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Staff Picks, Our 15 Best Stories Of 2019

LES ECHOS

France's Yellow Vests And The Problem With Post-Truth Economics

Opinion shapers have a habit these days of disregarding facts, be they scientific or economic. Opinions matter, of course, but shouldn't supersede well-founded knowledge.


SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

RoboJudge: When Laws Are Transformed Into Computer Code

Laws take time to catch up with reality. Could we program them into binary systems? It is tempting, but it is also dangerous.


DIE WELT

Lagos Postcard: When EU Pushes Migrants To Go Back Home

Nigerian painter Isaac sold everything and left Lagos, in the hope to make it to Germany. After barely surviving in Libya, he gave it all up and went back.


LE MONDE

J'Accuse, Me Too: France And The Polanski Morality Play

New sexual assault accusations surfaced in France before the release of Roman Polanski's new film (titled "J'Accuse" in French) about the Dreyfus affair of a false accusation against a French-Jewish army officer. Who is accusing who here?


RUE AMELOT

My 17th-Century Aunt And Killing The "Witch Hunt" Metaphor


DIE WELT

Short-Term Thinking, The Ruin Of Today's Politics

Democratic systems offer little incentive for long-term thinking. But unless we can implement true, forward-looking policies, problems like climate change will only multiply.


EL ESPECTADOR

In Colombia, When Your 7-Year-Old Is Transgender

In Bogotá, a transgender girl and her family are, with their openness, helping similar people take their rightful place in society.


LES ECHOS

Thou Shalt Never Be Polite To Robots

Google and Amazon are trying to force us to speak politely to their AI-driven personal assistants. But giving souls to our technology is a dangerous return to the past.


CLARIN

Christchurch To Sao Paulo: Our Age Of Nihilistic Terrorism

The white supremacist who killed 50 at New Zealand mosques is like other mass killers attached to myths of ideological identity that lack any real political horizon.


THE INITIUM

In A Beijing Park, The Cold Calculations Of Senior Dating

Loneliness, sex and economics rule among aging singles in the Chinese capital.


CUMHURIYET

Istanbul's Opposition Mayor And Hopes For Turkish Democracy


LIVY BEREG

Just The Two Of Us: Why Belarus' Lukashenko Is Betting On Putin


ONESHOT

Watch: Cinq — Lorenzo Tugnoli, Yemen Humanitarian Crisis


LE MONDE

End Times And Ecology: Finding Meaning With Our Planet In Peril

Can the possibility of the end of the world give meaning to life? A French philosopher (and mother of young children) fears the worst but tries to live the best she can.


RUE AMELOT

Racism And Soccer In The Time Of Salvini, A Napoli Homecoming

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Dottoré!

Sowing The Seeds Of Paranoia

"They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!"

"Slowly, we were the only ones left"

Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know a lot of flags, and let me tell you why. I grew up in the province of Caserta, and — like everybody in those days — my parents owned a piece of land, and they would take me with them to farm it.

I remember there were other kids in the fields around us. But then, slowly, we were the only ones left because everybody was selling the land, making a lot of money off of it too.

Papà wouldn't listen to reason and he kept the land. But in the meantime, instead of farmers, trucks began to arrive. Many many trucks, unloading thousands of barrels and burying them into the ground.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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