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An Economy Running on Money from Abroad

“Goris-Stepanakert autoway, built with participation of all Armenians” reads a sign next to the very road. In other words, this road has been paid for by the Armenians living outside Armenia, the Diaspora. The money they send in is of such importance, it is one of the main reasons Armenia and its economy have not collapsed yet. Armenia is a ... Read More »

Carlos the Jackal

 ‘‘A professional revolutionary’’, that’s what Ilich Ramirez Sanchez called himself. Others would name him world’s most infamous terrorist until 9/11.  But most of the people know him as Carlos the Jackal. Named after Lenin, Sanchez was born in Venezuela’s capital Caracas in 1949. Despite his mother’s wishes to raise their firstborn child as a Christian, his father, a true Marxist, ... Read More »

Love Letter to Pope Francis

by Victor Kuijpens Dear Holy Father, Having followed your first papal appearance from Africa, I was happy to see a South-American successor to Saint Peter. We wished for a black pope, but anyone from the global south is welcome. From what the newspapers say, you have a strong reputation in poverty reduction in Buenos Aires, and you are attached to ... Read More »

The World’s Most Dangerous Criminal

Semeon Mogilevich seems to have walked right away from the set of a Hollywood gangster movie: he is fat, highly educated, powerful, rich, and above all incredibly elusive. The Ukrainian criminal is wanted by various countries and has been on the World’s Most Wanted list of the FBI since 2009. Despite being one of the world’s most hunted criminals, the ... Read More »

Studying Abroad: UKRAINE 3

When studying abroad people always tell you about the stages of cultural adjustment, which apparently are very typical phenomena for people experiencing life in foreign countries. While I am not a big fan of generalisations of such a kind and always expected that I would embrace all things new – even I have to admit that there is some truth ... Read More »

Let the Sunshine in! Solar Fuel as a Solution for the Energy Problem

A pressing problem facing the world nowadays is the global environmental problem, one aspect of which is the energy problem. This problem is characterized by the depletion of natural energy sources and the environmental damage caused by CO2 emissions. Lately mankind has sought a solution to this problem, but this debate has been painfully slow. This is where a new ... Read More »

Studying Abroad: TURKEY 2

A common expression in Turkey is ‘smoke like a Turk’, since cigarettes are abundantly present in Ankara. Actually, I still need to meet the first Turkish man who is not smoking. An additional expression  linked to Turkey can be introduced: demonstrate like a Turk. In the first couple of weeks I was surprised by the number of people discussing politics. ... Read More »

Colonial Cloth or Cosmopolitan Creativity?

Did you know that Holland’s most famous export product in Africa is fashion? Although the average Beninese earns two dollars a day, many buy quality tissues of Wax hollandaise for as much as fifteen euros per meter. At the end of the 19th century, Dutch merchants industrialized these age-old Javanese patterns, known there as batik. Bypassing merchants and returning mercenaries ... Read More »

Fracking: a Justified Fear of the Unknown?

Two months ago, co-reporter Hendrik Dependau envisioned an intensified debate on fracking as a gas exploitation method. His research led to the “Fracking: Underground Money” article in the new edition of Checks&Balances (Volume 9, Issue 2). Since then, mayor European newspapers such as the Sunday Times have spent pages polarising and simplifying fracking into an economy vs. environment debate. To ... Read More »

Studying Abroad: UKRAINE 2

The Erasmus experience in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, continues. Being a university student in Chernivtsi reminds me of my days in primary school. Monday is my main day. I take the matrushka bus number 5 from student dorm number 3 to Cathedral Square. The mint-green building hosts the Faculty of History, Politics and International Relations and is right next to Chernivtsi’s hot ... Read More »