Society

2017 World Press Freedom Index – tipping point

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Analyses – The 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reflects a world in which attacks on the media have become commonplace and strongmen are on the rise. We have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms – especially in democracies. Читать по-русски / Read in Russian I. Democracies falling, advent of strongmen RSF’s latest World Press Freedom Index highlights the danger of a 2017 World Press… Read More »

This Is a Poem That Heals Fish: An Almost Unbearably Wonderful Picture-Book About How Poetry Works Its Magic

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“A poem … is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth.” Maria Popova Brain Pickings “Poetry can break open locked chambers of possibility, restore numbed zones to feeling, recharge desire,” Adrienne Rich wrote in contemplating the cultural power of poetry. But what is a poem, really, and what exactly is its use? Every once in a while, you stumble upon something so lovely, so… This Is a… Read More »

A Perspective of Evolution, Development and Growth Beyond the Town Nucleus: Special Reference to the Cyprus Case

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The varying official definitions of rural areas are attributed to the distinctions in terms of dispersed population, an often agricultural – based economy, and distance from major urban centers, as well as lack of access to major… Mattheos Economides Growth in world population and economy had as a result, severe environmental damage and unsustainable exploitation of the… The international community should determine… A Perspective of… Read More »

Record books sales as e-reading loses out to words on a page

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Scottish publishers have welcomed record book sales, including a boom in printed titles at the expense of the e… Alistair Dalton The Scotsman Books, digital books and journals combined notched up a new high of £4.8 billion last year, the Publishers Association… Sales of printed books were up by 8 per cent to £3bn – the highest for four years – but e-books were down by 3 per cent to… Non-fiction titles put on 9 per cent to £884m, boosted ... Read More »

Fighting ISIS: The Road to and beyond Raqqa

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The U.S. campaign against ISIS in northern Syria both benefits from and is complicated by its partnership with an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group fighting against its NATO ally… ICG The challenges will grow as the war on ISIS moves further… Overview In Raqqa the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) faces its toughest test to date in… Fighting ISIS: The… Read More »

Australian politics explainer: the MV Tampa and the transformation of asylum-seeker policy

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Some time before August 23 2001, a small Indonesian fishing boat, the KM Palapa 1, left Indonesia en route to Christmas Island with 438 asylum seekers aboard. Alex Reilly  The Conversation Like many before them, the asylum seekers hoped to reach Australia and apply for permanent protection visas. The Palapa’s engines failed in international waters between Indonesia and… Australian politics explainer… Read More »

Artificial Intelligence: Chess match of the century

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Demis Hassabis lauds Garry Kasparov’s account of battling supercomputer Deep Blue. Demis Hassabis  Nature Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins Nearly 20 years ago, I was fortunate enough to play friendly blitz chess against former world champion Garry Kasparov. It was quite an experience; his competitive spirit and creative genius were palpable. Artificial Intelligence: Chess… Read More »

Artist is Creating a Parthenon Made of 100,000 Banned Books: A Monument to Democracy & Intellectual Freedom

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With the rise of Far Right candidates in Europe and in America, along with creeping dictatorship in Turkey and authoritarianism in the Philippines, the idea of democracy and freedom of speech feels under threat more than… Open Culture While we don’t talk about political solutions here on Open Culture, we do believe in the power of art to… Argentine artist Marta Minujín is creating a large-scale artwork called The Parthenon of Books that… Artist is Creating… Read More »

John Safran says Australia’s far right movement is a ‘melting pot’

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Members of Australia’s far-right movement are not all white-skinned neo-Nazis, but instead from a diverse range of backgrounds, including recent migrants and… Lateline ABC After attending a United Patriots Front rally in Victoria, Safran said he was surprised to see a racially diverse mix of members and… The result is his latest book, Depends What You Mean By Extremist, in which he… John Safran says… Read More »

Remembering fallen war heroes is insincere if it excludes those suffering today

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied does not deserve nastiness – many Muslim Australians know the tragedy of war better than… Mariam Tokhi The Guardian As a first-generation Muslim Australian, I’ve often wondered what Anzac Day should mean to… The furore (and social media savagery) over Yasmin Abdel-Magied’s seven words have reignited that… Remembering fallen war… Read More »

German army officer disguised himself as refugee to carry out terrorist attack, investigators say

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BERLIN — Police on Wednesday arrested a German army officer suspected of posing as a Syrian refugee to carry out an attack that would be blamed on… Stephanie Kirchner The Washington Post According to the Frankfurt prosecutors in charge of the investigation, the 28-year-old, whose name wasn’t revealed in accordance with local customs, lived an… Austrian authorities had temporarily detained him earlier this year when he… German army officer… Read More »

Australia’s first ‘rescued food’ supermarket opens today

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Reducing food waste and supporting the community, The OzHarvest Market operates on a ‘take what you need, give if you… Win-win, really. Siobhan Hegarty SBS The average Australian household puts $1,036 worth of groceries in the bin every… It might be a brown banana here and a sprouting potato there, but our overzealous shopping habits – or forgetful fridge recall – add up both financially and literally, in… Meanwhile, the… Australia’s first ‘rescued… Read More »

Ancient humans may have reached Americas 100,000 years earlier than previously thought

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Teeth and bones of an elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands were… TheJournal.ie  © AFP 2017  HIGH-TECH DATING of mastodon remains found in southern California has shattered the timeline of human migration to America, pushing the… Teeth and bones of the elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands, along… Ancient humans may… Read More »

Aspirin May Prevent Cancer from Spreading, New Research Shows

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In addition to relieving headaches and preventing heart attacks, the drug seems to keep malignant cells from… Viviane Callier | Scientific American May 2017 Issue Scientific American If ever there was a wonder drug, aspirin might be it. Originally derived from the leaves of the willow tree, this mainstay of the family medicine cabinet has been… Indeed, the drug is so popular that annual consumption worldwide totals about 120 billion… Aspirin May Prevent… Read More »

Children are being damaged in detention – Australia’s day of reckoning will come

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In the tangle of debate about asylum seekers some things are… Katie Robertson The Guardian There is no excuse for damaging children in our… It’s been just over three years since I met her for the first time on a frantic visit to Christmas… Given just a small window of time by the department of immigration to see her family among many suffering under the conditions of… Children are being… Read More »

The Strong Evidence Against Spanking

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A review of the available research finds that physical punishment is significantly linked to bad outcomes for kids. JULIE BECK TheAtlantic Around the world, an average of 60 percent of children receive some kind of physical punishment, according to UNICEF. And the most common form is spanking. In the United States, most people still see spanking as acceptable… The Strong Evidence… Read More »