Features

Quantifying the Holocaust: Measuring murder rates during the Nazi genocide

Even though the Holocaust is one of the best documented genocides in a historical sense, there is surprisingly little quantitative data available, even on major critical events. Lewi Stone The Conversation What’s more, this history is often told in figures too large to comprehend on the human scale. Large numbers – like the infamous 6 million people murdered – obscure the significance of key operations that shaped this genocide, leaving instead just a… In a digital age, mathematics, data science ... Read More »

Finland’s grand AI experiment

Inside Finland’s plan to train its population in artificial intelligence. HELSINKI —  Jaana Partanen is not your typical AI programming geek. Janosch Delcker Politico Until a year ago, the 59-year-old dentist from the Finnish town of Mikkeli had no idea what to make of terms like “machine learning” or “neural networks.” Now, Partanen spends her evenings learning the basics of coding and she is thinking about how to apply artificial intelligence to her job, either to help write up medical ... Read More »

Bernie Sanders Isn’t Just Another White Male Candidate. His Nomination Would Be Historic.

The 2020 Democratic primary will likely offer the most diverse field of candidates either party has ever put forward for the presidency. David Klion Forward At least four serious African-American contenders (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Andrew Gillum, and Eric Holder) have been floated so far, as have at least four women (Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy… And then there are a large number of white men — the demographic that has accounted for all but one president to date — ... Read More »

Politicians could ease refugee suffering, but instead they stoke fear

Don’t be fooled by talk of a ‘major incident’ on Channel crossings – the real crisis is refugees risking their lives but shut out of Fortress Europe Diane Taylor The Guardian The “major incident” is well and truly under way. Sajid Javid has signalled just how seriously he is taking the recent spike in refugee crossings across the Channel by interrupting his holiday to deal with the crisis. All manner of plans are now being devised to shore up our borders. Around 100 people ... Read More »

Churchill once defended ‘Scottish nationalism’ at Ibrox stadium – Alastair Stewart

I’ve spent the last week trying to find the original source of Winston Churchill’s most famous remark about Scotland: “Of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind.” The Scotsman The location, if he even said it, remains elusive, but so does any comprehensive book about Churchill’s relationship with Scotland, writes Alastair Stewart. It’s a remarkable omission given just how much material chronicles every facet of Churchill’s life. ... Read More »

The Cost of Complacency About Roe

Democrats and abortion-rights advocates didn’t push hard enough for women’s rights in New York. A Woman’s Rights Now, they have a chance to get it right. The New York Times It would be easy to assume that unjust abortion restrictions that endanger women’s lives are a problem only in deep red states. But laws that restrict the rights of women exist in even the bluest bastions of the country. They don’t get much attention, and many people might not know ... Read More »

How to change your Facebook, Google and Twitter settings to keep your data private

Any internet user leaves themselves open to having their data harvested Cuara O’Brien The Irish Times We’ve all done it: set up an account on social media or for a new device in our home and just clicked through all the settings without really reading them. It’s the quickest way to get things done, and who really has the time to spend reading through each option and figuring out the implications of a yes or no answer? But tempting as ... Read More »

Turkey’s gift of a mosque sparks fears of ‘neo-Ottomanism’ in Kosovo

Pristina badly needs a new mosque – but Turkish attempts to court the young Balkan state with investment and advocacy is making some uneasy. Maxim Edwards and Michael Colborne The Guardian It is six years since Islamic leaders and government officials laid the cornerstone of Pristina’s new central mosque – a slab of stone now hidden beneath weeds in a parking lot. Pulling back the weeds reveals it is covered with bright red graffiti – death threats to Kosovo’s chief ... Read More »

Is Venezuela Willing to Start a Caribean War?

The timing of Russia sending two long-range bombers to Venezuela earlier in December was Washington wondering what Caracas is thinking. Scott B. MacDonald The National Interest On December 22, 2018, the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela ‘íntercepted” the ExxonMobil research ship, the Ramform Tethys, in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. The ship is flagged by the government of Bahamas and was contracted to to contact seismic work by ExxonMobil and has a crew ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s neighbours fear refugee crisis if U.S. pulls out

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s neighbours, caught off-guard by reports of U.S. plans to withdraw thousands of troops, have begun preparing for the risk that a pullout could send hundreds of… Rupam Jain Alarmed by the possibly of a chaotic withdrawal, diplomats from neighbouring countries who have been in talks with U.S. officials in Kabul said they were reassessing policies and would ramp up border… “At this point there is no clarity about the withdrawal, but we have to keep a ... Read More »

Lakhs Join Hands For Kerala’s ‘Women’s Wall’, Initiative Attacked In Kasaragod

State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasargod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was the last person at the end of the chain in Thiruvananthapuram. HuffPost Lakhs of women participated in the 620 km-long ‘Women’s wall’, organised by the Kerala government, which stretched from the northern tip of the state in Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasaragod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was ... Read More »

Colombia Farc: 85 ex-rebels killed since peace deal

The United Nations says 85 former Farc rebels have been killed in Colombia since the group signed a peace accord with the government two years ago. BBC Most of the murders were by illegal armed groups and drug gangs fighting over former Farc territories, UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a report. Mr Guterres urged Colombian President Ivan Duque, a vocal critic of the peace deal, to do more to protect ex-rebels. Colombia suffered 52 years of conflict until peace ... Read More »

Taiwan tells China to use peaceful means to resolve differences

TAIPEI (Reuters) – China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, ahead of a major speech about the… euronews China has heaped pressure on Tsai since she took office in 2016, cutting off dialogue, whittling down Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies and forcing foreign airlines to list Taiwan as part of China on their… China fears Tsai wishes to push for Taiwan’s formal independence, though ... Read More »

The U.S. Marine Corps Might Have a New Way to Sink Chinese Warships (And the F-35 Could Help)

“Imagine a Chinese flotilla sailing toward some remote island group near Japan or The Philippines during some near-future war. A Marine rocket battery could quickly deploy to one island aboard Marine or… David Axe The National Interest The U.S. Marine Corps is practicing a new method of speeding firepower across a war zone. And that could have big implications for America’s military strategy in the western Pacific. On Dec. 7, 2018, Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 hauled two M142 ... Read More »

Wall Street finishes worst year since 2008 with gains

Wall Street advanced in low-volume trading on Monday as revelers gathered to ring in 2019, marking the end of the worst year for US stocks since 2008, the height of the financial crisis. WAtoday Reuters Wall Street entered correction territory in late January and was challenged for much of 2018 by tariff jitters, rising interest rates, and fears of diminishing corporate profits. “Investors got complacent,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta. “People were positioned for ... Read More »

NASA spacecraft completes farthest flyby in history. What’s next?

Scientists at last have their first good look at a primordial piece of the solar system orbiting more than four billion miles away. Michael Greshko National Geographic Laurel, MarylandOn the final evening of 2018, the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the solar system unfolded across four billion miles of space. At 12:33 a.m. ET on January 1, NASA’s New Horizons probe flew by a small lump of rock and ice called 2014 MU69. Also nicknamed Ultima Thule (UL-tee-ma TOO-le), ... Read More »