ND Expert: Don’t imitate Islamic State

Author: Shannon Chapla

Ebrahim Moosa

Jordan’s King Abdullah has promised revenge on the Islamic State (IS), following a video released Tuesday (Feb. 3) that shows a Jordanian air force pilot being burned alive in a locked cage by IS fighters.

Jordan, however, should not strive to imitate the Islamic State’s barbaric actions, no matter how justified its outrage, according to Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Islamic studies in the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

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ND Expert: Hong Kong movement unlike any other

Author: Shannon Chapla

Victoria Hui

Hong Kong marked China’s National Day (Oct. 1) in unprecedented fashion, as pro-democracy protesters crowded the streets of the Asian financial hub for what is being called a critical day in the territory’s “Umbrella Revolution.”

University of Notre Dame political scientist and Hong Kong native Victoria Hui has worked in the democracy movement there. She says it is unlike any other.

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ND Expert: Don’t panic over ISIS

Author: Shannon Chapla

Michael Desch Michael Desch

As the Islamic State extremist group, commonly referred to as ISIS, shocks the world with its brutality and takes control of more territory in the region, Michael Desch, professor and chair of political science at the University of Notre Dame, says the U.S. should take ISIS seriously and stop its progess, but not panic.

“ISIS is a serious local threat in Syria and Iraq, but does not yet pose a direct threat to the United States,” says Desch, an expert on international security and American foreign and defense policies. “While the presence of Western nationals in their ranks is worrisome, they have the greatest potential to do mischief in the weak states in the region, two of which we have created in Syria and Iraq with ill-advised policies.”

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ND Expert: Illegal ransom payments principal source of ISIS funding

Author: Shannon Chapla

Jimmy Gurulé

Islamic State (ISIS) militants who beheaded American journalist James Foley in Syria this week reportedly had demanded $132.5 million in ransom for his release.

Collecting ransom payments is a principal source of funding for ISIS, according to terrorist financing expert Jimmy Gurulé, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, who says making such a payment is a federal crime.

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ND Expert: Pope in South Korea 'a singular event' for Asian Catholics

Author: Shannon Chapla

Lionel Jensen

Pope Francis leaves on Wednesday (Aug. 13) for five days in South Korea, his first outing to Asia and “a singular event” for all of Asia’s Catholics, according to Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame.

“This visit is a powerful symbol of the Vatican’s recognition that it is in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa that the church is growing most prominently,” says Jensen, an expert on religion in Asia.

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ND Expert: Chinese government threatened by Christianity

Author: Shannon Chapla

Lionel Jensen

Government authorities in southeast China are continuing what local church leaders call a campaign against Christianity — knocking down crosses and razing sanctuaries at dozens of churches in the Zhejiang province.

Christianity has grown so rapidly, it’s viewed as a threat by the Communist government, according to Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame.

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ND Experts: No excuse for Malaysia Airlines 'mistaken identity'

Author: Shannon Chapla

Maj. Gen. Robert Latiff, left, and Michael Desch

President Barack Obama on Friday (July 18) began building a case that would blame separatist forces supported by Russia for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine on July 17. Obama said one American was among the nearly 300 killed and that evidence indicates the jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

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Tea Party support linked to educational segregation, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

Tea Party

In January 2009, Barack Obama assumed the U.S. presidency in the midst of the most severe recession since the great depression of the 1930s. While many Americans hoped the new administration would take an active role in providing relief for those harmed by the economic collapse, a “Tea Party” movement emerged to oppose Obama’s agenda.

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'Trophy wife' stereotype is largely a myth, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

Melania Knauss-Trump

Most people are familiar with the “trophy wife” stereotype that attractive women marry rich men, placing little importance on their other traits, including physical appearance, and that men look for pretty wives but don’t care about their education or earnings.

New research, however, by University of Notre Dame sociologist Elizabeth McClintock shows the trophy wife stereotype is largely a myth fueled by selective observation that reinforces sexist stereotypes and trivializes women’s careers.

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ND Expert: Diplomacy, not more arms, needed in Iraq

Author: Shannon Chapla

David Cortright

The recent capture of Mosul, Iraq, by militant Sunni extremist groups is a “body blow” to the country’s Shia-dominated government and marks a significant escalation of the region’s sectarian war, according to David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled their homes to escape the violence in Iraq’s second largest city, while the incursion highlights the government’s inability to maintain security.

