Information and news about politics.

When voting for your congressional leaders, it is important to know where they stand on certain issues. By knowing their stance, voters are able to make informed decisions when they flock to the polls. Being aware of both Democratic and Republican views also provides a certain amount of accountability to the politicians.

Often times when politicians campaign, they include a lot on their platforms that will get them elected. However, if constituents continually call, email and write their politicians about issues that concern them, they ensure a certain amount of accountability to those who got them elected.

Here are five quotes from Republican political leaders that highlight their views on world poverty and global health.


“We face very real and immediate challenges with malaria, air pollution, and HIV/AIDS today. For me, the health effects of climate change are inextricably intertwined with poverty. What we do today to provide clean water, clean energy, and public health infrastructure in the developing world will reduce poverty, combat the health problems that many face today, and will lessen any potential future health effects that may come about because of climate change.”

-Michael B Enzi, Senator of Wyoming


“An important part of protecting Americans here at home involves strengthening our relationships around the globe. America has an interest in helping raise people out of poverty around the globe, so that developing nations can become trade partners with us and mutually realize the benefits of economic freedom and commerce.”

-Terri Lynn Land of Michigan


“Issues like global health and reducing poverty in developing nations have an impact on Americans right here at home. The most recent example is the spread of the Ebola virus. We should be providing humanitarian aid to assist with disease treatment and prevention strategies in nations suffering from the Ebola outbreak. By doing so, we can improve our ability to control and treat diseases in a way that helps stabilize populations there while also protecting our citizens here in the United States. Also, by helping to enable developing nations and communities in Africa to engage in global and regional trade, the United States gains potential new partners to explore mutual economic growth interests with, meaning more jobs for West Virginia families.”

Shelly Moore Capito, Senator of West Virginia


“America’s leadership around the world is rooted by the generosity of our people, the strength of our economy, and the power of our ideas. We have the greatest workforce in the world. We have the most stable institutions. We have the best innovators and free-market economy. We have a Constitution that ensures liberty and justice for all. These are the many reasons millions around the world look to the United States of America for a greater level of hope, freedom, and economic prosperity in their own countries. As the next Senator from Georgia, I will promote economic growth and free trade because the best way for a nation to lift itself out of poverty is to partner with the United States in the free enterprise system.”

-David Perdue, Senator of Georgia


“Extreme poverty and preventable disease are issues that transcend our nation’s borders and must be addressed. I believe the United States must work to reduce global poverty while providing the resources to create growth and opportunity. As Iowa’s next U.S. Senator, I will work to ensure that our great nation has the capacity to provide aid and assistance in international health issues and crises.”

-Joni Ernst, Senator of Iowa


— Erin Logan

Sources: One, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
Photo: Flickr

house committee on foreign affairs
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs traces its origins back to November of 1775. The sole purpose of the it was to, “correspond with our friends of Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world.” Here are some facts about it:

·      Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Johnson Jr., John Dickinson and John Jay all made up the very first committee.

·      It had many different names throughout its history, some include: originally the Committee of Correspondence, then Committee of Secret Correspondence, and even more recently, the Committee on International Relations.

·      There are six subcommittees currently set up within the full committee.

·      There are a total of 44 members; 25 Republicans and 19 Democrats.

·      Edward Royce (R) has been the chairman of the committee since 2013, and also the chairman of two subcommittees: Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade in Asia and the Pacific.

·      It has legislative influence over some very important organizations such as the Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the United Nations among others.

·      There have been two American Presidents that have been apart of the committee: James K. Polk and John Quincy Adams.

·      The most recent Oversight Plan of the Committee (January 2015) can be found on their website, it outlines most of the focuses of the committee for this year specifically; some of the focuses include ISIS, North Korea, Foreign Assistance and Human Rights.

