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Is Turkey Secretly Working on Nuclear Weapons?

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While the world worries about Iran’s nuclear program, could another nation in the Middle East have atomic desires? Hans Rühle The National Interest Some months ago it became known that the German Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst – BND) was spying on Turkey. Turkey’s political leadership was none too happy. Yet the BND has good reasons to keep a watchful eye on Ankara. It is not only the crises in Iraq and Syria, drug-smuggling, people-trafficking and the activities of the PKK that ... Read More »

Why College Is Not a Commodity

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What is college for? We typically answer this question by citing a variety of purposes, of which liberal education is only one. Most other goals — marketable skills, moral and social development, learning how to learn — are tied to the demands of employers. Gary Gutting The Chronicle of Higher Education Yes, young people need all of those qualities. But, apart from liberal education, our best colleges — say, the top 100 major research universities and the 50 best four-year ... Read More »

The Opposite of Hoarding

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For some, the need to shed possessions is a life-consuming illness—but the cultural embrace of decluttering can make it hard to seek help. Leslie Garrett  The Atlantic As long as she can remember, Annabelle Charbit has loathed “stuff.” She hated birthdays because birthdays meant gifts. And gifts meant finding a way to toss them. At 5 years old, Charbit would sneak toys into her younger brother’s room. By age 10, she… The Opposite of… Read More »

Gambling Addiction and the Brain

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Gambling — whether it be the lottery, scratch cards, casino games, bingo, slot machines, Internet poker, or sports betting — is more acceptable and accessible than ever before. Mary Bates BrainFacts For most people, gambling is a recreational activity. But for a significant minority, it progresses to a serious problem. Recently, scientists and mental health professionals decided to classify problem gambling as a behavioral addiction, the first of its kind, putting it in a category of disorders that also includes ... Read More »

Rereading Herodotus’ Histories of virtue, barbarians and the eternal human struggle

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Towards the end of Herodotus’ Histories, someone on the losing side of a fight is castrated by his sons, then crucified while those… Mark Thomas The Age Herodotus of Halicarnassus, “the father of history”, does not blink or squirm, and does not permit a reader to do so… Every gruesomely gory detail is evoked and underlined, but… Rereading Herodotus’ Histories… Read More »

The Tricks People Use to Avoid Debate

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In the art of evading meaningful policy discussions, all political camps have honed their particular styles. HANNA ROSIN The Atlantic A proper argument takes intellectual vigor, nimbleness, and sustained attention. If carried on long enough, it can push both parties to a deeper level of understanding. Oxford debaters hack away at each… The Tricks People… Read More »

Ask the Bigot: Who is Katy Faust and why is the daughter of lesbian parents against gay marriage?

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American Katy Faust was raised by her lesbian mother and her partner and she now runs a blog called asktheBigot, which is fiercely opposed to gay marriage. ABC She became a Christian in high school and was concerned by the plight of children. She is in Canberra to lobby the Federal Government against gay marriage and she told Lateline why. These are her key points: 1. She loves her lesbian mother and her partner: “While my mother was a fantastic ... Read More »

How to overtake cyclists – the video all drivers should watch

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The Highway code requires vehicles to give cyclists at least as much space as a car – but many cars endanger lives by ignoring this. Chris Boardman features in a new YouTube video that aims to help change that Carlton Reid  The Guardian “Socialism,” wrote the 1970s Chilean politician José Viera Gallo, “can only arrive by bicycle.” That’s why Jeremy Corbyn cycles everywhere. And come the revolution, prime minister Corbyn will see to it that this land of ours will ... Read More »

How to Live Wisely

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Imagine you are Dean for a Day. What is one actionable change you would implement to enhance the college experience on campus? RICHARD J. LIGHT The New York Times I have asked students this question for years. The answers can be eye-opening. A few years ago, the responses began to move away from “tweak the history course” or “change the… How to Live… Read More »

‘Sea Slaves’: The Human Misery That Feeds Pets and Livestock

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Men who have fled servitude on fishing boats recount beatings and worse as nets are cast for the catch that will become pet food and livestock feed. IAN URBINA The New York Times SONGKHLA, Thailand — Lang Long’s ordeal began in the back of a truck. After watching his younger siblings go hungry because their family’s rice patch in Cambodia could not provide for everyone, he accepted a trafficker’s offer to travel across the Thai border for a construction job. ... Read More »

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature. By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago. City dwellers also have a… Source: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain ... Read More »

The end of capitalism has begun

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Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian.. The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the… Source: The end of capitalism has begun | Books ... Read More »

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed

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A new BBC documentary tells how a trove of documents lays bare the names of Britain’s 46,000 slave owners, including relatives of Gladstone and… The Guardian The Observer David Olusoga The past has a disconcerting habit of bursting, uninvited and unwelcome, into the… This year history gate-crashed modern America in… The history of… Read More »

Towards a true democracy with the Apolitical Party

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With the aim of injecting true representative democracy into Australia’s flawed political system, IA announces the launch of its True Democracy Project and calls for interest in its proposed ‘Apolitical Party’. Oliver de Nicolai Independent Australia Project coordinator Oliver de Nicolai and managing editor David Donovan explain what’s going on. Australia has a… Towards a true… Read More »