Criminology and Economic Theory
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Ind. Home Explosion Now Homicide Investigation

Ind. Home Explosion Now Homicide Investigation | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Officials: Fatal house explosion in Indianapolis now criminal homicide investigation...
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
Curated by Rob Duke
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The Heiress Who Buzz Sawed Her Boyfriend

The Heiress Who Buzz Sawed Her Boyfriend | Criminology and Economic Theory |
MUNICH, Germany—After sawing off the head of her bound and blind-folded boyfriend in the midst of a sex game, Gabi P. just pulled a blanket over the body, closed the door and didn’t enter the room for the next few months. It was only when she went on holiday half a year later that her new boyfriend, Christian K, an aspiring techno DJ who was freshly in love with her, accidently discovered the rotting remains when dropping by to feed her cat. (German privacy laws do not allow the publication of last names ongoing court cases.)
A friend of Christian’s remembers how, several years later, Christian once broke down sobbing in the street. Christian confessed: Gabi murdered her ex-boyfriend and he’s buried in our garden.
“And you didn’t ask him any further questions?” the judge, incredulous, asked Christian’s friend in a Munich courtroom Thursday.

Last week, 32-year-old Gabi P. was on trial here for murdering Alexander H. with an electric circular saw after a fight in 2008. But what looks like coldly premeditated slaughter (Hey, let me blindfold you and get out my saw!) may have been an “act of desperation” brought on by Alexander’s insistence on degrading sex in their relationship.
At least, that’s what the defense is arguing. Most of Gabi’s own testimony is closed to the public. But from other witnesses the judge wants to know: Was Alexander very dominant with Gabi? Did he beat her up? Did he demand and pressure her into BDSM sex?
By the time police officers got around to unearthing Alexander’s remains from Gabi’s yard last year, his parents had long given up the search for their adoptive son. Yet on the fourth morning of the trial, Alexander’s mother walked up to her son’s alleged killer and shook her hand. “They’ve made up!“ an old lady in the audience whispered excitedly.
“I don’t have any hate,” Alexander’s mother told the court on Tuesday, while fighting back tears. “This is terrible for all of us.”

In court, Gabi speaks very quietly. She keeps her face covered and only looks at the judge. Her red hair dye is growing out, revealing roots that have already gone grey.
She’d started dating Alexander (whom she only refers to as “Herr H.”—Mr. H) when she was 16 years old. He, five years older, had made the moves on her. Back then, she thought it was cool “that he made such an effort.”
Rob Duke's insight:
You've heard the old saw (pun intended): Life is stranger than fiction....
Briana Whiteside's comment, Today, 2:10 AM
talk about attachment issues and wanting to make the bedroom more interesting. I guess dating just became just more cautious for me when i look at other cultures. There seems to be a lot of detachment in the family and the ex toward the death of Alexander which is kinda perplexing.
Jonathan Hall's comment, Today, 8:09 AM
Wow, that is nutty. It will be interesting to see how that argument works for the defense. What's almost more strange is the mother's reaction to Gabi P.
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For children who survive gun violence, road to recovery can be long

For children who survive gun violence, road to recovery can be long | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In the midst of gun violence in Chicago that has taken the lives of three kids, ABC News looks at the impacts of shootings on those who do survive and their communities.
Briana Whiteside's comment, February 18, 12:23 AM
interesting article i was wondering two things when i read this article i was wondering what the difference is between shooting and homicide and how many were killed in the shootings? The other is what are these many programs that it metions for rehabilitation.
Jonathan Hall's comment, Today, 8:05 AM
I can't fathom being that young and not even being able to play basketball near an elementary school safely. I would like to have read more about the services as Briana pointed out. That level of violence does definitely constitute "out of control" in my mind.
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Immigration agents detain domestic-abuse victim in court

Immigration agents detain domestic-abuse victim in court | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Six federal immigration agents went to the El Paso County Courthouse last week and arrested an undocumented woman who had just received a protective order alleging that she was a victim of domestic violence.

The detention has alarmed officials who fear that that the arrest will scare undocumented victims of domestic abuse into staying with their abusers for fear of being deported and separated from their children or other family members.

“Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives,” said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, whose office represents domestic-abuse victims when they seek court orders against their abusers. “Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns.”

