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Conference Addresses Cuba

By: David Cote

Despite the decidedly negative foreign interaction between the United States and Cuba over the past 50 years, cultural ties between the two nations have never been stronger. This past weekend, the Boston College Cuban-American Student Association (CASA) hosted 100 students from universities worldwide for the eighth Annual Roots of Hope National Youth Leadership Conference on Cuba.

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GOP Hopes To Cut $4 Trillion

By: David Cote

Republicans proposed a budget this week that would cut more than $4 trillion in government spending over the next 10 years. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, spearheaded the effort to reshape long standing federal programs like Medicare in order to cut the United States’ debt.

“We are going to put out a plan that gets our debt on a downward trajectory and gets us to a point of giving our next generation a debt-free nation,” Ryan told reporters after releasing the budget.

Much controversy has come from the proposal, as a budget plan is necessary by Friday in order to keep the government running. The current budget ends Saturday, effectively ending financing for the government if a new budget is not passed.

President Barack Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner yesterday in order to avoid a government shutdown. The president and many Democrats argue that the Republicans are using a time of budget crisis to force a social agenda which cuts spending to programs which Republicans have been attempting to defund for many years, like Planned Parenthood.

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QSLC Offers Discount for Online ‘Times’

By: David Cote

Starting this past Monday, March 28, The New York Times has begun charging online users who read more than 20 articles per month for digital access to the newspaper. Because of the on-campus readership system arranged with the Times by the Quality of Student Life Committee (QSLC), Boston College faculty, students and administrators are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount off individual online subscriptions. Individual print subscribers will still have unlimited access to online content.

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Missiles To Libya Foolish And Illegal

By: David Cote

Over the last week, the United States has participated in a United Nations sanctioned enforcement of a no-fly zone over the Libyan mainland in order to prevent civilian casualties during the rebellion. While at first glance the motives used to justify this action appear to be admirable and well-intentioned, the involvement of the U.S. military in yet another foreign conflict is really both foolish and unconstitutional.

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BC Trustee Investigated by SEC

By: David Cote

University Trustee Richard Syron, BC ’66, recently received a Wells notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for his involvement in the Freddie Mac controversy, a possible indication that an enforcement action from the organization is forthcoming.  

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Patriotism Lacking In Modern US Society

By: David Cote

Over break, I watched the HBO World War II miniseries Band of Brothers. Every time I watch the series, the patriotism of American society during that time in our history astounds me to a greater degree. How was a war of such a large scale so widely supported and how did that support continue despite heavy casualties on both fronts? In comparing this patriotic fervor of World War II with our nation’s current conflicts in the Middle East, it seems at times that the patriotism evidenced during the the 1940s is seriously lacking from today’s American society. World War II was supported and aided by civilians throughout, while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been repeatedly called into question throughout recent years, despite remarkably similar beginnings. This apathy and condemnation of the War on Terror by the public makes recent calls for American troops in Libya seem preposterous.

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Rahm Emanuel

By: David Cote

Rahm Emanuel was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1959. His father was born in Jerusalem and worked as a pediatrician. His mother worked in the Civil Rights Movement and owned a local rock ‘n’ roll club. Both of his parents were Jewish. Growing up, Emanuel attended summer camp with his brothers in Israel. While working at an Arby’s restaurant during his high school years, Emanul cut his right middle finger, which became infected and had to be partially amputated. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and then an M.A. in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985.

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Pirates Hijack Touring Yacht

By: Michela Gacioch

Reports surfaced Tuesday morning that all four Americans aboard a yacht hijacked by Somali pirates had been killed off the coast of Oman. Rally organizers told reporters Sunday that the crew had been traveling with yachts participating in the Blue Water Rally, a group cruising expedition, since its departure from Phuket, Thailand. On Feb. 15, the yacht, S/V Quest, which was owned by Jean and Scott Adams and worked on by Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, decided to take an alternate route than the group after leaving Mumbai, India. A statement from United States Central Command revealed that gunfire erupted aboard the pirated vessel as negotiations for the captives’ release were underway.

“As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors. Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds,” said the statement.

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Mubarak’s 30-Year Regime Falls

By: David Cote

On Feb. 10, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned from his nearly 30 years in office, a change precipitated by widespread protests throughout Egypt, which began Jan. 25.

“President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from his post as president of the republic and has empowered the supreme council of the armed forces to manage the affairs of the government,” said Omar Suleiman, Egyptian vice president,  in a television broadcast last Friday.

The announcement was met with massive celebrations across Egypt as citizens took to the streets in high spirits for the first time in several weeks. Popular opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, called the moment the “greatest day of my life. The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he told the reporters.

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Chomsky Visits Robsham

By: David Cote

On Tuesday, Robsham Theater hosted a guest lecture by noted linguist, political activist, and professor at MIT, Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky’s lecture, “Struggle in the Promised Land,” gave an overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while touching on numerous other Middle Eastern issues. The Muslim Student Association (MSA), which was restarted this year, hosted the lecture to raise proceeds for flood victims in Pakistan. Chomsky, a world renowned political dissident, posed his views along with a history of the conflict, often criticizing United States foreign policy.

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