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Revolutions: The Underage Leader of Madagascar

Andry Rajoelina looks younger than he is, impressive considering the former DJ became president of Madgascar in 2009 at age 34. Madagascar’s constitution requires candidates to be at least 40, but the baby-faced leader, often called Andy, seized power during a confusing and bloody political crisis. As a teenager, Andy became known around the capital,

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Alternative & Unusual Currencies

Last week I went to the bank with a backpack full of cash and deposited $1600 in $2 bills. It’s all part of a recent fascination of mine with alternative and unusual currency: $2 bills, Bitcoin and Ithaca Hours.

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Revolutions: Somali Pirates

While “Pirates of the Caribbean” has become a multi-billion dollar Disney franchise, a new generation of sea bandits has risen off the coast of Somalia.

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The Hypocrisy of Rafael Correa (VIDEO)

Full disclosure: I was deported from Ecuador shortly after Rafeal Correa was elected president and have been following his political career closely ever since. I also met him when he was president-elect. Last week Ecuador’s president, Rafeal Correa, was once more in the news for his courageous aid of a whistleblower. With the help of

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Revolutions: The Five Star Movement

Italy is ripe for comedic relief. After electing (and twice re-electing) a prime minister convicted of tax evasion and accused of multiple raunchy sex scandals while in office, their political scene has a new star: a comedian. The Five-Star Movement, political satirist Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment group, was started in 2009 when Silvo Berlusconi, then 73,

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World On Fire

In Turkey protesters took over a broad downtown section of the nation’s largest city for two weeks. In Italy the fastest growing political party is actually a protest movement that wants to radically transform government. In Brazil millions are in the streets, blockading highways and disrupting international soccer games. All over the world people are

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On Writing

Memoir is the journey from protagonist to narrator and the distance between the two propel the book forward. I am only now beginning to understand this. All along I have been writing memoir like novel, trying to show arc solely within the protagonist. Writing is incredibly humbling because you are constantly realizing that there is

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Should Zoos Exist?

I have strong, yet contradictory feelings toward zoos. A zoo, at its ideal, serves not just as a place to see animals but to learn about them and the need to preserve their dwindling natural environments. At the same time zoos have a great moral failing. They are prisons to innocent animals. A polar bear

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