In March 2015, the US government issued a new set of hydraulic fracturing safety mandates aimed at protecting groundwater on federal and tribal lands. The updated regulations from the Department of the Interior impacted around 90,000 operations across the country, requiring disclosure of chemical use and more stringent wastewater containment efforts. However, a number of states have opposed the new mandates, arguing that federal law grants a state the right to regulate oil and gas operations. In June 2015, a Wyoming federal judge blocked the implementation of the rules pending further review, and both sides of the case continue to develop their arguments.
Despite decades of prosperity, recent trends have indicated that China’s economy may be weakening. Evidence that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing include decreased factory output, fixed-asset investments, auto sales, and imports, and this trend has fueled widespread concern among investors in the United States. It has also caused many to ask a question posed by Intelligence Squared US (IQ2US) back in 2011: How does China’s unique brand of capitalism stack up against America’s?
When wealthy American Walter Palmer killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe last year, the incident sparked international outrage. Palmer was never charged with any crime, as authorities determined his hunting papers were perfectly in order, but the practice of hunting itself came under heavy fire from those who condemned it as senseless destruction of nature.
Hunters have fired back, insisting that, on the contrary, they have been historically the drivers of wildlife conservation efforts. With naturally a vested interest in maintaining the conditions for their sport, they take credit for initiating science-based regulation and programs to put money back into sustaining habitats.
As events such as the Arab Spring, Syrian civil war, Israel-Palestine conflict, and the rise of ISIS have revealed a region in turmoil, some argue that the United States has shown considerable restraint in its relations with Middle Eastern countries, when compared to its history of global intervention. While some see a lack of action and praise it as disciplined leadership, others criticize it as a display of weakness and declining influence. As a global power, does America hold a responsibility to enforce order in this unstable region? Moreover, how does the role of peacekeeper fit within its broader foreign relations and ethical obligations? Intelligence Squared US (IQ2US) took on this polarizing topic with a debate on the motion, “Flexing America’s Muscles in the Middle East Will Make Things Worse.”
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” stating that this right “shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” In 2013, the disclosures of former National Security Agency…