The Security Council and the International Criminal Court

Although it is not much discussed in the media and its anniversary is scarcely commemorated, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) creation just over twenty years ago is a significant moment in global relations and the furtherance of human rights. Even though it is admittedly going through – and will likely continue to go through for a period of time – growing pains, the court did truly mark the first clear move towards international justice that would be difficult to pin as winner’s justice as it is charged with investigated crimes perpetrated by those that signed the Rome Statute – the statute that governed the creation of the ICC or those referred to it by the Security Council of the United Nations.

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Civil Unrest
Civil War in Yemen

Yemen’s civil war can be said to have started in September 2014 when Houthi rebels seized Yemeni capital Saana and then proceeded to march on the country’s largest port, Aden. The Houthi rebels – mostly followers of the Zaidi sect of Islam (a branch of Shia Islam); the cause for the seizing of Saana was the decline of fuel subsidies, and the subsequent seizure of the presidential palace was due to failed negotiations to form a united government and resolve the fuel price issue. What would typically be considered an internal civil conflict has ballooned into an international issue and a proxy battle between two regional powers – Iran and Saudi Arabia. The latter party and its allies such as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, United States, and the United Kingdom are backing the forces of the former president – who revoked his resignation - Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi; whereas, Iran is backing the Houthi rebels. Complicating an already contentious civil war, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State (ISIS) are also building forces in Yemen and, indeed, AQAP has seized control of some territory and implemented Shariah law. AQAP especially has taken advantage of the fragmentation and disorder in the country to use Yemen as an operations headquarters to prepare for attacks in other countries.

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The news, especially, technical and financial news has abounded over the last few years with stories about blockchains and the industries that it has the potential to revolutionize – e.g., financial technology (fintech), healthcare, and investing/banking to name a few. The stories are often coupled with information about a subset of the blockchain world – cryptocurrencies with are electronic currencies that are – at least the most popular ones such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin – not back by a central bank or nation-state as are typical currencies such as the Dollar, Euro, or Yen. There are, however, many other unique use cases for blockchains.

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