Author: Menna Jones

International Editor | 19-21

Screenshot taken of Manizha from the Eurovision Song Contest IGTV (Instagram TV) video on the Eurovision Song Contest Instagram account. In my last article about Eurovision (Eurovision: the glue that may just hold Europe together?) I discussed the importance of the contest in bringing Europe together after having had a difficult time collectively trying to deal with the pandemic. In this article, I want to discuss why one of the artists in the contest this year, Manizha, who is representing Russia, had caused a bit of a stir in Russia when she won the hastily announced national final on March…

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Photo by Erik Smit (Public Domain) On the 17th March, the Dutch public went to the polls to elect a new government. The Netherlands, like the UK, is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, which means that their Head of State is the current monarch which, at the moment is King Willem-Alexander who acceded to the throne in 2013 following his mother’s abdication. Therefore, they also elect a Prime Minister. However, apart from that the political structure of the Government of the Netherlands is quite different from the UK. The Netherlands have a 2 house system but they have the Senate…

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Photo by hemtillmej0 (Public Domain) Europe, in particular, has had a difficult time collectively trying to deal with the pandemic. Anti-lockdown riots have hit the streets of Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, and Vienna. Riots of a different nature protesting political leadership have hit Tbilisi, Minsk, and St Petersburg for up to a year. Europe needs something that will unite the whole continent and let everyone forget about their differences and difficulties for a couple of weeks. Eurovision is the event that will hopefully achieve that goal. Eurovision is a song contest set up after the Second World War in 1956 to: “promote…

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Photo by Laust Lauridsen (Public Domain) During the pandemic, the world has needed a reason to be happy. That is why the Happiness Research Institute, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, opened the world’s first happiness museum on the 14th of July last year. In a time when museums are struggling due to a lack of visitor numbers or not even being able to open at all because of restrictions, it seems unusual that a new museum would be opening anywhere in the world. However, the CEO of the Institute, Meik Wiking talked to BBC Newsround acknowledging this, and said: “We thought there…

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Photo by Adam Schultz (Public Domain) On 20th January, Joe Biden stepped out of the Capitol building doors onto the terrace and stepped up to the podium to take the oath that would make him the 46th US president. The storming of the Capitol had happened just a week earlier by supporters of Donald Trump. High-security arrangements were in place for the ceremony, and coronavirus measures were in place. However, there seemed to be a sense of optimism in the air. This was the start of a new era for the USA, a time when people were finally able to…

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Photo by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen (CC BY-SA 2.0) Pope Francis has said in his new book ‘Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future’, which is due to be released in December, has said that he thinks the Uighurs (a Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region) are “persecuted”. This is the first time the Pope has openly expressed his thoughts on this subject matter which is something human rights activists have been asking him to do for years. He mentions it in a statement where he says: “I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi”. The…

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Photo of Benjamin Ingrosso by Wouter van Vliet (For EuroVisionary, CC BY-SA 4.0) As International editor, I like to keep up with everything that is going on in the world around me especially in Europe partly because as you have seen in several articles I am trying to learn a few European languages but also I like to see what differs here to that of our neighbours in mainland Europe. One of the things that I like to do to help me learn is to follow trends in music in Europe and listen to music in different languages and I have…

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Photo of (from left to right) Nanaia Mahuta, Gannin Ormsby and Paul Eagle, by Nevada Halbert (CC BY 2.0) Jacinda Ardern was sworn in for a second term on Friday (6th November) after a landslide victory where her party (The Labour Party) managed to win 50.01% of the votes gaining one more seat than last time making her party have 65 seats in the 120-seat assembly. This is the first time any party in New Zealand has received a majority of votes in 69 years. The opposition will consist of 33 National MPs, the lowest number since the 2002 election with…

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Photo by Foundry (Pixabay) Another lockdown is now upon us but this time it’s a national one. So, if you are wondering what to do with yourself now you’ve got more free time, put down that box set of The Office or Game of Thrones, I have a solution. Start learning another language. It might seem like a lot of effort or you may not have the motivation. ‘Why learn another language?’ I hear you say, well, trust me on this. If you’re not a language nerd like me, you may see the prospect of learning another language quite daunting,…

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Photo by Annett Klingner Pope Francis has said in a documentary film called ‘Francesco’, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival last Wednesday (21st October), that: “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.” This is the first time that the Pope has openly endorsed same-sex unions in a move which will hopefully improve…

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Photo by Sparrow (麻雀) (CC BY-SA 4.0) In Belgium on 4th October Petra De Sutter (a Green Member) was sworn in as one of 7 Deputy Prime Ministers in the country’s new coalition led by new prime minister Alexander De Croo. This makes her the highest-ranking transgender politician in Europe. She will also take on the role of Minister of Civil Service (being in charge of public administration and enterprises). The appointment of a new government ends a 16-month period of Belgium being without a fully functioning government. De Stutter tweeted:  “I am proud that in Belgium and in most of the…

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Photo by Sophie Chappuy (CC BY-ND 2.0) For anyone not familiar with MIKA (also known as Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.), he is a British-Lebanese singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 2007 when his first album Life in Cartoon Motion sold more than 5.6 million copies and he won the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act with his song ‘Grace Kelly’ which topped the UK Singles Chart in January 2007. He has also gone on to be a judge on the Voice France, and is currently a judge on the Italian X Factor. MIKA announced on August 21st that he…

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Photo by Lies Thru a Lens (CC BY 2.0) This month’s country is the Netherlands. It is in Western Europe and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the South and the North Sea to the Northwest. It also has a number of overseas territories in the Caribbean, located in the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Its capital is Amsterdam but the seat of the government and supreme court is The Hague. The population is currently 17.4 million living within 41,800 square km, making it the 12th most densely populated country in the world. The Netherlands is known for being very tolerant…

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An email has been sent out by the Student’s Union president Mark Barrow saying that the University has decided to postpone all conferences and events over COVID-19 (Corona Virus) concerns. In addition meetings involving visitors to University premises should be rescheduled. Therefore Varsity, Socs Fest and the Award Dinners have been cancelled. This has come just after Bangor University sent around an email saying that the University Executive have decided to review their COVID-19 policy, and asking that Staff and Students only travel on university business in the UK if it is absolutely necessary. Students have been advised to check…

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Photo by Ronn (CC BY-SA 4.0) As February is LGBT+ History month, I thought it would be interesting to look at this from an international aspect by assessing which countries are the best or most accepting of LGBT+ people. This will be assessed by considering different factors like anti-discrimination legislation, equal marriage, LGBT+ representation in the media, prosecution, discriminatory legislation and so on. This will more or less be based on the Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019 which has been listing the best countries for LGBT+ people to visit or live in every year since 2012. North America: Canada is the…

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