Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Right Way Out of Afghanistan

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The signing in May of a strategic partnership agreement between the United States and Afghanistan came at a tense time in the Afghan war. Article Summary and Author Biography Taking off: U.S. paratroopers in Paktika, Afghanistan, October 2009 (Andrya Hill / U.S. Army) As NATO and the International Security Assistance Force work to transfer security responsibility for much of the country to the Afghan government, the agreement establishes the contours of a long-term relationship and a framework for future cooperation. ... Read More »

Seeing the light: Ethics and evidence in the asylum debate

Australia’s mistrust of its politicians is a common subject of media reporting. Voters are sick of ‘spin’ and want to hear something ‘real’ from candidates. They frown upon the language of ‘non core promises’ and the prevalence of political backflips (Howard with a GST, Abbott with Medicare, Gillard with the Carbon Tax). Abbott  in particular is criticised for his entrenched and transparent politics of opposition while Gillard is reportedly unpopular for hiding her ‘true’ self. Such commentary places a spotlight on ... Read More »

Abu Qatada bid for release fails

Judges reject attempt to end what cleric’s lawyers claimed was longest administrative detention in modern English history. Abu Qatada is being held pending a high court hearing in October over whether he can be deported to Jordan. Photograph: Prison Service/PA Two high court judges have dismissed a fresh attempt by the radical Islamist preacher Abu Qatada to be released from a maximum-security prison on bail pending his deportation back to Jordan. Lawyers for Qatada claimed that the seven years he ... Read More »

Street artists forced to play by the rules

An javelin thrower stands poised to make his throw — but in place of a spear, he holds a missile. Mystery … Banksy’s Olympic-themed stencil at an undisclosed location. Photo: The striking image, stencilled in black onto a dirty wall, is one of two new works recently unveiled on the website of British satirical street artist Banksy to coincide with the London Olympics. The Olympic Committee have got to be careful that they don’t infringe on freedom of expression. ... Read More »

Γερμανοί οικονομολόγοι προτείνουν παράλληλη κυκλοφορία δύο νομισμάτων στην Ελλάδα

Στόχος τους όπως επισημαίνει η Deutsche Welle να αποφευχθούν οι αρνητικές επιπτώσεις της επιστροφής στη δραχμή. Την παράλληλη κυκλοφορία ευρώ και «νέας δραχμής» στην Ελλάδα, προτείνει ομάδα Γερμανών οικονομολόγων και εκπροσώπων της γερμανικής οικονομίας, σύμφωνα με δημοσίευμα της οικονομικής εφημερίδας Handelsblatt. Όπως επισημαίνει η Deutsche Welle, στόχος τους να αποφευχθούν οι αρνητικές επιπτώσεις της επιστροφής της Ελλάδας στο εθνικό νόμισμα, αλλά και να βελτιωθεί η ανταγωνιστικότητα της χώρας. Και έτσι προτείνουν την πληρωμή μισθών και συντάξεων σε δραχμές, των οποίων ... Read More »

‘Olimpicamente’: In Praise Of Feistiness And Big Feet

A poet and editor living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Ron Tanovitz – Audio for this story from Morning Edition will be available at approx. 9:00 a.m. ET Her poem “Olimpicamente” is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for ... Read More »

Olympic Ostracism

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge cannot help himself from slighting Greece, at every opportunity. Fervent patriots will recall his breaking with the tradition of IOC presidents calling each successive Olympic Games “the best ever,” when at the 2004 Athens Games, after swallowing copious amounts of ascending bile, he called them the “unforgettable, dream games.” This of course, was well received in Australia, as the august president’s remarks were interpreted to signify that the Athens Games were inferior to those ... Read More »

Πανεπιστήμιο της Ταϊβάν μήνυσε την Apple για παραβίαση πατεντών

Πανεπιστήμιο της Ταϊβάν, κατέθεσε μήνυση κατά της Apple για παραβίαση πατεντών, σε δικαστήριο των ΗΠΑ. Η υπόθεση αφορά στην περίφημη υπηρεσία αναγνώρισης φωνής Siri, την οποία χρησιμοποιεί η Apple σε συσκευές της. Από το εθνικό πανεπιστήμιο της Ταϊβάν Cheng Kung, ανέφεραν πως η χρήση της υπηρεσίας Siri στα iPhone και τις μελλοντικές εκδόσεις του iPad, παραβιάζουν δύο πατέντες τους σχετικές με την τεχνολογία voice-to-text, που έχουν κατατεθεί στις ΗΠΑ το 2007 και το 2010. Η μήνυση κατατέθηκε στο Texas και ... Read More »

Swiss bishop calls on power of prayer to bring back ice

YOU’VE got to hand it to the Catholic Church – sometimes its methods work. In 1678, the inhabitants of Fiesch, in the Swiss canton of Valais, exasperated with the glaciers that loomed ever larger over their village and swallowed up their pasturage, inaugurated an annual pilgrimage. Running out … Swiss glaciers are shrinking, on average, by 10 metres a year. Photo: Reuters The hope was to banish the ice forms with chants, prayers and holy water. Several centuries later, their ... Read More »

Γιατί μουσουλμανική χώρα δεν έχει διοργανώσει Ολυμπιακούς;

Την υποψηφιότητα της Κωνσταντινούπολης για την ανάληψη των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων του 2020, προώθησε ο Ταγίπ Ερντογάν από το Λονδίνο όπου βρίσκεται. Ο Τούρκος Πρωθυπουργός συνέδεσε τη θρησκεία με τη διοργάνωση και σημείωσε πως «Καμία χώρα στην οποία πλειοψηφεί ο μουσουλμανικός πληθυσμός δεν έχει οργανώσει τους Ολυμπιακούς Αγώνες». O Ερντογάν ο οποίος έκανε τις δηλώσεις αφού παρακολούθησε με τη σύζυγό του Εμινέ και την κόρη τους την τουρκική εθνική ομάδα μπάσκετ γυναικών να κερδίζει την Ανγκόλα με 75-50. Ο ίδιος αναρωτήθηκε ... Read More »

‘International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme’: το σωστό πρώτο βήμα για σπουδές στο εξωτερικό

Τι είναι το ΙΒ Diploma Programme. Το ΙΒ Diploma Programme ( ή το Διεθνές Απολυτήριο είναι ένα διετές πρόγραμμα σπουδών για τους μαθητές των δύο τελευταίων τάξεων του Λυκείου, προκειμένου να τους προετοιμάσει αποτελεσματικά για ένα φάσμα εξειδικευμένων σπουδών στο εξωτερικό. Το Διεθνές Απολυτήριο είναι ισότιμο και αντίστοιχο του ελληνικού απολυτηρίου του Γενικού Λυκείου. ( Κύρια χαρακτηριστικά του ΙΒ Diploma Programme που το καθιέρωσαν σαν επαρκές κριτήριο εισαγωγής στα σημαντικότερα πανεπιστήμια όλου του Read More »

The politics of Olympic Games

The Olympic Games have long become a political event. The games in London are no exception. Nor were the Olympics in Beijing poisoned by the aggression of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili against South Ossetia. Wars, sports boycotts, hostage-taking … A remedy from the politicization of sport has not yet been found. Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been fighting for maximum equality between men and women. Because of gender inequality the right to participate in the Olympics has been ... Read More »

Déjà Vu All Over Again? Iraq’s Escalating Political Crisis

To overcome Iraq’s current political crisis and prevent the breakdown of the entire post-2003 order, Prime Minister Maliki and his opponents both will have to agree to painful compromises. Déjà Vu All Over Again? Iraq’s Escalating Political Crisis, the latest International Crisis Group report, examines the stalemate two years into Maliki’s second term. He is accused of violating the constitution, amassing power and bringing security forces under his personal control. The latest chapter in Iraq’s political crisis has dangerously heightened ... Read More »

Amid crisis, Europeans flock to learn Chinese

BRUSSELS – Ever since Europe’s economy began spiralling downwards a growing number of people from Dublin to Athens is taking to learning the language of opportunity: Chinese. “The economic reason plays an important role” in deciding to start learning Chinese. (Photo: EUobserver) Aggregate data are not available, but figures from local language centres across the continent suggest that the number of people in Europe enlisted in taking the official Chinese Proficiency Test – or HSK – over the last two ... Read More »

Climate Of The Nation

What do Australians think about climate change? The Climate Institute went out and asked them – and found people who want action from government and business. Watch the videos here “I think if politicians are involved, people put the red flag up straight away. They are only talking because they want the vote. For me, give me my veggie patch and some chooks and I’ll be happy.” This comment by Poppy Niotis of Western Sydney sums up how most Australians ... Read More »

Desperate Turkish Housewives?

A report from Ankara-think tank TEPAV made a big splash a couple of weeks ago. Based on the Turkish Statistical Agency’s March employment figures, the TEPAV unemployment bulletin highlighted that the number of housewives had increased by nearly half a million annually. While the population over the age of 15 grew by 1.2 million during this period, the number of people in the labor force increased by only 328,000. The rest, a hefty 868,000, chose not to seek employment. Of ... Read More »