Historical

Gaza violence: Israel defends actions as 55 Palestinians killed

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said his military was acting in self defence during violence on the Gaza border that left dozens of Palestinians dead. Some 55 were killed and 2,700 wounded by Israeli troops, Palestinian officials said, on the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 Gaza war. BBC The Palestinian Authority’s leader condemned a “massacre”. The UN spoke of “outrageous human rights violations”. The violence came as the US opened a controversial embassy in Jerusalem. The move of ... Read More »

Mad Magazine’s clout may have faded, but its ethos matters more than ever before

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Mad Magazine is still hanging on. In April, it launched a reboot, jokingly calling it its “first issue.” Michael J. Socolow The Conversation But in terms of cultural resonance and mass popularity, it’s largely lost its clout. At its apex in the early 1970s, Mad’s circulation surpassed 2 million. As of 2017, it was 140,000. As strange as it sounds, I believe the “usual gang of idiots” that produced Mad was performing a vital public service, teaching American adolescents that ... Read More »

Religious backlash loosens clerics’ grip on legacy of 1979 Iranian Revolution

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With Iran’s ruling clergy already preparing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, it may be too late to question whether or not the revolution was in fact Islamic. Naser Ghobadzadeh The Conversation What we can do, at least, is explore the revolution’s degree of Islamicness. In Iran, like elsewhere in the world, often competing utopian political visions shaped the political landscape of the previous century. Marxism, nationalism and liberalism all played important roles in the 1979 ... Read More »

Emmanuel Macron and echoes of May 1968

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As France marks the 50th anniversary of the revolts of May 1968, Emmanuel Macron might get more than he bargained for. Instead of celebrating the occasion, the French president appears to be inadvertently recreating it. Elizabeth Benjamin The Conversation He has proposed a controversial higher education reform at a particularly inopportune moment, sparking major protests. May ’68 had a significant impact on French society, politics and culture. Beginning with student protests, civil unrest soon spread and took on a philosophical ... Read More »

VICTORY IN EUROPE VE Day 2018 is TODAY

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– why is Victory in Europe Day marked on May 8 and how is it celebrated? On May 8, 1945, German forces surrendered – but it was not the end of the deadly global conflict Lauren Fruen TheSUN VICTORY in Europe was announced in May 1945 after six years of bloody war which had cost the lives of millions across the world. But what exactly was VE Day and what did it mean for those who had endured years of ... Read More »

Clock ticking for Cyprus reunification

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Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk says Cypriots need to find a way to reconnect Former South African President F.W. de Klerk is a man who knows how to read the warning signs of history and he urges Cypriot leaders not to miss another opportunity to make peace before it’s too late. Charlie Charalambous Knews “Timing is important, sometimes the time is right for something to happen and if you don’t see the opportunity and use it, the window ... Read More »

Lawsuits present challenge for neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site

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Daily Stormer’s growing legal challenges come at a time of isolation and internal disarray in the US far right. Patrick Strickland AlJazeera A slew of lawsuits has compounded problems for the Daily Stormer, a widely read neo-Nazi websiteknown for its violent rhetoric and vocal support for US President Donald Trump. Along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, former American University (AU) student Taylor Dumpson filed a federal lawsuit against Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer’s publisher, for allegedly launching a ... Read More »

As Israel turns 70, many young American Jews turn away

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Natalie Portman, the Oscar-winning actress, recently kicked off a massive storm of controversy when she pulled out of a prestigious award ceremony in Israel because, she said, she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu.” Dov Waxman The Conversation The response to Portman’s refusal to appear alongside Israel’s prime minister was intense. She was denounced by right-wing Israeli politicians. One labeled Portman’s decision as borderline anti-Semitic. Another suggested that her Israeli citizenship should be stripped. Born in Israel, ... Read More »

