Tag Archive: International Affairs

  1. Aung San Suu Kyi sells out Sprague Hall

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    Aung San Suu Kyi is speaking at Sprague Hall next Thursday, a venue that holds 680 people. Tickets went on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. They were gone 10 minutes later, students waiting in line said.

    The line to obtain tickets to see Aung San Suu Kyi, the legendary Burmese activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, stretched from the second floor of Woolsey all the way to Sprague Hall at 9:45 a.m.

    In an email Wednesday afternoon, University Vice President Linda Lorimer reminded the students that the event will be simulcast in Levinson Auditorium at the Law School, and will be livestreamed at http://new.livestream.com/yale.

  2. Yale announces latest class of World Fellows

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    The University announced on Monday the names of the 16 World Fellows for 2012. The program brings mid-career professionals from abroad to live at Yale and audit classes while receiving training specific to their careers and interacting with members of the Yale community.

    “We are thrilled once again to welcome an outstanding group of World Fellows to Yale,” said Program Director Michael Cappello in a press release. “The 2012 Fellows were selected from a global pool representing thousands of innovative difference makers. We are proud to offer them this unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills while enriching the Yale community through active participation in campus life.”

    This year’s class is the program’s 11th, bringing the total number of Yale World Fellows to 221, representing 79 countries. Do we have an Alexei Navalny in this year’s class? Read below to find out:

    Kamal Amakrane (Morocco)

    Head, Office of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur

    Amakrane manages the world’s largest peacekeeping mission. In previous positions

    with the UN, he served as Special Assistant to the UN Envoy to Myanmar and

    worked toward the stabilization of Iraq. His international career began in the Office

    of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Nigeria)

    Co-founder and Publishing Director, Cassava Republic Press

    Bakare-Yusuf is the co-founder of one of the most important new publishing houses

    in Africa. A feminist and independent scholar, she has worked as a consultant for

    ActionAid, Unifem, and the European Union. Her life’s work is the transformation of

    the African continent through production of alternative narratives and knowledge.

    Amine Belaicha (Algeria)

    General Manager, Numid-Invest International

    Belaicha runs a Tunis-based private equity firm that provides consulting services to

    foreign companies developing business opportunities in the Middle East and North

    Africa. Numid-Invest also helps local small businesses find investors, raise money,

    and plan their strategic development.

    Ayush Chauhan (India)

    Co-founder and Managing Director, Quicksand

    Chauhan heads up a multi-disciplinary design and innovation consultancy working at

    the intersection of business, development, and culture. He is also a Partner at the

    Box Collective, where he conceptualized and launched UnBox, the first

    interdisciplinary festival in Delhi bringing together leading voices from across the

    world for inspiration, debate and reflection.

    Paula Escobar-Chavarría (Chile)

    Magazines Editor, El Mercurio

    A leading journalist, Escobar-Chavarría oversees six weekly publications, writes

    regular columns in magazines and newspapers, and is the author of four books. Her

    next book will focus on the leadership of the Chilean presidents during the country’s

    transition to democracy.2

    Gabriella Gómez-Mont (Mexico)

    Founder, Toxico Cultura

    A cultural entrepreneur, writer, curator and documentary filmmaker, Gómez-Mont’s

    current project is Toxico Cultura, an independent cultural salon, art lab, and

    multidisciplinary platform dedicated to furthering creative excellence across various

    mediums in Mexico City.

    Martín Lousteau (Argentina)

    CEO and President, LCG SA

    Lousteau runs LCG SA, a macroeconomic and political consultancy firm advising

    large companies, governments, and politicians. Previously, he served as Minister of

    Economy and Production of Argentina, and prior to that was President of the Banco

    de la Provincia de Buenos Aires.

    Sisonke Msimang (South Africa)

    Executive Director, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa

    Msimang works across ten southern African countries to promote human rights,

    transparency, and accountability. She is responsible for defining and driving the

    strategic direction of OSISA and oversees projects on education, gender and

    women’s rights, HIV and AIDS, and democracy building.

    Wanja Muguongo (Kenya)

    Executive Director, UHAI-the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative

    Muguongo is a feminist and a firm believer in human rights and social justice. She

    manages the only African activist-owned and led LGBTI and sex worker rights fund.

    Her mission is to nurture grassroots activism around sexuality and rights in Africa,

    creating societal transformation towards equality and non-discrimination.