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Notre Dame partners with edX to offer open online courses

Author: Shannon Chapla

edX Consortium

The University of Notre Dame on Wednesday (June 11) announced that it has joined the edX Consortium as a charter member. A not-for-profit partnership of leading global universities, edX is committed to innovations in online and blended learning, improving access to education, and researching effective learning for use on and beyond college campuses.

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ND Expert: Remembering D-Day

Author: Shannon Chapla

Michael Desch

Watch video Video

As the world marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Michael Desch, professor and chair of political science at the University of Notre Dame, reflects on this day in history and draws a connection to the current Ukraine crisis.

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ND Expert: China still corrupt, dealing with fallout on 25th anniversary of Tiananmen

Author: Shannon Chapla

Lionel Jensen

Wednesday (June 4) marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, during which soldiers in Beijing killed hundreds of students, workers and professionals peacefully seeking greater democracy and limits on corruption. Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of Notre Dame, says the country continues to struggle with the very same problems that provoked those protests, even as its government works feverishly to erase all memory of those fateful events.

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ND Expert: New carbon emission rule targets existing plants, will result in lawsuits

Author: Shannon Chapla

Bruce Huber

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday (June 2) released its Clean Power Plan, a long-awaited proposal that seeks to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

“These power plants account for about one-third of all such emissions within the U.S., and more importantly, they have historically escaped the brunt of regulation by the EPA, which generally focuses instead on newly constructed plants,” according to Bruce Huber, associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame.

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ND Expert: SCOTUS ruled correctly on legislative prayer

Author: Shannon Chapla

Richard W. Garnett

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Monday (May 5) handed down its decision in Town of Greece, NY v. Galloway and reversed the lower court’s ruling that the town’s legislative prayer policy violated the First Amendment.

University of Notre Dame Law Professor Richard W. Garnett, a former SCOTUS law clerk, says, “The court’s ruling is the correct one and does not come as a surprise. Most observers expected a majority of the justices to conclude that the town’s policy was consistent with longstanding American traditions and with the court’s own prior decisions. What is fairly surprising, though, is that four justices dissented.”

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ND Expert: Recalls damage GM, Toyota brands

Author: Shannon Chapla

Kaitlin Wowak

General Motors (GM) on Thursday (Feb. 13) announced it is recalling nearly 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s in North America because the compact cars’ engines can shut down unexpectedly and cause deadly crashes. This follows a massive global recall yesterday by Toyota Motor Corp. of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall.

Kaitlin Wowak, assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, says both companies’ brands will suffer.

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The envelope, please: New study looks at who makes more money in Hollywood

Author: Shannon Chapla

Actress Jennifer Lawrence

With the Golden Globe awards newly announced and the Academy Awards soon to be presented, chatter around the water cooler is likely to include speculation about Hollywood stars: Was Jon Voight the oldest ever Golden Globe winner at age 75? (No.) Was Jennifer Lawrence one of the youngest at age 23? (Not by a long shot.)

For Hollywood stars, top acting honors translate to fame and notoriety, but not necessarily fortune, according to Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame, and his colleague Irene De Pater.

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ND Expert: Excluding Iran from Syria peace talks 'huge diplomatic mistake'

Author: Shannon Chapla

David Cortright

International peace talks to address Syria’s nearly 3-year-old civil war began today in Montreux, Switzerland (near Geneva), and the decision to exclude Iran from the gathering was a huge diplomatic mistake, according to David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Cortright believes Iran’s presence would have benefited negotiations.

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ND Expert: Abortion-related free speech case gives opportunity to 'correct earlier mistake'

Author: Shannon Chapla

Richard W. Garnett

On Wednesday (Jan. 15), the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments in a case called McCullen v. Coakley, which involves a free-speech challenge to a Massachusetts law that limits speech and expression outside abortion clinics.

University of Notre Dame Law Professor Richard W. Garnett, a former SCOTUS law clerk and First Amendment scholar, says, “The Massachusetts law is a clear and serious violation of the freedom of speech."

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ND Expert: Turn tears for Mediterranean migrants into policy

Author: Shannon Chapla

Maurizio Albahari

More than 400 people have lost their lives in the past week after two boats, each carrying hundreds of Eritrean and Syrian refugees, capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa — an increasingly tragic situation in the Mediterranean, as migrants travel from north Africa to southern Europe to escape persecution.

