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What’s next for Cuba and the United States after Raul Castro’s retirement

With Raul Castro’s resignation as first secretary of the Communist Party, the Castro era is officially over in Cuba. Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images Joseph J. Gonzalez, Appalachian State University Cuba’s Castro dynasty has officially ended. On April 16, 2021, Raul Castro – younger brother of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro – relinquished his position as first secretary of the …

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Russian COVID vaccine: why more and more countries are turning to Sputnik V

Sarah Schiffling, Liverpool John Moores University and Liz Breen, University of Bradford When the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, announced on August 11 2020 that the country’s health regulator had become the first in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use, the news was greeted with scepticism. No trials had been completed on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. …

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how everyday chemicals are destroying sperm counts in humans and animals

Male fertility: SciePro/Shutterstock Alex Ford, University of Portsmouth and Gary Hutchison, Edinburgh Napier University Within just a few generations, human sperm counts may decline to levels below those considered adequate for fertility. That’s the alarming claim made in epidemiologist Shanna Swan’s new book, “Countdown”, which assembles a raft of evidence to show that the sperm count of western men has …

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Biden and the Iran nuclear deal: what to expect from the negotiations

Regional powerplay: the nuclear deal has complex implications for the regin. Dilok Klaisataporn via Shutterstock Ali Bilgic, Loughborough University As Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, speculation was rife that one of the first things his administration would do would be to seek re-entry to the Iran nuclear deal that had been quit …

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3 mRNA vaccines researchers are working on (that aren’t COVID)

from www.shutterstock.com Archa Fox, The University of Western Australia and Damian Purcell, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity The world’s first mRNA vaccines — the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna — have made it in record time from the laboratory, through successful clinical trials, regulatory approval and into people’s arms. The high efficiency of protection against severe …

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Iran: how attack on nuclear facility will affect negotiations with US

Christoph Bluth, University of Bradford The Iranian authorities have insisted that a power failure that shut down the country’s important Natanz uranium enrichment site, 250 miles south of Tehran, on April 11 was caused by a deliberately planned explosion. Iran has alleged – and it is widely believed – that Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad was behind the attack. This incident …

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New archaeology finding shows how Muslim cuisine endured in secret despite policing by the Spanish Catholic regime

Andalusi communal dining bowls known as ‘ataifores’ in El Legado Andalusí, Museum of the Alhambra, Granada. Author provided Aleks Pluskowski, University of Reading; Guillermo García-Contreras Ruiz, Universidad de Granada, and Marcos García García, University of York Granada, in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, was the final remnant of Islamic Iberia known as al-Andalus – a territory that once stretched across most …

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COVID-19: does exercising really reduce the risk?

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, University of Oxford A new US study shows that people who are less physically active are more likely to be hospitalised and die with COVID-19. According to these new calculations, being inactive puts you at a greater risk from COVID-19 than any other risk factor except age and having had an organ transplant. If this …

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Should cyberwar be met with physical force? Moral philosophy can help us decide

seaonweb/Shutterstock Christopher J. Finlay, Durham University In conventional warfare, it’s accepted that if a state finds itself under attack, it’s entitled to respond – either with defensive force, or with a counterattack. But it’s less clear how countries should respond to cyber-attacks: state-backed hacks which often have dangerous real-world implications. The 2020 SolarWinds hack, attributed to state-backed Russian hackers, breached …

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