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How the oligarchy wins: lessons from ancient Greece

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Ganesh Sitaraman looks at what two recent books – Classical Greek Oligarchy by Matthew Simonton and Oligarchy by Jeffrey Winters – can teach us about defending democracy from oligarchs Ganesh Sitaraman The Guardian A few years ago, as I was doing research for a book on how economic inequality threatens democracy, a colleague of mine asked if America was really at risk of becoming an oligarchy. Our political system, he said, is a democracy. If the people don’t want to ... Read More »

Romania shrugs off label of Europe’s poor man as economy booms

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Since it joined the EU in 2007, government economic measures and communist-era educational excellence have spurred rapid growth Kit Gillet The Guardian  At a sleek new office in the heart of Bucharest, Fitbit co-founder and chief executive James Park explains why the smartwear giant is rapidly expanding its operations in Romania – and following the lead of a host of multinationals. “The tech talent here is amazing. Romania and other countries in central and eastern Europe have great existing talent, ... Read More »

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list

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<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/3182ded386486b8933feafdc9cbe6aff/content.css”/> Official: ‘some language in the book makes people uncomfortable’ Story of racism in the US south has been removed from schools before Guardian staff and agencies To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism and the American south, has been removed from a junior-high reading list in a Mississippi school district because the language in the book “makes people… The Sun Herald reported that administrators in Biloxi pulled the novel from the 8th-grade curriculum ... Read More »

The Syrian Kurds: Israel’s Forgotten Ally

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In Syria, where chaos reigns and there are no moderates among the Sunni Arab opposition, the “enemy of my enemy” principle may apply – particularly in view of Assad’s increasing dominance, the growing Iranian influence on Israel’s borders, and Turkey’s close ties with Hamas and recent rapprochement with… Rauf Baker  BESA It is therefore in Israel’s interest to act quickly to support the nascent Kurdish political region in Syria. Relations between the Syrian Kurds and Israel have changed dramatically over ... Read More »

Angola Has an Opportunity to Lead

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A change in leadership often signals a natural time for transformation and, of course, challenges. The first peaceful transition of power in Angola took place in August, with the election of João Lourenço as the new president, replacing long-serving José Eduardo dos Santos, who led the country for thirty-eight years. Eugen Iladi  The National Interest International observers called the election process fair, with the ruling MPLA party taking 61 percent of the votes. In mid-September, the Constitutional Court of Angola ... Read More »

Costello wants govt to run workers’ super

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The Turnbull government won’t say if it backs a call for it to assume control of billions of dollars in workers’ compulsory superannuation contributions now being managed by banks and industry funds Australian Associated Press Herald Sun Former treasurer Peter Costello is critical of the way default funds are being run and wants a new government agency to instead invest the money About $2.3 trillion in workers’ super is sitting in private accounts as part of the former Keating government’s ... Read More »

Friday essay: the cultural meanings of wild horses

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I am walking quietly through the forest. As I reach the edge of the trees there is a snort and a staccato of hoofbeats, and four horses materialise only metres in front of me: a foal, two mares and a dark stallion. Michael Adams The Conversation The stallion, ears pricked, tosses his head and prances forward. As I crouch to pick up a branch, the stallion wheels and gallops off with the group. They hurdle an old stock fence, and ... Read More »

Is Trump’s “Friend” Kissinger Steering Him From Calm To Storm?

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Henry Kissinger, seemingly returned from oblivion, has been in the ear of “old friend” Trump since mid-primary season, just after Trump declared himself open to negotiation with North Korea. Whitney Webb Since that moment, Trump’s stance and rhetoric have veered inexorably toward war. MPNnews President Donald Trump met with top defense officials Tuesday morning — including Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Joseph Dunford — in the White House Situation Room, to discuss potential ... Read More »

We have to stop normalising relentless Islamophobia in Australia

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For Muslims in Australia, particularly hijab-wearing women and their children, Islamophobic attacks are all too common. It needs to change Rabia Siddique Terrorised, persecuted, stateless, homeless, and, until recently, without real international support – this is the plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority community being forced out of Myanmar. The Guardian At the hands of the Myanmar military, more than 80 villages have been burnt, leaving ten thousands of Rohingyas fleeing daily and attempting to cross into a flooded ... Read More »

New market prices on renewable energy means 2030 targets can be set even higher

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A healthy development in offshore wind has enabled steep cost reductions in wind power, creating the opportunity to exceed the current 2030 European RES target. Aske Chiko Wong  Politico The EU agreement stating that 27 percent of the energy supply should come from renewable energy sources was made on the assumption of a cost level that would reach €123/MWh in 2020. However, current costs are much lower, as recent development in offshore wind has made it possible to deliver green ... Read More »

Raise boys as feminists to change ‘culture of sexism’, says Justin Trudeau

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Canada’s prime minister writes article for Marie Claire saying boys ‘have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism’ Staff and agencies The Guardian Boys need to be raised to be feminists as much as girls because “our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism”, Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, wrote in an essay published on Wednesday. Teaching boys to be feminists gives them a sense of justice and empathy and ... Read More »

Theresa May should give Netanyahu a piece of her mind – Thatcher would have

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A hundred years after the Balfour declaration that established a pathway to a Jewish state, the prime minister should acknowledge its role in Palestinian suffering Donald Macintyre  The Guardian He has not yet confirmed that he is coming. But having warmly described Theresa May’s invitation to visit Britain to commemorate the centenary of the Balfour declaration as “speaking volumes” about the UK-Israel relationship, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is unlikely to pass up the opportunity. The anniversary of Arthur Balfour’s letter ... Read More »

Women can’t be told anything anymore for fear of offence

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It’s nonsense that ‘fragile’ women are besieged by relentless male backlash Larissa Nolan The Irish Times I’ m thinking of starting a movement called the Dissident Feminists It’s a term coined by one of the greatest female minds of our time, philosopher, academic and author Camille Paglia. Paglia uses it to describe the strong force of pro-active, positive and powerful women who do not want to be linked to a cause that has been hijacked by radicals, diverged from equality ... Read More »

NIST urges caution in use of courtroom evidence presentation method

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Courtroom use of ‘Likelihood Ratio’ not consistently supported by scientific reasoning approach, say NIST experts EurekAlert! Two experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are calling into question a method of presenting evidence in courtrooms, arguing that it risks allowing personal preference to creep into expert testimony and potentially distorts evidence for a jury. The method involves the use of Likelihood Ratio (LR), a statistical tool that gives experts a shorthand way to communicate their assessment of ... Read More »