Tag Archive: International Affairs

  1. Faked photo smears Russian activist Navalny

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    In the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, in the Russian oblast of Sverdlovsk, local newspapers ran a picture of Russian activist and Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny consorting with fugitive Russian millionaire Boris Berezovsky. The photo spurred rumors that the prominent anti-corruption leader was receiving bribes himself.

    “Alexei Navalny has never made any secret of the fact that the oligarch Boris Berezovsky gives him money to fight Putin,” the newspaper’s caption said.

    But the image was fake. Navalny proved the image had been photoshopped by posting the original photo, which showed him next to opposition presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhov, on his blog. Navalny said that it had likely been stolen when his email account was hacked last year.

    Since then, the photograph has been re-doctored on several blogs to show Navalny conspiring with aliens, Stalin and even Lord Voldemort.

    Navalny was sentenced to fifteen days of jail time in December and has since risen to become a prominent opposition figure.

    [Via BBC.]

  2. Zedillo GRD ’81 claims immunity in lawsuit

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    Former Mexican president and current Yale professor Ernesto Zedillo GRD ’81 claimed in court documents filed Friday that his status as a former head of state gives him immunity from a lawsuit filed in Connecticut District Court over the 1997 massacre of 45 Mexican villagers.

    “The plaintiffs’ lawsuit against President Zedillo amounts to no more than a misguided effort to impugn the reputation of someone widely regarded by international leaders and scholars as the architect of historic reforms that led Mexico into a new dawn of electoral freedom, respect for human rights, and a flourishing economy,” the motion said.

    Zedillo’s lawyers told the Associated Press they have no knowledge of the U.S. ever denying a former national leader’s claim for immunity from a lawsuit involving official acts. Stanford Law professor Jenny Martinez ’93, who specializes in international courts and tribunals, said in September 2011 that Zedillo might successfully claim immunity because the laws applying to former heads of state are complex.

    State Department officials will issue an opinion on whether they believe Zedillo has immunity from the lawsuit, according to the Associated Press. The plaintiffs will likely follow by filing documents opposing Zedillo’s motion to dismiss the case.

    Zedillo was president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. At Yale, he directs the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

  3. Honorary doctor running for president of Senegal

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    Yale honorary degree recipient and musician Youssou N’Dour will run for president of Senegal against 11-year incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, according to a Tuesday announcement on N’Dour’s Senegalese television and radio station, Tele Futur Media.

    “For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal. They have, in various ways, called for my candidacy in the February presidential race. I listened. I heard,” he said.

    N’Dour enjoys widespread popularity in Senegal and in much of Africa for his music. Since the 1970s, D’Nour has used this platform to advocate advocated for peace and tolerance, something University President Levin commended when awarding the honorary doctorate of music last spring.

    “Understanding the power of music to liberate, heal and united, you have organized and performed in concerts that call attention to injustice, poverty, and disease,” Levin said. “With your extraordinary sound, you give voice to hope and our common humanity.”

    The Senegalese presidential election will take place on Feb 26.

    [via Reuters]

  4. Navalny released from jail, looks to uncertain future

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    Russian political activist, influential blogger and Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny was released from prison Wednesday morning after spending 15 days in jail for interfering with traffic.

    His sentence, the longest possible for the crime, came after Navalny was arrested while leading a Dec. 5 protest against United Russia, the party of incumbent president Dmitry Medvedev and prime minister Vladimir Putin. Since then, Navalny has become the international face of the Russian opposition, with some speculating he may eventually run for president against Putin. While he will not be able to register as a candidate in the upcoming March 12 elections, Navalny announced today that he would seek office if he believes the elections will be fair.

    “We will fight for the declaration of a free election,” he said to about 100 supporters and journalists outside the prison after his release. “Many different people will take part in such a free election — perhaps I will, too. I will compete for a leadership position.”

    Though Navalny had been floated by some as a presidential candidate for the opposition party Yabloko, the party nominated the less-controversial Grigory Yavlinsky instead. Without a party, Navalny could have registered independently, but the deadline to register passed during his incarceration.

    Aleh Tsyvinski, a Yale economics professor, said that Navalny’s political clout transcends his ability to run for political office in the near future.