·      You can watch/listen to any of their hearings on their website in order to understand what happens in their decision making processes (

Erik Shane

Sources: Ed Royce, House Committee on Foreign Affairs 1, House Committee on Foreign Affairs 2, House Committee on Foreign Affairs 3, House Committee on Foreign Affairs 4
Photo: Flickr

policy jobs
So, you’ve got your education, you finally finished that internship during your undergrad, you have participated in a thousand mock interviews, and your resume has been polished at least 100 times. Now you just have to find that job you’ve been working toward your entire career. Here are seven websites to help you find policy jobs:

1. USAJOBS is a helpful resource when it comes to finding a policy or federal job. According to USAJOBS, “The Pathways Programs offer clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school and to careers for recent graduates, and provide meaningful training and career development opportunities for individuals who are at the beginning of their Federal service.” Programs include the Pathways Internship Program, Recent Graduates Program and the Presidential Management Fellows Program.

The site also has additional helpful resources that allow users to search federal occupations by college major, look through a comprehensive A-Z list of federal agencies, find an internship, or recent graduate job by a keyword, salary, pay grade, category, location, department or agency.

2. Going Global

Going Global is committed to providing “grassroots intelligence” through their team of in country researchers. They monitor and update the career information and resources that are delivered to users. allows the user to easily find international jobs and policy jobs. Their website provides country specific career and employment information for 30 countries and its database search allows users to search by country, profession or topic.

3. International Organization Careers

According to International Organization Careers, “International Organization Careers is brought to you by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO). IO is the U.S. government’s primary interlocutor with the United Nations and a host of other international agencies and organizations.”

IO Careers allows users to register for job alerts online, search international organization jobs database and filter the search by organizations, grades, professional fields, and locations, subscribe to jobs, assists students and young professionals, lists federal agencies, provides other employment possibilities.

4. Partnership for Public Service

According to their website, “The Partnership is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that believes good government starts with good people. By strengthening the civil service, and the systems that are supposed to support them, we help government serve the needs of all Americans.”

The Partnership goes above and beyond by actually getting involved and challenging policymakers and our government to have quality employees. Their website provides users with ample amounts of resources for programs and services for Federal Management, Federal HR, Political Appointees, Higher Education, Private Sector and Congress.

5. House of Representatives

The U.S. House of Representatives can be a great resource for those seeking policy jobs online. This website allows users to see how to apply for various positions within the House as well as employment positions with members and committees and positions with other House organizations. The site also provides information for new employees and information for former employees.

6. United States Senate

Like the House, the U.S. Senate holds various resources and information about employment and policy positions. According to, “The Placement Office assists Senators and Senate Committees with filling entry-level through professional staff vacancies by providing resumes of qualified candidates. The Office is nonpartisan and administered by the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms. Read the Placement Brochure and complete the required Applicant Referral Form to begin registration in the Resume Bank.”

The Senate Employment Bulletin is published as a service to Senate offices that choose to advertise staff vacancies. The listing is posted online and revised throughout the week.

7. State and Local Government on the Net

State employment websites include agencies that conduct studies, publish labor market statistics, and often enforce occupational safety regulations. These agencies process unemployment claims, administer workmen’s compensation programs, handle workplace discrimination complaints, and sometimes sponsor job fairs.

This site states that it is “The Official State, County, & City Government Website Locator.” All 50 states are listed on this page with various websites of departments, divisions, industries and employment opportunities, allowing users to skim through a variety of helpful links that correspond with the state of their choice.

Eastin Shipman

Sources: USAJOBS, Going Global, International Organization Careers 1, International Organization Careers 2, Partnership for Public Service 1, Partnership for Public Service 2, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate 1, U.S. Senate 2, State and Local Government
Photo: Business Marketing Blog

In a groundbreaking decision in the nation’s post-Soviet history, the Ukraine elections resulted in their first majority pro-European parliament. For the greater part of the last 300 years, Ukraine has operated under Russian or Soviet ruling; the results of the election tilt the country’s diplomatic affairs further away from Russia.

Many attribute the dramatic switch to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s elimination of Crimea and Donbas from elections. Those two regions historically have provided a solid pro-Russian vote. However, Crimea remains annexed and Donetsk insurgent controlled, stripping pro-Russian parties of their voting base.

