Ewan Sutherland (Witwatersrand): Coltan, the Congo and Your Cell Phone (and more). Pelin Ekmen (UCL): From Riches to Rags: The Paradox of Plenty and its Linkage to Violent Conflict. Do we have the Congo rape crisis all wrong? We've long understood the country's horrifying rate of sexual assault — on average 48 rapes per hour — to be a function and tool of conflict, but it may be something very different. Rediscovering Congo: Two decades in, the world wakes up to a tragedy — so what are we going to do about it? A review of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns (and more). From Mental Floss, here is a brief history of the Congolese space program. Kayumba P. David (Nkumba): State Sovereignty Versus Individual Rights in the Case of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. Is Rwandan leader Paul Kagame a visionary statesman, or a blood-stained tyrant? Hotel Rwanda: The once genocide-torn nation is rebuilding its tourism industry by focusing on wealthy wildlife lovers. From LRB, Stephen W. Smith on Rwanda in Six Scenes (and more at Dissent). Welcome to Juba U.: Southern Sudan's premiere university, relocated to the north during years of civil war, is finally back — is it up to the task of training a new country's next leaders? Abraham Awolich on the joy in Juba and the birth of a new nation. Eric Reeves on the promise and peril of an independent Republic of South Sudan. Renewed war looms in Sudan, as the international community prevaricate (and more). Nothing to plunder: Southern Fried Scientist on the evolution of Somalia’s pirate nation. Ripe for revolt: Countries in the sub-Sahara have the same problems as their Arab neighbours to the north: poverty, corruption and repression (and more). A review of Season of Rains: Africa in the World by Stephen Ellis.


From Modern Age, a special issue on education as a political issue, including Robert Koons (Texas): The war of the three humanisms: Irving Babbitt and the recovery of classical learning; Jeffrey Polet (Hope): Christianity and the cultivation of global citizens; RV Young (NCSU): The liberal arts and the loss of cultural memory; and Carl Bankston (Tulane): Federal control of public schools and the decline of community. Will Lance Armstrong wind up behind bars? (and more by Dave Zirin) An internal NATO memo shows just how worried the alliance is about cyber threats and how it plans to confront them "head-on". Michael Lind on Niall Ferguson and the brain-dead American right: The British historian owes his celebrity here to the absence of authentic American conservative intellectuals. From New Scientist, genes, germs and the origins of politics: A controversial new theory claims fear of infection makes the difference between democracy and dictatorship. How do you fix a troubled marriage? David Brooks on how emergent thinking is essential. From The New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh on the strange fate of reality TV. The year that TV actually got it right: It wasn’t last year, it probably won’t be this year — when was it? From Cato Unbound, Bryan Caplan on population, fertility, and liberty. The debt is not nearly as scary as you think: Government budgets are absolutely nothing like a household budget, and here are five reasons why. Embrace the inner loser: It's the unpopular kids, with their quirky traits, who become successful adults. Perverse Incentives: Gynecologists cash in on an intimate new market. Is the biggest threat to Speaker of the House John Boehner the "young guns" in his own party? The Odorants in Deodorants: Elisa Gabbert sniffs those most populist of perfumes — the ones we rub under our arms.


Iain T. Benson (Free State): That False Struggle between Believers and Non-Believers. Is your religion your financial destiny? The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large. Meet the Oracles of Math: The end (of religion) is near, scientists say. More on Hating God: The Untold History of Misotheism by Bernard Schweizer. In our increasingly secular society, many religious people feel their voices are not heard; leading public figures and scientists explain their faith to Andrew Zak Williams. Do we need a new Bible? An interview with A.C. Grayling, author of The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. Jagdish Bhagwati on a modest proposal in defense of free speech: Publish cartoons offensive to every religion. A review of The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism by Paul Cliteur. From Bitch, an article on new atheism and the old boys' club. An interview with William Egginton, author of In Defense of Religious Moderation (and more). Research suggests a general-purpose "need to belong" drives belief in God. If "religion is natural", what about atheism? From The Guardian, Peter Thompson on Karl Marx and religion as the wrong answer to the right question (in six parts). Three physicists on religion: The online bookmaker Paddy Power currently offers 100 to 1 odds that the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, will discover God. A review of Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways by Olivier Roy. Pitzer College in California adds a major in secularism. Atheists seek a place among military chaplains. Ideology seems to be the equivalent of religion, without the God stuff. Prize in the sky: The Templeton Foundation rewards "spiritual progress", but what the heck is that? Rev. Martin Marty on religion versus secularism in history. Are less established religions really crazier than older mainstream ones, or are mainstream religions just more familiar?

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