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While Europe burns, Brussels scribbles

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHRISTIAN SPILLMANN
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker answers questions during an interview with AFP on August 4, 2015 in Brussels. EU governments have a duty to help the flood of migrants arriving in Europe and must not cave in to populist demands to turn them back, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said on August 5.  AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS        (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Commission responds to doubts over EU’s future by papering over the cracks, literally. Florian Eder and Jacopo Barigazzi Politico Europe may be in a bit of an existential funk these days with Brexit and an EU-hostile new president in the White House, but the talk of the town in Brussels is a “White Paper” being prepared, out of view, for the EU’s 60th… While Europe burns… Read More »

How smartphones and social media are changing Christianity

Christianity - BBC

Many Christians are turning to apps and memes to express their faith instead of churches – and it’s raising intriguing questions about the future of the world’s largest religion. Chris Stokel-Walker BBC News When the Reverend Pete Phillips first arrived in Durham nine years ago, he was ejected from the city’s cathedral. He had been… How smartphones and… Read More »

Flights of fancy or reality?

Moon - Asia Times

Few people think of commercial development beyond earth, or the two Poles, but China is exploring the potential in space with its lunar program Peter J. Brown Asia Times When one thinks of development few would even consider anything beyond earth, or the extremes of the North and South Poles. But just like… Flights of fancy… Read More »

Turkey lifts ban on Islamic headscarf in military

epa01245427 A Turkish Muslim woman with a headscarf rests after a pro Islamist demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, 02 February 2008. Turkey's ruling party AKP (Justice and Development Party) agreed with Ultra Nationalist party MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic headscarves in universities, where the headscarves are still forbidden (also in highschools and primary schools).  EPA/KERIM OKTEN

Turkey on Wednesday said it was lifting a historic ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country’s armed forces. SBS The military was the final Turkish institution where women were prohibited from wearing the headscarf, after reforms by the Islamic-rooted government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that has allowed it to be worn in… Turkey lifts ban… Read More »

Misrepresentation and mispresentation of Islam

Islam - Daily Sabah

Both the Muslim and non-Muslim world have much to learn from the true source of Islam, whose teachings have been largely left unattended, unexamined and unpracticed on by both sides Ergin Yaman Daily Sabah As racial discrimination, vilification and intolerance continue to remain a global issue, it is only recently that countries have come up with legislation and policies to tackle this problem, while over 14 centuries ago, one man… Misrepresentation and mispresentation… Read More »

The tech solutions to end global hunger

Famine - CNN

(CNN) – What do you do when you see or hear something strange and want to learn more? Meera Senthilingam CNN Perhaps no one around you knows, so you go online or turn to social media. Within minutes, you… The tech solutions… Read More »

The man who invented Trumpism

Nederland, Den Haag, 19-05-16. Foto Roger Dohmen
Geert Wilders (Venlo, 6 september 1963) is een Nederlands politicus. Hij is partijleider van de Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) en namens deze partij fractieleider in de Tweede Kamer. Gefotografeerd in het gebouw van de 2e Kamer.
Foto Roger Dohmen / Hollandse Hoogte

Long before Donald Trump upended the American political landscape, Geert Wilders was rewriting the electoral playbook in the Netherlands, stomping ruthlessly over convention and being rewarded with votes. Naomi O’Leary Politico Not only are the two men alike in their peculiar blond hairdos; they share a talent for using controversy to dominate the news cycle and a tendency to forgo a hefty party apparatus in favor of a skeleton team of campaign loyalists and… The man who… Read More »

Friends or foes? Art’s long, complicated relationship with religion

Art - CNN

(CNN) – When you enter the world of art, you are, like it or not, entering the realm of religion. Consider some of the world’s most famous works of art — the Parthenon Marbles, the Buddhas of Bamiyan, The Last Supper, the Blue Mosque — and it becomes clear just how deeply the history of art has been colored by the history of religion. Aaron Rosen CNN But these are all examples from earlier epochs. What about more… Friends or foes… Read More »

Why We Need Edmund Burke Now More Than Ever

Edmud - The Federalist

Edmund Burke advocated for a political version of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper.’ Take the old, and revive it. Fix what’s broken—don’t just start over. Gracy Olmstead The Federalist My husband is currently gutting and remodeling our kitchen. We live in an… Why We Need… Read More »

Take It from a European: NATO Is Obsoletea

NATO - The National interest

The alliance’s members no longer share common goals or interests. Tom Sauer The National Interest The recent visit by Secretary of Defense James Mattis to NATO allies does not erase the fact that, as a presidential candidate and president-elect, Donald Trump stated on many occasions that NATO is obsolete. It is a bigger… Take It from… Read More »

After Slavery, Searching For Loved Ones In Wanted Ads

Slavery - npr

In the waning years of the Civil War, advertisements like this began appearing in newspapers around the country: “INFORMATION WANTED By a mother concerning her children. Ari Shapiro npr “Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, who now resides in Marysville, California was formerly owned to-gether with her children, vis: Lydia, William, Allen, and Parker, by one John Petty, who lived about six miles from the town of Woodbury… After Slavery, Searching… Read More »

Time to tackle ISIL’s millions of sympathisers?

ISIL - Al Jazeera

It is necessary to improve the underlying conditions that transformed ordinary citizens into desperate ISIL supporters. Rami G Khouri Al Jazeera News Significant international concern that thousands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters and their leaders will soon disperse to many countries – once Raqqa and Mosul are liberated – has focused on possible terror… Time to tackle… Read More »

Life imprisonment raises questions about proportionality, equity and human dignity

Prison - The Conversation

A New South Wales man, Robert Xie, was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole last week for the horrific murders of five members of the Lin family. John Anderson The Conversation Due to the shocking nature of the crime, Xie’s sentence has not attracted controversy. Yet NSW is… Life imprisonment raises… Read More »

Now a degree is a commodity, no wonder more students are cheating

Education - The Guardian

Of course plagiarism is wrong. But treating students as consumers sends them a very clear message: your money is just as important as your mind Poppy Noor The Guardian It was reported this week that the Department for Education is considering new penalties for students who plagiarise essays. This comes after Now a degree is… Read More »

Why algorithms won’t necessarily lead to utopian workplaces

Algorythms - The Conversation

Using computer algorithms to make decisions about employees might seem like an objective management strategy, but it could actually give an inaccurate picture of productivity and compromise employees’ rights in the process. Uri Gal The Conversation Many businesses are turning to algorithms to make decisions about hiring and firing employees, assessing their performance and enhancing their productivity. This practice, known… Why algorithms won’t… Read More »

Zweig: The writer who dreamed of a world without boarders

ERGYHN Stefan Zweig in 1940. Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer. 28 November 1881 - 22 February 1942.. Image shot 1940. Exact date unknown.

The exiled author killed himself in despair over Nazism. But before he did, he said Brazil had become what he hoped Europe could be, writes Benjamin Ramm. Benjamin Ramm BBC Seventy-five years ago, in February 1942, Europe’s most popular author committed suicide in a bungalow in the Brazilian town of Petrópolis, 10,000 km (6,200 miles) from his birthplace in Vienna. In the year… Zweig: The writer… Read More »