Crimea’s annexation didn’t just remove pro-Russians from the voting process, it changed public opinion of eligible voters, as well. According to a poll by the International Republican Institute, in September 59 percent of Ukrainians favored membership in the EU and only 17 percent in the Customs union of Russia. Just a year ago, those figures were 42 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

Exit polls indicated that many voters cast their ballots out of concern that the current parliament was corrupt and incompetent.

This monumental shift creates an opportune climate for relations with the EU and the U.S., while presenting great challenges for the Ukraine.

According to Daniel Runde of Forbes Magazine, Ukraine will need new trading partners. Twenty-five percent of Ukraine’s energy comes from Russian oil. Russia is now demanding Ukraine pay back its $3.1 billion debts and prepay for future oil supplies. It appears the EU will administer two loans to the tune of $965 million to help cover these costs. This makes clear that Ukraine will need to start exploring alternative sources of energy.

Despite the fact that the country still remains very culturally woven to Russia, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he hopes to join the EU within six years. Many Europeans argue a ten-year timeline is more realistic.

Runde argues that more successful ties between western Europe and the Ukraine will require more than political efforts. Culturally mirroring the political shift toward western Europe requires Peace Corps involvement in the Ukraine, more student exchanges between the regions and more western teachers working in the country.

– Gabrielle Sennett

Sources: The Guardian, Forbes, Washington Post, WSJ
Photo: NBC News

worst dictators current
The world’s most repressed countries live in a dictatorship. Citizens suffering under the rule of harsh dictatorships are often stripped of political rights and civil liberties. Those who express views differing from the state suffer consequences of physical and psychological abuse. Though the number of dictatorships has been on a decline, there is still much progress to be made. Listed below are some of the worst current dictators.

Worst Current Dictators

  1.  Kim Jong-un is arguably the most well-known current dictator in the world with the antics of his late father being publicized in world news all too often. As Supreme Leader of Korea, Kim Jong-un runs his government with a totalitarian rule ranging from his pursuit of nuclear weapons to unapologetic and even public execution of his citizens. Hope for more lenient domestic and foreign policies following his father’s death has since changed as Kim Jong-un continues the ruthless administration his father started years prior.
  2. Bashar al-Assad, leader of Syria came to power in 2000 and was seen by many as a potential reformer by domestic and foreign observers alike. There were high hopes that with Assad in power, the drastic changes that Syria needed would come about sooner rather than later. Instead, Assad has tightened his political reigns and enforced harsh consequences for political opponents and potential challengers which heavily contributed to the civil war that broke out in 2011. It is believed that Assad has tens of thousands of political prisoners being held and tortured in prison.
  3. Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe since 1980, came to power following the end of a civil war which ended white minority rule. Mugabe gained much attention from pursuing land reform policies that focused on reclaiming property and land owned by non-black Zimbabweans. Though some deemed his actions as racist to say the least, Mugabe seemed to gain quite a bit of support from those who felt his actions were making amends to the people of Zimbabwe from the previous abuses by European colonists. However, Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party turned the heads of many in 2008 when presidential elections came about versus Morgan Tsvangirai, a pro-democracy supporter. Tsvangirai received much support resulting in Mugabe only receiving 43 percent of the vote in the first round of the election. However, after allegations of fraud, voter intimidation, beatings and rape conducted by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, Mugabe swept the election with 90 percent of the vote.
  4. Vladimir Putin of Russia is known most for the staggering amount of control he has over his country through his political actions regularly linked with corruption. After serving two terms from 2000-2008, Putin decided to create a loophole in the constitution by deeming himself Prime Minister when Dmitry Medvedev became the next president of Russia following the end of Putin’s final term. Medvedev consequently made an amendment to the constitution allowing presidents to serve six terms and giving Putin the opportunity to serve as president for a third term. To no one’s surprise, Putin won the presidential election in 2012.

– Janelle Mills

Sources: Forbes, Kizaz, Freedom House
Photo: Toon Pool 

political internships
Internships are an important way to determine what fields interest a student or recent graduate, and they are helpful for finding employment after graduation. Finding an internship can be overwhelming, especially when a student or recent graduate needs to decide his or her interests and match it to an internship. For political interests, this could mean searching for an internship that matches political inclinations or goals. The following are a few resources to use to learn where to find political internships.