Bernal said her office is taking steps to relieve those fears in the wake of last week’s arrest.
Rob Duke's insight:
I guess it depends on the circumstances.  I didn't want my community members pushed into the arms of the gangs or cartels, so we ignored most immigration violations (we weren't empowered to enforce these Federal laws), but there were some folks who were involved in criminal activity that we asked for help from ICE....
Eric Villasenor's comment, February 16, 7:39 PM
People shouldn't have to fear turning in an abuser because of deportation concerns. However, in most cases, they shouldn't be here illegally in the first place. It is not as difficult as people make it seem to gain residency. Those that prove their worth, can become residents.
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How the Internet's Just Starting to Transform Cuba

In the past two years, Cuba has started rolling out public access to the internet. Wifi is now available through a network of hotspots-- but access is expensive, and the connection can be patchy and slow. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Pia Gadkari visits Cuba, exploring what life looks like when a country's just starting to get online. Pia and Aki Ito hear from local entrepreneurs how the Internet is helping them grow their businesses, and discuss the potential for U.S. tech companies on the island.
Eric Villasenor's comment, February 16, 7:43 PM
This is great. I think Cuba is finally becoming part of the rest of the modern and developed world. I was just recently looking on at houses in Havana. You can rent a Spanish near mansion like accommodations for $20 a day. This will only improve their economy now that travel from the US is allowed and the internet is booming and becoming part of their trade. What a success for their country.
Angela Webb's comment, February 17, 6:19 AM

I think it’s really good that Cuba is becoming more familiar with the internet. It can be a very helpful and amazing thing. It can be a great boost for the economy. helping people grow their business will further help the economy and the wellbeing of the country.
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Old doors in Palmer courthouse to get a makeover

Though the project to replace or restore nearly 70 locks and doors has an estimated value of up to &u0024;500,000, state courts officials don't expect it to cost nearly that much.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 15, 7:38 PM
haha, I have worked on that building before, and yes the roof does indeed need to be replaced but I didn't think the doors would need to be replaced if the locks are just worn out.... Order new locks??? seems pretty obvious to me.
Angela Webb's comment, February 17, 5:55 AM
I find it interesting when they are having other more serious problems like the issue with the roof they would rather get the doors replaced. It is important for court rooms and important rooms to be secured but it seems that the locks still work and they just want the doors to be a little more sound proof. I don't see the need for this issue to be fixed before the roof. If there was tuns of money just laying around wishing for something to do then maybe it would be ok to fix the doors but I don't think its necessary right now.
Camden Pommenville's comment, Today, 4:10 AM
It is important to maintain the security of our federal and state buildings and keep them from falling into disrepair. 500 thousand dollars seems a bit excessive in my opinion. If the doors are only taking 100 thousand, what are they planning on using the other 400 from the appropriation for?
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Life is but a stream: China’s new craze for live-streaming | The Economist

Life is but a stream: China’s new craze for live-streaming | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
LAST YEAR ZHAO XINLONG, aged 25, and his wife and baby boy moved from his parents’ farm into a mid-rise apartment in town. It has been a tough adjustment. Luan County is a rustbelt community on the polluted outskirts of the steel city of Tangshan in north-east China.
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Daily chart: How colleges affect social mobility in America | The Economist

Daily chart: How colleges affect social mobility in America | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
IS THE American elite born or made? A new study by a team of economists tackles this question. By matching data from the Department of Education with 30m tax returns, the authors examine in unprecedented detail how much graduates of different colleges earn, and how earnings vary according to parental income.
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How Your Gut Affects Your Mood

How Your Gut Affects Your Mood | Criminology and Economic Theory |
At any given moment, you have somewhere between 10 trillion and 100 trillion microorganisms inhabiting your gut — that’s more microbes in your bowels than ther…
Kyle Green's comment, February 18, 8:42 PM
Some of the elements in the last paragraph should be the caveat statement to all health studies. “Biology is rarely as simple as we want it to be.” There will never be a one step process to curing something without affecting another process in the body negatively.

Maybe someday we’ll understand what it is we are and how we work… that is if we don’t evolve away from what we’re studying already!
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Trump signs three new executive orders on crime reduction

Trump signs three new executive orders on crime reduction | Criminology and Economic Theory |
President Donald Trump signed three new executive orders Thursday that he said are "designed to restore safety in America."
Timmy Folkers's curator insight, February 12, 4:04 AM
politics are never my strong suit. I do however I do think that when we placed laws that heeded immigration, there was a large influx of people staying in the US. I think that there could have been more people coming and going from other countrys. With more regulations needed to get into america they could have just decided to just sty in the US instead of returning home and created a climate where people are fearful to leave.  
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 15, 7:32 PM
I'm glad to see someone stepping up on behalf of the police and that our president is taking some charge and making changes. We will see the repercussions of it later, but I think this is a movement in the right direction for aiding the police. True, given the nature of their work they are in danger, but they should not fear the consequences of using force when needed. Also, seeing a change towards some serious immigration flaws is a great move forward as well.
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Greyhound passenger who beheaded, cannibalized passenger is granted freedom