    Réda Oulamine (Morocco)

    President and Founder, Droit et Justice

    Oulamine created Droit et Justice, an NGO promoting the rule of law and human

    rights in Morocco. He is also a Managing Partner at Oulamine Law Group which

    specializes in business, corporate law, and legal reform consulting.

    Rosalind Savage (United Kingdom)

    Ocean rower and Sustainability Advocate

    Savage was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2010. She is the

    only woman to have rowed solo across all the major oceans, and her mission is to

    shine light on ecological challenges. In spring-summer 2012, she will row across the

    North Atlantic in the run-up to the London Olympics.

    Julien Steimer (France)

    Deputy Chief of Staff, French Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

    Steimer initiated and negotiated the Agricultural Action Plan adopted by G20 Heads

    of State in 2011. He has served in the French government for over a decade in the

    areas of agricultural policy reform, global food security, and EU affairs.

    Patrick Struebi (Switzerland)

    Founder and CEO, Fairtrasa International AG

    A business and social entrepreneur, Struebi founded Fairtrasa, a company

    pioneering a scalable model that links small-scale farmers in Latin America to local

    and international markets.

    Martin Sturgeon (United Kingdom)

    Programme Manager, Ministry of Defence, Management Centre of Excellence

    Lieutenant Colonel Sturgeon has served in command and staff appointments in the

    Gulf, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. He currently works in the Ministry of Defence,

    playing a central role in shaping British defence reform following the Strategic

    Defence and Security Review.

    Wen Yuanhua (China)

    Deputy President, China Construction Bank, Tianjin Branch

    Wen manages the International Trade Finance, e-Banking, Information Technology,

    and Research and Product Development departments of the China Construction

    Bank, Tianjin Branch. He is responsible for over 5,000 employees and has led

    successful reform, reorganization, and restructuring efforts resulting in increased

    competitiveness and market share for CCB.

    Ruchi Yadav (India)

    Senior Program Officer, The Hunger Project

    With a background in advertising, human rights, and the women’s movement in

    India, Yadav’s focus is to empower elected women representatives at the grassroots

    level as key change agents in local institutions of government across seven states in


    CORRECTION: April 2, 2012

    An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that this year’s class is the 10th group of World Fellows, and that the 16 World Fellows will be here for the 2011-’12 school year.

  3. Ecuadorian ambassador visits New Haven, East Haven

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    Ecuadorian ambassador Nathalie Cely Suarez dropped by City Hall on Friday to meet with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and New Haven’s Ecuadorian consul, Raul Erazo Velarde.

    In the meeting, the trio discussed possible connections between New Haven and Ecuador, the New Haven Independent reported. Cely had just wrapped up a visit to the Yale School of Forestry and was excited about the idea of skill sharing between the city and Ecuador. She presented DeStefano with two gifts: a book about the natural beauty of Ecuador, and a planner so that he could plan a trip to visit.

    Cely also said she has heard significant concern over Secure Communities, a federal immigration program that critics say will lead to racial profiling and a breakdown of trust between police and the city’s immigrant community. DeStefano called the program something “America has to set straight.”

    After their stop at City Hall, Cely and Erazo were off to East Haven, to eat at an Ecuadorian-owned restaurant with the city’s embattled mayor, Joe Maturo. Maturo came under fire in late January when, in response to a reporter’s question about how he would support the city’s Latinos that night, he said he “might have tacos” for dinner.

    Erazo said Maturo’s “taco” comment — made after evidence of systematic mistreatment of Latinos in the East Haven Police Department came to light — showed he was “ignorant” about Ecuadorian culture, so Erazo and Cely planned to show him Ecuadorian culture through its food.

  4. Navalny detained after protesting Putin victory

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    On Sunday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was elected the nation’s president in a landslide. By Monday, Alexei Navalny, part of the Yale World Fellows Class of 2010 and a leader of the opposition, was under arrest, detained for his role as the figurehead of a protest that drew between 14,000 and 20,000 protestors to Moscow’s Pushkin Square.

    Putin drew 63 percent of the vote on Sunday, according to the country’s election commission, but claims of fraud threatened to challenge the legitimacy of Putin’s victory, the New York Times reported.

    “This was a procedure and not really an election,” Navalny said. “It’s historic in that up until today, Putin had some claim on legitimacy as a political leader, but now that he has run this fake election marked by mass fraud to become emperor, he has none.”

