Features

For Turkey’s youngest Jews, ancestral tongue fading away

For the young generation of Sephardic Jews in Turkey, their ancestral tongue, Ladino, is just a few words for Grandma’s cuisine, a line or two from old songs and… Nazlan Ertan AlMonitor UNESCO considers Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo, a severely endangered language. In Turkey, it is spoken by only about 10,000 people, mostly around Istanbul and Izmir. Other Ladino-speaking communities in Greece and North Africa have also diminished, according to the… For Turkey’s youngest… Read More »

The Poisoned Chalice: Breakthrough WA Study Shines A Light On Global Water Contamination

When deep-well bore water arrived in Australian bush communities people thought the big thirst was over. Jeff McMullen New Matilda Jeff McMullen reports that a decade long study shows unsafe water is now cutting lives short. If a baby is fed unsafe water contaminated with chemical nitrates, the child turns blue. The striking colouring occurs particularly around the eyes and… The Poisoned Chalice… Read More »

Ukraine, Russia, Poland Still Grappling With Major New Ransomware Attack

Companies across the world are still grappling with the effects of a major new ransomware cyberattack that struck their computer systems, with Ukrainian firms and government sites among the… RFE/RL With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and the BBC Ukraine initially seemed to be the target of the cyberattack, which started on June 27, affecting websites of banks and major industrial enterprises, but it also hit other countries and… The virus’s pace appeared to slow by June 28, partly because the… ... Read More »

Whither Japan’s Democracy?

To some observers, retired civil servant Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy  attitude towards dissent Daniel Hurst Asia Times To some observers, protester Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. The retired civil servant, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, was detained for five months from… Whither Japan’s… Read More »

The collapse of Turkish army’s health and education system

In late May, more than 1,000 soldiers from a land forces brigade in the western Turkish province of Manisa were hospitalized for food poisoning, and one of them lost his life. Author: Zülfikar Doğan Translator: Sibel Utku Bila AlMonitor The problem at the barracks, where 6,000 new conscripts are receiving training, was described as intestinal infection, but the detailed medical analyses of samples from affected soldiers have not… On June 17, a new bout of mass food poisonings occurred in… ... Read More »

The ‘international man of mystery’ linked to Flynn’s lobbying deal

David Zaikin made Russian energy deals, advised Eastern European parties, brokered condos at Toronto’s Trump Tower, and teamed up with the man who hired Michael Flynn. Isaac Arnsdorf Politico More than two years ago, two men started visiting Washington to push Turkey’s agenda in the capital. They dined with dignitaries and enlisted prominent lobbying firms from both sides of the… The ‘international man… Read More »

World food security risks growing, Chatham House says

The world’s food security is increasingly reliant on 14 “chokepoints” for trade, a think-tank report has warned. BBC UK-based Chatham House says more needs to be done to protect key transport routes such as the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal and the Turkish… Almost 25% of the world’s food is traded on international markets. This, the report says, makes food supply and prices vulnerable to unforeseen crises or climate… World food security… Read More »

Roman gladiators were war prisoners and criminals, not sporting heroes

For centuries, the bloody gladiator conflicts that the Romans staged in amphitheatres throughout the empire have engrossed and repelled us. Alastair Blanshard The Conversation When it comes to gladiators, it is almost impossible to look away. But the arena is also the place where the Romans feel most foreign to us. The gladiator was the product of a unique environment. He can exist only within a… Roman gladiators were… Read More »

Who Is Winning the AI Race?

China and the United States dominate the world of artificial-intelligence research. Microsoft, IBM, and Google are the leading companies. MIT Technology Revew Editor’s note: The data in the chart on deep learning research was gathered by performing a search of the Web of Science by company, using the keyword “deep learning”. This may not fully reflect all of the artificial intelligence… Who Is Winning… Read More »

FACTBOX – The hidden economic costs of child marriage

Ending child marriage would cut population growth and boost girls’ educational achievements and earning ability By Emma Batha Reuters LONDON, June 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Child marriage will cost developing countries trillions of dollars by 2030, seriously hampering global efforts to eradicate poverty, the World Bank said on Tuesday. Ending child marriage would cut population growth and boost girls’ educational achievements and earning ability, boosting national prosperity, according to a… FACTBOX – The hidden… Read More »

China releases Nobel laureate Liu with terminal cancer

China’s jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, his lawyer told AFP on June… Hurriyet Liu, who had about three years of his 11-year sentence to serve, was diagnosed on May 23 and was released days later, said lawyer Mo… The 61-year-old democracy campaigner was being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang. “He has no special… China releases Nobel… Read More »

Cities Inequality United Kingdom  The Economic System That Made the Grenfell Tragedy Possible

In the UK—and in the US—public goods like affordable housing have been neglected to dangerous degrees. Michelle Chen The Nation As raging flames consumed the Grenfell Tower housing complex, London’s genteel facade of civility melted away, exposing a hidden human tragedy at its urban core. The immediate cause of the blaze earlier this month was a lack of basic building safeguards, but the underlying tinder was decades of social disinvestment and… Cities Inequality United… Read More »

Charlie Flanagan: We cannot let respect for judiciary erode

Populism and political opportunism is a threat to one of the pillars of our Constitution Charlie Flanagan The Irish Times This week I will introduce the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the Dáil. It seeks to modernise the process for nominating judges and gives effect to a commitment in the programme for government. It is part of a broader process of modernisation and change that has taken place right across government and the Oireachtas in recent… The introduction of… Charlie ... Read More »

Orthodox Jewish girls school faces closure for refusing to teach children about homosexuality

A private Orthodox Jewish elementary school called the Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney, north London, is facing closure by the British government because it does not include curriculum that teaches children about homosexuality and gender reassignment… Brandon Morse TheBlaze According to Heat Street, a report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted) says that the Vishnitz Girls School does not teach its 212 attending children — aged three through eight — “a full understanding of fundamental British… The ... Read More »

Jill Singer, passionate journalist was face of Today Tonight

Jill Singer, who transformed news coverage when she hosted Today Tonight on Channel 7 in the mid-90s, has died of a rare heart and blood condition at the age of just 60. Peter Craven The Sydney Morning Herald She had extraordinary intelligence, courage and vivacity. She lived tremendously and always fought for the people and things she believed in. She was a great beauty with a lovely voice. Sometimes though she could sound like a… Jill Singer, passionate… Read More »

Euthanasia by text? Michelle Carter case impacts more than just free speech

In 2014, Michelle Carter, then 17, used text messages to ‘encourage’ her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself. Philip Nitschke * Brisbane Times Roy was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck. While the dust is still settling from this month’s decision by a Massachusetts judge to convict the young ”suicide texter” of involuntary manslaughter, the reaction on the social media has been swift and… Euthanasia by text… Read More »