Greyhound passenger who beheaded, cannibalized passenger is granted freedom | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Will Baker, also known as Vince Li, was initially kept in a secure wing of a psychiatric hospital but has been given more freedom every year
Rob Duke's insight:
Well, at least we not Canada...
Sara Mckinstry's comment, February 13, 3:03 AM
that's so horrible why would they let someone free after that????? This man has some mental issues for doing what he did and he should stay in prison.
Joshua Vey's comment, February 13, 8:18 PM
I would never let that man go free for his horrid actions.
Brennan D Watson's comment, February 16, 8:49 PM
I am not saying that it is a good thing that he is back on the street however the article does state that "The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1999 that a review board must order an absolute discharge if a person doesn’t pose a significant threat to public safety." This mean that if this man is not considered a threat to the public they have to release him. I am not sure what their criteria is for being safe. Also he has been living on his own since November, and will still be working with his treatment team. Is this not the end goal of the system? To return health people to society?
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Nullius in verba: A crash course in understanding numbers | The Economist

Nullius in verba: A crash course in understanding numbers | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics. By Daniel Levitin. Dutton; 292 pages; $28. Viking; £14.99.

PEOPLE take in five times as much information each day as they did in the mid-1980s. With all these data sloshing around it is easy to feel lost. One politician uses a statistic to back up her argument; a newspaper uses another fact to refute it; an economist uses a third to prove them both wrong. In “A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics” Daniel Levitin, an American neuroscientist, shows the reader how to find a way through all this numerical confusion.

A book about statistics can easily be boring. Fortunately, Mr Levitin is the perfect guide. Before becoming an academic he used to work as a stand-up comedian. Drawing on those skills Mr Levitin peppers his book with wisecracks. He uses the phrase “on average, humans have one testicle” to make the point that the mean can be a misleading description of a population. He goes off on interesting tangents, granting the reader some light relief from detailed analysis of sampling and probabilities. Only occasionally is his hokey style annoying.

Using plenty of examples, Mr Levitin shows how easily statistics can lead people astray. Take the following assertion, which on a quick skim might seem perfectly reasonable: “In the 35 years since marijuana laws stopped being enforced in California, the number of marijuana smokers has doubled every year.” One will soon realise that this must be nonsense; even with only one smoker to begin with, after doubling every year for 35 years there would be more than 17bn of them. Mr Levitin repeatedly throws these statistical curveballs at his readers, training them to adopt a take-nobody’s-word-for-it attitude. It is an effective pedagogical technique.

Some statistics turn out to be plain wrong, but more commonly they mislead. Yet this is hard to spot: numbers appear objective and apolitical. A favourite of academics and journalists, when analysing trends, is to “rebase” their figures to 100 so as to back up the argument that they wish to make. For instance, starting a chart of American GDP growth in 2009, when the country was in recession, tricks the reader into thinking that over the long term the economy is stronger than it really is. “[K]eep in mind that experts can be biased without even realising it,” Mr Levitin reminds people.

A basic understanding of statistical theory helps the reader cope with the onslaught of information. Mr Levitin patiently explains the difference between a percentage change and a percentage-point change, a common source of confusion. When a journalist describes a statistical result as “significant”, this rarely carries the same meaning as when a statistician says it. The journalist may mean that the fact is interesting. The statistician usually means that there is a 95% probability that the result has not occurred by chance. (Whether it is interesting or not is another matter.)

Some readers may find Mr Levitin’s book worthy but naive. The problem with certain populist politicians is not that they mislabel an x-axis here or fail to specify a control group there. Rather they deliberately promulgate blatant lies which play to voters’ irrationalities and insecurities. Yet if everyone could adopt the level of healthy statistical scepticism that Mr Levitin would like, political debate would be in much better shape. This book is an indispensable trainer.

Rob Duke's insight:
A stat book from a stand-up comedian--
Derrick Morris's curator insight, February 8, 6:31 PM

I enjoyed reading this article about the use of statistics in the Information age. This sounds like an interesting book on the subject of statistics and how they relate to Political Science. 

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Hackers take down thousands of 'dark web' sites, post private data

Hackers take down thousands of 'dark web' sites, post private data | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Someone claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous compromised a private web hosting service last week, taking down more than 10,000 sites on the highly encrypted "dark web," security researchers said.

The hacker or hackers broke into the hidden web hosting service Freedom Hosting II, claiming to have harvested all of the sites' files and its database, totaling almost 80 gigabytes of material, they said in a message appearing on the screens of users trying to access the sites.

They said more than half of the information they obtained was child pornography, even though the service promotes itself as having a "zero tolerance policy" to such material.

