mehrdad azadan

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Are low oil prices here to stay?

<b>Predicting the oil price is a bit of a mug's game.</b><p>There are simply too many variables involved to make any kind of meaningful, definitive forecast.<p>What we do know is that, despite a recent upturn, the price of oil has slumped almost 50% since last summer following the longest-running decline for 20 …

Is ISIS's Social-Media Power Exaggerated?

The group is famously active on Twitter and has attracted thousands of foreign fighters. But to what extent is one related to the other?<p>“Terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIL deliberately target their propaganda in the hopes of reaching and brainwashing young Muslims, especially those who may be …

Social Media

Jimmy Carter: Women's rights the fight of my life

<b>Atlanta (CNN) —</b> Jimmy Carter has seen a lot in his 90 years.<p>As a son of the South, a governor and president, and as a man who spent decades tackling problems head-on, he knows the world is not perfect. It has too many people without a voice and without hope, too many examples of suffering and …

Israel and the Palestinians: A conflict viewed through olives

<b>For Israelis and Palestinians everything is politicised, even the olive harvest.</b><p>The first time I realised how delicious olive oil from the West Bank can be was more than ten years ago when a Palestinian farmer offered me breakfast as I stood watching a broad strip of his land being destroyed.<p>Listen …

How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it

<b>In the Western world the swastika is synonymous with fascism, but it goes back thousands of years and has been used as a symbol of good fortune in almost every culture in the world. As more evidence emerges of its long pre-Nazi history in Europe, can this ancient sign ever shake off its evil</b> …

Tales from the India Office

<b>A transgender singer hits stardom in Baghdad. Officials scramble to impose order after a Kuwaiti restaurant is found to be selling cat meat. Gulf royals on an official visit to London are left marooned in a drab south London suburb because of a shortage of hotel rooms in the West End.</b><p>These are some …

Obama: US must show restraint abroad

http://vod-pro-ww-live.akamaized.net/mps_h264_hi/public/news/world/1080000/1080282_h264_1500k.mp4?__gda__=1524762751_76741ff1b7804c179153c2d77f764517<p><b>President Barack Obama has promised a new US foreign policy based on "collective action" with allies abroad.</b><p>The US would still lead, he told graduates …

Afghanistan: Before and after the Taliban

<b>Afghanistan witnessed its first democratic transfer of power when Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president in September 2014.</b><p>Since 2001, when the Taliban were ousted, thousands have been killed and billions of dollars spent trying to secure a peaceful future for the country's inhabitants.<p>Afghanistan …

Africa

Afghanistan's first spaceman returns home

<b>In 1988, just as the Soviet army was preparing to pull out of Afghanistan, a rocket blasted off carrying the first and only Afghan to travel into space. Abdulahad Momand returned to earth a hero - but within three years he was forced to flee the country.</b><p>"When I was little I used to look up at the …

Syria: The story of the conflict

<b>More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in four-and-a-half years of armed conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those</b> …

Is Afghanistan really impossible to conquer?

<b>It's 25 years since the Soviet Union pulled its troops out of Afghanistan. The US is due to remove most of its forces at the end of the year. So what have these and other Afghan campaigns taught us?</b><p>Last Ramadan I drove through the badlands outside Kandahar to see the house where President Karzai …

India's invisible widows, divorcees and single women

<b>The rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in 2012 made headlines and sparked protests about violence against women. But there are other hazards for women in India, and particularly for single women - who are often unable to live a normal life.</b><p>Wearing a long, bright yellow frock and two …

Which country has the highest tax rate?

<b>In which countries do high earners pay the most tax? And where do average earners pay the most?</b><p>Income tax has been a political hot potato for decades.<p>In 1966 The Beatles released their song Taxman as a protest against the 95% "supertax" rate introduced by Harold Wilson's Labour government, which …

Why talks with the Pakistan Taliban may never succeed

<b>Preliminary talks between Taliban and Pakistani government representatives had not even begun, when the government delegation excused itself. Many believe the talks process is unlikely to lead to any lasting peace or even serious negotiations. The BBC explores why.</b><p>The negotiating teams have no real …

Vatican 'must immediately remove' child abusers - UN

http://vod-pro-ww-live.akamaized.net/mps_h264_hi/public/news/world/1050000/1050229_h264_1500k.mp4?__gda__=1524762751_4f9d8180d67eb5577a780094feac38db<p><b>The UN has said that the Vatican should "immediately remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.</b><p>The UN watchdog for children's rights …

Arab Spring: 10 unpredicted outcomes

<b>Three years on from the start of the upheaval which became known as the Arab Spring, the Middle East is still in a state of flux. Rebellions have brought down regimes, but other consequences have been far less predictable. The BBC's Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly sets out 10 unintended</b> …

Russia in the Middle East: Return of the bear

<b>Something strange is happening in the Middle East.</b><p>The Russians, once vilified in some Arab countries as godless communists, their crumbling economy mocked, their dated weaponry shunned by the rich Gulf states, are now sweeping back into favour as US influence wanes.<p>Thursday's visit to Egypt by a …

Eye cells could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease

<b>Changes to specific cells in the retina could help diagnose and track the progression of Alzheimer's disease, scientists say.</b><p>A team found genetically engineered mice with Alzheimer's lost thickness in this layer of eye cells.<p>As the retina is a direct extension of the brain, they say the loss of …

Xi Jinping's urban gamble

<b>A year into power, if there is one thing that becomes clearer about the Xi Jinping leadership of the Communist Party of China, it is that it understands the value of political symbolism.</b><p>One of the first places Mr Xi visited after becoming party secretary last November was Shenzhen, hallowed turf of …

Syrian activists flee abuse in al-Qaeda-run Raqqa

http://vod-pro-ww-live.akamaized.net/mps_h264_hi/public/news/world/1028000/1028417_h264_1500k.mp4?__gda__=1524762751_717c1435dcc3ab7fdb035746a000e185<p><b>Political activists in northern Syria have been forced to flee after attempting to defy the growing power of al-Qaeda in the region.</b><p>A citizens' …

Patient in vegetative state 'paid attention' to sounds

<b>A patient in a vegetative state was able to pay attention to sounds in his surroundings, a study found.</b><p>An analysis of brain activity in 21 patients and eight healthy volunteers showed one of the patients could pick out individual sounds.<p>The University of Cambridge researchers say the finding marks …

Flying insect-like robot Gimball can crash and recover

http://vod-pro-ww-live.akamaized.net/mps_h264_hi/public/news/technology/1024000/1024297_h264_1500k.mp4?__gda__=1524622405_10f10fec50003e247a2d53419e14924e<p><b>An insect-like flying rescue robot that can bounce off trees and buildings has been revealed by its creators.</b><p>Gimball has been developed to be …

Elephant society 'still disrupted decades after cull'

<b>African elephants' decision-making abilities are left impaired by culling operations that ended decades ago, University of Sussex research suggests.</b><p>A study found that elephant herds that lost adults to culls during the 1970s and 1980s were less able to respond appropriately to other elephant …

US spent trillions and left Iraq in violent pieces

<b>As Iraq's prime minister visits Washington, BBC North America bureaux chief Paul Danahar, who was based in Baghdad during the US-led invasion, says the country America left behind is broken, and Middle Eastern strong men are flexing their muscles.</b><p>Only people with no long-term vested interest in the …