Friday Links: What’s Happening in the World?


Photo by Lacy Hamilton

Junior Deborah Welch glues over the red, white, and blue of the American flag, morphing the top superpower’s national symbol into its close competitor’s flag.


Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the refugee crisis within the country has become an international matter. In July, the United Nations declared that the crisis is so horrendous that it nears the refugee crisis of Rwandan genocide in 1994. Because of the drastic results of the civil war, the White House is considering intervening with military strike. Many Americans worry that this will shake the stability of the world as it is currently. However, there is also the argument that not intervening in this crisis will cause chaos as well. What do you think?


On September 4, tanks holding contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Tokyo have spiked to their highest levels, levels that would be enough to kill an unprotected man within an hour. These tanks sit above the Pacific Ocean, and radioactive material has already been found in sea creatures and ocean water within 185 miles from Japan. If the toxins in the Pacific Ocean spread even farther, an international ecological disaster could occur.


In 1954, “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance by the United States Congress. Now, a family in suburban Boston plans to remove these words, claiming that they infringe on students’ rights. The family believes that this small phrase violates the state’s equal rights laws as well as a separation between church and state. If Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the case could inspire similar equal rights laws in other states, and therefore alter the pledge nationwide.


Mexico’s “new middle class” has become a large theme for the current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, who strives to alter the vision of Mexico as seen by their neighbors. He has succeeded in this as Mexicans are more likely now than ever to get a degree and the number of years of schooling for fifteen to nineteen year olds is similar to the United State’s. If this progress continues, an entirely new Mexico could be created in the eyes of America, in which the country is not a violent and desolate place but a paradise of beautiful beaches and hardworking citizens.


Experts have predicted that China will replace the United States as leading superpower in the future. When it comes to pure economics, China is already above the United States. Because of this, it is predicted that China will surpass the United States as top dog by 2030. If this happens, what will become of the United States? Will the US be able to bounce back from economic turmoil in order to reclaim its throne?