By Jessica “Lulu” Lipman
Jessica "Lulu" Lipman is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying English.
“If you want to murder somebody, take them on a cruise because you are never gonna get caught,” Jamie Barnett exclaims. Her daughter, Ashley Barnett, died under suspicious circumstances on a Carnival Cruise in 2005. Ashley died from a methadone overdose, despite being vehemently against substance use. Her autopsy showed no signs of methadone use before the “overdose.” Ashley’s case is one of the thousands of crimes on cruise ships that have yet to be solved. This is due, in part, to the murky nature of maritime laws and the complexity of jurisdiction in international water 
By Rachel Bina
Rachel Bina is a freshman in the Huntsman Program at the University of Pennsylvania studying Business and International Studies with a focus on Russia.
One of the United State’s most contentious issues is that of abortion. The most recent development in this decades-long debate is the legal battle over a new controversial Texas state law that limits access to abortions in Texas. The new law, titled Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) or the Texas Heartbeat Act, allows private citizens to sue anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which typically occurs around six weeks of pregnancy . There are no provisions for instances of incenst or rape, however, the law permits abortions for health reasons such as danger to the mother’s life . Among those classified as individuals who “aid and abet” abortions are doctors, staff, or drivers who offer transport to patients to abortion clinics. Plaintiffs, provided they win the case, will receive $10,000 and their legal fees will be covered by the defendant . Lawmakers wrote the law in such a way as to exclude state officials from enforcing the law and, instead, deputize private citizens to do so to avoid federal judicial review .
By Ally Margolis
Ally Margolis is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Political Science and History.
In 1994, approximately 1 million people were killed in Rwanda over the course of 100 days. The socioeconomic differences between Rwanda’s inhabitants, Hutus and Tutsis, were later exacerbated to be seen as ethnic differences, a view egged on by colonial forces. While our narrative surrounding the events of the genocide focuses on Hutus that killed Tutsis, it is hard to know the exact breakdown of deaths because of lack of ethnic differences. However, neighbor killed neighbor, preacher killed congregant, and countryman killed countryman, often through the use of machetes. Throughout most of the genocide, the Western world looked on and did nothing, or actively made decisions that allowed the genocide to continue. While the international community should focus on its own failings during the Rwandan genocide, holding direct perpetrators accountable is the least they can do.
By Sneha Sharma
Sneha is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Politics, Philosophy, & Economics and minoring in Healthcare Management, Biological Basis of Behavior, and Engineering Entrepreneurship.
By Kanishka Bhukya
Kanishka Bhukya is a 2nd year B.A./LL.B student at the National Law School of India University.
As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, a major concern that emerged was the negative impact of intellectual property barriers on the global supply of critical medical components, including vaccines and personal protective equipment. For example, early on in the pandemic, Gilead Sciences set a negative precedent by patenting antiviral medication Remdesivir, used to treat Covid-19.  As a result, various interest groups have lobbied governments to waive Gilead's Remdesivir patent in order to make it more affordable, but they have been unsuccessful.
By Vishwajeet Deshmukh
Vishwajeet Deshmukh is an undergraduate law student at Government Law College, Mumbai.
Gen Suzuki, a 46-year-old Japanese transgender man, has filed a court motion to have his legal gender recognized as male without undergoing sterilization surgery, as the Japanese national law requires . As prescribed by the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) Special Cases Act of 2003, applicants must undergo a psychological assessment and be surgically sterilized to legally change their “gender” on documentation. Additionally, they should also be single and have no children under the age of twenty .
Taking It for Granted: The Systemic Inequality in Federal Grant Programs for Funding Climate Infrastructure
By Hailie Goldsmith
Hailie is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences; majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and minoring in Hispanic Studies
Each year, the omnipresence of the effects of climate change become harder and harder to ignore. For instance, rising temperatures worsen the day-to-day living experiences of urban residents located in urban spaces subjected to the Urban Heat Island effect—extreme heat conditions that can be attributed to an extensive amount of heat-retaining surfaces, such as roofs and streets, as well as limited green spaces . Other types of extreme weather conditions leave communities devastated and looking for ways to protect their homes and health from disasters wrought by climate change. Besides the toll on human lives, extreme weather events burden U.S. taxpayers with approximately $99 billion due to damage annually . In 2020 alone, 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate-related disasters struck the United States, ranging from severe storms to wildfires . On November 15th, Biden’s administration signed a $1 trillion infrastructure law, H.R. 3684, which was first introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 5th .
By: Dhilan Lavu
Dhilan Lavu is a freshman (C’25) in the College of Arts and Sciences from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He plans to major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with minors in History and Data Analytics.
While Democrats may have unified control of government, the ability of Republicans to filibuster legislation in the Senate means that most of the sweeping reforms Joe Biden promised on the campaign trail will have to be achieved through reconciliation. This is a process through which a simple Senate majority can bypass the filibuster and agree to laws which will affect either government revenues or spending. Since almost all legislation affects the government’s budget in some way, the 1985 Byrd Rule constrains the use of reconciliation by stipulating that the law’s fiscal impact must be significant and cannot be “incidental .”
By Hailie Goldsmith
Hailie is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a minor in Hispanic Studies
More than 400. In the last five years, more than 400 unarmed motorists have been killed by police officers after being pulled over for a traffic violation . The types of traffic violations range from broken taillights to the illegal installation of tinted windows . In these 400 instances, how many of the officers were convicted? Five. Just five officers have been convicted in the aftermath of these killings. The imbalance in justice can be attributed to the more than $125 million paid by local governments to close and excuse 40 wrongful-death lawsuits . All 400 people lost their lives as a result of a traffic stop gone horribly wrong. Police body cam footage and headlines announcing fatalities resulting from traffic stops dominate the news and media. Traffic stops that begin with a seemingly mundane purpose and spiral into a violent and deadly clash between civilian and police officer incite a strong reaction among viewers, consuming the media. These sickening incidents have fueled nationwide outrage in response to the overextended power of policing and its dangerous, deeply intertwined relationship with racism in the United States . In Newburgh Heights, Ohio Black residents comprise just 22% of the town’s population, yet 76% of traffic citations and 63% of speeding cases belong to Black motorists . While deeply embedded racism explains why traffic stops have the potential to become dangerous and life-threatening for many BIPOC individuals, the reason for so many ticketed traffic violations in the first place can be attributed to financial and legal systems that award authoritative traffic enforcement powers to police officers and spur a high volume of traffic stops.
By: Audrey Pan
Oulai "Audrey" Pan is a first-year student at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts and Sciences who plans to study political science and economics.
There are few who would deny that America is experiencing one of its most polarized periods yet. Common-sense public health measures such as mask-wearing have become widely debated amid a pandemic. Online interest in conspiracy theories soared by 651 percent just last year. Most disturbingly, a third of voters believe that the results of the most recent presidential election were fraudulent despite having no evidence. How did America arrive at such a polarized state? And how does polarization affect America’s governing apparatus beyond its day-to-day socioeconomic penetration?