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Comm(Unity) Weekly: Lebanon’s Crisis

AUGUST 10, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we bring you a special event on Lebanon, its current crises and what the country’s future will look like. We also see what national security implications are involved with TikTok, present a chilling short story, and comment on all those unread books we bought at the beginning of quarantine.

Weekly Episode

A Special Conversation Today at 1pm — What does it look like when a state collapses?

This question was posed by Steven Cook, while reporting on Lebanon less than one week prior to the devastating explosion in Beirut.

Join Dr. Steven CookForeign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, to discuss the economic and political challenges that have haunted Lebanon and how this recent tragedy threatens Lebanon’s future.


Read more about the underpinnings of Lebanon’s current crisis in “Lebanon as We Know It Is Dying” by Steven Cook in Foreign Policy.

Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup (with some special recommendations!):

Lebanon is no longer just crumbling; with the Beirut explosion, it has collapsed. What’s next for this already fragile country?
Negligence and corruption caused this disaster, Foreign Policy reports

COVID-19 isn’t the first disease outbreak to spread around the globe, but according to Foreign Affairs, the global economy will never be the same
Economic effects are straightforward, social consequences are hard to predict

Brent Scowcroft, a “realist” and huge force in foreign policy over the last 40 years, has passed away at the age of 95. Rest in Peace.
Learn more about his accomplishments and legacy

TikTok, the social media app, is pushing for other platforms to increase transparency. But does revealing algorithms affect national security?
Suspicion of possible foreign influence on the app increases the stakes

Former King of Spain Juan Carlos flees the country to the United Arab Emirates amid investigations of suspected graft and fraud
Learn more about his flight and what this means for Spain’s political system

Weekly Entertainment


Check out this both thrilling and strange short story by Octavio Paz that shows us how fear, and love, can impact our individuality


The Science of Happiness

In this episode of Making Sense, Sam Morris gives us a deeper look at the science of happiness and our experiences


The Edge of Democracy

Follow this documentary that digs into the complex truth behind the unraveling of two Brazilian presidencies


Watershed Detective

Become a watershed detective by analyzing water samples to determine what is causing water pollution and how to stop it


Chilled Persian Yogurt Soup

Cold soup in the summer? A continuous debate. Chill out with this yogurt-based soup topped with nuts, herbs raisins. Enjoy with a side of grilled bread.

Global Good News

An elderly Taiwanese couple goes viral after modeling customers’ forgotten clothes at their laundromat

With the help of their grandson, Hsu Sho-Er, and her husband, Chang Wan Ji, went viral after posting pictures on Instagram wearing customers’ forgotten clothes. All clothes left for over one year are fair game. Check out some of the couple’s best looks below.
Read More.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

What a past couple of weeks – one of the best parts of our jobs here at CTWAC is that there is never a lack of things to talk about going on in the world. Is there a topic that’s been catching your attention that we haven’t covered in one of our weekly digital episodes? Let us know by sending us an email here.

Caroline Schaefer
Virtual Communications Specialist

Image Credits:

[1] Lebanon Explosion: LLs via Wikimedia Commons
[2] Monica Ager Jacobsen: Service to America Medals website
[3] Lebanon explosion: Hussein Malla, The Associated Press
[4] The Edge of Democracy: Netflix
[5] Chilled yogurt soup: David Malosh via Food and Wine
[6] Laundromat fashion: wantshowasyoung Instagram account
[7] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer
[8] Caroline headshot: Amanda Jolly

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