Ethiopian Seed Diversity

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Think about resources crucial to human survival. What comes to mind? Fresh, clean water for sure. Food tops the list. Earth’s primary living products – plants that grow from seeds – are the foundation of humanity’s food supply. Wheat, barley, oats, corn, potatoes and a dizzying variety of beans and legumes … Conserving these seeds of survival is one of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Canaries in Coal Mines

Diana Daunheimer

In the rolling foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where cattle peacefully graze and ranchers retire to handsome chalets, a purple haze hovers. Gases burned off in the course of “completing” southern Alberta’s thousand-odd hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells are being blamed not only for air pollution, but for a litany of health complaints. Local resident are calling for air monitoring.

Dutch Dikes

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Rising seas linked to global climate change pose a major threat to coastal cities around the world. In southeastern Europe, the UK, US and elsewhere, recent disastrous flood events have led to calls for new solutions. Who better to turn to for ideas than the Dutch? Over the past decade, Dutch engineers and planners have been devising nature-based flood control systems that are cheap, effective and environmentally friendly.

Israel & the Law

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Palestinian leaders are gearing up to take Israel to the International Criminal Court in The Hague — a move Washington and its beloved ally will vociferously denounce and attempt to block. Do Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, its settlement enterprise and assault on Gaza violate international law? Have Palestinian militants violated the laws of war by firing missiles at Israel? Listen to a trio of international jurists commenting on these matters.

Martyr Cities

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Of all the acts committed by German troops at the start of World War One, none sparked more outrage within European and North American intellectual circles than the destruction of the medieval library of the Flemish University of Leuven – laid to waste on the night of August 25, 1914, a hundred years ago. Together with the nearby “Martyr Cities” of Dendermonde and Aarschot, Leuven is poised to commemorate those events.

Twelve Canadians – Cheryl Greenberg

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Of all the medical afflictions a person or family can suffer from, none is as burdensome as a rare genetic condition that hasn’t even been named. With a name, access to treatment or support services are limited or absent. Cheryl Greenberg sees herself as an advocate for patients suffering from genetically-based metabolic conditions that deny definition.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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On a trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories back in the summer of 2012, I took the opportunity to walk through several West and East Jerusalem neighborhoods, on both sides of Israel’s Separation Wall. The latter were hard scrabble and unkempt, though filled with charm and character. So were the latter, European style — scrubbed, tidy, efficient, busy, cafe-filled. The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) took a couple of tourists and me on a tour of the east side of what Israel calls its “undivided” capital.