04182015Sat
Last updateFri, 17 Apr 2015 3pm
 Seven EU Nations Reportedly Ready to Cancel Sanctions on Russia

Seven EU Nations Reportedly Ready to Cancel Sanctions on Russia

Seven countries in the European Union want to supp...

"Islamophobia" is doing very well across liberal Europe

Although liberal and well-off Sweden witnessed sev...

Saudi Arabia Braces for Upcoming Record Deficit

Saudi Arabia Braces for Upcoming Record Deficit

The number one crude oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, h...

Turkey issues warrant for US-based Muslim leader Fethullah Gulen

Turkey issues warrant for US-based Muslim leader Fethullah Gulen

A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant Friday fo...

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SETTING

Polish climbers to climb peaks of the Balkan

Polish climbers to climb peaks of the Balkan Census stirs Balkan melting pot

Balkan Winter Expedition 2014 project aims to climb the highest peaks of Ba...

Health

SETTING

Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu

Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu Census stirs Balkan melting pot

In the fall as the weather gets cooler ailments tend to affect our Lungs in...

Life and Style

SETTING

Babies born naturally 'have higher IQs than those delivered by caesarean section'

Babies born naturally 'have higher IQs than those delivered by caesarean section' Census stirs Balkan melting pot

Babies born naturally may have higher IQs than those delivered by caesarean...

Cosmetics causing an epidemic of allergies: Doctors urge for preservatives to be removed

Cosmetics causing an epidemic of allergies: Doctors urge for preservatives to be removed Census stirs Balkan melting pot

A chemical used in hundreds of beauty products is being blamed for a massiv...

Technology

SETTING

Google pulls ‘Bomb Gaza’ app after public criticism

Google pulls ‘Bomb Gaza’ app after public criticism Census stirs Balkan melting pot

'Bomb Gaza' developed by PlayFTW and still available as an app on Facebook,...

World Global

At last, Pakistan parliament rejects the call to join Yemen coalition

6 DAYS AGO
At last, Pakistan parliament rejects the call to join Yemen coalition

Pakistan's parliament voted on April 10 to stay out of the conflict in Yemen, rejecting Saudi demands for Islamabad to join its military coalition against Shiite Houthi rebels, while international organizations and Turkey have called for a "humanitarian cease-fire."

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Chech Leader Puts the U.S. Ambassador To His Place

12 DAYS AGO
Chech Leader Puts the U.S. Ambassador To His Place

Leader of the Czech Republc, Miloš Zeman, says he won't let any ambassador of another nation intrude with advice over his foreign visits. This comes as the US Ambassador criticized Zeman's plans to go to Moscow's celebration of the WWII parade.

"I'm afraid, after this statement the doors of the Pra...

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Former NATO assistant secretary general, now President of Croatia to engage Bosnia on behalf of Croats

3 MONTHS AGO
Former NATO assistant secretary general, now President of Croatia to engage Bosnia on behalf of Croats

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, new president of Croatia, and a assistant secretary general at NATO until recently, said that among her working priorities will be advocating for "BiH to finally be a politically emancipated country, which will strongly launch it on the path toward membership in the EU and ...

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Economy

After Russian Ruble, Turkish Lira Hits Record Low - Other Currencies To Follow

4 MONTHS AGO
After Russian Ruble, Turkish Lira Hits Record Low - Other Currencies To Follow

The Turkish lira weakened to a record low of 2.4140 against the dollar on Tuesday after a fall in the value of the ruble in Russia, a fellow emerging market, and concerns about mounting political risk amid a row with the European Union over a government recent arrests of prominent journalists and op...

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Despite price collapse, Oil demand not picking up

3 MONTHS AGO
Despite price collapse, Oil demand not picking up

The dramatic collapse in oil prices is still insufficient to stimulate crude consumption as weakness in the economy has cancelled out the benefits of cheaper crude, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

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Turkey launches construction of first nuclear power plant

3 DAYS AGO
Turkey launches construction of first nuclear power plant

Turkey on Tuesday launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant, a controversial $20 billion project slammed by ecologists which Ankara hopes will begin a new era of greater energy self-sufficiency.

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Bulletin Board

Why Turkey Won’t Go Nuclear

6 DAYS AGO
Why Turkey Won’t Go Nuclear

According to conventional wisdom, if Iran develops nuclear weapons, then Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and perhaps Egypt will try to follow suit. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went further when he addressed the United States Congress in early March, asserting that even allowing Iran a uranium-en...

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What Serbia, Egypt and UAE have in common? Palestinian Exile Mohammed Dahlan with Serbian Passport

10 DAYS AGO
What Serbia, Egypt and UAE have in common? Palestinian Exile Mohammed Dahlan with Serbian Passport

Citizenship appears to be the newest commodity being snatched up by the super wealthy. Chinese and Middle Eastern businessmen frequently purchase U.S. or Canadian passports. Several years ago, Malta's government was criticized for setting up a scheme that allowed wealthy foreigners to purchase EU pa...

