Features

Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

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The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering Produced by Eva Krysiak with sound design by Chris Wood and original music by Stephen Fiske The Guardian In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student ... Read More »

Capitalism isn’t an ideology — it’s an operating system

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Bhu Srinivasan researches the intersection of capitalism and technological progress. Today’s TED Talk Instead of thinking about capitalism as a firm, unchanging ideology, he suggests that we should think of it as an operating system — one that needs upgrades to keep up with innovation, like the impending take-off of drone delivery services. Learn more about the past and future of the free market (and a potential coming identity crisis for the United States’ version of capitalism) with this quick, ... Read More »

Guns and the British empire

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Eighteenth-century Indian arms were as sophisticated as European. Then came the British Empire to drive industry backwards Priya Satia Aeon In the mid-18th century, advanced areas of northwest Europe and east and south Asia enjoyed roughly comparable life expectancy, rates of consumption, and potential for economic growth. But around 1800, in what scholars call the ‘great divergence’, the power and wealth of the West suddenly and dramatically eclipsed that of India, China and the Ottoman Empire. The British in particular ... Read More »

Churches unite to propose Religious Freedom Act

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Major submission to Ruddock panel calls for a new legal “right” John Sandeman Eternity A wide range of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches have spoken with one voice to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom, whose call for submissions closed today. They have received 13,500 submissions: “I think it is safe to say that people are concerned about religious freedom,” says Michael Kellahan, executive director of Freedom for Faith (FFF), a Christian legal think tank. The federal government has set ... Read More »

Israeli Knesset Rejects Bill Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

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JERUSALEM (A.W.)—The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday, which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Weekly Sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, the bill was rejected in a preliminary vote. “There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying. “The Israeli leadership diminishes itself by so ... Read More »

Why our obsession with GDP ignores harm done to welfare and the world

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One of the first things economics students learn about is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) GDP is also a central concept in many political debates, including Brexit. The Converstion Will it rise? Will it fall? What effect will this have on our lives? Gross Domestic Product measures the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country, calculating the net value added by each economic “actor”. So if you produce a car sold for £10,000 but you bought parts ... Read More »

Dutch FM resigns triggering vote of no-confidence

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Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra resigned on Feb. 13 after admitting lying, triggering a political bombshell and a vote of no-confidence in the country’s prime minister THE HAGUE – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Prime Minister Mark Rutte overwhelmingly survived the vote brought by his arch-foe far-right politician Geert Wilders, with 101 MPs against and only 43 in favor. But the scandal has erupted in just a few days in the Netherlands, and threatens to undermine Rutte’s fledgling and fragile four-party coalition. ... Read More »

The curious and compelling portraits of Hanna Putz

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With her distinct photographic style, the Austrian photographer is uniquely positioned to capture the different characters of her sitters Sponsored by Austrian National Tourist Office Austria. The Art of Discovery, an exclusive British Journal of Photography commission supported by the Austrian National Tourist Office as part of its Austria. The Art of Discoveryproject, is now open for entries! The winning photographer will travel to Austria to… For the second in a series of editorials exploring the work of Austrian photographers, we spoke ... Read More »

Emotional intelligence: What it is and why you need it

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When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Travis Bradberry World Economic Forum This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. Emotional ... Read More »

Oxfam scandal: development work is built on inequality but that’s no reason to cut foreign aid

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Revelations that Oxfam workers paid for prostitutes in Haiti as the organisation was supporting survivors of the earthquake in 2011, have reopened a longstanding debate about foreign aid in the UK. The Conversation Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, suggested government funding to Oxfam could be cut if it could not show “moral leadership”. The scandal raises challenging questions about the conduct of aid workers, yet public outrage reveals a deeper problem in how British society thinks about the development ... Read More »

US leads globally with most planned and announced pipeline length additions

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GlobalData’s latest analysis of the global planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the US has the longest planned pipelines length globally with 35,065km. By GlobalData Energy India and Russia follow with 29,142 km and 26,566 km respectively Presently, the US accounts for 14.3% of the total planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines length globally. The country has the highest number of planned and announced pipeline additions with 184. ... Read More »

A ghostly oil spill menaces Asia’s richest fisheries

Smoke is seen from the Panama-registered Sanchi tanker carrying Iranian oil, which went ablaze after a collision with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this January 9, 2018 handout picture released by China's Ministry of Transport January 10, 2018. China's Ministry of Transport/Handout via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

ZHOUSHAN, China — A fiery collision that sank an Iranian tanker in the East China Sea a month ago has resulted in an environmental threat that experts say is unlike any before: an almost invisible type of petroleum has begun to contaminate some of the most important fishing grounds in Asia, from China to Japan and beyond. By STEVEN LEE MYERS and JAVIER C. HERNNDEZ Today It is the largest oil spill in decades, but the disaster has unfolded outside the ... Read More »

NGOs need to step up and keep children safe – here’s what they can do

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The wave of reports about abuses perpetrated by aid sector workers in Haiti and elsewhere, including allegations of the abuse of children, should sadly come as little surprise. Rosa Freedman The Conversation International actors frequently fall into the gaps between national, regional and international law, and therefore need internal measures to ensure that they adhere to international standards. And of all the players in international interventions, NGOs perhaps need them the… Unlike militaries, intergovernmental organisations or even private sector actors, ... Read More »

Turkey may choose isolation over Western allies – analyst

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A wave of “anti-Western hostility” and “rampant nationalism” in Turkey has magnified the risk of a decisive break with its traditional allies in the West, even though it has not lined up any alternatives, according to an article Nicholas Danforth, a senior analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Ahval Danforth describes in the piece how the fear of “losing Turkey”, a constant refrain since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, is now dangerously close ... Read More »

Pentagon seeks to invest $550 million for SDF

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The Pentagon on Feb. 12 requested $300 million to train and equip the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and wants nearly as much to build a “border security force” with them in Syria WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The military’s budget proposal for 2019 also contains $850 million for train-and-equip activities in Iraq to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). “The training, equipment and operations support in this request will consolidate the gains achieved against [ISIL] and ... Read More »

Cape Town drought declared a ‘national disaster’

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South Africa has declared the drought which has seen Cape Town hurtling towards “Day Zero” a national disaster. BBC The government made the announcement after reassessing the “magnitude and severity” of the three-year drought. It has badly affected three of the country’s nine provinces. The decision came as Cape Town announced its water saving measures, which require each citizen to use less than 50 litres a day, had successfully pushed back “Day Zero” to 4 June. Just a matter of ... Read More »