Culture

Jakarta governor Ahok invokes Finding Nemo in blasphemy trial defence

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Jakarta: Beleaguered outgoing Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has revealed an unexpected source of inspiration as he fights allegations of… Jewel Topsfield Karuni Rompies The Sydney Morning Herald A week after losing the gubernatorial election to former education minister Anies Baswedan, the maverick governor known to all as Ahok mounted a… He told of inviting kindergarten children to watch a scene from the… Jakarta governor Ahok… Read More »

‘Cultural step change’ called for over Scottish school meals

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Scotland’s school meals need to be transformed “from a feeding culture to an eating culture”, an obesity charity has… Jane Bradley The Scotsman Obesity Action Scotland said that the school dining experience varies dramatically across the country and called for schools to… This comes after a Scotland on Sunday investigation last year revealed a… ‘Cultural step change… Read More »

This ancient building material could fuel a future infrastructure boom

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Last month, Bangladesh’s capital city became home to the world’s first cell tower constructed entirely out of bamboo — proof that emerging… Nyshka Chandran CNBC Developed by Malaysian infrastructure services firm edotco and the Bangladesh University of Engineering, the tower took just 12 days to build, versus… Bamboo boasts a low carbon footprint as it… This ancient building… Read More »

What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?

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Today some claim that Jesus is just an idea, rather than a real historical figure, but there is a good deal of written evidence for his… Dr Simon Gathercole The Guardian How confident can we be that Jesus Christ actually lived? The historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth is both long-established and… Within a few decades of his supposed lifetime, he is mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians, as well as by dozens of… What is the… Read More »

An atheist at Greek Easter

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The paradox. I do not believe in god, yet I can never escape him on Πάσχα, Pascha, Pesach or Easter. By Fotis Kapetopoulos Daily Review The bombing of a Coptic church in Egypt last week on Palm Sunday is one more sectarian atrocity in the Middle… However, the considered silence from much of the Left as Christians burn in the Middle East angers… An atheist at… Read More »

The Threshold Choir: Singing for people on the cusp of death

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Do you find comfort in music? The Threshold Choir sings for people on the cusp of death, hoping to alleviate some of their anxieties… Fiona Pepper ABC The concept of a Threshold Choir first began in America in 2000; a book of ‘comfort’ songs were written and local chapters… Now there are more than 130 choirs worldwide… The Threshold Choir… Read More »

The Pursuit of Happiness in Work

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Money can’t buy you happiness, but what you actually do for a living is key, according to new research which found not-for-profit workers were among the… Wendy Williams  Pb Curtin University in collaboration with mwah (Making Work Absolutely Human) has launched a new report to find the happiest and unhappiest workers in… The report, Happy Workers: How Satisfied are Australians at… The Pursuit of… Read More »

Northeast Regional

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Audio: Emma Cline… Close to five hours on the train. And then twenty minutes by taxi from the station to the… Emma Cline The New Yorker He would have time to call the lawyer, work through the… He had the number of a consultant, in case Rowan needed to apply somewhere… Maybe the school legally had to contact the college he’d got into, but Richard wasn’t… And maybe it wouldn’t come to that. The school wouldn’t want to make anything… ... Read More »

Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why are they persecuted?

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Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s… Steven Viney ABC Although many now identify as Arabs, Copts do not historically believe themselves to be of Arab origin, but are instead… The word Coptic is derived from the ancient Greek word for… Who are Egypt’s… Read More »

Old Bailey’s first non-white judge was mistaken for defendant

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The Old Bailey’s first non-white circuit judge has said she was often mistaken for a witness or defendant when she started working as a… BBC Anuja Ravindra Dhir began her career in the… She became a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in… The 49-year-old said at first, most clients did not want to be represented by a young Asian Scottish… She also said that, when she wanted to go to university in the… Old Bailey’s first… Read More »

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and… Joobin Bekhrad BBC So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the… At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a… Yet, a brief glance at an… The obscure ... Read More »

Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels Australian tour

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The outspoken critic on Monday abruptly cancelled the Australian and New Zealand leg of her upcoming tour, citing security concerns… SBS With AAP The talks were expected to begin in Brisbane on Thursday, before heading south to Sydney and then concluding in Melbourne on the… Organisers Think Inc., who were scrutinised for their decision to… Islam critic Ayaan… Read More »

One man’s quest to save the Jewish Iraqi language

Torah scrolls are exhibited at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv, in this October 19, 2006 picture. World Jewish groups began a global campaign on Sunday calling for recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees in the Middle East conflict.  REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen  (ISRAEL) - RTR1IKQX

On Friday mornings in a class on the heritage of Babylonian Jewry, Oded Amit has taught a small group of Israelis to speak Jewish Iraqi, the language of his ancestors. Jacky Hugi Al Monitor Amit, 70, was born and raised in Baghdad, and Jewish Iraqi was the language in which his mother raised him. “It’s a beautiful… One man’s quest… Read More »

A One Nation senator claims race-hate speech laws stop ‘decent’ people speaking out against Muslim criminals.

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Malcolm Roberts says Australian Islamists are the real beneficiaries of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, comparing restrictions on race-hate speech to “Stalinist… SBS Source: AAP “If your Muslim Sudanese neighbour is engaging in female genital mutilation or your Syrian Muslim cafe owner is a terrorist building a bomb or… A One Nation… Read More »

Supporting Syrian refugees not only an act ‘of generosity’ but also of ‘enlightened self-interest’ – UN chief

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Visiting the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan that is hosting about 80,000 Syrian refugees, the United Nations chief urged the parties to the conflict in Syria and the countries that have influence over… UNnewsCentre “This is the moment for all countries that are involved, directly or indirectly in the conflict, to put aside their differences and… Supporting Syrian refugees… Read More »

How French ”Intellectuals” ruined the West: Postmodernism and its impact, explained

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Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity… Helen Pluckrose Areo Magazine That may sound like a bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of academia and… The irrational and identitarian “symptoms” of… How French ”Intellectuals… Read More »