Other materials in the exposed data include numerous references to botnets — automated computer networks used to launch distributed denial of service (or DDoS) attacks, spew out spam or steal data — email addresses, usernames and passwords from dark web sites.
Cheyenne Martinez's comment, February 13, 3:30 AM
I am also one of those people who had never heard of the dark web – or even the fact that most of the internet wasn’t accessible through search engines. The thought that the rest can only be accessed through certain passwords and software is kind of crazy to me. However, on another note – it’s interesting that certain web hosting servers have delved into the more unjustifiable types of crime only when they are behind closed doors. How quickly their actions betray their words.
Brennan D Watson's comment, February 16, 7:41 PM
What I am wondering is why the group of hackers would leave a link to how they supposedly carried out the hack. That seems like it could be used to make systems more secure against them.
Kyle Green's comment, February 18, 8:13 PM
If the dark web network wasn’t permitted to be in existence in the first place, and someone illegally obtains access and control over it and then shuts it down, was harm really done to anyone?

Vigilante justice? “Anonymous” is known for that, but they themselves are not necessarily a unified “organization” having been on both sides of the fence of what is probably considered “legal.”
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The shaping of the law in America: Why the American legal system is so flexible | The Economist

The shaping of the law in America: Why the American legal system is so flexible | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

The idea of “rights”, “mainstream” and even the role of the Supreme Court in determining these are not as enshrined as advocates of various positions contend. They never have been. Many ideas abound about the role of the court within America’s political system, the principles it should uphold and even the definition of a ubiquitous term, “rule of law”. Some of these debates trace their roots back to the early 18th century, before America was even established.

If the fight has become more heated, it is because the authority of the judiciary in America, notably its ability “to legislate”—to expand the reach of law and find new, unstated (and possibly unintended) rights—has been a pivotal feature of politics since the 1950s. “Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law”, a well-timed book by Stephen Presser, a professor at Northwestern University, traces how this emerged.

The book is organised around the intellectual biographies of 29 individuals, including one Barack Obama, who spent 12 years as a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago before taking an eight-year tour as America’s president. “There is no country on Earth in which law professors have played a more prominent role,” writes Mr Presser, a statement that neither lawyers nor politicians in any camp would dispute.

The natural audience for this book is academics, members of the bar and law students. For these last in particular, it may become essential reading. Law professors like putting their students through the hoops by asking them bewildering questions; Mr Presser’s book does a good job of distilling what is actually being taught. Given the timing of the book, though, its greatest value may lie in the way it explains why potential candidates are so often described, by different interested parties, as being ignorant, bigots or temperamentally unsuited to the task at hand.

“Our two major political parties now understand the rule of law very differently,” Mr Presser writes. Should it be based on precedent and written statutes (basically the Republican approach) or should it be discretionary and allowed to incorporate values and external information (the Democrats’ view). Within this schism is a struggle over whether the judiciary’s role is to enforce laws as they were written or to see law as a flexible instrument to achieve objectives, many of which are passionately supported—and passionately opposed.

That law professors became pivotal players in this drama was never inevitable. As in Britain, in America’s earliest days legal training came through apprenticeships. This was augmented by a few intellectually ambitious outside authorities who found their way to universities. One of the earliest law professors, Joseph Story, simultaneously taught at Harvard, served as a justice on the Supreme Court, wrote treatises instructing judges and lawyers on the law and ran a bank (which may have been perceived at the time as an added benefit rather than a conflict of interest).

In his spare time, Story hosted Alexis de Tocqueville during his trip to America, and is thought to have been a key influence in de Tocqueville’s assertion that lawyers served as America’s aristocracy, and “constitute a sort of privileged body in the scale of intellect”, who serve as “the most powerful existing security against the excesses of democracy”. These lines are often repeated—less so a subsequent passage, noting that beyond their virtues, they, “like most other men, are governed by their private interests, and especially by the interests of the moment”.

These three sentiments: that the study of the law is the preserve of lawyers, who are the intellectual elite; that they serve as a deterrent against the failures of democracy; and that they may be compromised, if not flawed, in their approach, are dominant themes throughout Mr Presser’s book. In practice, Story was one of many prominent Americans who tried to distil law from cases that were largely but not exclusively British, reflecting differences such as lack of a monarchy. Although this was a formidable task, it was limited to determining what were, in fact, the rules of law.

The pedagogical approach was formalised in the late 19th century by Christopher Columbus Langdell, a dean of Harvard Law School, who developed what became the practice of deciphering a vast number of appellate decisions to understand what were perceived to be scientific principles and logic. But even as this approach to legal training became common, intellectually the fact that the law could be discerned through its history was never entirely satisfactory to its most ambitious practitioners. In response to a casebook on contracts compiled by Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, yet another professor at Harvard Law School and a Supreme Court justice, wrote, “The Life of the Law is not logic, but experience.” Even if the same rules were invoked, over time they served different purposes, in Holmes’s view.