    The election’s runner-up, Gennady Zyuganov, received 17 percent of the vote, according to the election commission. Navalny was floated as a possible candidate in Sunday’s presidential election, but ultimately did not participate.

  5. Colvin ’78 killed in Syria

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    Marie Colvin ’78, a prolific journalist who covered war zones including Afghanistan, Baghdad and Libya, was killed Wednesday in a mortar strike in Syria. She was 56.

    Colvin worked for the Sunday Times for the past 20 years, reporting on women and children in wartorn parts of the world. On Tuesday, Colvin spoke to various news outlets about escalating violence in the Syrian city of Homs.

    “The sickening thing is the complete merciless nature…the scale of it is just shocking,” Colvin said via satellite phone in an NBC Nightly News piece that aired just hours before her death.

    Colvin’s death comes days after Colvin and Paris-based correspondent Jean-Pierre Perrin were warned that Syrian troops would murder them if they stayed in Syria, the Daily Mail reported. When Perrin and Colvin were leaving Syria, Colvin decided to return because the major offensive had not yet taken place, the Mail reported.

    Along with Colvin, French photojournalist Remi Ochlik was killed in Wednesday’s blasts, which marked the 19th day of bombardment for the city of Homs.

    Play the video below to hear Colvin speak on NBC Nightly News on Tuesday.

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    CORRECTION: Feb. 23, 2012

    An earlier version of this article misstated Colvin’s age at the time of her death. She was 56.

  6. Yale admission makes Chinese girl media darling

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    Not all Chinese mothers are Tiger mothers, at least according to an article in the China Daily on Monday.

    Chen Yunyi, a 17-year-old Chinese student, has become the “latest household name” in China after scoring admission to Yale, the China Daily reported Monday. But Chen’s parents did not use “traditionally Chinese” parenting methods for raising their daughter, and instead opted to give her more freedom.

    “Neither is my husband a ‘wolf father’, nor [am] I a ‘tiger mother’,” Chen’s mother told the Sanxiang Metropolitan News. “In fact, we have both been busy with our work and have had not much time to keep an eye on her.”

    Chen’s mother added that “every child is a genius” and encouraged parents to listen to their children and “allow them to grow gradually.” Chen, for her part, said she likes reading and thinking.

    The “tiger mom” concept hit the national spotlight after Yale Law School professor Amy Chua published an excerpt from her memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” in the Wall Street Journal. The excerpt, titled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” recounted Chua’s experiences employing strict parenting tactics.

    The “wolf dad” idea, meanwhile, comes from Chinese father Xiao Baiyou, who wrote a book originally titled “Beat Them Into Peking University,” according to Slate. The title has since been changed to “So, Brothers and Sisters of Peking University,” the National Public Radio reported.

  7. Korean degree scandal will go to trial

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    A Connecticut federal judge rejected Yale’s request to dismiss a case filed by Dongguk University claiming that Yale damaged the South Korean university’s reputation and caused it to lose millions of dollars, the Associated Press reported today.

    The initial $50 million lawsuit, filed in 2008, was based on the allegation that Dongguk University hired a professor, Shin Jeong-ah, after Yale mistakenly confirmed that she held a doctorate from the University. Shin was a professor and the chief curator at the Sungkok Art Museum in Seoul until 2007, when she was caught embezzling from the museum and her Yale degree was revealed to be forged.

    Dongguk’s lawyers claimed in 2009 that Yale acted negligently through its incorrect confirmation of Shin’s degree and its delay in publicly announcing the error. The suit also claims that internal Yale emails show the University officials did not take the matter seriously. In legal proceedings leading up to the trial, Yale officials called their confusion over Shin’s degree an “innocent mistake.”

    In 2008, Yale began to require the use of internal records rather than external documents to verify degrees.

    A trial is scheduled for June, according to the Associated Press.

  8. MEDANSKY: In defense of Dutch


    On Friday, guest columnist Gavin Schiffres wrote against Yale’s mandatory language requirement. “The only language most students will need,” Schiffres tells us, “is English.” According to Schiffres, languages like “Zulu or Dutch” prove irrelevant in our increasingly globalized world, and the mere fact that Yale allows students to learn such banal tongues in the pursuit of L3 credit counts as tacit admission that the requirement offers no inherent utility.

