The Flawed Nature of Juries

Featured image: Chicago residents protest the Chicago Police Department as a result of their involvement in the death of Laquan McDonald.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018, Chicago, IL – In October 2014, a 17-year old black teenager named Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer. A graphic dash-cam video released one year after the shooting documented the incident. McDonald was walking down a busy road, holding a knife. As he turned away from the police cars, Van Dyke shot and killed him, seemingly for no reason.

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The Blackout of 2003

Featured Image: New York City, which was most affected by the blackout.

3 October 2018, New York, NY – The top news stories have been exhausting, so let’s talk about something unrelated but still equally terrifying – the Blackout of 2003. This blackout represents one of the most widespread power outages in American history, affecting 55 million people in Ontario and the Northeastern United States. Since 2003 was not that long after the September 11 attacks, many people widely expected the outage as part of another elaborate terrorist attack. But no, not even close. This outage was actually cause by a felled tree in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

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World Trade Centre

Featured Image: The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, as seen from a nearby street in 2000.

11 September 2018, New York, NY – This blog post went out at 8:46 AM, the same time that the first aircraft struck the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. Today marks 17 years since those jarring terrorist attacks, and its effects remain deeply ingrained into American society. Everything from the War on Terror, to the TSA, to the end of America’s skyscraper quest, has been a result of the attacks. In honour of the victims and their families, we thought it would be a good idea to briefly discuss the history of the World Trade Centre, what those towers stood for, and their impact on American popular culture and society.

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Northern Ireland

Featured Image: The Troubles, a guerrilla war in Northern Ireland that lasted from the late 1960’s to 1998, resulted in the deaths of 3,600 people and injuries to thousands more.

3 September 2018, London, United Kingdom – On 23 June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union, and in March 2017, PM Theresa May (who the BBC called “a dead woman walking”) began the process to leave the European Union, and the UK will be kicked out in March 2019. According to Brexiters, the purpose of the vote was to allow the UK to regain control of its economy and its borders. But today, we will be focusing on the latter, and how the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union could create a crisis at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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Nelson Mandela

Featured Image: To commemorate Nelson Mandela’s death, the South African flag flew half-mast outside Drakenstein Correctional Centre, where Mandela was imprisoned from 1988 to 1990.

Friday, 22 July 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa – 100 years and 4 days ago, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Mvezo, a small village in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Disillusioned by the unrelenting racism of his country’s government, he stood up not only for himself, but for the entire black majority of South Africa, fighting against the white minority government for a democratic, egalitarian future. The government attempted to suppress him, famously sentencing Mandela to a life prison sentence for treason and sabotage.

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Southeast Asia

Featured Image: Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Tuesday, 17 July 2018, Shanghai, China – Today we have decided to write sort of an informal blog post, inspired by the death of Anthony Bourdain and his TV series, Parts Unknown. His first episode was about the country of Myanmar, and that inspired us to create a blog post about some of the best known Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia.

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Hong Kong

Featured Image: The Handover ceremony on 1 July 1997 marked the end of British Rule and the return of Hong Kong to China. From 2003 onwards, there have been pro-democracy protests every year on the anniversary of the handover.

1 July 2018, San Francisco, CA – This is the first time we’ve actually been on time for an anniversary. Beginning in the evening on 30 June and ending on 1 July 1997, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, British and Chinese authorities gathered for a handover ceremony. Many things happened at the convention centre that night, but the key event was the lowering of the Union Jack and Hong Kong Ensign to “God Save the Queen”, followed by the raising of the Chinese flag and new Hong Kong flag to “March of the Volunteers”, the Chinese National Anthem. The lowering of the Union Jack and Hong Kong ensign symbolically marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong, and by extension, the end of the British Empire. But why was Hong Kong even a part of Britain in the first place?

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