The magnitude of the climate change problem requires a paradigm shift through comprehensive, effective global action. With efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), global leaders have worked to address this problem with a series of international agreements. The 2016 UNFCCC Paris Agreement (Paris Agreement) presents the newest hope for international cooperation to combat climate change.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) faces heated criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Campaign rallies feature hundreds of signs saying “Free Trade Costs Too Much,” “Flush the TPP,” and simple slashed circles with “TPP” in the center – but at a glance, it’s unclear who the rally is for. President Obama favored ratification, arguing that to ignore the Pacific markets outside American borders allows China (notably absent from the TPP) to write the rules in the region. In a rare show of bipartisan agreement, Congress repeatedly delayed consideration of the TPP – effectively ensuring ratification would wait until a new president takes the Oval Office. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the TPP clouds its potential impact on other aspects of Pacific cooperation.
Brittany Maynard took her own life on a cold November morning at the young age of twenty-nine. Brittany had been battling brain cancer and had undergone multiple surgeries to remove her tumor. However, when she learned that the surgeries did not free her from illness, she chose another way to deal with her illness: physician assisted-suicide (PAS). She chose assisted-suicide to avoid medical care that would have ended her quality of life. Additionally, the treatment would have only extended her life for another several months. Brittany did not want to die, but when someone is faced with choosing between two paths to death Brittany asked herself, “Who has the right to tell me that I don’t deserve this choice?”
Society is beginning to seriously consider legal prostitution by turning to European models as guidance for policy issues. Yet forsaking the financial incentives prostitution creates laws that are blind to the reality of sex worker. The gap between the reality of prostitution and the law becomes more troubling in rural areas, especially Appalachia, where a failure to account for local conditions exists because legislators are too far removed to know what those conditions are.
On February 9, 2015, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), under the Department of the Treasury, proposed a major amendment to regulations governing the use of American viticultural area (AVA) names as appellations of origin on wine labels. AVAs serve as “delimited grape-growing region[s] having distinguishing features[,] . . . a name[,] and a delineated boundary.” They are used on wine labels to describe unique features relating to wine origin and production.
Andrea J. Schweitzer
In accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 EPSYS, Caitlyn Jenner described her personal transition and experience learning about transgender issues as “eye-opening, inspiring [and] frightening.” In her television series, I Am Cait, Jenner strives to educate the public about transgender problems. Jenner is one of many who have taken on this Herculean feat to bring light to the discrimination transgender people face.
Many are sued simply for engaging in public discourse. Lawsuits brought with the intent of silencing or punishing First Amendment activity are called “SLAPP” suits. SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. SLAPPs are, by their nature, meritless; the plaintiffs have no intention of recovering damages. A David and Goliath element is central to SLAPPs: the suits commonly pit large corporate entities against citizens of modest means who fear the expense and travails of litigation. The judicial system becomes a weapon, and the threat of costly litigation is the ammunition. The end-result chills free speech. A quintessential SLAPP might involve a defamation suit brought by a developer against a community member for circulating a neighborhood petition against the development project.
Before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the small coastal town of Varosha was a popular and glamorous tourist destination. 1974 saw Greeks and Greek Cypriots attempting to annex the island to Greece, after which Turkish forces invaded and ultimately divided the island into the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the southern Republic of Cyprus (RoC). During the invasion, many Greek and Turkish Cypriots fled their homes in fear of attack. Estimates say around 165,000 Greek Cypriots and 45,000 Turkish Cypriots—around one-third of the Greek community and 40% of the Turkish—were displaced. The residents of Varosha were amongst those who fled.
Attempting to preserve a fragile ecosystem, spanning across multiple jurisdictional boundaries with diverse stakeholders and complex politics, is an arduous and noble task. Collaborative resource governance institutions are one model used to address such issues in the United States. Examples vary, ranging from large watersheds and regional bays, to local river systems. Large-scale efforts are found in coastal Louisiana; the Chesapeake Bay; the Florida Everglades; California’s Bay-Delta; Lake Tahoe; and along the Columbia, Delaware, Platte, and Colorado Rivers. Of these efforts, Lake Tahoe’s fragile ecosystem, complex politics, and unique governmental jurisdictions—consisting of two states, five counties, and one major city—serve as an excellent case study for examining large-scale resource governance.
On April 20, 2015, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that would impose a fiduciary duty on broker-dealers and others who advise clients regarding individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and employee benefit plans within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Although the DOL’s intent behind the rule is aimed at consumer protection, the unintended consequences of the rule’s implementation, such as higher costs for and decreased access to financial services, are likely to be passed onto the consumer.