Breaking News
Home /

Blog Archives

…Living Through the Shock of Contrast and Difference: An Interview

Mustapha Abdu-Aguye comes from Zaria, Nigeria. He moved to Groningen, the Netherlands, 5 years ago to do a Master’s degree in Nanoscience. Currently, he’s half way though his PhD in Photophysics and Optoelectronics. Mustapha agreed to talk with Checks&Balances about the cultural differences between the Dutch and Nigerians, as well as discuss his personal growth. ‘I attained both my Bachelor ... Read More »

Putting a Stop to the Export of Babies

International adoption seems like a win-win phenomenon; an orphan is offered a chance at a better life while the adoptive parents can fulfil their wish to have a child. This romantic image is, however, problematic. Taking a human-rights-prone perspective, questions need to be asked regarding the salience of the international adoption system and the international agreements guarding it. Over the last decades, ... Read More »

Tinder: how consumerism drastically altered the way we love

Tinder stands for 24 million users, of whom 30% are already married and 12% are already in a relationship. 70% of these ‘love seekers’ already have an account on another dating site and on Tinder, the chance that they would find a match is approximately 1%. But how do applications such as Tinder change our contemporary society? Tinder, infinite choice ... Read More »

The Power of a Flower: Recovering Rwanda’s Agriculture

Chrysanthemum Cinerariifolium – it is the name of a flower that promises hope and revived agriculture in Rwanda, a country that justifies the very word recovery and proves to utilize every chance to reclaim its economic prosperity. Blooming in between Rwanda’s hills these delicate flowers are re-establishing their position among the most exported products, namely among coffee and tea, and ... Read More »

Exchange in Stellenbosch: Feeling Alive!

As the exams are drawing to a close, and more and more students are leaving this little town for greener (and considerably warmer) pastures, Stellenbosch surely is a different place than it was a mere month ago. At the moment, I’m snuggling up in my bed with a cup of hot chocolate, because the rain has been pouring down for ... Read More »

Eight Weeks With Ebola

Letters of Andrius Slavuckis Sierra Leone, 2014 September-October Source: Intelligent Life, 2015 April, Nr. 3 (30) Week I As I presented my passport to the frontier-guard I was kindly asked to state the reason of my arrival. Without any further explanation I showed her the MSF – Médecins Sans Frontiéres – sign on my jacket and I was greeted with ... Read More »

UNEA: from economic to sustainable development

At first glance “UNEA” appears as just another agency of the international community with an abbreviation that hardly anyone recognizes. However, a second look reveals a new development in the international arena. UNEA, the United Nations Environmental Assembly, was held for the first time in June this year. The newly constituted body is a child of the UN Environmental Programme ... Read More »

The Failure of the ‘War on Drugs’: Drug Trafficking in West Africa

As the West Africa Commission’s on Drugs (WACD) report asserts, since the mid-2000s drug offences have ‘taken on a dimension that threatens the security, governance and development trajectory’ of the West African countries. The convergence of international drug cartels and diverse West African criminal networks has played a major role in political upheavals, such as those processed in Guinea-Bissau and ... Read More »

“White Gold”- changing symbol of wealth and power?

 Nature has repeatedly been portrayed as the enemy of human, which has evolved into the civilized urban environment. The common narrative follows along the line “First humans lived like savages in forests and caves hardly different from apes and other animals. But then, we started to think and invent technology to assist in our daily life. We learnt how to ... Read More »

The Life of a Diplomat: Assassination in Khartoum

On March 1, 1973, a terrorist attack led by the Black September Organization took place at the Saudi Arabian embassy based in Khartoum, Sudan. Five diplomats were taken hostage, of which only two survived. Jan-Willem Bertens, who was not only a diplomat in Uruguay, Costa Rica and Sudan, but also the party leader of D-66 in the European Parliament, and ... Read More »