Europe

Theano of Croton And The Pythagorean Women Of Ancient Greece

2500 years ago, in a small but soon to be revered town in Southern Italy, a group of men and women gathered, united by the proposition that the universe is, at its base, Numbers. Dale DeBakcsy Women You Should Know They were called the Pythagoreans, and their society would last for a millennium while their mathematical discoveries will be part of every geometry textbook in every school for as long as there are humans to read them. And at the ... Read More »

Police violence against gilets jaunes sparks broad backlash

Riot police using flashballs and rubber bullets in France have caused severe harm. Now, a movement is growing to disarm them. Oliver Haynes reports New Internationalist Since that now infamous Act 2 protest in Paris on the 24th of November in which the first riots erupted on the Champs Elysee, the gilets jaunes, or ‘yellow vests’, have been met by an increasingly heavy handed police response. The 15th of December in Paris saw this reach an absurd peak when there ... Read More »

Richard Leonard: Tony Blair’s ‘middle ground’ is a right-wing nightmare

The bedroom tax, rape clause and hostility to migrants show just how wrong Tony Blair was to say Labour had abandoned the “middle ground” of politics, writes Richard Leonard. The Scotsman Remember the bedroom tax? That pernicious Tory policy that encapsulated so much about what and who the Tories represent: seeing a housing crisis and punishing those who had the least to do with causing it and the… Labour forced the SNP Government to scrap it in Scotland, after it ... Read More »

Carbon farming: how agriculture can both feed people and fight climate change

Imagine “carbon emissions”, and what springs to mind? Most people tend to think of power stations belching out clouds of carbon dioxide or queues of vehicles burning up fossil fuels as they crawl, bumper-to-bumper, along congested urban roads. Richard Lindsay The Conversation But in Britain and many other countries, carbon emissions have another source, one that is almost completely invisible. In the UK, these overlooked emissions come from our most extensive semi-natural habitat, yet it is a habitat which is ... Read More »

Turkey’s Lack of Vision in Syria

Ankara’s scare tactics in Afrin and state building in Azaz highlight Turkey’s continued attempts to inhibit Kurdish expansion, yet neither approach is sustainable. Ferhat Gurini Carnegie While all eyes have been fixed on Ankara’s plans in Manbij, Turkey’s creation of a buffer territory farther west of the Euphrates since 2016 has largely gone unnoticed. Turkey has taken a two-pronged approach to the areas it currently holds in northern Syria. In the northwestern areas captured under Operation Olive Branch, such as ... Read More »

Romanian coast guards open fire on Turkish fishermen

A video showing Romanian coast guards opening fire on a sailing Turkish fishing boat with rubber bullets and live rounds has emerged. ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency Hurriyet Three Turkish fishermen were wounded, and the fishing boat, which had set sail from Turkey’s Black Sea province of Ordu on Feb. 20, was damaged by the bullets. The incident took place approximately 50 miles off the Romanian coast, while the fishing boat was sailing in international waters, according to statements by ... Read More »

UN court rejects UK’s claim of sovereignty over Chagos Islands

Judges advise Britain that separating archipelago from Mauritius in 1960s was wrong Owen Bowcott The Guardian The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal. Although the majority decision by the international court of justice in The Hague is only advisory, the unambiguous clarity of the judges’ pronouncement is a humiliating blow to Britain’s prestige ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Why Chagos Islanders should be hailed as heroes

UN court finding may open the way for Chagos Islanders’ to return home The Irish Times In The Hague last month, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the United Kingdom’s declaration in 2010 of a Marine Protection Area around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was illegal. The decision endorsed the claim of the government of Mauritius that the UK did not have jurisdiction to make rulings relating to the status of the area. The finding ... Read More »

14 French ISIL detainees handed to Iraq

The U.S.-backed YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, has handed 280 Iraqi and foreign ISIL detainees to Iraq, 14 of whom are French citizens, in recent days, Iraq’s military said in a statement on Feb. 24. BAGHDAD Hurriyet An Iraqi military colonel confirmed to Reuters that 130 people were transferred on Feb. 24, adding to the 150 transferred on Feb. 21. They included the first known transfers of non-Iraqi detainees to Iraq, but it was unclear if they will remain in Iraqi custody. There ... Read More »

Outrage over antisemitic attacks in France presents opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to heal wartime wounds

France has recently been rocked by a series of antisemitic attacks. Portraits on post boxes of the late Simone Veil – a Holocaust survivor and the country’s first minister for women’s affairs – were vandalised. David Lees The Conversation The philosopher Alain Finkelkrault was verbally abused by protesters from the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement. A number of tombstones in Jewish cemeteries have been defaced with Swastikas and a man was shot with an air rifle outside a synagogue in ... Read More »

English is not enough – British children face major disadvantage when it comes to language skills

For a number of years now, the provision of languages in British schools and universities has been in decline. Authors: The Conversation Yet, as Brexit looms largely on the horizon, there has been much talk in the media and from politicians about the need for a… Arguably, a country can only really be global and outward looking if language skills are considered essential for its citizens. The government seems to share this view – at least to some extent. This ... Read More »

Ukraine’s crisis of faith

The Kiev-Kremlin conflict catalyzes a religious schism centuries in the making. Christopher Miller Politico VORSIVKA, Ukraine — For years, Father Vasily spent his Sundays behind the altar at St. Nicholas, a church in the small town of Vorsivka, in north-central Ukraine. That all changed in early January, not long after the Ukrainian Orthodox Church officially split from the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church in one of the biggest schisms in Christian history. That’s when the village faithful held a vote to decide whether their ... Read More »

The Conflict of Fener and Moscow Patriarchs about Church of Ukraine

Significant developments happened in the Orthodox world in the last autumn of last year. Arif Asalioglu POLITURCO Metropolitan Epifaniy, the Archbishop of the Independent Church of Ukraine established in Kiev, and his accompanying committee arrived in Istanbul in order to receive the “Tomos”, which recognizes the independence of the Church, from the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos. Ceremonies, which were also attended by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, were held for the occasion. And in those ceremonies, Ukraine officially obtained an ... Read More »

Tajikistan: Activist Forcibly Returned from Russia

Faces Torture, Politically Motivated Prosecution (New York) – Tajik and Russian officials arbitrarily detained and forcibly returned to Tajikistan a peaceful opposition activist while he was visiting Moscow, the Association of Central Asian Migrants, Association for… HRW The activist, Sharofiddin Gadoev, is being held in Tajikistan. The government has issued a series of choreographed videos and photographs designed to show that he “voluntarily” returned. Russian and Tajik officials beat him in Moscow and on the flight to Tajikistan. Gadoev should be released and allowed ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit throws up really big calls on jobs, the rural economy and peace

Cliff Taylor: Government would need to embark on a major programme of assistance for the companies affected The Irish Times The Omnibus Bill on Brexit, published yesterday, is an important piece of work to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. But the big decisions lie elsewhere. How do we support the sectors worst hit? And what about the Border? There is an almost irresistible temptation among the political classes to reassure us that everything is ready, and it will all be alright ... Read More »

Georgian leader revives French connection

Salomé Zourabichvili aims to bring country closer to EU and NATO, with help from her past life. Rym Momtaz Politico PARIS — Goodwill only gets you so far — even if you used to represent a country you’re asking for help. That’s the reality Georgia’s new President Salomé Zourabichvili had to contend with this week as the former French diplomat visited Paris to seek closer ties with the EU and NATO. Zourabichvili met President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday at the Elysée ... Read More »