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Classical music is undergoing a revolution — and you’re probably a fan without realising it

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If you catch yourself humming the opening bars to the Game of Thrones theme, or feeling unsettled by the soundtrack to The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s possible you might be a closet classical music fan without realising it. RN – By Antony Funnell for Future Tense ABC You may think classical music is dying, but it’s actually booming — and it’s throwing off the confines of the past. From film scores to television commercials and the opening of major sporting events, classical ... Read More »

EU to hit Cambodia with trade sanctions, says Myanmar may follow

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union told Cambodia on Friday it will lose its special access to the world’s largest trading bloc, and said it was considering similar trade sanctions for Myanmar in a toughening of EU policy on human rights in Southeast Asia. Robin Emmott, Philip Blenkinsop After months of pressure from rights groups and the European Parliament, the EU’s trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc was ready to punish abuses in both countries by removing trade preferences. ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The twin-tower bombings (9/11)

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At 8:46am on a sunny Tuesday morning in New York City, a commercial jet plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, cutting through floors 93 to 99. Barbara Keys The Conversation As the news was beamed around the world, shaken reporters wondered whether the crash had been an accident or an act of terrorism. At 9:03am, viewers watching the smoke billowing from the gash in the building were stunned to see a second jet plane dart ... Read More »

Why Europe Overlooks Trump’s Threat, Increases Russian Gas Imports

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European consumers see no reason for abandoning cheap Russian pipeline gas and substituting it for expensive American super-chilled fuel. While Washington is fuming over the Russian-European energy cooperation, EU member states are increasingly buying Russian… Sputnik Despite US threats and reprimands, Europe remains stuck with Russian gas. Speaking at the Russia Energy Week (REW) forum, President Vladimir Putin highlighted that the country’s gas exports to the EU were about to reach 200 billion cubic meters (bcm) in… Why Europe Overlooks… Read More »

Hunting Hydrocarbons

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Subsea gliders are taking to the oceans to hunt for an ever wider array of anthropomorphic and chemical signatures to an ever greater accuracy. Elaine Maslin Marine Technology Ocean glider systems are maturing. Since emerging in the 2000s, they’ve opened up new possibilities for ocean observation and monitoring. But, these possibilities are continuing to expand, including to gas seep surveys, leak detection, mammal monitoring and oil spill monitoring, for the offshore oil and gas industry. The primary attraction of ocean ... Read More »

Art show takes on the misrepresentation of Muslims

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Muslim women in the West have been battling inaccurate stereotypes for ages. In the post-Sept. 11 era, Muslim women have come to be seen as one-dimensional figures in need of saving by the “West” and lacking dynamism or the ability to act. Nadiya Ali The Conversation This month, a visual art exhibit opening in Toronto aims to challenge those representations. (Mus)interpreted is presented by the Truth and Dare Project and organized by artist Zahra Agjee and curated by Agjee and ... Read More »

What’s Going on in Brussels?

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Migration is dividing the European Union Preston Huennekens Center for Immigration Studies The European Union began in 1952 as the European Coal and Steel Community. The original six countries — Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, and… Negotiations continue with outsiders that could see the group’s total membership rise to over 30 by 2020. Some commentators point to the E.U. as a superpower. Well-intentioned visionaries believed that increased European integration and supranational cooperation would bring prosperity, peace, and progress to ... Read More »

Warrior women: despite what gamers might believe, the ancient world was full of female fighters

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One of the great things about computer games is that anything is possible in the almost endless array of situations on offer, whether they are realistic or fantasy worlds. Eve MacDonald The Conversation But it has been reported that gamers are boycotting Total War: Rome II on the grounds of historical accuracy after developers introduced women generals, apparently to please “feminists”. But while it’s true that the Romans would not have had female soldiers in their armies, they certainly encountered ... Read More »

How to deal with the next financial crisis – take some lessons from Iceland

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It has been ten years since the global recession hit – and the perfect opportunity to rethink and reassess the crisis with the benefit of time. Iosif Kovras The Conversation Much of the focus so far has been on economic or policy failures, with the question of accountability left out of the discussion. In stark contrast to the grassroots calls for punishing those responsible, political leaders were not overly concerned with accountability, leaving bankers off the hook. This was a ... Read More »

A really simple guide to the US mid-term elections

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Two years after Donald Trump was elected, American voters take to the polls again on 6 November for the mid-term elections. BBC These elections happen every four years in November – so-called because they take place in the middle of the president’s four-year term of office. This time they’re choosing new members of Congress, but how they vote could affect how the rest of Mr Trump’s presidency turns out. If you want to find out more, please click the. Who is being elected? ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The fall of the Berlin Wall

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Nearly 30 years ago, in the night of November 9-10, 1989, East German border police opened the gates at crossing points in the Berlin Wall, allowing masses of East Berliners to stream through them unhindered. Andrew Bonnell The Conversation This started a night of unbridled celebrations as people crossed freely back and forth through the Cold War barrier, climbed on it, and even danced and partied on it. The signal for the mass breach of the previously heavily guarded wall ... Read More »

World Court orders U.S. to ensure Iran sanctions don’t hit humanitarian aid

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THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The World Court ordered the United States on Wednesday to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. Stephanie van den Berg Judges at the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) handed a small victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump violate terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the… But U.S. ... Read More »

Tanzania law punishing critics of statistics ‘deeply concerning’: World Bank

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DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – The World Bank said it was deeply concerned about new Tanzanian legislation which would punish anyone who questions official statistics, saying the law would undermine the production of useful and… Lawmakers last month passed amendments to the Statistics Act that would impose fines, at least three years jail time, or both, on anyone who questioned the accuracy of official figures. The attorney general said the changes were needed to… Opposition groups and other critics have ... Read More »

Pipeline Dreams

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Eastern Mediterranean gas creates new allies—and deepens old enmities John Psaropoulos the weekly Standard Athens On January 30, the deepwater drillship Saipem 12000 sent its drill bit into a cavern beneath one-and-a-quarter miles of water and a mile of rock in the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian oil and gas company Eni, which had contracted the ship, announced a week later that the cavern, called Calypso, was “an extended gas column,” containing an estimated six to eight trillion cubic feet of ... Read More »

Royal Commission proposed for family law system

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The Chief Justice of the Family Court says a royal commission into the family law system should be considered if the public isn’t satisfied by proposed government changes and an Australia Law Reform Commission review. Mark Schliebs The Australian Ahead of his departure as the court’s top judge later this year, Chief Justice John Pascoe used a speech at a Law Council of Australia conference on family law in Brisbane to warn about the planned shake-up of the system. “In ... Read More »

Confrontations Shape Identity

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The question is how to get those confrontations right. A strong national identity is good, but a xenophobic backlash is not. Joergen Oerstroem Moeller * The National Interest Human beings need an identity. Together with self-respect, it forms the core of each individual’s life-explaining and shaping behavior. It is found by comparing themselves with people “on the other side of the hill.” Identity is conducive to depict those other people as enemies or opponents. The search for identity thus sows ... Read More »