Ruby Mellen

Afghanistan Ranks Among the Worst Places for Girls to Get an Education

Afghanistan Ranks Among the Worst Places for Girls to Get an Education Around 130 million girls don’t go to school every day. ONE, a global organization that fights extreme poverty, is trying to fix that by finding out where the problem is the worst. Their new report ranks the 10 worst nations in the world for girls to get an education. Nine of those are in Africa. The other? Afghanistan — a place where the United States has poured massive funds for education since overthrowing the Taliban the

‘Dishonesty Comes Through Omission’: An Interview With Mohsin Hamid

‘Dishonesty Comes Through Omission’: An Interview With Mohsin Hamid Novelist Mohsin Hamid is no stranger to being an immigrant. In fact, he says he has been one all his life. The writer, whose latest novel, Exit West, is a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, which will be awarded Tuesday evening, has moved from Pakistan to California to London, only to find himself back in Lahore. His novels examine the feeling of being an outsider: be it a Muslim immigrant in Manhattan dealing with xenophobia

Nobel Peace Prize Win a Boon for Nuclear Nonproliferation Activists

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced Friday it awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) a coalition of nongovernmental organizations from over 100 countries, which has led the charge to convince nations to outlaw nuclear weapons. The committee honored ICAN for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of s

Will Republicans End Up Fixing Immigration After All?

Will Republicans End Up Fixing Immigration After All? In early September, President Donald Trump sent shockwaves through the immigration community, announcing that he would end by March an Obama-era program that shielded from deportation some 800,000 young immigrants living illegally in the United States. Then he challenged Congress to deal with the matter, opening the door for advocates of centrist immigration reform to salvage with fresh legislation a pathway to citizenship for people who’ve

Saudi Women Can Drive, But It’s Not a Feminist Paradise Quite Yet

Saudi Women Can Drive, But It’s Not a Feminist Paradise Quite Yet Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday it will lift the ban on women driving, a policy that has long served as a symbol of the country’s unequal treatment of women. Saudi Arabia is the very last country in the world to do so. “Saudi Arabia allows women to drive,” tweeted the official account of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While some took to Twitter and other social media to hail the move as a victory for women’s rights i

Why Is Chad in Trump’s New Travel Ban?

Why Is Chad in Trump’s New Travel Ban? President Donald Trump announced a new travel ban Sunday to replace the old one, which expired over the weekend and targeted six Muslim-majority nations. The new ban, which the White House called a “critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans’ safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime,” restricts travel from eight countries in all: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezue

Mapped: North Korea’s Diplomatic Missions Abroad

Since North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, Spain, Kuwait, Peru, and Mexico have expelled their North Korean ambassadors in unprecedented consecutive diplomatic blows to the impoverished nation. But it remains to be seen whether diplomatic isolation with have a lasting effect. “New people will come back into [the ambassadors’] place if the missions themselves are not being closed. It makes it relatively temporary,” Andrea Berger, a senior research associate and program manager at the Jam

Foreign-Policy Uber Report Targets State Department Overhaul

A new report released Thursday sends a strong message to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just as he begins his top-to-bottom overhaul of Foggy Bottom: To enhance national security, don’t sacrifice aid and diplomacy. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) survey, which looked at over 60 reports written by think tanks and national security and foreign-policy experts from across the political spectrum, is a signal to Tillerson that there is widespread concern in the foreign assistance commu

Survey: Mexico’s View of U.S. Turns Drastically Negative

President Donald Trump’s immigration policy is pushing him out of favor with Mexicans, but it’s not making them any less eager to move to the United States. A new Pew Research Center study has found that Mexicans view the United States less favorably than they have in over a decade, but they still think America would offer them a better life, though they are less inclined to immigrate illegally. The report comes as the Trump administration advances its hardline approach to immigration issues.

A Refugee Without a River

AMMAN, Jordan — Tagreed Daftar’s thick black hair falls past her shoulders, stark against her bright floral blouse. She is fidgety in the crisply lit conference room at the CARE relief agency’s east Amman center, where refugees come for counseling, therapy workshops, and financial assistance. It’s a controlled setting, in which journalists on trips organized by CARE are taken on tours and given the chance to interview some of the refugees they assist with a provided translator, central air to w

Oh, Lorde: New Zealand Singer Picks up Croatian Citizenship

Croatia can now claim the world’s beloved muse for teen angst and heartbreak as one of its newest citizens. Lorde is a New Zealand-born singer/songwriter who has won multiple Grammys and become one of the youngest solo artists to top international music charts. Now, she can add Croatian citizen to her growing list of accomplishments. The popstar, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, casually announced her recent naturalization on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron. “My mother is Croatian — th

Senate Committee Votes Against Administration on Anti-Abortion Global Gag Rule

In a vote that marks a rejection of the Trump administration’s foreign aid budget and approach to family planning policy abroad, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved Thursday to reinstate funding for the United Nations Population Fund and overturn the global gag rule, a longstanding Republican policy that forbids U.S. support for international health organizations that offer or discuss abortion services. The Mexico City Policy, the formal name of the global gag rule, was put into effect du

Trump Dumped U.S. Ambassador to Amman at Request of King

Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump pushed out the U.S. ambassador to Jordan after complaints from the country’s king, even though there was no evidence the diplomat had misrepresented Washington’s policies. King Abdullah II had expressed similar gripes to the previous administration, but President Barack Obama and his deputies rebuffed requests for the ambassador’s removal, backing up Alice Wells, the career diplomat in the job, sources familiar with the events told Foreign Policy

Inside Turkey’s NGO Purge

In mid-July, Turkish police stormed the premises of a Starbucks in the border town of Gaziantep, checking the IDs and laptops of foreign aid workers responsible for delivering vital supplies to needy Syrians across the border. The raid was part of a wider crackdown on a community of international aid workers that sprung up in southern Turkey following the start of the Syrian civil war. Drawn from around the world, they have provided a crucial lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Syrians in oppo

Senators Call for U.S. Accountability in 2012 Honduran Killings

Congress is calling for accountability after a report showed that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) misled lawmakers for years about the fatal shootings of civilians in anti-drug operations in Honduras in May of 2012. The report, written by the Offices of the Inspector General of the State Department and the Justice Department and released in May, details how top federal drug officials lied to Congress and withheld information from the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras with regard to three se

Pentagon: Russia Very Much a Threat to the United States

A Pentagon report released Wednesday warns of a rising military threat from Russia and says the Kremlin believes the United States is seeking regime change, an assertion that could color the already fraught relationship between the two powers. The Defense Intelligence Agency’s 116-page report, “Russia Military Power: Building a Military to Support Great Power Aspirations,” sketches a picture of a Russia that sees itself in opposition to the United States and with a leadership that harbors a str

Islamic State Attacks in Iran Leave 12 Dead, Over 40 Injured

Twin assaults on the Iranian parliament and a nearby shrine rocked Tehran Wednesday morning in the country’s deadliest terror attack in over a decade. At least 12 people were killed and over 40 injured. A third attack was reportedly prevented, according to Iran’s Intelligence Ministry. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility, publishing what it claims is a video taken from inside Iran’s parliament. This would be the first terrorist attack the Sunni extremist group has purported to carry ou

Former Intelligence Chief Calls Russia Scandal Bigger Than Watergate

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper eviscerated the Trump administration’s handling of the Russia investigation Wednesday, suggesting that it is one of the greatest presidential scandals in U.S. history. “Watergate pales…compared to what we’re confronting now,” Clapper said, referring to the 1974 scandal that forced forced former President Richard Nixon to resign. The investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to win the 2016 presidential electio
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