It is this premise of a flexible law that became the animating force in law schools and ultimately in American courts and policy, largely through a series of movements that Mr Presser describes with as much precision as this somewhat murky procession allows. Among the most important was “legal realism”, which, as Holmes’s statement suggests, examined what judges actually did, rather than the rules of law¸ and encouraged them to incorporate research from social sciences in making their decisions. This was adopted by the Supreme Court under Earl Warren after the second world war and played a huge factor in many of its most notable decisions, including Brown v Board of Education in 1954, which concluded that segregation was unconstitutional, not because of segregation itself but rather because of testimony drawn from research about the psychological harm that segregation imposed.
The notion of the court as a mechanism for going beyond statutes and past decisions to define justice opened up a wide field of study in the latter half of the 20th century. Among the many professors to shape the judicial system during that time were Ronald Dworkin, a professor at New York University and Oxford, who argued that law must be debated on the basis of moral concepts rather than rules; Richard Posner, a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago and a federal judge, who has been called the single most cited legal authority largely because of his development of cost-benefit analysis; and, conversely, Cass Sunstein, also of Chicago, then Harvard, then the Obama administration, who concluded that the failure of people to act rationally justifies judicial and governmental intervention.

Mr Obama too spent many years at Chicago, but Mr Presser writes that his views were established while he was a student at Harvard when another movement, “critical legal studies”, was popular. It argued that the law was malleable—a political instrument that had been misused by the powerful in the past and should be reinterpreted to empower the disenfranchised.

The great figure who opposed this approach was Antonin Scalia, who left the Chicago faculty to be a federal appeals court judge then a Supreme Court justice, and whose death almost exactly a year ago created the current opening.

As Mr Presser writes, Scalia believed the law and constitution should be followed by interpreting both as they were understood at the time they were enacted rather than stretched by unelected judges, since original intent was the best means of implementing the will of the people. Change should come through popular votes and the laws enacted by elected legislators. This approach, more than any particular issue, is a fundamental challenge to an expansive court, presidency and even, perhaps, to the aristocratic position that de Tocqueville discerned in the law. As Mr Presser shows, it is a challenge that resonated in unlikely candidates in the past, notably Felix Frankfurter, a Harvard professor, architect of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and a Supreme Court justice, who revealed in his opinions concerns about pushing the boundaries of law too far.

Mr Presser’s book does not always make for easy reading, but the ideas that he has gathered together, all of them put forward by intelligent people, are complex. America is consumed by serious legal debates about issues, what the law says, what people think the law should say—and whether that is law. This may be the book that comes closest to spelling out what is really being argued.

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The Islamic Englightenment: A counter-argument to the “clash of civilisations” | The Economist

The Islamic Englightenment: A counter-argument to the “clash of civilisations” | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason. By Christopher de Bellaigue. Bodley Head; 398 pages; £25. To be published in America by Liveright in April; $35.

FEW topics are as bitterly contested today as the nature of Islam. America has just elected a president who speaks pointedly of “Islamic terrorism”; his predecessor balked at connecting Islam with violence and said those who did, including terrorists, were misreading the faith.

In Western intellectual debates, meanwhile, some maintain that Islam stultifies its followers, either because of its core teachings or because in the 11th century Islamic theology turned its back on emphasising human reason. Others retort indignantly that the Islamic world’s problems are the fault of its Western foes, from crusaders to European colonists, who bruised the collective Muslim psyche.

A new book by Christopher de Bellaigue, a British journalist and historian of the Middle East, hews to the latter side, but with an unusual twist. He describes how Islam’s initial encounter with modernity, two centuries ago, had some benign consequences and he sees that as a basis for hope. Sceptics will inevitably call the book’s title, “The Islamic Enlightenment”, naive or oxymoronic.

Still, having focused for a number of years on Iran and modern Turkey (from where he reported for The Economist), Mr de Bellaigue is well-placed to tease out at least one strand of the debate about Islam: the reaction to European influence as it unfolded over the 19th century in the political and cultural centres of the Muslim world following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798.
The author succeeds in his main purpose, which is to show that in Cairo, Istanbul and Tehran, prominent figures embraced aspects of Western thought and technology with discernment and gusto while remaining good Muslims. His heroes are writers, doctors, generals and sultans. They include Abdulrahman al-Jabarti, an Egyptian sheikh who articulated the fascinated shock with which his compatriots greeted the arrival of Napoleon, accompanied by scientists and scholars. Jabarti had grown up believing that his own faith’s superiority should assure success in war. However, his honest, lively mind had to acknowledge both the invaders’ more effective firepower and the intellectual heft which the French were bringing to the study of his homeland.

