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Members of the Iraqi police forces sit outside a building in the city of Fallujah on June 30, 2016 after they’ve recaptured the city from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

How Saddam Hussein’s old ideology may have contributed to the modern Islamic State

Was the early conception of IS a branching-out of the old Baath party? Or was it, as some argue, completely separate with no connection at all? Reality is probably a bit of a mix of both.
Pamphlets for participatory budgeting processes in New York , a system that does back to ancient Greece. Daniel Latorre/Flickr

When citizens set the budget: lessons from ancient Greece

Politicians assume that voters cannot face the financial truth. To democracy experts this is just wrong. Involving voters results in better budgets as shows history from ancient Greece.
The January 30 address at the State of the Union reveals a lot about the American leader’s excessive character. Nicholas Kamm/AFP

What Donald Trump’s State of the Union address says about his autocratic tendencies

The State of the Union address, a traditional exercise for US presidents was marked this year by a great divergence on tone and words, showing the clear dictatorial style of the American leader.
Paris “under water” and other European cities facing drastic climate change should trigger planners to think urban spaces differently. S.Faric/Flickr

When climate comes unhinged, we need to re-think how to build our cities

In the future, Europe will suffer from more heat waves as well as extreme rainfall, presenting new challenges for planners and health care services. Building resilient cities can help.
Message from the Unseen World, an installation of a Turing-inspired algorithm reciting a poem. by Nick Drake. Roger Marks/Flickr

Digital public: looking at what algorithms actually do

Today's communications platforms and the algorithms that power them have led to a radical change in how public discourse is conducted and public opinion formed.
The distribution of prime numbers from 1 to 76,800, from left to right and top to bottom. A black pixel means that the number is first, while a white pixel means that it is not. Wikipedia

A newly discovered prime number makes its debut

The discovery of a new prime number -- and it’s a big one -- is a great opportunity to revisit Marin Mersenne, the French theologian who dreamed of a formula that could predict where they hide.
Support programme for basic education in Casamance (Paebca). Academie Sedhiou in Senegal. AFD

Demography and education: allies or enemies?

How to explore the pathways for an objective alliance between demographic dynamics and youth education in sub-Saharan Africa.
An Afghanistan national police officer helps a U.S. Army lieutenant, June 14, 2007. Can honour be restored in today’s international conflicts? Michael Bracken/US Army/Flickr

A question of honour: how the 19th century can teach us to civilise today’s international conflicts

Nothing displays the ethical superiority of one’s values better than to treat a foe with the respect due another human being.
You know you shouldn’t smoke, or have sex without a condom if you’re not with a longtime partner. And when it comes to drinking, tea only, of course. Dominik Martin/Unsplash

Must we deprive ourselves of all pleasure to stay healthy?

Quit smoking, quit drinking -- so many good resolutions for the New Year. But can the overabundance of messages on healthy living become counter-productive?
Artist’s view of Aqua, a NASA satellite in orbit around the Earth since 2002 that studies the water cycle. AIRS/Flickr

Climate change as seen from space

Several satellites have been launched in recent years with the objective of measuring data related to climate change. They must be complementary to measurements made on earth.
The genocide memorial in Kigali. Humanitarian workers in Rwanda had to deal daily with the horrors of war. Trocaire/Flickr

Living through the horrors of genocide: humanitarian workers in Rwanda

It is shocking to see the extent to which humanitarian workers in Rwanda became regular eyewitnesses to violence, murder and large-scale massacres in 1994.
A painting by Sakubei Yamamoto. Yamamoto Family/Collection Yamamoto Sakubee

The “Pitmen painters” of England and Japan

Throughout the centuries, a number of coal miners have documented their lives with paintings. Some of their works are now in museums and bring the stories of the "pitmen" back to life.

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