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The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics. Of course, the economics behind the program that the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country’s GDP. I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece’s rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60%.
  Books
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L’état inquiétant du monde actuel et son rapport au numérique sont peu pensés sous l’angle de leurs liens les plus profonds. C’est que la partition des cerveaux, comme celle des ordinateurs, fonctionne bien: elle permet au projet despotique de se poursuivre avec une vigueur exceptionnelle. De fait, jamais la colonisation des esprits, des imaginaires et des corps n’a été rendue aussi massive et performante entre les mains d’un tout petit nombre. Ce livre s’efforce ainsi de rappeler comment le numérique a pu envahir nos vies: un «virtuel» qui en est venu à évincer le «réel» jusqu’à prendre toute sa place
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A sharp increase in refugees arriving on Greece’s Aegean islands is pushing an already faltering reception system to breaking point and is symptomatic of a failure by Europe’s leaders to adequately address the refugee crisis, warned Amnesty International. A recent fact-finding mission to the islands and follow-up research reveals that new arrivals – including children – face appalling reception conditions. Poor planning, ineffective use of EU funds and a hiring freeze crisis has left Greek authorities incapable of meeting the needs and protecting the rights of refugees. Each month the humanitarian crisis, enflamed by Greece’s financial disaster, worsens.
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Asylum originally referred to a sacred and inviolable place where a person could find shelter and protection whenever his or her life, liberty or security were endangered. In many ancient civilizations asylum was considered as a religious institution which benefited common law criminals : political offences were thus excluded (1). In Europe this situation prevailed until the XVIIIth century (2).
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According to Evangelii gaudium — the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, — in today's predominant culture the front line is occupied with exterior things, the visible, the speedy, the superficial, the provisional. And he explains that one of the causes of this is the relationship that we have established with money, since we have accepted as natural its prevalence over the person, over society. Having recognized this, we can say that one of its main consequences is irresponsible waste in distinct areas of life. There is a waste of food, of water, of energy. There is waste in military expenses, in the assignment of public funds, in the dynamic drive of capitalism that gambles on production and consumption without limit. Waste in the world of sport and technology and in the lifestyle of the richer social groups and countries.
  Health
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A WHO and World Bank Group report launched today shows that 400 million people do not have access to essential health services and 6% of people in low- and middle-income countries are tipped into or pushed further into extreme poverty because of health spending. "This report is a wakeup call: It shows that we’re a long way from achieving universal health coverage. We must expand access to health and protect the poorest from health expenses that are causing them severe financial hardship," says Dr Tim Evans, Senior Director of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group.
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Author : Euronews

Five years on and the Syrian war is still have a devastating impact on the country and wider region. Many thousands have died, parts of the country are in ruins and much of the population has been displaced. As the fighting rages Syrian children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.
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Author : Deutsche Welle
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A Chechen umbrella group, the Caucases Emirate, has pledged allegiance to IS. Chechen separatists have fought a number of wars against the Russian authorities and the North Caucasus is the hub of violent Islamist extremism. Professor John Russell specializes in international terrorism and the North Caucasus. Helen Seeney asked him if this new alliance signified a new front on Russia's doorstep?
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