In Istanbul the sultan, Mahmud II (pictured), responded to the rising strength of Western powers by imitating them. He curbed the rapaciousness of his civil servants and clerical reactionaries. By removing religious restraints on the study of the body, he ushered modern hygiene and medicine into a region ravaged by plague. 

In Persia, meanwhile, Abbas Mirza, a charismatic prince, drew on French and British help to modernise an army run on medieval lines. Young Persians were sent to train in Britain and proved quick learners. One of them, Mirza Saleh, wrote a remarkable account of his travels and became the country’s first journalist.

Mr de Bellaigue shows that in the Islamic world, just as in the West, efficient forms of transport and communication made it easier for intelligent individuals, including women, to share ideas. This is one example of the rich detail that his research brings to the stories of these Muslim modernisers and the violent reaction they sometimes triggered.

In the book’s final two chapters, there is an abrupt change of pace as the author speeds through Islam’s dealings with European colonial powers during the late 19th and, above all, in the early 20th century. It is a fairly accomplished gallop through difficult terrain and its purpose is to show, in very broad terms, why relations between Muslims and Westerners would eventually turn so sour. Western policies became greedier and more cynical, especially during and after the first world war, and this triggered a sharp reaction in the Muslim world, enraging humble, pious folk as well as clever elites.

The author empathises with the resentment felt by Muslims over being used as geopolitical pawns and over the arbitrary borders that were drawn by Europeans. That prompts him to write with a degree of understanding about all the popular movements that successively shook Islam’s heartland, including Turkish nationalism, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and even the Iranian uprising of 1979.

He acknowledges that these last two movements amounted to a form of “counter-enlightenment”, reinstating theocracy, but he insists that even the mullahs’ Iran has some modernising features: they educated an unprecedented number of girls.

Mr de Bellaigue is equally adamant that the positive legacy of the period closest to his heart (the early and mid-19th century) is still partially intact. For him, the very fact that there was once an era in which the Islamic world drew, selectively and intelligently, on Western ideas and technology while remaining true to itself, still gives hope. For one thing, it means that Muslims now migrating to the West retain, deep in their collective memories, an intimation that Islam can flourish in an enlightened form. His book thus offers a refreshingly optimistic counterpoint to the idea that Muslim and Western world-views are doomed to clash.

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Seven Hong Kong policemen jailed for assault on democracy activist

Seven Hong Kong policemen jailed for assault on democracy activist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A Hong Kong court sentenced seven policemen to two years jail on Friday for beating a handcuffed pro-democracy activist during mass democracy protests in 2014, a rare case of police brutality in the financial hub that triggered public outrage.
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After a decade fighting the cartels, Mexico may be looking for a way to get its military off the front line

After a decade fighting the cartels, Mexico may be looking for a way to get its military off the front line | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Mexico's decade-old drug war and the military's role in it has brought on a number of abuses, but the government may be trying to change its strategy.
Briana Whiteside's comment, Today, 2:37 AM
it is interesting to see how the one drug war is going it is also interesting to see how the people react to the changes or the fight itself. Because of the involvement and the crack down it sounds like the people dont want the president of Mexico in office.
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A protest style dating back to 1970s Germany is resurfacing in the US, and police are worried

A protest style dating back to 1970s Germany is resurfacing in the US, and police are worried | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 15, 7:24 PM
I was aware of this incident when it occurred, I enjoy listening to Milo on various platforms; he is actually quite entertaining as well as educated and intelligent. Interesting though that the students organized as such; seems like it (black bloc) is an effective method for causing the police trouble and confusion. I also found it intriguing that the students seem to see themselves in the right... Perhaps this is a showcase of the younger generation and their agenda(s)...? How do we continue the rights to free speech and to assemble if these are going to continue to occur? Do those rights then be terminated/suspended temporarily until we discover how to keep everyone calm and cool?
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Convicted Sex Offender Arrested in Killing of Ohio State Student

Convicted Sex Offender Arrested in Killing of Ohio State Student | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Police in Ohio have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting death of 21-year-old Reagan Tokes, who was a senior at Ohio State University.
Joshua Vey's comment, February 13, 8:17 PM
Sick people out there.
Ashley DeLoney's comment, February 18, 5:34 PM
My heart dropped the moment I read this. It seems more and more these days women and being taken, raped and killed. I can't believe that the time for kidnapping and raping is only 6 years. Especially if he kills his next victim...
Jonathan Hall's comment, Today, 7:56 AM
That is scary. It sounds like something from a TV show. I must agree with Ashley. 6 years does not seem like a long enough sentence for kidnapping and rape.
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Meet Mr Green

Meet Mr Green | Criminology and Economic Theory |

IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804) never set foot outside his native East Prussia. For all but a few years of his long, uneventful life he lived and taught in the Baltic port of Königsberg. Yet no philosopher since Aristotle has exercised such influence. Kant's thought transformed how the modern world approached enduring problems in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics. “The Critique of Pure Reason” ranks among the most important works of philosophy ever written; it is still one of the most difficult. Lord Macaulay, a great English historian, was exasperated to discover that he could not understand a word of it.