Use School Resources

Colleges and universities are motivated to ensure job success for their students. Many universities offer career services or a search tool on their website to narrow the job search to particular fields, such as politics. More importantly, faculty at universities may have connections for internships that suit a students needs and interdisciplinary interests.

Some universities offer class credit for internship programs. Completing a number of hours or assignments for an internship can allow a student to earn credit for their unpaid work. For instance, Georgetown University offers a Semester in Washington D.C. program. A student can attend academic classes, complete a research project and an internship during the week. Potentially, a student can earn 15 credits for the semester.

Contact Local or State Representatives

Several internship opportunities are in the offices of House representatives or senators of a student’s state on both the state and national level. In most cases, a representative will have opportunities listed on their website and an email to contact or send an application. Otherwise, on the national level, interns will work in the personal office of a House or Senate member. The intern will have the opportunity to attend committee meetings and make valuable connections with policymakers in Washington, D.C. or within the state.

Check with Nonprofits

In many cases, a nonprofit will have a particular goal in which is has to participate in political action in order to achieve. Although not directly affiliated with the creation of legislation, a nonprofit can be a great way to get involved with politics from a different perspective.

The Borgen Project offers internships from Seattle and telecommuting internships that involve political action. The Political Recruiter internship in Seattle helps to expand The Borgen Project nationally by targeting several congressional districts. As a telecommuting internship, the political affairs internship requires interns to meet with congressional representatives, attend politically related events and advocate for The Borgen Project.

Ask Friends or Family

Using personal connections can be the most important way to find an internship. Friends, family, professors or co-workers can have connections in fields of interests in a particular geographic region. It can be extremely helpful to have a mutual connection introduce a student to a representative from the internship of choice. A personal connection may also be able to provide insight into the environment and expectations of the internship site.

Knowing where to find political internships can be challenging and intimidating. However, many people looking for political internships will have the resources to find the internships right in front of them. Utilizing these resources, interns will gain valuable experience they need for future professional success.

– Tara Wilson

Sources: Georgetown University, About Travel, Borgen Project, Forbes

Burundi's Political Turmoil Worsens
Burundi has not experienced much of a stable political climate so far this century. After ending a 12 year civil war in 2005, security and political freedom are far from certain.

It took until 2009 for the last rebel group — Forces for National Liberation, or FNL, — to give up arms. Then in 2010, President Pierre Nkurunziza was reelected amidst suspected electoral fraud. Political killings plagued this election as rights groups estimate 300 people were killed. Political freedom was further stymied by a law passed in 2013 that made criticism of the government threats to national security or public order, punishable under the law.

Burundi’s shaky past have many worried that the upcoming elections in May 2015 will be unfair and turn violent.

The increasing intensity at which the government has been trying to silence the opposition is also another concern. In recent months, politically motivated violent attacks by the youth wing of the ruling party — Imbonerakure — against perceived opposition has risen.

In May, the prominent human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was arrested. Mbonimpa founded the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons. He has worked for years defending the rights of the most vulnerable Burundians.

His arrest sparked protests, and although they have been peaceful, the government has not backed down. Earlier this summer, they banned protests in support of Mbonimpa.

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic, has said that “special attention must be paid to the full respect for freedom of expression, including for journalists and human rights defenders.”

Deep-rooted disagreements between the government and the opposition, coupled with increasing restrictions on freedom of press and no accountability for the atrocities of the previous election, all point to a troubled 2015 election.

Some in the international community are calling for the situation in Burundi to be seriously monitored over the next few months in order prevent the situation from deteriorating and leading to violent elections in 2015.

The best action at this stage would be for Burundi’s donors and development partners, like France, Belgium and the U.K. to warn the government that human rights and free elections need to be honored.

