Xander Causwell

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Philosophers can’t agree on how much we should help refugees—or even whether we should

Don’t be surprised by political leaders’ indecision over how to help refugees amid the growing crisis in Europe. Even philosophers can’t offer an unanimous answer on the moral response.<p>Here are just a few of the positions–albeit highly simplified—that philosophers have taken on how wealthy …

North Africa

Ancient DNA cracks puzzle of Basque origins

<b>DNA from ancient remains seems to have solved the puzzle of one of Europe's most enigmatic people: the Basques.</b><p>The distinct language and genetic make-up of the Basque people in northern Spain and southern France has puzzled anthropologists for decades.<p>One theory proposed that they were an unmixed …

Madness: The European Refugee Crisis

Europe's refugee crisis has escalated from tragedy to farce. More than 2000 people have died this year trying to enter Europe via the Mediterranean …

The Other France

Are the suburbs of Paris incubators of terrorism?<p>Fouad Ben Ahmed never paid much attention to <i>Charlie Hebdo.</i> He found the satirical magazine to be vulgar and not funny, and to him it seemed fixated on Islam, but he didn’t think that its contributors did real harm. One of its cartoonists, Stéphane …

Yanis Varoufakis: ‘If I’m convicted of high treason, it would be interesting’

The island of Aegina is just 17 miles from Athens, a mere 40 minutes’ dash on a hydrofoil. Owing to its proximity to the Greek capital, it’s less a tourist island than a second-home sanctuary for wealthy Athenians, but it boasts several impressive classical sites and a distinguished history. Not …

Europe

Before Marvel and DC: Superheroes of the ancient world

Comic book tales of masked do-gooders now dominate cinemas, but these stories are not new – in fact, they have their origins in antiquity, writes Natalie Haynes.<p>Over the past few years, even the most ardent comic book nerd might have wondered if there were too many superhero movies playing in the …

Ancient History

Venezuela's embattled president is acting as if he wants to annex 2/3 of a neighboring country's territory

Venezuela is suffering an economic meltdown with chronic food shortages and nearly 120% inflation (this year alone) fueling outbreaks of street violence.<p>Companies operating there are facing increased political risks. After days of unrest and turmoil, with mobs looting supermarkets in search for …

Venezuela

The Coddling of the American Mind

In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.<p><b>S</b>omething strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and …

Higher Education

100 years ago, the U.S. invaded and occupied this country. Can you name it?

A century ago, American troops invaded and occupied a foreign nation. They would stay there for almost two decades, install a client government, impose new laws and fight insurgents in bloody battles on difficult terrain. Thousands of residents perished during what turned out to be 19 years of de …

Political Science

The Greek Warrior

How a radical finance minister took on Europe—and failed.<p>On July 4th, the night before a referendum asked the Greek people to decide how far their debt-ridden government should accommodate the demands of its main creditors—the “troika” of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the …

Hey UFC, Bring Back Bare-knuckle Fights to Stop Brain Trauma

In a truly tragic irony, a measure introduced to quell concerns about the brutality of MMA fighting has become the source of serious brain trauma.<p>On …

If society prizes beauty, are ugly people oppressed? – Jonny Thakkar

The faces and forms of oppression are many, but nearly all of them flow from injustice, the treatment of people otherwise than they deserve. It’s …

Response to Effective Altruism

For altruists, the best state of affairs places technocrats in charge.<p>Does effective altruism have a politics?<p>There are three ways to answer this …

When Not Treasure Hunting, Pirates Practiced Democracy

Yes, they had to yank eyeballs from sockets and beating hearts from chests, but pirates had voting rights and were compensated for injury.<p>Pirates were the stealth fighters of the Age of Sail. They kept no records. No one sent out a search party if they sank. Contrary to popular myth, they didn’t …

Iceland repeals blasphemy ban after Pirate party campaign

Move to overturn the 75-year-old law, which was started following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, had faced opposition from church groups<p>Iceland has legalised blasphemy following a campaign started by the Pirate party after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in France. The move to repeal the …

Human Rights

TimesLIVE

Rights & Freedoms

All the Happy Workers

Companies are more focused than ever on employee well-being. It might increase productivity, but what does the commercialization of feelings do to people?<p>The end of capitalism has often been imagined as a crisis of epic proportions. Perhaps a financial crisis will occur that is so vast not even …

From Left Bank to left behind: where have the great French thinkers gone?

From Voltaire and Rousseau to Sartre and De Beauvoir, France has long produced world-leading thinkers. It even invented the word ‘intellectual’. But progressives around the globe no longer look to Paris for their ideas. What went wrong?<p>Writing shortly after the end of the second world war, the …

France

Are ancient buildings as important as human lives?

<b>The destruction of beautiful historic buildings in Yemen has provoked an online debate, with people asking if buildings are being valued more than human lives.</b><p>Yemen's war is entering its third month, and on Friday Yemenis woke up to news that five houses in the old city of Sanaa, a UNESCO world …

Middle East

Religion Is Disappearing. That’s Great for Politics.

Before the rise of the religious right in the 1980s, most politicians kept their faith to themselves. In 1945, for example, President Harry Truman wrote: “I’m not very much impressed with men who publicly parade their religious beliefs.” After his election in 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower …

Religion

The American Confederacy is still alive in a small Brazilian city called Americana

Now, 150 years later, their story has been seemingly erased from the history books.<p>But deep in the heart of Brazil, descendendants of these confederate expats gather annually to celebrate their controversial history and maintain their traditions and culture.<p><i>Thanks to VICE reporter Mimi Dwyer, whose</i> …

The destruction of Jamaica’s economy through austerity

A small country immiserates itself under orders of international lenders; unemployment and poverty rise, the debt burden increases and investment is …

Economics

Why India has never seen a military dictatorship

A true story: In 1957, the then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, visiting the office of general Thimayya, the chief of the army staff, saw a steel cabinet behind his desk, and asked the general what it contained.<p>The general replied that the top drawer contained the nation’s defence plans. …

India

Your ancestor owned slaves? Don't run from it; tell the kids

<b>(CNN) —</b> When Ben Affleck agreed to take part in the PBS documentary series "Finding Your Roots," he probably never imagined he'd learn that one of his ancestors was a slave owner.<p>In April, the actor admitted via Facebook that he was embarrassed about the discovery and didn't want "any television …

Genealogy

‘Call me Caitlyn, or else’: the rise of authoritarian transgender politics

The <i>Vanity Fair</i> photo of Bruce Jenner in a boob-enhancing swimsuit is being described as iconic. Bruce, one-time American athlete, now wants to be known as Caitlyn, having recently undergone some gender transitioning. And he’s using the cover of the latest <i>Vanity Fair</i> to make his ‘debut as a woman’. …

LGBTQI

Will dictators disappear?

Is a future without dictatorships realistic? Rachel Nuwer investigates.<p>Citizens living in democracies often associate dictatorships with repression, human rights abuses, poverty and turmoil. Indeed, dictatorships have cost untold lives, including up to 49 million Russian deaths under Joseph Stalin, …

World History

In Age of Science, Is Religion 'Harmful Superstition'?

God is not only dead, author avers. He never lived. Not to mention the deaths of kids treated with faith instead of science-based medicine.<p>Jerry Coyne, author of <i>Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible</i>was in high school listening to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club …

Guyana president seeks to fight graft, ease racial tensions | Reuters

GEORGETOWN (Reuters) - Guyana’s newly elected president plans to fight corruption and calm the South American nation’s long-running ethnic tensions following his victory in elections earlier this month that saw a historic power shift from 23 years of single-party rule.<p>Former army brigadier David …

North Africa