    “Even without him running for the president, he has changed the way the opposition operates,” Tsyvinski said. “There hasn’t been a major opposition leader like this since Boris Yeltsin.”

    Navalny’s clout will be on display at a protest in Moscow slated for Dec 24. Former reformist Soviet Premier Mikhail Gobachev is expected to speak, and Tsyvinski said roughly 30,000 people have registered to attend.

    Michael Cappello, director of the Yale World Fellows program, said that fellows across the world had registered complaints about Navalny’s incarceration at Russian embassies in their home countries, notified national and regional media, and pursued action through diplomatic channels to ensure Navalny’s safe and on-time release.

    Navalny was a member of the 2010 class of World Fellows.

  5. World Fellow awaits release as Russian protests continue

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    As the largest protest since the fall of the Soviet Union erupted in Moscow, political activist, renowned blogger and Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny sat in a jail cell, unable to see the whirlwind of political activity that now surrounds him.

    Navalny was arrested for obstructing traffic during a protest on Dec. 5 and sentenced to 15 days in jail, the longest possible sentence for the crime. Since then, he has become the face of Russian protests accusing United Russia, the incumbent party of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, of rigging elections.

    Six days after Navalny’s incarceration, 50,000 peaceful protesters marched in Russia, many carrying signs with Navalny’s popular slogan calling United Russia “the party of crooks and thieves.” Though only 7 percent of Russians recognize Navalny, two-thirds of Russians now recognize his slogan, according to the Economist.

    A letter Navalny wrote from his jail cell was published on his website and read to the crowd at the protest. [See a translated version here.]

    “It’s impossible to beat and arrest hundreds of thousands, millions,” the letter read. “We are not cattle or slaves. We have voices and votes, and we have the power to uphold them.”

    In an interview from his jail cell, Navalny told the Russian newspaper the New Times that he was happy to see such large protests, but added that there was still work to be done.

    “I am very grateful to those people who come to picket with slogans like ‘Free Navalny,’ ‘Free Yashin,’ but these slogans have to be changed,” Navalny said. “’Freedom for all political prisoners!’”

    While Navalny may try to deflect attention from himself, he is quickly becoming a major Russian political figure. Two days after Navalny’s arrest, Medvedev’s Twitter account retweeted a vulgar attack making a direct reference to Navalny.

    “Today it became clear that a person who writes in their blog the words ‘party of crooks and thieves’ is a stupid, c——-ing sheep :),” said the tweet, originally written by Konstantin Rykov, a Russian politician.

    The Kremlin quickly removed the tweet and said that the account had been hacked by an employee in charge of technical support for the account. A press release promised that “the guilty will be punished.”

    International press have noticed the flurry of activity surrounding Navalny. Major news organizations have profiled him, including the New Yorker, the BBC and the New York Times. Nine days after his incarceration, Time Magazine covered Navalny, among others, for its 2011 Person of the Year article honoring “The Protester.”

    Several news organizations, including the BBC, have speculated that Navalny might be able to challenge Putin for the Russian presidency in 2012. Before his arrest, the Moscow Times ran an opinion piece with the title “The Only Electable Russian is Alexei Navalny” which claimed that “as of today, not a single Russian public figure other than Navalny has any chance at all.”

    According to Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, the Russian United Democratic Party “Yabloko,” an opposition party to Putin’s United Russia, has proposed nominating Navalny for the presidency.

    Putin has declared his intent to run for president, and when the New Times asked Navalny about a potential candidacy, he declined to comment.

    “I think that to give an answer to this question at this point and in the context of all that is happening is stupid,” he said. “That should not be discussed here.”

    Navalny is scheduled to be released on Dec 20. A major protest is scheduled for Dec. 24.

  6. SOM to partner with international business schools

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    As Yale’s new campus in Singapore approaches completion, the National University of Singapore, which will co-lead the institution, is already partnering with other parts of the University.

    The Financial Times reported Tuesday that NUS and Insead, a business school with campuses in France, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, will be the first two schools to send students to the School of Management’s new Masters in Management program next year. The program will enroll students who have completed Master of Business Administration degrees at the partner institutions.

