Why Germany's low COVID-19 death rate might be a mirage

The Germans have a pretty good idea of how and when COVID-19 arrived in their country. The first 16 infections were all traced to a Shanghai-based employee of a German auto parts maker, who paid a visit to company headquarters in Bavaria on Jan. 19. Authorities were notified on Jan. 27, the day af


is it just a fleeting high fuelled by brain chemicals?

I am head over heels in love but my cynical friends keep telling me that love is nothing but a cocktail of pheromones, dopamine and oxytocin, and that these wear off after a couple of years. The thought scares me, it makes the whole thing seem meaningless. Is love really just brain chemistry? Jo, Lo


When was toilet paper invented and what did people use before?

As coronavirus becomes an ever-increasing threat to our daily lives, there seems to be one thing that people around the world cannot go without the most: the ability to wipe after a visit to the porcelain throne. Writing for BBC History Revealed, Jonny Wilkes considers the history of toilet paper&he


Crafts can help refugees find community, and maybe a living

When Bahija Karim arrived in Idaho as an Afghan refugee in 2005, she knew little about American culture. She didn’t speak English. A volunteer directed her to Artisans for Hope, a local crafts initiative for refugees. There, she was taught crafting skills and English. Artisans for Hope took K


Palestinians consider next step in opposition to US plan

AMMAN - As the details of Washington’s peace plan becomes clear, Palestinian leaders are searching for a way forward that avoids acquiescing to US and Israeli demands. Veteran Jordanian-Palestinian writer Lamas Andon told Arab News that while Palestinian leaders have a right to reject the pla


Palestinians Expect Little but Bias from Trump Peace Plan

After US President Donald Trump's announcement that he will finally launch his long-awaited Middle East peace plan next week, the response among many Palestinians Friday was a collective shrug. Trump said the plan, which has been delayed multiple times, would finally be released by next Tuesday whe


2019 – France's year of fire and fury

Arnab Béranger 2019 marked a tumultuous year for France, opening with Yellow Vests riding the early high of the protest movement and ending under crippling strikes against pension reform. Fury on the street was momentarily overshadowed by the fire that ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral, with the


How Indonesia’s new international Islamic university will host global research for ‘moderate Islam’

Martin LaMonica In an attempt to offer an alternative Islamic university model to the current dominance of Middle Eastern universities, Indonesia has announced plans to open the Indonesian International Islamic University (UIII) in Depok, West Java. With more than 200 million believers, Indonesia


First Pig-Monkey Chimeras Were Just Created in China

By Nicoletta Lanese Two piglets recently born in China look like average swine on the outside, but on the inside, they are (a very small) part monkey. A team of researchers generated the pig-primate creatures by injecting monkey stem cells into fertilized pig embryos and then implanting them into


Why Love Isn't Enough

John Amodeo * Is it possible to love someone but not feel emotionally close? Do you have a longing to connect, but your yearning gets frustrated. . . without knowing why? Sadly, there is often a gap between the love we feel in our heart and the emotional intimacy we experience with someone. The co


Group says 5 more years of war in Yemen will cost $29 billion in aid

CAIRO (AP) Reporting by Samy Magdy — Another five years of fighting in Yemen would cost as much as $29 billion just to sustain the current level of humanitarian aid — more than the entire annual humanitarian budget globally — an international relief group said on Monday.


'Even Isis wouldn't shoot at us': medics on frontline of Baghdad protests

When demonstrators took to the streets of Baghdad in early October, two military medics, Abbas and Ahmad, saw people beaten back by police and soldiers, cut down with canisters and bullets and overcome by noxious gases designed for use on the battlefield. Later in the month they left their homes, i


In Lebanon's Tripoli, the poor struggle to make ends meet

TRIPOLI - In a dusty alley streaked with sewage in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli, Fatima, her husband and 11 children live crippled by debt and wondering where their next meal is coming from. "We're a poor people here in Tripoli," said the 38-year-old mother, in the city that has taken ce


The Joker to Guy Fawkes: why protesters around the world are wearing the same masks

Aidan McGarry * From Hong Kong to Chile and from Lebanon to Iraq, people around the world are taking to the streets in protest against their leaders. Across these myriad different protest movements – with their different contexts, histories and goals – people are wearing the same masks.


Lebanon protesters tell the president: ‘it’s time for father of all to leave’

Sunniva Rose and James Haines-Young Protesters closed the highway from the Lebanese capital to Baabda Palace on Wednesday and refused an invitation to meet President Michel Aoun. The demonstration outside the presidential palace came on the 28th day of the mass uprising against the government and


Muscat hosts undeclared talks to end Yemen war: sources

Undeclared talks have been held between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Houthis in the Omani capital, a source close to the group said Thursday, in an attempt to end the Yemen's 4.5-year war. Secret talks are underway between Houthi leaders and Saudi senior officials in Muscat through mediators


Washington Post condemned for referring to Al-Baghdadi as ‘austere religious scholar’

LONDON- The Washington Post has been widely condemned and mocked after referring to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” in an obituary headline. The Daesh leader blew himself up during a US military raid to capture him in northwest Syria on Saturday night. Donald Tru


How does Lebanon's government work? 

By Cristina Abellan Matamoros   Lebanon's leaders are under pressure to make radical changes to how the country is run as crippling economic conditions and anger at perceived government corruption trigger widespread protests. The country is governed by a power-sharing system aimed at guarant





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