Kant was one of the first thinkers to concentrate on philosophy alone, and the difficulty of his writing arises partly from a deliberate attempt to professionalise the subject and give it the rigour of experimental science. Yet his true originality went far deeper. Kant sought to reconcile two dominant but conflicting traditions: the rationalism of Descartes and the sceptical empiricism of Hume. Our experience of the outside world is never bare, Kant argued, but comes, as it were, ready clothed in thought; yet thought about an objective world is itself necessarily limited by the range of possible experience. The result, if true, was to throw humanity back on its own cognitive resources. God, the soul, immortality became hypotheses, things in themselves were inaccessible to human perception, and certainty was possible only within the limits dictated by the apparatus of human thought. The entire structure of metaphysics and theology seemed to totter under the rigour of Kantian criticism. Even though his intention had not been to subvert religion or the state, he was dubbed der Alleszermalmer, the “all-crusher”. Yet the instrument of his critical philosophy was not the blunt hammer of a Nordic god, but the clarifying precision of systematic thought.

That precision is famously reflected in the folk memory of the philosopher, partly based on early biographers who knew him only in old age, which depicts him as a pedantic, solitary, slightly absurd bachelor whose entire life was run according to inflexible rules and whose habits were as regular as clockwork. This “machine man” derives from the popular image of Kantian ethics, which is founded on the metaphysical concept of the categorical imperative. Formulations of this moral principle vary. Sometimes Kant says: “Act as if your maxims were to serve at the same time as a universal law.” Alternatively he emphasises the importance of treating others “always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means.” The categorical imperative was easily vulgarised: into a duty to humanity in general rather than to anybody in particular, and more sinisterly into the elevation of race, class or any other collective above the individual. Kant's most famous passage evokes “the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me”, the existence of which, unlike that of God, is not conjectural. Though a man of the Enlightenment, Kant also believed, however, that humanity had a natural propensity to “radical evil”.

Manfred Kuehn's excellent new life is the first substantial biography of Kant since Germany's historical catastrophe, and the figure who emerges is not the familiar caricature of a withdrawn Prussian professor. The young Kant overcame his humble origins to become an elegant man-about-town. Oddly, Mr Kuehn glosses over the fact, evident from his portraits, that Kant was pigeon-breasted and slightly hunchbacked. His gregariousness is thus all the more striking, and Mr Kuehn goes so far as to say that conversational dialogue was of decisive importance to his thought: “His critical philosophy,” he writes, “is an expression of this form of life.”

Indeed, it is fascinating to learn from Mr Kuehn's account how large a debt Kant owed to his daily talks with a scholarly English merchant, Joseph Green, of Green, Motherby & Co. It was under Green's influence that the dandy developed into the ascetic, devoted to duty and with a missionary zeal to rescue philosophy from the entropy of scepticism. Green it was who spent every afternoon conversing with Kant until seven o'clock sharp (neighbours set their watches by the moment at which the professor emerged from their conclave), Green who shared his hero-worship of Hume and Rousseau, Green who showed Kant how to live his life according to strictly applied maxims, Green who guided Kant's modest investments, Green with whom he often dozed off as they smoked their pipes together. “Green's effect on Kant cannot be overestimated,” concludes Mr Kuehn.

So the greatest German philosopher was also, we learn, a great Anglophile. He was, in this respect, not untypical of Frederick the Great's Prussia, and especially of the Hanseatic ports. The combination of English commerce and German intellect was evidently unbeatable. During the years of Anglo-German enmity, Joseph Green was forgotten. Today, it would be a splendid gesture for the many German firms in London to commemorate the unknown Englishman who helped Kant to greatness and thereby made Germany a home of philosophy for the next two centuries.