    SOM Dean Edward Snyder told the Financial Times that similar agreements are already in place at many other business schools — the Master of Science in Management Studies at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, for instance, admitted its first group of students from three international partner business schools in 2009. The SOM, he said, could benefit from participating in a similar network with other business schools.

    The first class of Masters in Management students will arrive on campus in 2012.

  7. Shipment of Machu Picchu artifacts arrives in Peru

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    A shipment of Machu Picchu artifacts from Yale’s Peabody Museum arrived in Cusco yesterday, Peruvian state news agency Andina reported.

    The shipment of 26 boxes contains all the human and animal skeletal remains found by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham III 1898 during the 1912 Yale Peruvian Scientific Expedition. The boxes contain remains from 176 human skeletons, many of which were found incomplete, Peabody Museum Curator Richard Burger ’72 told the News. Cayo Garcia Miranda, a member of the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture, told Andina that the remains would be crucial for studying his country’s past.

    “It is fundamental to have these objects since they show so much of our history. Through DNA testing we can learn genetic, pathological and anatomic characteristics,” Garcia Miranda told Andina. “These are the ancient Peruvians.”

    The artifacts had been housed in Yale’s Peabody Museum, causing decades of controversy between Yale and the Peruvian government, but a November 2010 agreement between the two parties guaranteed the artifacts would return by Dec. 31, 2012.

    The first shipment of artifacts was sent in March in order to facilitate the opening of the Machu Picchu Museum in the Casa Concha, Cusco, Burger said. The second and third shipments are primarily important for research purposes, rather than display, Burger said, so they were shipped later.

    The third shipment will be significantly larger and will arrive in December of next year, Burger said.

    Several Yale and Peruvian officials — including German Zecenarro, rector of Peru’s Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad de Cusco; Richard Burger, the curator of the Peabody Museum, and Paloma Caicedo, heritage director at Peru’s ministry of culture — spoke at a ceremony in Cusco held to welcome the artifacts.

  8. Yale may expand to India

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    If India can meet certain conditions, Yale might consider building a second campus in Asia, University President Richard Levin said in an interview with Forbes India published today.

    Levin said Yale would be encouraged by the success of Yale-NUS College and the passage of the Foreign Universities Bill in India’s parliament, an act which would reduce government regulation of the country’s schools. Yale is currently working to open a college in Singapore in conjunction with the National University of Singapore.

    “We are trying for a 1,000-student capacity campus in Singapore and we will see how that goes,” Levin said in the interview. “Based on the success of this project, and the passage of the Foreign Universities Bill in the Indian Parliament, we can look at setting up a campus here in the next five years, but it has to be on a bigger scale.”

    Levin said that the biggest challenge for creating a campus in India would be attracting talented professors. He praised China’s ability to retain its “star faculty” by paying them four to five times the average wage of a professor.

    Any university established in Indian would also face an obstacle in the Indian government, which makes it hard for faculty to create relevant classes and syllabi, Levin said.

    “When we do come, we surely do not want to have a government nominee running the show,” he said. “We would want to appoint who we think is best to run the university.”

    Yale-NUS College will open in fall 2013.

    UPDATE: 8:53 p.m. Levin has refuted the quotes published in the article linked to above. Click here for his response.

  9. Watch video of Levin and Fareed Zakaria

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    In typical Yale fashion, the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs marked its official opening Monday with an interview of one of today’s most prominent Yalies: journalist Fareed Zakaria ’86. University President Richard Levin called Zakaria, a former editor of Foreign Affairs and Newsweek International and now the host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and editor-at-large at Time, “perhaps the best informed, most articulate, most incisive television interviewer in the area of national and international affairs.”

    Watch the full interview above, and read tomorrow’s News for more information on what’s to come for the International Studies program.

  10. Rove kisses foreheads and disses Moleskines

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    Former White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove visited the Yale Political Union on Tuesday night, and his speech on repealing Obamacare drew a crowd that filled the Law School Auditorium.

    But before Rove tore into the country’s current healthcare system, he planted a smooch on the forehead of Progressive Party chairman Jordon Walker ’13.

    During introductions, Walker said that Rove was similar to Progressive Party members in that “Mr. Rove has beauty.” Rove stood up, took a small bow, and then walked over and placed a large kiss on Walker’s forehead.