“Immediate action is needed,” according to Maurizio Albahari, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, who says migrants trust smugglers, pay exorbitant costs and risk their lives on unseaworthy vessels to escape to better lives.

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Armed and attentive: The face is the focus for a person wielding a gun, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

James Brockmole

A person wielding a gun focuses more intently on the face of an opponent with a gun, presumably to try to determine that person’s likelihood of pulling the trigger, according to a new study that builds on gun-in-hand research from the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Associate Professor of Psychology James Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, conducted the research at Notre Dame with Adam Biggs, currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and Jessica Witt, associate professor of cognitive psychology at Colorado State University.

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ND Expert: Diplomacy is on the rise

Author: Shannon Chapla

David Cortright

Diplomacy appears to be on the rise. Not only has a negotiated agreement replaced military threats in Syria, a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran now also seems plausible.

President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani both will speak at the United Nations on Tuesday (Sept. 24).

“The signals from Iran have been encouraging of late, with Rouhani promising ‘constructive engagement’ and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urging ‘heroic leniency’ in talks with the West,” says David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “Achieving progress with Iran will be difficult given the deep differences between Washington and Tehran. Each side will need to make a conciliatory gesture to break the ice. Iran desperately wants sanctions relief and would probably offer significant concessions in return for an easing of economic pressure.”

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ND Experts urge caution in Syria

Author: Shannon Chapla

Kroc Institute Logo

President Barack Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria, administration officials said Thursday (Aug. 28), despite a rejection of such action by America’s strongest ally, Britain, and mounting concerns from Congress.

But, David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, believes that would be a mistake. Read Cortright’s op-eds on Syria in TIME and the Christian Science Monitor.

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ND Expert: A bold proposal to save Egypt

Author: Shannon Chapla

David Cortright

As the political crisis continues between Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the country’s military-backed government, David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, says the Egyptian revolution is being lost and the Obama administration must act, before it’s too late.

“The glorious unarmed uprising of 2011 that so inspired the world is now being crushed by the armed forces,” Cortright says. “I grieve for the people of Egypt and the dangers that lie ahead, unless something is done.”

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Unattractive people more likely to be bullied at work, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

Timothy Judge

It’s common knowledge that high school can be a cruel environment where attractive students are considered “popular,” and unattractive kids often get bullied. While that type of petty behavior is expected to vanish with adulthood, new research proves it does not.

Colleagues can be just as immature as classmates.

The study by Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and Brent Scott from Michigan State University is the first to link attractiveness to cruelty in the workplace.

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ND Expert: SCOTUS DNA ruling 'goes to the heart of the Fourth Amendment'

Author: Shannon Chapla

Richard W

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced, in Maryland v. King, that the Fourth Amendment allows law-enforcement officers to take DNA samples from arrestees as part of the booking process.

According to University of Notre Dame Professor of Law Richard W. Garnett, who teaches criminal and constitutional law, “the decision and the voting lineup of the justices serve as a reminder that constitutional questions are often more complicated and more interesting than the overused ‘liberals v. conservatives’ narrative suggests.”

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Law School’s O’Connell to testify before Congress on citizens’ rights during 'War on Terror'

Author: Shannon Chapla

Mary Ellen O'Connell

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will testify today (May 22) before the House Judiciary Committee on “Protecting U.S. Citizens’ Constitutional Rights During the War on Terror.”

One of the world’s leading experts on the law respecting targeted killing, O’Connell is author of “What Is War?” and “The Power and Purpose of International Law.” She has testified before Congress numerous times on drones, and again will help clarify the law regarding the Constitutional and human right to life in war and peace. O’Connell’s full testimony is available here.

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ND Expert: Creation, destruction of cloned human embryos an 'injustice'

Author: Shannon Chapla

O. Carter Snead

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University announced yesterday they have, for the first time, succeeded in creating a cloned human embryo, which they destroyed in order to derive embryonic stem cells. The researchers hope that this will advance understanding of developmental biology, and perhaps lead to regenerative therapy for a variety of conditions.

Public debate over the propriety of human cloning remains heated, and University of Notre Dame Bioethicist O. Carter Snead is concerned by this new development.

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