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Around the World in 3 Minutes

Hello Collegiettes! I know you are all busy with school, work, and trying to maintain a social life, so here are some of the recent news stories in case you missed them!

Ukraine: After about a year of tension and violence between Russia and Ukraine, a “cease-fire” started between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine. Only one day after the cease-fire was announced, fighting escalated between the two sides, which forced Ukrainian soldiers to retreat from a town on Ukraine’s eastern border. NATO has still been asking Russian President Putin to remove his troops and weapons from Ukraine. Although the future between these two countries is still very uncertain, the cease fire is a small victory for Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops arrived on Wednesday in Artemivsk after their withdrawal from the eastern city of Debaltseve.

Greece: Greece’s economy has been on a downward spiral for the past couple of years. The struggling country has been taking out loans from many countries in the European Union, but Germany has been its primary creditor. Last week, Germany denied Greece’s request for a loan extension. Greece wanted a six month extension on the loan until they could figure out a more permanent arrangement, however Germany is refusing to give Greece any more assistance. This means that the prolonged struggle to bail out the Greek economy will continue.

Syria: Amidst the civil war in Syria that has been occurring for the past four years, Syrian President Assad has agreed to a cease fire in a large Syrian city. However, there seems to be skepticism from the rebels who are fighting Assad. The UN reported that Assad is willing to stop bombing in the city of Aleppo as part of a six-week-truce, which it thinks could eventually lead to a bigger peace plan. But some of the rebels do not believe that Assad will keep these promises in good faith.

Syrian opposition Islamic Front members carry a shell improvised from a propane cylinder during fighting around Aleppo.

China: Recent satellite images have shown that China is building artificial islands in the South China Sea. This is causing a stir because other countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines have been disputing this territory for years, claiming that they should at least be entitled to some of it. Not only is China building artificial islands, but these islands have helipads, harbors, and facilities to support large numbers of troops, which is proving troublesome for China’s neighbors.

Stay beautiful and stay informed, Collegiettes! HCXO!

Sources: CNN: Greece, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN: China

Photo Sources: 1, 2

Junior Political Science and Legal Studies Double Major at UMass Amherst.
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