Historical

No Turkish President Had Gone to Greece in 65 Years. So Why Now?

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the first Turkish president to visit Greece in 65 years when he arrived on Thursday and met with the Greek prime minister and president Iliana Magra The New York Times He immediately affronted his hosts by raising the prospect of changes to the treaty that defines their borders. On Friday, he repeated the same comments in Thrace, in northeastern Greece, home to the country’s Muslim minority, which Turkey has long referred to as a Turkish minority. ... Read More »

Obama invokes Nazi Germany in warning about today’s politics

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Washington (CNN) – Former President Barack Obama urged voters this week to stay engaged in democracy, warning that complacency was responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany. Miranda Green  “You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Obama said at the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday, according to video of the event. “Now, presume there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or ’30s ... Read More »

Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

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US President Donald Trump called Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday and began the process moving his country’s embassy to the city Zena Tahhan & Farah Najjar AlJazeera The move sparked global condemnation from world leaders. Israel occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 War with Syria, Egypt and Jordan; the western half of the holy city had been captured in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem effectively put the entire city under de facto Israeli control. Israeli jurisdiction and ownership of Jerusalem, however, is not ... Read More »

Aristotle’s Timeless Advice on What Real Friendship Is and Why It Matters

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At age 17, Aristotle enrolled in the Platonic Academy. Zat Rana He would stay there for 20 years. Personal Growth – Medium Founded by the father of Western philosophy, the Greek philosopher Plato, Aristotle was the most promising student around. He asked many questions and answered even more. The exact time of his departure from The Academy is disputed, but it’s said that he left soon after Plato died due to his dislike of the direction that it subsequently took. ... Read More »

Thucydides and the Long War Problem

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Is there anything left to say about Thucydides? Joshua Rovner In a year dominated by concerns over modern technologies — ballistic missiles, nuclear warheads, and cyber weapons — scholars have spent a remarkable amount of time arguing about a very old conflict. War On The Rocks Thucydides’ classic history of the Peloponnesian War documents the catastrophic fight between Athens and Sparta from 431–404 BC. It was a horrendous affair. Conventional combat, gruesome disease, mass murder, and civil war tore apart ... Read More »

Greek Orthodox Church Sells Land In Israel, Worrying Both Israelis And Palestinians

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Secretive real estate deals in the Holy Land are putting one of Jerusalem’s most powerful and ancient churches in the spotlight Daniel Estrin npr The Greek Orthodox Church calls itself the second-largest landowner in Israel, after the Israeli government. It says it owns some 30 percent of Jerusalem’s walled Old City, the city’s historic core, and controls the largest stake of any Christian denomination in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, home to the traditional tomb of Jesus. It also ... Read More »

Cypriot fighters seek damages over torture under British rule

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The 35 claimants are suing the UK government over alleged human rights abuses that took place in the 1950s Helena Smith The Guardian Greek Cypriots who claim they were tortured by colonial forces when they were members of a guerrilla group in the 1950s are seeking damages from the British government. More than 50 years after the alleged human rights abuses took place, a preliminary high court hearing on Tuesday will consider whether a case brought by 35 former fighters ... Read More »

Mythos review – the Greek myths get the Stephen Fry treatment

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Fry’s retellings have stiff competition, are limited in selection and sometimes appear to be set in North London Edith Hall But they have real charm The Guardian Ever since William Godwin persuaded Charles Lamb to retell The Odyssey as a novel for younger readers in The Adventures of Ulysses (1808), the myths of ancient Greece have been retold in contemporary prose by every generation. Most of these retellings were originally poetry – the epics of Hesiod, Homer and the philhellene Latin poet Ovid, the ... Read More »

Eamonn Mallie: With Gerry Adams nothing is what it seems

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Sinn Féin’s outgoing president is a master strategist who took risks for peace Ascribing the favourable adage “E pluribus unum” – “One out of many” – to Gerry Adams will doubtlessly aggravate some readers. Eamonn Mallie The Irish Times Yet even as a teenager the outgoing president of Sinn Féin was marked out by his elders for higher things. The old Official IRA leader in west Belfast Jim Sullivan once told me, “We always got young Adams to draft the ... Read More »

When the US locked up white Australian immigrants like Australia does to asylum seekers

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Lurking behind the debates about offshore processing lies a little-known historical irony: white Australians were once locked up in immigration centres that bore a striking resemblance to the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which were recently harshly criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee. Anne Rees  The Conversation And unsurprisingly, they were far from happy about it. Back in 1921, the United States introduced immigration restrictions based on national quotas. The quotas were tightened in 1924, and again in ... Read More »

‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America

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More than 20 years have passed since the civil war ended in Guatemala and Chile returned to democracy, but the impact of extreme state violence is still keenly felt. BBC As part of a BBC radio series on protest art in Latin America, Louise Morris travelled to both countries and asked if there was a role for art both to demand justice and collectively memorialise those lost. A woman sits centre stage reading aloud. At regular intervals a dentist enters ... Read More »

Lessons From The Past, A Culture For The Future

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The answer to many of the world’s challenges lies in the past, writes Teila Watson. New Matilda I was asked to talk about our culture and the planet in the last two years. I wanted to take the opportunity to not only look at what the last two years have been like, but also how things got this way and where we go from here. I’ve realised in the last two years, how quickly two years can pass. How much ... Read More »

The Nansen passport: the innovative response to the refugee crisis that followed the Russian Revolution

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The triumph of revolution in Russia in 1917 brought an end to the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and the empire over which it ruled Peter Gatrell The Conversation The collapse of the German, Austrian and Ottoman war effort in 1918 precipitated the end of the remaining continental European empires. In each instance, imperial dissolution went hand in hand with the formation of new states. The Russian Civil War, between 1918 and 1921, led to an exodus of people who opposed ... Read More »

What Chinese philosophers can teach us about dealing with our own grief

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November 2 is All Souls’ Day, when many Christians honor the dead. As much as we all know about the inevitability of death, we are often unable to deal with the loss of a loved one. Alexus McLeod Our modern-day worldview could also make us believe that loss is something we should be able to quickly get over, to move on with our lives. The Conversation Many of us see grieving as a kind of impediment to our ability to ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce farce another reason why we need to rip up our failed constitution

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Twenty-five years ago I received the same news Barnaby Joyce heard on Friday In an astounding High Court decision I’d been ruled ineligible to sit in the Parliament and told I was no longer the independent member for the prized seat of Wills, Bob Hawke’s old seat, which I’d won eight months earlier in an exhilarating byelection. Phil Cleary The Canberra Times The euphoria of our victory party in Coburg that night was put into stark relief by the High Court decision. By day’s end I was told to ... Read More »

John F Kennedy files, though incomplete, are a treasure trove for answer seekers

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Dallas: Citing national security concerns, US President Donald Trump ordered some of the John F. Kennedy assassination files to remain sealed for at least another 180… The Sydney Morning Herald – New York Times, Dallas Morning News, agencies The CIA and FBI objected to release of the material, much of it 54 years old, and the President said he “had no choice” but to agree that the concerns raised justify a delay because the risk of irreversible harm outweighs the public ... Read More »