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Is anything left of Mosul?

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The battle to save the city and its people The brutal fight to rid Mosul of so-called Islamic State has left the northern Iraqi city in ruins, thousands dead and survivors scattered far and wide. By Lucy Rodgers, Nassos Stylianou & Daniel Dunford BBC Just how much devastation was caused by the battle between Iraq’s forces – backed by US-led air strikes – and the militant group, and what will happen now? While the battle for Mosul is over after ... Read More »

Watch The Exhilarating Full Trailer For A Hand-Painted Film About Van Gogh

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Get a glimpse of the gorgeous upcoming biopic exploring Vincent van Gogh’s mysterious death. Priscilla Frank HuffPost What went on in the blazing imagination of iconic post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh? A biopic seven years in the making attempts to offer a glimpse into the revolutionary artist’s beautiful mind using the medium he preferred: paint. Painter Dorota Kobiela and filmmaker Hugh Welchman are the guiding forces behind “Loving Vincent,” which is reportedly the first entirely hand-painted feature film ever made. ... Read More »

Larissa Nolan: Political correctness will hurt us all in the end

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Genuine liberalism respects and accepts diversity of behaviour and opinions Larissa Nolan The Irish Times Last week, the actor, writer and director Lena Dunham sent out a provocative tweet to her 5.5 million followers, while frustrated at a flight delay in JFK. The creator, writer and star of the HBO series Girls, believed she had earwigged on a conversation that deserved to be “called out” on social media – the supreme court of public opinion. Her tweet read: “Just overheard 2 @AmericanAir ... Read More »

What is China’s PLA doing in Laos?

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Beijing’s ‘Train of Peace’ mission to provide medical care to Lao armed forces was nominally a goodwill mission but underscored the country’s strategic importance to China’s plans for Southeast Asia. Zi Yang Asia Times China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest fighting force with over 2.3 million soldiers, is fast expanding its operations in its near abroad. A 90-person PLA medical team recently concluded a little noticed goodwill mission in neighboring Laos. Dubbed “Train of Peace 2017”, the team ... Read More »

Computer says no: Irish vet fails oral English test needed to stay in Australia

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Louise Kennedy, a native English speaker with two degrees, says flawed technology is to blame An Irish veterinarian with degrees in history and politics has been unable to convince a machine she can speak English well enough to stay in Australia. Australian Associated Press The Guardian Louise Kennedy is a native English speaker, has excellent grammar and a broad vocabulary. She holds two university degrees – both obtained in English – and has been working in Australia as an equine ... Read More »

Official Immigration File Reveals One Nation Senator Was A British Citizen

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Exclusive: BuzzFeed News has obtained the official immigration file of Malcolm Roberts, showing the One Nation senator signed as a British citizen when he was 19-years-old. Mark Di Stefano BuzzFeed Official family immigration records obtained by BuzzFeed News reveal anti-immigration senator Malcolm Roberts personally signed that he was a British citizen. The fresh documents have come to light as calls grow louder for the Indian-born senator to be referred to the High Court over concerns he was a dual British ... Read More »

We need the voices of public servants in the political debate. Their free speech is in peril

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Praising your agency is welcome, but not criticising it – new social media guidelines continue a troubling trend of silencing public servants John Wilson and Kieran Pender  The Guardian John Wilson is the managing legal director of Bradley Allen Love Lawyers Kieran Pender is a freelance journalist and legal researcher Another day, another attack on the ability of public servants to participate in Australian democracy. On Monday the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) released revised guidance on how federal government ... Read More »

Everybody Is Talking About Blockchain, And Here Is Why You Should Care

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New technologies with all kinds of interesting names are popping up every day, but few of them are as hyped as the word “blockchain.” Sami Rusani HuffPost This technology has the capability to reinvent the Internet and technology as we know it. From startups disrupting trillion dollar industries, to massive crowd funding campaigns raising over 100 million dollars in a few hours, to solving social inequality – blockchain is on fire! To understand why it’s becoming such an important part ... Read More »

Egypt’s Sisi says proud of cooperation with Cyprus

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday that his country is proud of constructive cooperation relations with Cyprus. Xinhua In a phone call with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Sisi highlighted the importance of promoting “distinguished relations” between the two countries in all fields, official MENA news agency reported. The Egyptian president also expressed his appreciation for Cyprus’ supportive stances on Egypt’s efforts to establish the pillars of security and stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Anastasiades also hailed ... Read More »

Turkey is trying to get an ATOMIC BOMB in secret weapons plan, warns expert

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TURKEY’S President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to get hold of an atomic bomb in a plot to build up the nation’s weapons, an expert has claimed. Rebecca Flood Express With tensions threatening to reach breaking point between the US and North Korea it has emerged Turkey could be trying to build up its weaponry as relations with the EU reach a new low.  In a worrying claim, an expert has warned Turkey is the next country looking to expand ... Read More »

Greece goes fishing for oil in Ionian Sea, Crete

epa04562446 A view of the Repsol oil rig off the coast of the Canary Islands, Spain, 16 January 2015. Spanish oil company Repsol finished its drilling operations in the Canary Islands and will leave the zone after the first explorations didn't show a significant presence of gas or oil at the subsoil, the multinational announced in a press release. Repsol had started to drill for hidrocarbons in the islands on 18 November 2014 some 60 km far from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura islands.  EPA/CRISTOBAL GARCIA

An oilrig off the coast of the Canary Islands, Spain. On August 7, Greece announced two international tenders for granting the right to explore and exploit hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea and Crete. New Europe Online/KG  Foreign companies asked to submit bids Greece goes fishing for oil in Ionian Sea, Crete <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> On August 7, Greece’s Energy Ministry announced two international tenders for granting the right to explore and exploit hydrocarbons in the Ionian ... Read More »

How to fight racism, or why we all need to mourn my aunt

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My aunt was buried last Friday, the last of her generation in my family. We were not close but out of respect for her son, my cousin, I went along to the service. Jenna Price Brisbane Times Jewish services for the dead are Spartan yet comforting. There are no endless eulogies, just a brief summary of the facts as we know them. My aunt and her sister were marched to Ravensbruck sometime in 1943. I never knew much of the ... Read More »

‘Dunkirk’ and the West’s myopia about World War II

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“Dunkirk,” the taut blockbuster by British-born filmmaker Christopher Nolan, is one of the runaway successes of the summer, grossing more than $300 million worldwide since its July 21 release. Ishaan Tharoor The Washington Post It depicts the harrowing May 1940 evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force, which had been trapped by the rampant Nazi military at the French port of Dunkerque.In their hour of desperate need, more than 300,000 British soldiers were rescued with the aid of a motley civilian flotilla of fishing ... Read More »

Why the Liancourt Rocks Are Some of the Most Disputed Islands in the World

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Both Japan and South Korea lay claim to these islands In this week’s Maphead, Ken Jennings explores a controversial cluster of Asian islands the size of Grand Central Terminal. Ken Jennings Condé Nast – Traveler The Liancourt Rocks sound French, but that’s just because they’re named for a French whaling ship that almost ran aground there in 1849, the first European vessel to see the little islands. They’re actually in East Asia, almost exactly halfway between Japan and South Korea—and ... Read More »