Eleni Marino

Sources: BBC, UN News Centre, Human Rights Watch, The Guardian, Bloomberg
Photo: Human Rights Watch

Purchasing votes, or ‘vote buying,’ as it is sometimes referred to, is a popular strategy used in politics. The practice is even found within the United Nations’ General Assembly. There are a number of ways to ‘purchase’ a vote, one of the ways is by providing or withholding foreign aid.

Since 1983, the U.S. Department of State, at the behest of Congress, has prepared an annual report detailing the frequency with which other members states vote with or against the United States on resolutions at the United Nations’ General Assembly. The report, called Voting Practices in the U.N., “includes tables listing the percentages of countries’ votes that coincided with the U.S. position on U.N. Security Council and UNGA resolutions, including consensus and non-consensus votes and votes deemed “important” by the State Department.”

While for the most part, the UNGA resolutions are adopted by consensus (no dissent), a significant portion of the resolutions are adopted with recorded dissent. These non-consensus votes are usually considered substantive matters and are the basis for determining support for a U.S. position.

What the reports have found is that, since 1983, voting coincidence with the U.S. on non-consensus votes has only been greater than 50 percent on two occasions, in 1995 and 2011. The picture is somewhat better for issues that Congress has deemed important, with 58.6 percent support rate in 2013, a marked improvement from 2012’s 35.4 percent.

Where the issue of support for the U.S. at the UNGA becomes sticky is when considering that “every U.N. voting report between 1999 and 2009 listed U.S. foreign assistance disbursements to each nation in addition to its voting coincidence with the U.S.” In other words, Congress wants to keep track of which foreign aid recipients are voting  in support of the U.S.

Between the periods of 2004 to 2013, the reports have found that voting coincidence (favorable votes) on important non-consensus votes was 41 percent. Furthermore, the year after receiving U.S. aid, almost 67 percent of development recipients voted unfavorably in at least half of important non-consensus votes.

What this means exactly is the subject of some debate.

It may seem the U.S. has been doling out foreign aid to the wrong governments and consequently should withhold aid to countries who do not support the U.S. at important non-consensus votes. However, some authors have argued that the U.S. maintains a seemingly negative balance of favorable votes because it is in its long-term interest to do so.

If the U.S. is to maximize its vote purchases at the UNGA, it does not do to selectively withhold development funding to dissenters. This will only further decrease coincidence voting by cementing dissension at the UNGA. Moreover, the U.S. must continue to provide foreign aid to governments who do vote favorably in order to block other powerful states who would also purchase votes to prevent potentially turning a coincidence vote to one of dissension.

In other words, there is no good reason to withhold foreign aid as a stick, but there are two good reasons to use it as a carrot.

Pedram Afshar

Sources: Heritage Foundation, University of Heidelberg
Photo: flickr

Refugee Convoy Attack in Ukraine - The Borgen Project
More than dozens were found perished in a refugee attack on a civilian convoy running away from constant fighting in eastern Ukraine, with the Ukraine government and pro-Russian separatists both putting the blame on each other, according to news source Al Jazeera.

The attack, being described as a “bloody crime,” by a spokesman, has had several people killed, including some women and children. The number perished is currently being established; however, it is known that the toll could be put in dozens.

“The barrage had taken place last Monday morning between the cities of Khryashchuvate and Novosvitlivka, close to the rebel city of Luhansk,” said a Ukraine military spokesman.

As reported by news source BBC, the Ukrainian military has claimed that many have perished due to the influx of rockets and mortars demolishing vehicles moving the refugees from the Luhansk area of eastern Ukraine.

Another military spokesman proclaimed that several people had been burned alive inside the vehicles; however, a spokesman for the rebels who are named “Donetsk People’s Republic, “refused the idea that rebel forces had deliberated the attack on the convoy.

According to Reuters, the convoy was involved with ferocious fighting mainly between government forces and the separatists when the fire erupted from rebel Grad and mortar launchers, many spokesmen stated.

According to news source BBC News, it is known that more than 2,000 civilians and fighters have perished since the middle of April, a time in which Ukraine’s government had sent troops to overthrow the rebel uprising in the east.

