “die-ins” in Boston and St. Louis. They also staged a nationwide walkout of businesses and schools on Monday called Hands Up, Walk Out. Within Ferguson, the ruling led to both peaceful protests and riots, causing schools and businesses to close on Tuesday morning. The Ferguson Municipal Public Library remained open and hosted events for students in the area, inspiring over 7,000 people to donate to the library. How do you react to the grand jury’s ruling and the response nationwide?
In recent weeks, Brandeis students have raised their voices along with countless others across the country in protest of the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the subsequent lack of grand jury indictment for each of their killers, who were both police officers. Brown and Garner have become symbols of the many other black men and women in America killed by unnecessary police violence.
In the wake of the violent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, as well as the decisions of two independent grand juries to indict neither Officer Darren Wilson nor Daniel Pantaleo, the country has begun a long overdue conversation about the relationship between police and black Americans.
On Aug. 9, in Feguson, Mo., 19-year-old Michael Brown was shot. At 11:54 a.m., he allegedly stole a few cigarillos from a liquor store, and walked a few blocks away with his friend Dorian Johnson until he was stopped by police officer Darren Wilson. Speaking through his window, Wilson told the two teenagers to move to the sidewalk, and saw that Brown fit the description of a suspect in an unrelated convenience store theft. Wilson positioned his vehicle to block Brown and Johnson from leaving, but after a brief altercation with Brown, the officer fired two shots from his weapon. One missed entirely, while the other grazed Brown’s thumb. Brown ran. Wilson pursued on foot. Suddenly the teenager stopped, turned and began to move toward the police officer. At this time, Wilson discharged 10 more bullets from his weapon, killing Michael Brown.
It was Dec. 5, 2013; as I sat down to read the news, I was struck with immediate pain, in utter shock at what I read. Nelson Mandela, the first black south African president—also known as Madiba—had passed away. It wasn’t a surprise. He was 95 years old and in ailing health, but an immediate sense of fear gripped me. What would the world be without Nelson Mandela?
When the founders of these great United States set out to establish the country as a democratic republic, one particular issue was forecasted as a major obstacle to the success of the country: faction, or in modern terms, interest groups. Faction, hypothesized James Madison in Federalist Paper 10, could tear at the very fabric of our republic, causing immense “unsteadiness and injustice,” and even resulting in the tyranny of one faction over the general public.
Last Thursday, Brandeis Students Against Sexual Violence released a progress report, grading the University on 11 aspects of its response to recent activism and conversation about sexual assault on campus. The report is comprehensive and specific. This editorial board commends B.SASV for their efforts to hold the University accountable for protecting and supporting survivors of sexual assault, as well as generating discussion about the issue.
On Nov. 7, Brandeis’ International Business School announced that it received a $2.5 million dollar donation from Alan Hassenfeld—the great-grandson of one of the University’s founding donors, Henry Hassenfeld—and followed up this week with an announcement about how it plans to use the gift. Thanks to the family’s donation, IBS will be unveiling the new Hassenfeld Innovation Center soon.
On Tuesday morning, two Palestinian men stormed an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem with guns and meat cleavers, killing three rabbis and one scholar, including three Americans and one man from the United Kingdom. The attackers were killed at the scene by police officers, but not before eight other people were injured, one of whom has since died from the injuries. This attack is yet another example of the escalating violence of the past month, with some labeling these attacks as the beginning of a Third Intifada. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “respond harshly” to the events on Tuesday, including demolishing the attacker’s homes. How do you react to the events in Jerusalem, and what effect do you see foresee from the recent spike in violence?
This past week Jon Stewart appeared on one of the final episodes of his former writer and good friend Stephen Colbert’s show The Colbert Report. The interview was naturally full of levity, stereotypically Republican criticisms of Stewart and Stewart-esque rebuttals grounded heavily in Jewish culture. As a white, Jewish, politically conservative male at Brandeis, naturally I found the segment to be hysterical.
Twenty-five years ago this month, a largely student-run movement overthrew Czechoslovakia’s repressive Communist government and established a functioning, multi-party democracy. The nonviolent transition of power is now known as the Velvet Revolution due to the mostly peaceful destruction of Communism and transition of power, as opposed to a “hard” or violent revolution.
“I salute Odai and Ghassan for this heroic act. Every Palestinian should strike … Al Aqsa is in danger. The settlers brutally hanged Yousef. We raise our heads high.” These were the words spoken by Huda Abu Jamal, the cousin of the two Palestinians, who, wielding guns and meat cleavers, murdered four rabbis and a Druze policeman and left nine others injured in a synagogue on last Tuesday in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof.