Enigmatic North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died last weekend at the age of 69, and he will be succeeded by his youngest and untested son, Kim Jong-un, who is largely unknown to the international community. Given North Korean’s history as an isolated and militaristic state, the transition of power presents many questions about the country’s future. We asked Natalie Bormann, an academic specialist in Northeastern’s Department of Political Science, to discuss what’s next for North Korea.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, gift giving is a part of most holiday traditions this time of year. Many factors go into selecting and purchasing holiday gifts. We asked Tony Gao, assistant professor of marketing in the College of Business Administration, to explain some gift-giving trends and what motivates consumers’ gift-buying behaviors.
Researchers at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, reported this week they are getting closer to discovering the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that scientists believe will explain why everything in the universe has mass. The Higgs boson is considered to be the “Holy Grail” of particle physics, and finding it would be a great scientific advancement. We asked Emanuela Barberis, associate professor of physics, to explain the Higgs boson and what its discovery would mean to the world’s scientific community.
Following parliamentary elections in Russia on Sunday, protests broke out across the country this week amid allegations of voter fraud. The elections kept Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party in power, but revealed a drastic decline in support for the party and significantly decreased its number of seats in Parliament. We asked Harlow Robinson, Matthews Distinguished University Professor and an expert in Russian and Soviet cultural history, to analyze the situation.
Earlier this month, legendary journalist and “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney passed away at the age of 92, just weeks after announcing he would retire from making weekly appearances on the program. Viewers across the country will miss Rooney’s witty rapport and unique reporting style. We asked Dan Kennedy, associate professor of journalism, to comment on Andy Rooney’s legacy and his impact on television journalism.
Karla Schumaci, a Northeastern pharmacy major, discovered a passion for public health while working on co-op at a community health center in South Africa.
Amid the economic crisis plaguing Europe, the prime ministers of Greece (George Papandreou) and Italy (Silvio Berlusconi) resigned last week. They have since been replaced with the appointments of Lucas Papademos in Greece and Mario Monti in Italy — men with backgrounds in banking and economics. We asked Northeastern University communications studies professor Richard Katula, an expert on Greek culture and European affairs, to analyze the economic and political turmoil in Greece and Italy and its impact on the European Union.
Transportation spending is a hot-button issue in Congress. House Republications have proposed a six-year, $230 billion extension of the surface transportation bill to fund projects including roads, bridges and public transit. In the Senate, Democrats have pushed back with their own two-year, $109 billion bill, arguing that the Republican proposal would cut transportation spending across the board. We asked business professor and infrastructure authority Joseph Giglio to examine the state of America’s infrastructure.
Former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi met a violent death at the hands of revolutionary forces last Thursday in his hometown of Sirte, less than a year after he vowed to perish rather than concede defeat to a popular uprising. We asked Kimberly Jones, a faculty associate in Northeastern University’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development, to analyze the impact of Gadhafi’s death on the nation of Libya and its potential effect on global perceptions of the Arab Spring.
On Friday, President Obama announced the United States would withdraw all of its troops from Iraq by the end of the year, ending the war in Iraq that lasted nearly nine years. We asked political science professor Denis Sullivan, director of Northeastern’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development, to offer insight on what factors may have influenced this turn of events and the potential global impact of this final withdrawal.
Last week, federal authorities disrupted an alleged plot involving the assassination of Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., as well as subsequent attacks on Saudi and Israeli embassies. Officials claimed the plot was conceived in Iran. We asked Kimberly Jones, a faculty associate in Northeastern University’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development, to explain how these allegations may affect international relations.
Spotlight blurb: Last week, death-row inmate Troy Davis was executed following a highly controversial trial and conviction for the murder of an off-duty Savannah, Ga., police officer in 1989. The case gained national attention because eyewitnesses who testified against Davis later recanted. We asked Michael Meltsner, the George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished University Professor in the School of Law, to provide some context on Davis’ case and capital punishment.