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Turkey says it will not comply with court order to pay Cyprus compensation

European Court of Human Rights rules that €90m be paid over for Turkey’s invasion of island in 1974 The Irish Times Turkey has no plans to pay €90 million to Cyprus as ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday. The money was ordered in compensation for Turkey’s invasion of the island 40 years ago. The Mediterranean island has been split since 1974, when Turkey sent in troops after a brief Greek Cypriot ... Read More »

OECD and Pisa tests are damaging education worldwide – academics

In this letter to Dr Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, academics from around the world express deep concern about the impact of Pisa tests and call for a… The Guardian Dear Dr Schleicher, We write to you in your capacity as OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) director of the Programme of International Student Assessment (Pisa). Now in its 13th year, Pisa is known around the world as an instrument to rank OECD ... Read More »

Alek Wek: ‘You don’t have to go with the crowd’

As a teenager, Alek Wek shook up the fashion world – and inspired, among others, a young Lupita… Sali Hughes The Guardian The Sudanese supermodel tells Sali Hughes why quirky is… Alek Wek was 19 when she was approached by a model scout from a top London agency at a fair in Crystal Palace… Her mother, she remembers, was horrified, thinking her… Alek Wek: ‘You… Read More »

How we treat the vulnerable is a moral test beyond politics

I was recently invited to give a talk at a private club in a Melbourne suburb. A colleague has been a member for some years and arranged an invitation for me to speak at one of its regular dinners. Asked for a title for my speech, I suggested “Is this really what we are?” Julian Burnside The Conversation I was surprised to receive another email from my colleague which read, in part: Completely out of the blue last week the ... Read More »

Desmond Tutu: Israel Guilty of Apartheid in Treatment of Palestinians

Tutu, the Nobel Peace laureate, criticized Israeli policies toward the Palestinians in the territories as “humiliating.” JPost Desmond Tutu, the noted civil rights leader who became the first black archbishop of Cape Town, compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the apartheid regime that discriminated against blacks in his native South Africa. Tutu, the Nobel Peace laureate, told News24, a South African media entity, criticized Israeli policies toward the Palestinians in the territories as “humiliating.” “I have witnessed the systemic ... Read More »

Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’

New law, denounced as ‘anti-Semitism’ by Jewish leaders, comes after country controversially slaughtered a giraffe in public and fed him to lions Adam Withnall Independent Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists. The change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” ... Read More »

Four Orthodox Christian Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.

Every January, Americans pause to honor the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who led a civil rights movement that called this nation to see every person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of equal treatment under the law. By Andrew Estocin in The Sounding Blog Orthodox Christian Network One of the most beautiful moments in American Orthodox history was when Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America chose to march against racial segregation ... Read More »

What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

Between 750 BC and 400 BC, the Ancient Greeks composed songs meant to be accompanied by the lyre, reed-pipes, and various percussion instruments. OpenCulture More than 2,000 years later, modern scholars have finally figured out how to reconstruct and perform these songs with (it’s claimed) 100% accuracy. Writing on the BBC web site, Armand D’Angour,  a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University, notes: [Ancient Greek] instruments are known from… What Ancient Greek… Read More »

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens Authors condemn £4m library fund as a ‘sop’ and a ‘whitewash’ Neil Gaiman The Guardian It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members’ interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that ... Read More »

My life of hell in an Afghan harem

Naive and in love, I married a man from Kabul — only to discover the horrible life of a fundamentalist Muslim wife. Phyllis Chesler New York Post Phyllis Chesler, 72, is a feminist scholar and a professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at City University of New York. In her 14th book, “An American Bride in Kabul” (Palgrave… My life of… Read More »

A Fateful Invitation: Spetses

“My brother thought he’d died and gone to heaven, for most of our friends were his age and female. Diana Farr Louis Weekly Hubris I was sometimes restless, aching to see a few of the famous antiquities, wondering about the charms of other islands, but he refused to budge: Why look at old… Where would we… A Fateful Invitation… Read More »

After the Children Have Grown

LATELY, I’ve been having some trouble figuring out exactly who I am. Or, more precisely, who I will be going forward. Parts of me have changed over the years. MADELINE LEVINE The New York Times But my core identity has not budged in three decades. I’m a mother. With my youngest son about to graduate from college, I find myself increasingly unhinged from that most fundamental view of myself. When I give talks, I find myself flummoxed about when exactly ... Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks are beautiful works of art in themselves

Leonardo’s notebooks are a fascinating insight into his mind. Now the British Library has published its collection online, it’s even easier to study them – with or without translation Jonathan Jones The Guardian Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks are the living record of a universal mind. They encompass all the interests and experiments of this self-taught polymath, from mathematics to flying machines. Now the British Library in London has fully digitised its Leonardo manuscript, enabling everyone to freely explore this precious ... Read More »