Features

Fireworks, feelings, and fraught relations at Eurovision 2017

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For one week in May, the bleary-eyed in our workplaces are not the sports fans following northern hemisphere leagues, nor are they the new parents. Jess Carniel  The Conversation They are Eurovision fans. And we are legion. The Eurovision Song Contest offers its fans glitz (or at least glitter), glamour, politics, intrigue, increasingly limited lessons in how to count in French and, of course… Fireworks, feelings, and… Read More »

New nation-branding plan needed for Arab world

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It is crucial for the Arab world to put together a committee of the best experts and partners to create programs and initiatives that will promote Arab culture globally. Mark C. Donfried  Arab News An Arab News poll conducted from March 17-22 proved the negative perception of the Arab world, especially in the US, and the urgent need for new nation-branding initiatives. The poll results were published and announced on May 2 at the… New nation-branding… Read More »

Israel arrests Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamesh

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Israeli army detains former political prisoner, Ahmad Qatamesh, as 1,300 Palestinians continue hunger strike in jails. Patrick Strickland Al Jazeera Israeli forces have carried out raids on homes across the occupied West Bank and detained at least 14 Palestinians on Sunday, among them a prominent intellectual and former political prisoner. Suha Barghouti, the wife of Ahmad Qatamesh, said “a large force” of… Israel arrests Palestinian… Read More »

Rokaya Diallo: ‘France sees itself as a white country’

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Author, film director and activist Rokhaya Diallo addresses the challenge of racism following the presidential election. Anealla Safdar Al Jazeera Paris, France – In March, police killed Shaoyo Liu, a 56-year-old Chinese immigrant, at his home in the 19th arrondissement in Paris during a raid. The officer who fired the fatal shot said he was acting in self-defence, claiming that the father-of-five wounded a policeman with a… Rokaya Diallo: ‘France… Read More »

Internet Democracy Is Great … in Theory. Just Ask the FCC

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THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS Commission says it wants to hear from you about the future of net neutrality. wired But in opening its virtual doors to the public, it’s also opened them to spammers and trolls, some of whom might have even managed to knock the FCC’s site offline this past week. On the one hand, these problems are mere hassles: The FCC’s site was only… Internet Democracy Is… Read More »

Global cyber-attack: Security blogger halts ransomware ‘by accident’

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A UK security researcher has told the BBC how he “accidentally” halted the spread of ransomware affecting hundreds of organisations, including the UK’s NHS. Chris Foxx BBC The man, known online as MalwareTech, was analysing the code behind the malware on Friday night when he made his discovery. He first noticed that the software was trying to contact an… Global cyber-attack… Read More »

Trump hosts a war criminal

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The globalist’s globalist, the architect behind most of America’s lost wars for empire and world hegemony for the last 50-plus years, and instigator of coups and the deaths of millions of people around the globe by the U.S. and U.S.-supplied weapons, made a… Personal Liberty So much for “draining the swamp.” And what was former Secretary of State, long-time Council on… Trump hosts a… Read More »

Kerala villagers bring dead river back to life in 70 days

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Rajeevan spent most of his life watching his favourite river die. Gulf Insider For two decades, the Kuttemperoor river in south Kerala’s Alappuzha district slowly choked under the weight of rampant illegal sand mining and construction sites that dumped tons of sewage on its once-pristine banks. Fish and aquatic life were wiped out, and the once-gurgling river of Rajeevan’s childhood was reduced to a… Kerala villagers bring… Read More »

A Zen master explains why “positive thinking” is terrible advice

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Have you ever been told to just “think positive” and your problems will go away? Or that to achieve your goals in life, all you have to do is visualize it with positive intent? The Power of Ideas Inspirational Ideapod blog It’s a philosophy that’s been popular for decades thanks to books like How to win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich.  But is it really helping us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives? Not exactly… A ... Read More »

Indonesians take tiny steps against tobacco

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A neighborhood in the Indonesian capital has informally declared itself a smoke-free zone as students plan further protests against what they see as an increased effort by cigarette companies to target the… Hurriyet Indonesia has one of the highest rates of smoking and is the world’s fourth-biggest cigarette producer, mostly of the pungent “kretek” clove and tobacco variety, but parliament has proposed a… A few groups are now… Indonesians take tiny… Read More »

Humanities teach students to think. Where would we be without them?

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Following announced funding cuts in US universities, is it entirely paranoid to wonder if humanities are under attack because they enable students to think? Francine Prose The Guardian Humanities departments in America are once again being axed. The reasons, one hears, are economic rather than ideological. It’s not that schools don’t care about the humanities – they just can’t afford… Humanities teach students… Read More »

Total’s plans for Brazil’s new oil frontier snagged on Amazon reef

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As French oil giant Total seeks to conduct oil exploration in Brazil’s Foz do Amazonas Basin area, which some geologists say may contain around 14 billion barrels of petroleum, environmentalists fear it could damage the eco system in the… Reuters OIAPOQUE Daily Sabah Deep beneath the waters of the Atlantic off Brazil’s most northern coast, French major Total SA is hunting for what it hopes will be… Metal drill bits, pipes and Total’s plans for… Read More »

Brazil Declares an End to Its Zika Health Emergency

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The country launched a major campaign that included genetically modified mosquitos, and now reported cases are down 95 percent. J. WESTON PHIPPEN The Atlantic Brazil has announced the end of its public health emergency over Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that became a global concern just 18 months ago. Brazil launched a major mosquito eradication program last year, and the health ministry said that from January to April 2017 there were 95… Brazil Declares an… Read More »

Pope Francis arrives in Portugal to canonise children at Fátima shrine

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Pontiff hopes message of young shepherds who saw Virgin Mary apparition 100 years ago still resonates with Catholics Associated Press in Rome The Guardian Pope Francis has arrived in the Portuguese town of Fátima to honour two children whose visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago marked one of the most important events of the 20th-century Catholic church. Tens of thousands of devotees lined the pontiff’s route and tossed petals as his motorcade drove… Pope Francis arrives… Read More »

NHS services hit in global cyber-attack across 12 countries

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Theresa May confirms ransomware attack is part of wider international incident as IT systems that underpin patient safety are compromised Damien Gayle, Alexandra Topping, Ian Sample, Sarah Marsh and Vikram Dodd The Guardian Additional reporting by Sam Jones in Madrid The NHS has been hit as part of a global cyber-attack that threw hospitals and businesses in the UK and around the world into chaos. The unprecedented attack on Friday affected 12 countries and at least 16 NHS trusts in ... Read More »

Cary Grant: how 100 acid trips in Tinseltown ‘changed my life’

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At the height of his fame, Cary Grant turned to LSD therapy for help. He later claimed the drug saved him, but did it also spell the end of his career? Xan Brooks The Guardian In the late 1950s, at the height of his fame, Cary Grant set off on a trip in search of his true self, unpicking the myth he had spent three decades perfecting. He tried hypnosis and yoga and felt that they both came up short. ... Read More »