    And while I found myself agreeing with Schiffres’ assessment of the requirement as a whole, I also found myself frustrated that he chose to single out specific languages as especially useless, languages that exemplify two fascinating civilizations. Surely, a rational student can chose to study Zulu or Dutch, and many do. As a student in DUTC120, I’d like to vouch for both Dutch language—at Yale and in general—and the spirit of small language courses in general.

    Remember, of course, that Yale does not mandate students learn Zulu or Dutch to graduate. Yalies freely choose languages based on any amalgamation of personal reasons, career aspirations or intellectual curiousities. A student aspiring to a career in Middle East conflict resolution would certainly prefer Arabic or Hebrew over most of Yale’s language offerings. Similarly, just as a student studying African history might want to learn Zulu, a student interested in international law might opt for Dutch—both the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice are located in The Hague.

    The Netherlands offers a rich intellectual tradition; many famous English political scientists fled to the Netherlands during periods of unrest in their native lands, and a recent Directed Studies lecturer even waxed poetic on the importance of the language for aspiring political theorists. The Dutch Golden Age exemplified a triumph of art, commerce and science; today, the Netherlands remains an important case study for anyone interested in water issues, religious diversity and controversial social issues.

    Plus, small language classes like Dutch offer students the chance to learn languages in close-knit, supportive environments, perfect for anyone who struggled in high school to plow through required language courses. And we get to listen to awesomely addictive elementary Dutch songs.

    Basically, Dutch naysayers make me as sad as a stale stroopwafel. What languages are most “worthy” of study and whether there ought be a language requirement at all are two separate issues—and it’s a shame that Schiffres conflates them.

  9. In crowded cities, tiny dorm rooms

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    Feeling claustrophobic in your tiny double? Count your blessings.

    A report out from Reuters this week says a company called Galaxy Stars HK will start manufacturing single-sleeper dorm pods designed to maximize the use of space in notoriously high-rent Hong Kong. The dorms are inspired by Japan’s capsule hotels; each has a three foot by four foot opening and is six feet long.

    The monthly rent for one of these capsules is HK$3,500 (around $450 USD), and includes air conditioning, power outlets, computer tables and light switches. In a country with the world’s most expensive rent, college students in Hong Kong have already expressed interest in living in these affordable yet tiny quarters.

    Singapore, too, is notorious for high-rent housing. But given that Yale-NUS College will include three residential colleges, we are hopeful that our future peers will sleep easy, or at least, not in a pod.

  10. New Harvard admin focuses on global strategy

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    As Yale-NUS College prepares to open in fall 2013, Harvard has created an administrative position that will examine the university’s “global engagement.”

    Harvard Business School Professor Krishna Palepu was named President Drew Gilpin Faust’s senior adviser for global strategy on Wednesday, the Crimson reported. Palepu will work to implement the recommendations of Harvard’s International Strategy Working Group, which in October 2011 delivered its findings to the Harvard Board of Governors, the school’s highest governing body. The findings have not yet been released to the public.

    “I am delighted that Harvard has, with this appointment, underscored its commitment to global engagement,” Jorge Domínguez, Harvard’s vice provost for international affairs, told the Harvard Gazette.

    Palepu will also work on international fundraising and alumni outreach, in coordination with Domínguez.

    Harvard’s International Strategy Working Group was formed in 2010 weeks after Yale first announced plans for Yale-NUS college.

  11. Architecture students no longer headed to Dubai

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    Looks like Dubai 2K12 is off.

    In an email sent to students in the “Senior Project Design Studio,” this morning, Tom Zook, one of the studio’s professors, announced that the trip had been cancelled due to uncertainty about the competition’s legitimacy. The competition, it turns out, is not sanctioned by Wild Wadi Water Park, Zook said in his email.The details of this scandal are still unclear, Zook said. For now, though, the water slides will have to wait.

    But the professors were quick to find another trip. The studio will now participate in the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition, which asks participants to design a “site-specific public artwork that, in addition to its conceptual beauty, has the ability to harness energy cleanly from nature and convert it to electricity for the utility grid” in New York City’s Freshkills Park. The winner will receive $20,000.

    Zook explained that the class would still travel on the same dates — Jan. 26 to Jan. 30 — to see other “large-scale Land Art projects” in the West. The probable destination? Las Vegas.