How the Potato Ushered in an Era of Peace

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Its arrival in Europe had consequences that went far beyond diet. Based on the research of Murat Iyigun, Nathan Nunn and Nancy Qian KelloggInsight The potato, small and humble though it may be, has played an outsized role in history. Many scholars credit the hardy and nutrient-rich crop with rapid population growth across Europe; the tuber has been linked to the rise of industrialization and empire in the West, and in the mid-19th century, the collapse of Ireland’s potato crop drove ... Read More »

Emmanuel Macron and the Ghosts of 1968

Masked and hooded demonstrators stand behind protest banners at the May Day labour union rally in Paris, France, May 1, 2018.  Picture taken May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann - RC126E009190

French workers took part in annual May Day protests while the president headed overseas. But the labor movement is not what it once was. Rachel Donadio The Atlantic PARIS—May Day, the traditional May 1 Labor Day holiday, has been particularly charged in France this year. It marks the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 student and worker uprisings that convulsed France, transforming the country and the world. It was a dramatic, romantic moment, one that shaped a generation. Not the ... Read More »

Gaia’s Map of 1.3 Billion Stars Makes for a Milky Way in a Bottle

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Call it a galaxy in a bottle. Last Wednesday, astronomers in Europe released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Dennis Overbye The New York Times It is the most detailed survey ever produced of our home galaxy. It contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars — about one percent of the whole galaxy. Not to mention measurements of almost half a million quasars, asteroids and other flecks in the night. Analyzing all these motions and distances, astronomers ... Read More »

The best anthem for Workers’ Day? ‘Stimela’ – a tale about apartheid’s migrant labour system

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What is the ultimate song to celebrate Workers’ Day? Many will suggest “The Internationale” which had its roots as a poem written in the aftermath of the Paris Commune in 1871 by Eugène Pottier, a transport worker. Andries Bezuidenhout The Conversation Set to music a few years later, it became the anthem for the wider progressive movement. It served as the Soviet Union’s anthem after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, making it more closely associated with the communist movement. But ... Read More »

Long lost art of first major global war discovered in Kent

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Exclusive: Largest selection of pre-19th century prisoner of war art ever found in Britain David Keys Independent The long-lost art of the world’s first major global war has been rediscovered inside a historic manor house complex in the Kent countryside. Eighteen images of ships, scratched on the building’s walls by French prisoners of war in the mid-18th century, have been found by historical investigators carrying out conservation work at a National Trust property, Sissinghurst Castle, 13 miles south of Maidstone. Together with 16 ... Read More »

Britain’s secret ‘torture camp’ and the stench of a cover-up:

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How the brave men who protested about prisoners being abused at a UK base in Cyprus were shunned… until now In 1958, Grenadier Guard Jamie Eykyn discovered horrific abuses in Cyprus Prisoners accused of being EOKA terrorists were being tortured on British camp Officer Eykyn reported the abuses to his superior officer, Major Michael Stourton Yet instead of gratitude for their bravery, they met a wall of hostility and denial By Polly Dunbar For The Mail On Sunday It was ... Read More »

Erdogan’s Revenge and the Kurdish Dilemma

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After 4,000 years of continuous habitation, there is no Kurdish presence left in Afrin. Maurice Glasman * The Nation Arriving in Baghdad, it is clear who has won the Iraq War. The Shia are in charge. Tower-sized, luminous green posters of Husseyn and Ali define the landscape, draped from Brezhnevite tower blocks, augmented by portraits of martyred fighters in identical uniforms, with a prominent place for Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, the Shia cleric executed by the Saudis. These are reproduced in ... Read More »

The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago

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Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish luminaries, including Hannah Arendt, published a letter in the New York Times on December 4, 1948. Ramzy Baroud CounterPunch That was only a few months after Israel had declared its independence and as hundreds of Palestinian villages were being actively demolished after their inhabitants were expelled. The letter denounced Israel’s newly-founded Herut party and its young leader, Menachem Begin. Herut was carved out of the Irgun terrorist gang, famous for its many massacres against ... Read More »