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Comm(Unity) Weekly: China’s Digital Currency

APRIL 5, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we share our conversation on China’s digital currency, observe what the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict teaches the military about drones and interview our Education Assistant this Spring, Hailey!

Weekly Episode

On our latest episode — Yaya J. Fanusie, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, sits down with Amanda Jolly to discuss China’s new national digital currency – what it is, how it works, and what implications it may have for financial security and privacy in China and around the world. 

Stream Now

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Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup:

The Ever Given crisis in the Suez Canal emphasized the global economy’s heavy reliance on shipping and maritime trade
Check out why sea freight is more important than ever

Russia caught the eyes of the international community as it massed armed forces near the Ukrainian border this past weekend
Is Putin about to launch a new offensive in Ukraine?

2018 criminal convictions against former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio “Lula” Da Silva have been vacated, which means he can run again
This could have huge implications for Brazil’s future

The disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh proves that combat-ready drones are making it easier (and cheaper) to kill troops than ever before
The U.S. Army uses this conflict as a schooling opportunity

Iran and China signed a recent economic and security cooperation agreement that is sure to have far-reaching effects in the Middle East
The agreement gives Tehran an important partner against U.S. sanctions

Weekly Entertainment


Katherine Boo tells the stories of residents in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement near the Mumbai airport


A Tale of Two Surveillance States

This episode of The Atlantic‘s Crazy/Genius podcast explores the U.S. and China’s surveillance technology


A Life On Our Planet

David Attenborough recounts his life, the history of life on earth and a hopeful vision for the future


Ireland’s Food

From specific ingredients to fun traditions, check your knowledge of Ireland’s best bounties in this food quiz



Dubbed the “ultimate Cuban comfort food,” picadillo is a stew featuring ground beef and tomatoes, finished with sweet raisins and salty olives

Member Micro Interview

Check out our bi-weekly micro interview introducing you to fellow CTWAC community members:


Hailey is a student at University of Michigan and CTWAC’s Education Assistant this term! Please join us in welcoming Hailey to the team!

What global issue are you most interested in at the moment?
H: Right now, I’m very concerned with global overconsumption. Overconsumption is something I’ve been privy to myself. There’s an international culture of always wanting the next best thing, buying a whole new wardrobe for every season and so on. Not only is it horrible for the environment but a lot of us are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that we own. 

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead? 
H: If all goes well, I’ll be studying in South Korea this summer! I’ve really missed traveling and am still mourning over lost plans – so hopefully this trip will make up for lost time. I also just got a grant for an idea I had for a sustainable makeup company so I’m very excited to work on that with my best friend! 

What’s your favorite place in the world and why? 
H: Probably Ann Arbor, MI. It’s the town my University is in and most of my favorite people live there. It’s not the most exciting place I could have said but there’s an energy to the city and I love all the charm it has.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

The Council has tons of new and exciting upcoming programs – from a new Young Professionals series to timely State of the World episodes. We want to remind you to share CTWAC’s programming with family, friends colleagues, or students who you know might be interested! For more information, check out our website!

Megan Clark Torrey

Image Credits: [1] Yuan: Canva; Yaya Fanusie: CNAS; [2] Ever Given ship: Robert Schwemmer for NOAA’s National Ocean Service via Wikimedia Commons; [3] David Attenborough: Netflix; [4] Picadillo: Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Theo Vamvounakis; [5] Hailey Espinosa: provided by Hailey; [6] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer; [7] Megan Torrey: Caroline Schaefer

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