New York City’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning is a group of tech-savvy and civic-minded number crunchers analyzing city statistics for solutions to some pressing and convoluted problems.
Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
Why did ancient Wisconsinites build the mysterious Icehenge on Rock Lake? Was it for religious rites? Astronomical research? Communicating with aliens? We may never know, unless we talk to the five guys who built it. Kevin Lehner and four of his buddies used ice cutters, chainsaws, and tongs to build this massive homage to Britain's Stonehenge. The blocks weigh about 200 pounds each.
King Abdullah joined the family of a slain pilot as the country carried out airstrikes against militants in Syria.
After Jordanian warplanes carried out airstrikes Thursday against the Islamic State in Syria, the fighter jets returned to perform a teeth-rattling “victory lap” above this farm town that has been cloaked in grief.
Soon after Jordan’s King Abdullah II arrived here to offer his condolences to the family of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a pilot slain by the Islamic State, the jet fighters streaked overhead. Their arrival was good theater or good timing, or both.
The message was delivered. Abdullah pointed to the sky, touched his heart and leaned in to speak privately to the father of the airman, who was shown being burned alive in a cage in video released Tuesday.
The wildly popular tweet was aimed at a nation that stigmatized all Africans during the Ebola outbreak. While the US government recommends all its citizens get inoculations, including one for measles, many states allow exemptions for personal or philosophical concerns. Immigrants, however, don't enjoy that choice.
This is EXACTLY where twitter shines...cross-cultural snarkiness at it's finest. See the original tweet here.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Old-fashioned navigation is enjoying a renaissance on the island, where Internet access is still scant.
When Stephan Van Dam began designing two detailed tourist maps of Cuba in 2014, he couldn’t have known that one year later, the prospect of renewed relations between the country and the U.S. could effectively create a whole new market for them. At the time Van Dam, the founder of VanDam’s StreetSmart maps, was catering to a smaller audience: the Americans who could only visit the country if they were Cuban-American or embarking on a “people-to-people” tour run by a licensed guide, and the 1.1 million Canadians and hundreds of thousands of European travelers who visited last year.
A young blonde woman weeps openly on camera, her manicured fingers perched wanly against her cheekbones. "I can't take it any more," she sobs in Norwegian. "What sort of life is this?" Her name is Anniken Jørgensen, one of three 17-year-old fashion bloggers who "star" in a five-part online real ...
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies.
Good article...solid points.
Can you pick a song that defines your country? From Ukraine to Cuba, then Tanzania - our Language Service journalists choose a track that describes how they feel about their nation.
Plus, how to sing the Ethiopian blues, the Sindhi street musician who made Karachi stop and listen for a moment, and a lesson in beatboxing Saudi-style.
There's also music and dissent - how Fela Kuti changed the way Nigerians see themselves, and the moment when musical instruments were shown on live Iranian state TV for the first time in 30 years.
Politics, romance and censorship - all in a dotted quaver and a four/four beat
"Once a pit stop on the long, dangerous trail north to the U.S. border, Tenosique has become ground zero for a remarkably successful push to cut off the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States."
Grupo Beta [in Mexico] was established to provide food and medical assistance to migrants moving through the country to the United States. With facilities across the country along migratory routes, migrants have long become accustomed to seeking out the organization for help.
But since July, activists said that Grupo Beta workers in Tabasco and other border states have begun turning migrants into law enforcement. Several migrants in Tabasco said they had been targeted by law enforcement officials minutes after seeking out mobile Grupo Beta units providing food and water near the border. The plan had an almost immediate impact.
Three new mosaics were recently discovered in the ancient Greek city of Zeugma, which is located in the present-day province of Gaziantep in southern Turkey. The incredibly well-preserved mosaics date back to 2nd century BC.
Zeugma was considered one of the most important centers of the Eastern Roman Empire and the ancient city has provided a treasure trove of discoveries with 2000-3000 houses in remarkably good condition. Excavations at Zeugma started in 2007 and continue to this day.
Construction work on the 930km (580-mile) South Stream project began in Bulgaria in October 2013 but was suspended in June after the European Commission said it may be breaking EU competition rules.
Russian officials accused the commission of blocking the work for purely political purposes. Relations between Russia and the EU have been badly hit by the crisis in Ukraine.
"There is an old saying in Turkish: 'The Turk has no friend but the Turk.' As this country drifts towards isolation under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the proverb is ringing uncomfortably true.
During his 11 years as prime minister, Turkey rose in prominence. It began negotiations for European Union membership. It hugely increased its diplomatic presence, particularly in Africa. Its biggest city, Istanbul, now hosts one of the world's largest airport hubs with an airline that flies to more countries than any other.
But in the past months, perhaps two years or so, something has soured. The world's statesmen still stop by - the US Vice President, Joe Biden, arriving this week - but Turkey today is distinctly lacking friends."
"Nothing in sport reflects the changing demographics of the country more than college football — most especially the decline of the Big Ten Conference and the ascendance of the Southeastern Conference."
There are some delightful musings about regional geographies, nostalgic yearnings and emerging cultural patterns sprinkled in with some pithy critiques on our cultural obsession with sports.
Saddam Hussein drained the unique wetlands of southern Iraq as a punishment to the region's Marsh Arabs who had backed an uprising. Two decades later, one courageous US Iraqi is leading efforts to restore the marshes. Not even exploding bombs can deter him from his dream.
Leave it to the Dutch to make cycling even greener.
Solar Roadways are a great concept, but not ready for mass production yet.