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Building trust: Activists and Salt Lake City police meet regularly to talk about use of force, other issues

Building trust: Activists and Salt Lake City police meet regularly to talk about use of force, other issues | Criminology and Economic Theory |
When two police officers shot and critically injured a 17-year-old black boy outside of a Salt Lake City homeless shelter nearly a year ago, it sparked another round of angry protests. “We’re not going t
Rob Duke's insight:
This is what I'd call the logistics part of policing.  Care and feeding of relationships before there's a problem....
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Paris Street Urinals Double As Mini Gardens

Paris Street Urinals Double As Mini Gardens | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Equipped with a miniature garden on the top, the Uritrottoir is an eco-friendly street urinal that turns pee into compost.
Rob Duke's insight:
Um? ok, I guess....
Sara Mckinstry's comment, February 13, 2:54 AM
i guess its a pretty good idea to do this. at first it was disgusting but if its making a better choice for the earth and people will do I guess it cant be to bad.
Eric Villasenor's comment, February 16, 7:46 PM
Much like needle disposals in grocery stores and free syringes, it's best to give people a sanitary solution to their bad decisions, than to pretend like the bad decisions aren't going to happen. I'm confident these urinals were put in because people were too lazy to find a restroom. Having said that, this is a solution to the unsanitary public urination that will leave the urine on the ground.
Angela Webb's comment, February 17, 6:05 AM
I had no idea this issue existed. I find it repulsive that people are actually urinating in public and it’s become a major problem. I would say that you shouldn't encourage such behavior by setting up these urinal planters. But since this has been a problem for a while and they haven't been able to stop it this is a pretty clever solution.
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NYPD's 'Uncle Rodney' Guides Officers to Try and Make City's Neighborhood Policing Program Work

NYPD's 'Uncle Rodney' Guides Officers to Try and Make City's Neighborhood Policing Program Work | Criminology and Economic Theory |
As we celebrate Black History Month, NY1's Dean Meminger introduces us to a police officer who is responsible for trying to make the city's neighborhood policing program work.
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Program teaches police, responders to look for meth lab indicators

Program teaches police, responders to look for meth lab indicators | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Drain cleaner, camping fuel or coffee filters in unusual locations may be signs of a one-pot meth lab, emergency responders learned Monday.
Rob Duke's insight:
Knowing what to look for can save your life....the wrong time and mixture can be lethal.

Also, look for lots of Martha Stewart sheets (cheap and high thread count for filtering); red phosphorus from feed stores; batteries; large rubbermaid tubs, propane cans.....lots of empty diet pill or cold medicine containers.
Mark Stoller's comment, February 12, 4:00 AM
It is insane that methamphetamines can now be made in something as small as a water bottle. I remember learning that it is a very dangerous process but Breaking Bad left out all the times that it should have exploded.
Derrick Morris's comment, February 12, 8:55 PM
This article was more in depth than an episode of "Breaking Bad". Prior to reading this, I’d never heard of a one-pot meth lab. Talk about reactions water & lithium metal, who knew? This program benefits those who attended or persons who would respond to a lab type situation.
Rachel Nichols's comment, February 12, 10:38 PM
The things that people come up with astound me... I never knew that simple things out of place could mean that something so serious is going on. It will be interesting to me if I ever do see something because I know I won't be able to not look for these types of things, just because these things interest me. It is sad that people will do whatever they can and find whatever way possible to get the drug because they are so addicted.
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Fairbanksans ask City Council to grant city sanctuary status

Fairbanksans ask City Council to grant city sanctuary status | Criminology and Economic Theory |
FAIRBANKS — Mayor Jim Matherly said he and City Attorney Paul Ewers would explore the possibility of sanctuary city status after a dozen people asked the City Council for the
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 12, 9:45 PM
hahahahaha go ahead and make us a sanctuary city if you want, who the hell in their right mind would move here from a desert climate......? Personally, I am not opposed to the idea of helping those in need, but that's exactly it, we have those in need presently and let's take care of them. I am pretty sure there is a country named the UAE reallllllll close by to these banned countries that could probably help out with some financial means to the people of the region. Just a thought.
Cheyenne Martinez's comment, February 13, 1:18 AM
I understand the appeal of bestowing sanctuary city status onto Fairbanks, but I also know that most of the citizens do not wish to open the resources available here to others. Many, I would assume, think that any illegal immigration would cause some sort of chaotic crime boom. I do not share this belief. However, I am concerned with the amount of open hostilities in general aimed towards immigrants in our country’s current state.
Brennan D Watson's comment, February 16, 7:59 PM
had personally not heard of the concept of sanctuary cities before this article. I am not sure that people would even take advantage of Fairbanks being a sanctuary city, we are kind of out of the way. I also think that we may want to see how the court battle on the immigration ban works out before we go and make an emotionally charged decision. I am also pleased that our city counselors have chosen to take the time to research the issue before making a decision.
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Alaska Sen. Sullivan takes a new shot at breaking up the 9th Circuit court

Conservative Alaskans have long hoped for an appeals court with which they are more ideologically aligned.
Rob Duke's insight:
The 9th would serve California, Hawaii, and the Mariana Islands; while the new 12th would serve Alaska, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, etc.
Derrick Morris's curator insight, February 8, 6:16 PM

This is an Interesting Article, written by Erica Martinson reporting for the Alaska Dispatch News, Washington, DC.