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The Torch – 02.26.17

Opening; Welcome to The Torch, shining a blazing light of truth on the
murky waters of modern American politics. Comments are welcome Tweet
me @(at)pderienzo The issues today, What is Fascism and is President
Donal Trump a fascist, a harbinger of fascism or something different
altogether. Out guests this afternoon are distinguished historian at
Columbia University and author, among many books, of “The Anatomy of
Fascism.”What is fascism? By focusing on the concrete: what the fascists did,
rather than what they said, the esteemed historian Robert O. Paxton
answers this question for the first time. From the first violent
uniformed bands beating up “enemies of the state,” through Mussolini’s
rise to power, to Germany’s fascist radicalization in World War II,
Paxton shows clearly why fascists came to power in some countries and
not others, and explores whether fascism could exist outside the
early-twentieth-century European setting in which it emerged.

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John Broich – How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler

How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will …

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Italy’s Government on Verge of collapse: Next Trumpian Domino to Fall?

Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse. Prime minister Matteo Renzi reiterated his position just yesterday, he will not hang on if a referendum he seeks does not pass. Polls show the referendum will fail. Then again, polls have not been remarkably accurate recently, to say the least. On the other hand, this poll shows a strong preference to …

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Nicole Colson – The Mediterranean Has Become a Cemetery

With little mention in the media, a grim milestone was passed off the southern shores of Europe last month. With the death toll of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea already surpassing all of last year, 2016 has become the deadliest year on record for those fleeing the violence, poverty and horror of their home countries in the hope of finding …

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Judith Sunderland – Why Cooperating with Libya On Migration Could Damage the EU’s Standing

The EU and Italy have a hidden agenda in training Libyan naval forces to intercept smugglers. Italy and the Netherlands began training Libyan coast guard and navy officers on Italian and Dutch navy ships in the Mediterranean earlier in October. The training is part of the European Union’s anti-smuggling operation in the central Mediterranean with the goal of enhancing Libya’s “capability to …

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JOHN ROGERS – Which States are the Most Energy-Efficient? A “Dramatic Photo Finish,” and a Tie for Top Honors

Some people get excited about fall because of the beautiful foliage, the delightful blend of sunny days and crisp cool nights, and the bountiful harvests of apples and other tasty treats. I love all that, too. But I also enjoy this time of year because it brings the annual assessment of how states are doing on energy efficiency. And this …

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Séralini wins again in court against his attackers

On 22 September a judge in the Criminal Court of Paris found Marc Fellous guilty of forgery and the use of forgery in order to defame Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and CRIIGEN, a research association which focuses on the risks of genetic engineering and pesticides and the development of alternatives. Marc Fellous is a GMO proponent who was formerly President of …

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Do these genes make me lonely? Study finds loneliness is a heritable trait

Loneliness is linked to poor physical and mental health, and is an even more accurate predictor of early death than obesity. To better understand who is at risk, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conducted the first genome-wide association study for loneliness — as a life-long trait, not a temporary state. They discovered that risk for …

Local residents wander amidst the ruins of their hometown hours after the earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince January 13, 2010. More than 100,000 people were feared dead in Haiti Wednesday after a calamitous earthquake razed homes, hotels, and hospitals, leaving the capital in ruins and bodies strewn in the streets. With thousands of people missing, dazed survivors in torn clothes wandered through the rubble as more than 30 aftershocks rocked the ramshackle capital, where more than two million people live, most in the grip of poverty.  AFP PHOTO/Juan BARRETO

Axel Bojanowski – World Risk Index – The Human Factor in Natural Disasters

How vulnerable is your country to natural disasters? The 2016 World Risk Index is now out and it shows that infrastructure is a key factor in the ability to withstand events like hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Over and over again, we are reminded of the horrific rule, with a particularly stark example coming in 2010. That year, large cities in …