Tag Archives: Middle East

A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

 Artist’s evidence-based depiction of the blast, which had the power of 1,000 Hiroshimas. Allen West and Jennifer Rice, CC BY-ND Christopher R. Moore, University of South Carolina As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space …

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20 years of ‘forever’ wars have left a toll on US veterans returning to the question: ‘Did you kill?’

Every soldier has a different story. Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images Marian Eide, Texas A&M University Military service members returning from America’s “forever” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have often faced deeply personal questions about their experience. As one veteran explained to me: “I’ve been asked, ‘Have you ever killed anyone in war? Are you messed up at all?’” “I …

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What schools teach about 9/11 and the war on terror

A survey of U.S. history teachers found they teach about 9/11 primarily on the date of the anniversary. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images Jeremy Stoddard, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Diana Hess, University of Wisconsin-Madison The phrase “Never Forget” is often associated with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But what does this phrase mean for U.S. students …

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How someone becomes a torturer

At the Amna Suraka museum in Iraq, exhibits show the torture that was carried out in the cells. Hélène Veilleux/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA Christopher Justin Einolf, Northern Illinois University Every day, thousands of people are tortured in police stations, security offices and prisons around the world. Human rights organizations protest torture and advocate for survivors, but neither they nor the public …

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Russia and Syria: bound together in a mission that is far from accomplished

Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham All the standard public relations ploys were in evidence for the recent meeting between Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad and Russian envoy Alexander Lavrentiev in Damascus. More than 230 officials from 30 federal executive bodies, five Russian regions, and the Russian defence ministry had trekked to the Syrian capital. There were 15 agreements and memorandums on …

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Why so many Iranians plan not to vote this month – podcast

Daniel Merino, The Conversation and Gemma Ware, The Conversation In this episode of The Conversation Weekly, ahead of Iran’s presidential elections later this month, we look at why so many Iranians are planning not to vote. And why light pollution is ruining the romantic mood for fireflies – and how you can help. Iranians are about to get the chance …

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After 12 years of Netanyahu, here’s what to expect from a new coalition government in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years as Israeli prime minister are coming to an end. Yonatan Sindel/EPA-EFE John Strawson, University of East London Israeli politics are entering a new chapter. After inconclusive elections in March, a politically diverse coalition has formed to end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years as prime minister. The eight-party coalition is led by right-winger Naftali Bennett and centrist …

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