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World Bank-funded projects force millions off their land from Albania to Peru

1 DAY AGO
World Bank-funded projects force millions off their land from Albania to Peru

World Bank ventures in less developed countries are hurting the people the organization has sworn to protect, with almost four million people across the globe left homeless, forcefully evicted and relocated as a result of World Bank-funded projects.

A probe by the International Consortium of Invest...

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Special Interest

Could Islamic Finance rescue the global economy?

3 MONTHS AGO
Could Islamic Finance rescue the global economy?

Is there a place for ethics and morality in the global economy? Should we continue to rely on governments to tweak at the margins of financial regulation, or is there a credible argument that a root and branch reformation is required – a revolution in capitalism?

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Serbian Church Joins Balkan Media Frenzy With Its Own Internet TV Station

3 MONTHS AGO
Serbian Church Joins Balkan Media Frenzy With Its Own Internet TV Station

The Serbian Orthodox Church will on Thursday launch its television station, TV Hram ("TV Temple"), that will be available only online.

This move is followed by the last year opening of Al Jazeera Balkans in Bosnia, the KKR interests in their own local media, a regional news program N1 that wil...

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Half of Britain holds an anti-Jewish view

3 MONTHS AGO
 Half of Britain holds an anti-Jewish view

Nearly half of the British population holds an anti-Jewish view, according to a new poll published in a report today (Wednesday).

Britain is at "tipping point" on the issue of anti-Jewishness, the report says.

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Health

Study: Working up a Sweat Can Save your Life

6 DAYS AGO
Study: Working up a Sweat Can Save your Life

Physical activity that makes you puff and sweat is key to avoiding an early death, a large Australian study of middle-aged and older adults has found.

The researchers followed 204,542 people for more than six years, and compared those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming, ...

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Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu

1 YEAR AGO
Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu Census stirs Balkan melting pot

In the fall as the weather gets cooler ailments tend to affect our Lungs in the form of coughs, sinus issues, colds and flu. In Traditional Chinese Medicine autumn relates to the metal element which corresponds to the Lungs. The taste that strengthens the Lungs is pungent: the spicy flavor of f...

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The 11 dangerous nutrition myths

4 MONTHS AGO
The 11 dangerous nutrition myths

There is a lot of misinformation circling around in mainstream nutrition.

I have listed the worst examples in this article, but unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are the top 11 biggest lies, myths and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition.

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Life and Style

Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century, researchers say

1 YEAR AGO
Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century, researchers say Census stirs Balkan melting pot

A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.

"We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual re...

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Are gender stereotypes wrong? Ask the elephants

3 MONTHS AGO
Are gender stereotypes wrong? Ask the elephants

If we subscribe to the theories of Freud or of Piaget, we might conclude that, as a result of some arcane developments in early childhood or of a socialization process during middle childhood, girls mature more slowly and less completely into moral reasoning than boys do.

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The Sunnah Beard: the latest trend amongst non-Muslims in Philadelphia USA

10 MONTHS AGO
The Sunnah Beard: the latest trend amongst non-Muslims in Philadelphia USA Census stirs Balkan melting pot

There's not a woman in Philly who would rock a burka just to make a fashion statement.

But when it comes to Muslim-inspired menswear, well, that's another story. Regardless of their religious affiliations, certain Philadelphia men, mainly African-Americans, have adopted the style of wearing lon...

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Technology

The Arabic Automata

5 MONTHS AGO
The Arabic Automata

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the end of 5th century, the western and central part of Europe was swept down by many barbarian tribes and fall into so called Dark Ages for some five centuries. During this time, the centers of world's art and science moved to the east—to the eastern Ro...

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Honeybees trained to find Balkan land mines

1 YEAR AGO
Honeybees trained to find Balkan land mines Census stirs Balkan melting pot

Mirjana Filipovic is still haunted by the land mine blast that killed her boyfriend and blew off her left leg while on a fishing trip nearly a decade ago. It happened in a field that was supposedly de-mined.

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Dire warning: Due to massive solar flare storm you could lose power, communications

3 YEARS AGO
Dire warning: Due to massive solar flare storm you could lose power, communications

The largest solar storm since 2005 is now in progress, causing fluctuations on the power grid and disruptions to the Global Positioning System. The ongoing strong proton storm is in full fury. And it's getting stronger; a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) impact also impacting us, traveling at 1,400 miles...

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Census stirs Balkan melting pot

melting
Stela Mustafaj pressed her finger to an official document charting her family tree as far back as 1875.

There, in black and white, her grandfather and other relatives, all bearing distinctly Muslim Albanian names, were listed as born in Greece.

"It's surefire proof we are Greeks," Mustafaj, 65, told Reuters in the village of Shengjergj in Albania's eastern Korce region.

"My father's name was Dionysus, but they renamed him Dervish," she said.

"I knew where my roots were but the (communist) system tried to change it. We're not trying to sell out our country or buy into another, we're just exercising our right to say who we are."

