Thursday, 18 September 2014

Dealing with returning Islamic fighters and other news and views for Thursday 18 September

  • Islamic State: Germany Struggles to Deal with Returning Fighters – “Hundreds of radical Islamists from Germany have headed to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State. Many have since returned home. Now the country’s court system is gearing up for the coming legal battles — and facing myriad challenges.”
  • U.S. Falling Into the Islamic State’s Trap – “There are many reasons the U.S. shouldn’t go to war with the Islamic State — and the best may be that it’s exactly what they want us to do.”
  • On the Necessary Execution of a Prince – “Was the recent arrest, trial and execution of North Korea’s number two politician just another sign of the madness of the regime? Or was it perhaps a sign to the people that things could actually change for the better and that no one – none of ‘them’ – was necessarily too powerful to evade punishment?”
  • The US Has Been the World’s Sole Superpower for the Last 13 Years—Why Hasn’t It Done Anything Good? – “Now, across a vast and growing swath of the planet, the main force at work seems not to be the concentration of power, but its fragmentation.”
  • The Economics of Violence – Bjorn Lomborg on another subject – “What is the biggest source of violence in our world? With the brutal conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere constantly in the news, many people would probably say war. But that turns out to be spectacularly wrong. … domestic violence against women and children imposes a social cost of $8 trillion each year, making it a huge – and vastly underreported – global issue. Second, there are solutions that can help to tackle some of these problems very cost-effectively. That is why reducing domestic violence belongs on the short-list for the world’s next set of development goals.”
  • The Ties that Bind: The Chinese Misunderstanding of Innovation – “The restrictions that hinder innovation lie not only in the system of higher education but permeate deeply into the Chinese economy. They are the ties that bind. They create a constrained environment for Chinese engineers, an environment that would be unacceptable to their peers in other industrialized countries. They limit innovation by favoring ideas that emphasize stability rather than transformation. You find this atmosphere in universities, of course, but it is also prevalent in laboratories, offices, and engineering professional societies.”
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