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A 1932 photograph showing the minaret of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, Mosul. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

On Yom Kippur, remembering Mosul’s rich and diverse past

As Mosul rebuilds, its history is a reminder that people of many faiths lived in cooperation in the city. In the city was the Tomb of Prophet Jonah, venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
China’s proposed one belt, one road route map Shutterstock

Where Africa fits into China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative

China has launched a quietly aggressive global trade, development and infrastructure initiative based on the ancient Silk Road model. But is Africa welcome on the journey to renewed prosperity?
China’s President Xi Jinping at the podium at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. AP Photo/Michel Euler

China steps up as US steps back from global leadership

Leaders are worried US leadership on global issues like climate change will be diminished under President Trump. Experts explain why China is ready to lead, and how that could be a good thing.
The Silk Road was once a river of commerce across continents. It lives again on the ‘dark net’, that part of the internet that operates on the encrypted TOR network. Wikimedia Commons

Digital refugees flee via Silk Road to black markets in drugs

Recent media reports have once again put the public spotlight on cryptomarkets, the eBay-style websites operating on the encrypted dark net. They facilitate a vast and anonymous global trade in black market…
In a stark contrast to the conventional drug trade, some users in online marketplaces offer full or partial refunds for drugs that are intercepted by customs. AAP/Customs

‘Fair trade’ cocaine and ‘conflict-free’ opium: the future of online drug marketing

In October 2013, US authorities shut down Silk Road, the world’s largest cryptomarket. At the time, prosecutors claimed that the closure of the so-called “eBay of illicit drugs” represented the beginning…
You’re going to have to try a bit harder if you want to be really anonymous. moirabot

Silk Road bust unmasks our misconceptions on anonymity

The US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ have upped the stakes in the battle for internet privacy by targeting users of Tor. Not only have the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden up until this…
War on Drugs proponents have argued the closure of Silk Road is going to make the public safer from the harms caused by illicit drugs, but does the evidence back up this view? AAP/AFP

Misguided optimism: the Silk Road closure and the War on Drugs

The recent closure of illicit drugs website Silk Road by the FBI has been hailed as a decisive blow in the fight against organised crime and another victory in the global War on Drugs. Although a minor…
It may be closed, but Silk Road was not the only online avenue to illegal goods and services. lens-flare.de

End of the Silk Road: how did Dread Pirate Roberts get busted?

You’ll have seen the owner of notorious online marketplace Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested in a San Francisco public library on Wednesday, California time. But how does the administrator…
Despite the shutdown of anonymous illegal goods market Silk Road, its currency - the Bitcoin - recovered its losses. Flickr/Zach Copley

Bitcoin shakes off Silk Road shutdown; so what now for the Deep Web?

In a blow for the burgeoning economy of black markets on the Internet’s so-called “Deep Web”, trading site the [Silk Road](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road_(marketplace) has been shut down by US…

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