Statements like Mustafaj's are causing waves in Albania, where for the first time since communism was toppled in 1990 residents are being asked to specify their ethnicity in a national census.

In Shengjergj, a village of shiny new villas built with money earned in Greece, more than half of the 180 families told census officials that, despite their Muslim Albanian names, they are Greek.

Many complain the interviewers simply ignored them, while nationalists accuse them of trying to gain special minority benefits, or worse, aiming to sow ethnic strife.

In the Balkans -- a patchwork of ethnicities, disputed borders and rival histories -- identity can be a dangerous thing.

Up and down the region this year, countries bidding to join the European Union are holding population counts that elsewhere would be a simple matter of mathematics -- key to accurate national data, government spending plans and minority rights.

In the Balkans, much of it scarred by the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s during the collapse of Yugoslavia, they are opening old wounds and stirring controversy as rival groups vie for rights, influence and government jobs.

Macedonia last week abandoned its own census in a row over who should be counted.

Ethnic Albanians, who officially make up 25 percent of the population but say they account for more, complained the authorities were trying to bend the rules to keep their number down.

POWER-SHARING

In Macedonia, the figures should help determine the make-up of the delicate power-sharing balance in place since the country narrowly avoided civil war in 2001 in fighting between government forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas seeking greater rights.

In Kosovo earlier in the year, the census process was marred by a partial boycott by Serbs who reject the majority Albanian country's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

In Serbia, most ethnic Albanians in the south -- where Western diplomacy also helped end an insurgency in 2001 -- refused to take part in protest at the lack of Albanian-language questionnaires.

And in Bosnia, where ethnic coexistence under Tito's socialist Yugoslavia collapsed in war in 1992-95, Muslim, Serb and Croat communities have been unable to agree on how to hold their own count.

Bosnia's last census was in 1991, before the war killed an estimated 100,000 people and displaced around 2 million.

A new count could have ramifications for the unwieldy, highly decentralized system of ethnic power-sharing enshrined in the 1995 Dayton peace accords.

In Albania, ethnicity was taboo under the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha.

Now, nationalist critics are up in arms at efforts to provide an accurate picture of Albania's ethnic breakdown, seeing a plot to weaken the state.

Others argue the records are being manipulated by some Albanians trying to gain special benefits or a way to leave Albania for EU member Greece. Albania and Greece have long disagreed on the size of Albania's ethnic Greek population.

"Some artificial Greek minority is going to ask for special status, maybe for a percentage in parliament or government," said Kreshnik Spahiu, deputy head of Albania's Higher Council of Justice, a body chaired by President Bamir Topi to monitor the judiciary.

NEIGHBOURLY RELATIONS

Spahiu is leader of the Red and Black Alliance, a movement founded by soccer fans and which takes its name from the colors of the Albanian national flag.

The group has denounced the ethnicity section of the national census, and Spahiu warns the results could upset Albania's "good model" of ethnic and religious tolerance.

The alliance, whose members last week unveiled a huge flag of what they call the Ethnic Albania of 1912 before the Great Powers approved the country's current borders, has appealed to Albanians to boycott the ethnicity question and render the calculation impossible.

"I believe that this registration has the ultimate aim of turning Albania into another Lebanon," where sectarian tensions still simmer after the country's 1975-1990 civil war, said historian and former Albanian foreign minister Pellumb Xhufi.

In Shengjergj, Stela Mustafaj rejected the charge.

She insisted her family took refuge in Albania after the Italian invasion of Greece during World War Two, but was prevented from returning when Albania's isolationist regime closed the borders.

Mustafaj conceded, however, that there was also a financial motive.

"Those who have everything should not forget that our children are out of work," she said. "We want our children to get long visas and go to work there (in Greece)."

Outside the Greek consulate in Korce, there are queues to apply for 100-day visas, and many of those waiting said they hoped to obtain longer-term work permits despite the economic strife in Albania's southern neighbor.

The Greek consul, Theodoros Ikonomou Kamarinos, attracted attention in February when he said people who think they are of Greek ethnic origin should say so on the census and not hide it for fear of a backlash from nationalists.

"I wouldn't say that I agree with certain voices within Albania, which do not make the process of friendship between Albania and its neighbors any easier," he told Reuters last week.

BOOK OF THE MONTH Zomia-women

The Art of Not Being Governed

The focus on Zomia is driven by the fact that the region is the largest remaining area that has not been integrated into a nation state. Indeed, for over two thousand years, the people living in the highlands of Zomia have lived outside the reach of the lowland government. The standard view of these "hill people" is that they are remnants of the pre-state period and represent a primitive form of living. Although book is focused on Zomia, it should be noted that governments and those involved in international development efforts tend to hold a similar view towards those living outside the reach of the state in other settings as well. Indeed, this view underpins the efforts to 'fix' the various institutions in societies around the world in the hope of bringing modernity to people who are viewed as primitive.

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