In late February 2018, Maryam Shariatmadari stood atop a utility box in the streets of Tehran and took off her hijab, waving it like a flag with her hair flowing behind her, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. Peacefully protesting Iran’s compulsory hijab law, she was met with violence by state authority. A policeman violently pushed Shariatmadari to the ground, forcing her to require urgent surgery. Before she could reach the hospital, the 32-year-old computer science student was stopped by police and jailed without access to a lawyer or medical treatment for violating a law against encouraging immorality or prostitution. If convicted, she may face up to ten years in jail.
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In the wake of the carnage in Parkland, Florida, students at Brandeis have expressed their fear and anger about the lack of reasonable gun regulation in America. A walk-out planned for March 14 is evidence that the trauma of these events can have a catalyzing effect on progressive students. After every mass shooting, we try to convince ourselves that this incident will be the tipping point, that this shooting is so horrendous it will move legislators across the aisle to act. Yet, seemingly without end, the vicious cycle continues. It is enormously difficult not to be overcome by feelings of disappointment and hopelessness as these mass shootings continue to occur again and again.
Consumer fashion is consuming the climate. Fashion in America is a large outlet of behavior that is dangerous for the climate. It is not what we wear; it is how long we wear it. As the early spring clothing sales begin, take a look into America’s closets and America’s landfills. According to a Sept. 1, 2016 Newsweek article, annual American clothing waste the prior year produced an equivalent amount of emissions to driving 7.3 million cars for a year.
This past week, the Brandeis MakerLab raised $6,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. Created in 2014, the MakerLab is central to much of Brandeis’ pursuit of new and emerging technologies, and is responsible for advances in the field of 3D printing, robotics and drones. This board recognizes the importance of the MakerLab and commends the Brandeis community members involved in this innovative campus resource.
On March 21, the University will conduct an emergency preparedness drill on campus simulating an active shooter in the Brandeis Library. Through interactive role-play, this drill will test the University’s level of readiness should a real crisis of this nature unfold on campus. In light of similar shooter threats that have recently taken place both at Brandeis and at other educational institutions across the nation, this board commends the University’s proactive approach in fostering a safer and more protected community.
President Donald Trump's apparent support for raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21 and a more rigorous system of background checks for all firearm purchases left many Republican lawmakers stunned, according to a Feb. 28 New York Times article. Gun control advocates say that these regulations are a first step in combating gun violence, while detractors allege they would fail to stop guns from getting in the hands of criminals. Are additional regulations the right step to take in order to reduce gun violence?
Jia Yueting, the co-founder and head of Le Holdings Co Ltd. (also known as LeEco and formerly as LeTV), unveiled a concept smart car in April 2016, according to an April 20, 2016 Reuters article. Critics offered praise, calling the car, “Chinese Tesla.” Surprisingly, the concept smart car never went into production. Earlier this year, Le Holdings grabbed widespread attention among Chinese stock investors for the dramatic plunge of its stock price after it resumed trading following a nine-month suspension.
I know very little about guns. However, I understand that something is wrong in America when there is gun violence — particularly in schools — that far exceeds that of many other countries. A study by the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis detailed in the Washington Post addressed this discrepancy. It examined school violence in 36 countries and concluded that approximately half of all occurrences with at least two victims happened in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the vast majority of these incidents involved guns. Those 36 countries totaled to 3.8 billion residents in 2010, while the U.S. population accounts for less than one-tenth of this number at that time. America clearly has a unique problem.
According to a March 3 article in Time, this February, a woman from the United States gave birth to a baby after a successful uterine transplant — making her the second in the country to do so. The woman, who wished to withhold her identity, is part of an ongoing clinical trial at the Baylor University Medical Center to treat women with absolute uterine factor infertility, meaning that they have either a nonfunctional or nonexistent uterus. The first successful surgery was performed in 1999 by a team of doctors at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Since then, eight children have been born from women who had undergone a uterine transplant, according to the university’s website.
In a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, FBI director Christopher Wray said that Chinese spies are spreading throughout the United States as part of a “whole-of-society” threat. He claimed that every Chinese person is a suspected spy regardless of their affiliation with Chinese government and called for a whole-of-society response from Americans, according to a Feb. 13 Business Insider article. He also said that the Chinese intelligence employs nontraditional collectors such as professors, scientists and students. They collected information not only in major cities but also small ones across basically every discipline.
The name of the game for many countries trying to grow their economy is globalization. An open, competitive market that gives the opportunity for increased efficiency, exports and investment has been the goal of many of these countries. But globalization potentially has an additional benefit to these growing nations: the shrinking of the informal sector, as can be seen in the globalization of the Egyptian economy.
I’m from Winchester, Massachusetts, where marches are an ornament of history. Marches, to me, have always been a thing of the past. It was just one of those quaint, old things that were done a long time ago — akin to sitting for paintings. However, over the course of the last year, that attitude has shifted. My hometown became more diverse and began to experience growing pains. Our town was a red dot in Massachusetts’ blue sea: When my family first moved there, we were one of maybe 10 Indian families in a town of over 15,000. Now, Indian and Chinese families have flocked to our small, less multicultural replica of Lexington, drawn by the top-tier schools’ rankings, and one out of 10 Winchester citizens are Asian, according to demographic data from Neighborhood Scout.
Those who are not glued to every single sliver of tech and business news may have missed the meteoric rise and subsequent fall of bitcoin, the crown prince of the burgeoning cryptocurrency trend. Despite the amount of attention investors and market analysts have paid them in recent months, few members of the public actually understand what cryptocurrencies are or how they work. Put simply, cryptocurrencies are decentralized and anonymous currencies that rely on a complex system of algorithms to generate new units. Instead of a central authority like the Federal Reserve being in charge of the release of new currency units into the market, new cryptocurrencies are released by private individuals in a process called “mining.” Furthermore, production of cryptocurrencies decreases as their total amount increases, meaning that, over time, a hard cap will be created on how much can exist in the market, according to a Dec. 7, 2017 Economic Times article. Accordingly, the value of each individual unit is intended to skyrocket in value as investors and users become attracted to the currency. At the start of January 2017, each bitcoin was worth about $1,000; in one year, rampant speculation had driven up the value of each bitcoin to about $19,000, per bitcoin’s own internal price tracker.
Just yesterday, Snopes cleared up one of the internet’s biggest controversies of the week: It is not true that police can legally rape people in 35 different states. However, it is still too early to breathe a sigh of relief. The truth of the matter is that these 35 states do not have laws that make it illegal for police officers or sheriff deputies to have sex with people in their custody. Although this is almost certainly an oversight rather than a loophole crafted for nefarious purposes, it is a dangerous one, and it reflects a broader issue in the current state of United States laws.
On Friday, Brandeis International Business School had the honor of hosting one of the early stages of Smart Fifty, an entrepreneurial competition designed to find innovative startups with the ability to tackle some of India’s greatest socio-economic challenges. Led by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, India’s Department of Science and Technology and TiE Boston, Smart Fifty focuses on improving learning, agriculture, sustainability, health and other areas of life in India, according to the program’s page on IBS’ website.