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A Fiction Reading List to Help You Understand the World Around You

Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, <i>University of California, Los Angeles</i><p>The real world is often overwhelmingly complicated. Literature can help. This is true at universities too: courses in comparative literature offer students new insights into their chosen disciplines by unlocking new, varied …

University of California

We've been terrorized, that's why they call it terrorism

This isn't a very Christmas-y thought, but somewhere in this country, somebody who couldn't care less about Christmas is probably daydreaming about, …

How to find room for urban aboriginal people in nation-to-nation relationships

According to the 2011 Census, nearly 60 per cent of aboriginal Canadians live in cities. So when Justin Trudeau and the new Liberal government …

The world reacts to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

By Annie Gowen<p>, Bureau chief<p>NEW DELHI — Donald Trump’s call for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States drew widespread condemnation around the world Tuesday, including from British and French leaders and the U.N. refu­gee agency.<p>Citizens, politicians and refu­gee officials …

Donald Trump

Two simple mindful meditation exercises for teachers

Mindfulness can help teachers reduce stress and boost confidence. Clinical psychologist Erin Olivo shares her handy guide for getting started<p>Teaching can be hard, and reports tell us those in the profession feel under increasing pressure. A BBC investigation earlier this year found that …

Mindfulness

Venezuela: A Dictatorship Masquerading as a Democracy

Ahead of a major election, the country is looking more and more like a failed state.<p>Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, recently announced that if the opposition were to gain a majority in the National Assembly in elections this Sunday, “We would not give up the revolution and … we would govern …

Venezuela

CBC news topic tag paris climate change conference 2015

California's vanishing lakes are a climate change cautionary tale

<i>This column is part of a package of special coverage of climate change issues by CBC News leading up to the United Nations climate change conference</i> …

Southern California

There is a plan to end the war in Syria — and it might even work

Something is definitely stirring at the Vienna talks aimed at ending Syria's vicious civil war and it looks suspiciously like hope — however hard it …

Paris attacks: Only 2 equally bad options for taking on ISIS

Last February, after ISIS burned a Jordanian fighter pilot alive in a cage, then uploaded video of his last frantic agonies onto the internet, King …

Drought continues in South Africa

After one of the driest rainy seasons on record, South Africa is in the grip of a severe drought.<p>This has placed a strain on water supplies across the country, affecting 2.7 million households.<p>The hardest hit are those living in rural areas, where residents have to collect water in buckets once a …

Bloody Sunday Northern Ireland killings lead to arrest of ex-soldier over 40 years later

A 66-year-old former soldier was arrested on Tuesday in relation to the killing by British soldiers of 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers in …

Ahmad Chalabi, The Man Who Gave Us ISIS

Chalabi, who died of heart failure on Tuesday at age 71, was charismatic, obsessive, and helped lead the U.S. to war in Iraq.<p>If not for the man named Ahmad Chalabi, the United States probably would not have invaded Iraq in 2003. If not for the Iraq War, as a senior CIA official flatly told BuzzFeed …

Ending China's one-child policy: Too little too late? | Asia Pacific

When Chinese leaders first introduced the one-child policy in 1979, the population of China was rapidly approaching one billion.<p>Now China is facing a different crisis: a rapidly ageing population, increasing pressure on state pensions and potential labour shortages.<p>After gradually easing the policy …

Nestlé Waters Canada plan to tap aquifer worries Elora, Ont., residents

Residents of a southern Ontario town are worried Nestlé Water Canada's plan to pump up to 1.6 million litres of water per day from a nearby aquifer …

Teacher films Israeli raid on West Bank primary school

A school teacher in the occupied West Bank has filmed Israeli soldiers storming classrooms in an elementary school in the city of Hebron.<p>Abdel Moniem Salaymeh said the troops entered every classroom in al-Hajj Ziad Jaber school in the Wadi al-Nasara neighbourhood and searched the children.<p>"They …

Persian Gulf may soon be too hot to support human life

If carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current pace, by the end of century parts of the Persian Gulf will sometimes be just too hot for the …

U.S. preparing for largest ever one-time release of prisoners

Drug criminals once described by prosecutors as unrepentant repeat offenders are among those poised to benefit from new sentencing guidelines that …

What Was It Really Like to Escape East Germany?

Back in 1961, when Germany was at its most fiercely divided, <i>The Atlantic</i> published a collection of interviews with East Germans called “Why We Crossed Over.” “Dieter S.,” a 21-year-old hospital orderly, explained how he found himself on the government blacklist:<p>[The police] said that they knew that …

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says niqab debate 'doesn't make any sense'

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he thinks the whole debate about the niqab doesn't make any sense.<p>"I don't much like the niqab and I wish people …

A Critique That Misses the Point

Mass incarceration is a complicated problem—and deserves to be treated as such.<p>Over at the <i>National Review</i>, Kay Hymowitz offers some praise from my writing skill and some demerits for my recent article on mass incarceration and the black family. I appreciate the praise, but I would appreciate it, …

Hitler’s world may not be so far away | Timothy Snyder

Misunderstanding the Holocaust has made us too certain we are ethically superior to the Europeans of the 1940s. Faced with a new catastrophe – such as devastating climate change – could we become mass killers again?<p><b>It was 20 years after I chose to become a historian</b> that I first saw a photograph of …

History

The Rubble of Palmyra

ISIS did not merely blast apart old stones—it attacked the very foundations of pluralistic society.<p>If the ruined ruins of Palmyra could speak, they would marvel at our shock. After all, they have been sacked before. In their mute and shattered eloquence, they spoke for centuries not only about the …

Palmyra

Police block refugees from Hungary train station

Hungarian authorities have blocked refugees from entering Budapest's main train terminal in an attempt to prevent them from heading towards Austria and Germany, despite letting others travel onwards a day earlier.<p>About 1,000 people were gathered outside the capital's main international railway …

Syria’s Children

Four and a half years of violent conflict have destroyed entire regions of Syria. Neighborhoods have been smashed by shelling and government barrel bombs, and towns have been seized by rebels and ISIS militants, then retaken by government troops, killing hundreds of thousands and injuring even …

Why Public Schools Don't Teach Critical Thinking -- Part 2

While state education departments are the first reason why public schools don't teach critical thinking, community pressure against it is the second. While some communities do welcome critical inquiry as an essential part of a good education, others do not, rejecting critical thinking as dangerous …

Education

Why Public Schools Don't Teach Critical Thinking -- Part 1

The following warning should be affixed atop every computer in America's schools:<p><i>Proceed at your own risk. Don't accept as true what you're about to read. Some of it is fact; some of it is opinion disguised as fact; and the rest is liberal, conservative, or mainstream propaganda. Make sure you know</i> …

Critical Thinking

The War That Congress Won't Declare

What happens when the legislature refuses to discharge its constitutionally assigned responsibilities?<p>“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell wrote in 1946. Here’s a corollary: The real scandal in any given system is usually the thing there’s no argument …

Middle East

A Tale of Two Legislative Chambers

Can the British House of Lords and Canadian Senate be fixed?<p>It’s been an exciting summer for fans of parliamentary reform in the Anglosphere. On July 26, a British tabloid published front-page photos of Lord John Sewel, a 69-year-old member of the House of Lords, wearing an orange bra and little …