    Later, Rove directed a comment to Walker: “If you were only 20 years older and an attractive woman.”

    Aside from budding bro-mances, Rove used his speech to explain several other revelations he had about Yalies.

    “I have never before been in a group that was so obviously and clearly pretentious,” he said at the start of his speech.

    “Do you know how I knew it was pretentious? Moleskines!” he said, leaning over to the table in front of the YPU president Conor Crawford ‘12 and picking up two notebooks.

    “The president of the Yale Political Union has two black moleskines! Oh, I’m sorry, a red one! How appropriate is that?”

    The audience erupted into laughter and applause.

  11. Gen. McChrystal’s seminar: The syllabus

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    Retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal has decided on a tentative syllabus for the graduate-level seminar he is teaching this semester.

    Eric L. Robinson GRD ’11, a research assistant for the course, sent out the following course outline Thursday afternoon to students enrolled in the class, “Leadership in Operation” (INRL 690). Note the Nov. 16 seminar theme, “Communicating the Story — the Media Environment.”

    • 7th September 2010: “The Importance of Leading Differently – The Changing Operating Environment”
    • 14th September 2010: “Case Study: The Changing Military 1972-2010”
    • 21st September 2010: “Role of a Leader”
    • 27th September 2010 (6-8pm): “Coping With Failure”
    • 28th September 2010 (Assignment 1 Due): “Building Teams – What Makes Some Great”
    • 5th October 2010: “Driving Change and Operating Differently”
    • 12th October 2010: “Navigating Politics”
    • 19th October 2010: “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 1 – How We Decide”
    • 26th October 2010 (Assignment 2 Due): “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 2 – Dealing With Risk”
    • 2nd November 2010: “Loyalty, Trust and Relationships”
    • 9th November 2010: “Dealing With Cultural Differences”
    • 16th November 2010: “Communicating the Story – the Media Environment”
    • 30th November 2010 (Assignment 3 Due): “The Leader – the Personal Impact of Responsibility, Notoriety and Other Realities”
    • 7th December 2010: “The Future Leader”

    Robinson also included details about the first class:

    7th September 2010 – Seminar 1: The Importance of Leading Differently: The Changing Operating Environment

    Description: A description of how changes in our operating environment over the 34 years of my service have demanded changes in how organizations operate – and how leaders lead them. For the military, focus often falls too narrowly – on technological advances in weaponry and armor. But like most organizations, truly significant changes in technology, politics, media, and society overall have driven change to almost every aspect of leading. Increasingly, the product of a failure to change – is failure.

    Historical Examples:

    • Case Study 1: The career of Stanley McChrystal
    • Case Study 3: The 2002-2003 decision to invade Iraq
    • Case Study 3: The United States Civil War
    • Case Study 4: German Grand Strategy of World War 2

    Primary Reading

    • Filkins, Dexter. Stanley McChrystal’s Long War. The New York Times Magazine.
    • 18th October 2009. P. 36.

    Supplemental Reading

    1. FM 6-22 Army Leadership, Chapter 10: Influences on Leadership (Operating Environment, Stress in Combat, Stress in Training, Dealing with the Stress of Change, Tools for Adaptability).
    2. Coutu, Diane L., “How Resilience Works,” Harvard Business Review on Leading in Turbulent Times. Harvard Business School Press. 2003.
    3. Gehler, Christopher P. Agile Leaders, Agile Institutions: Educating Adaptive and Innovative Leaders for Today and Tomorrow. Strategy Research Project.
    4. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2005. 26pp. http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA434868
    5. Wong, Leonard. Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Free-dom. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 2004. 23pp. http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA424850
    6. Doyle, Michele Erina and Mark K. Smith, “Classical Leadership: theories of leadership” article (ILE materials)
    7. Reed, George E., ”Warrior Ethos” (ILE materials)
    8. Gardener, John. On Leadership. New York: Free Press. 1990., Chapters 1-3.

    Robinson also explained that while students enrolled in the class are free to talk with the media about their impressions of the class, the seminar itself will be off the record. The class meets on Tuesdays at 9:25 a.m., but the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs has yet to release the meeting location.