The separatist rebels have been conspicuously sighted as ambushing a row of cars holding refugees attempting to escape the war in eastern Ukraine. This allegation can be confirmed according to news source New York Times. Ukrainian military officials have accused the separatists vehemently throughout, but the separatists, however, have denied that there has been no attack at all and they are not to be held responsible for the incident.

Luhansk, a city of 250,000 people, is a region where currently civilians are suffering heavy amount of shortages of water, food and electricity.

At the moment, Ukrainian forces are edging into the outskirts of Luhansk, where supplies such as food and water are running out for them.

During a briefing in Kiev, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, has stated that “terrorists” had ambushed the refugee convoy with Grad rocket systems and several other large weapons for combat supplied by Russia.

This could be considered a deadly episode for civilians, as according to the New York Times, separatists have begun to take control of cities and towns in this region approximately more than four months ago.

With over 2,000 people perished and more than 5,000 wounded in Ukraine, a representative for the United Nations human rights office claimed last week, with approximately more than half of the deaths currently happening in just these last two weeks.

The news of civilian deaths has been a grave situation as efforts for diplomacy to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis have been unsuccessful since last Monday; during conversations in Berlin among the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia.

Recently, the United States State Department has condemned the attack; however, it stated that it could not confirm who was responsible.

According to news source Reuters, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “We strongly condemn the shelling and rocketing of a convoy that was bearing internally displaced persons in Luhansk … Sadly, they were trying to get away from the fighting and instead became victims of it.”

The week of August 25, a solution was implemented for the first time in several months. This solution is meant to attempt to end the confrontation between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart. While both their meetings will hold several issues regarding the Ukraine Convoy Attack, their final solution is intended to mend the situation regarding the separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

— Noor Siddiqui

Sources: Reuters, Reuters 2, CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, New York Times Click On Detroit
Photo: Bloomberg

the assessing progress in haiti
Almost five years after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the United States Congress is using the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014 to evaluate how U.S. funds are being used in reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

1. The legislation noted that conditions have not improved enough.

Although more than 90 percent of displaced people have been able to leave camps, around 171,974 people still remain in camps. On top of that, corruption is widespread, the business climate is not ideal, unemployment is high and the government is weak.

2. Aid has been slow to materialize.

The United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, has distributed only 31 percent of its reconstruction funds pledged to Haiti. The vision of thousands of new homes has not happened, which has forced earthquake victims to return to existing housing through a rental subsidy program. The June 2013 report by the GAO saw that goals were not being met and projects were very far behind.

3. The act gives Congress the power of monitoring assistance to Haiti.

The act allows Congress to supervise the $3.6 billion that has gone to Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act passed in the Senate 15 days earlier and it is awaiting President Obama’s signature to be signed into law.

4. The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014 entails the U.S. Secretary of State submitting an annual report to Congress.

The legislation requires the U.S. Secretary of State to submit an annual report on the condition of development projects and earthquake recovery in Haiti, no later than December 31 each year, through December 31, 2017.

5. The bill was sponsored by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

Nelson, like many others, has expressed fear about the transparency in United States foreign aid, and the slow distribution of aid in Haiti. The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act received bipartisan support and the House passed it with no objection.

6. The legislation was applauded by several groups.

The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act has received support from many groups such as the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which provides financial aid to grassroots organizations and agencies in Haiti.

7. The act states that certain promises are to be met by Haiti’s government.

The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act specifically addresses “transparency, a market economy, rule of law, and democracy.” The bill emphasizes that the situation in Haiti does not depict improved conditions and that the country is far behind in reconstruction.

“In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, our government laudably committed a significant amount of aid to help Haiti rebuild, but a lack of transparency made it difficult to understand how U.S. government funds were being used and if recovery efforts were making progress and were being measured,” stated the president of American Jewish World Service, Ruth Messinger. She believes that the “legislation embodies a new commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance.”

Read more facts about the Haiti Earthquake.

– Colleen Moore

Sources: The Sentinel, McClatchy DC News
Photo: Washington Memo