Dutch secret missions in Africa

Dutch forces have for several years been training soldiers in Mali, Senegal and Chad in their fight against al-Qaeda militants—without the Dutch parliament being informed. The covert mission is part of the United States war against terrorism, according to Dutch newspaper AD, which cites documents from the US Congress and […]

Galileo’s heirs advise the pope

by Eveline Kobler, swissinfo.ch The new Swiss president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences tells swissinfo.ch about the challenges of squaring religious faith with science. Werner Arber, an Aargau-born microbiologist and geneticist who shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for Medicine, is the first Protestant to hold the position. The 81-year-old […]

Stinking giant a hit in Basel

The rare blooming of a giant flower, taller than a man, that stinks of carrion, has been drawing thousands of visitors to Basel University’s botanical garden. The only previous time a titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) produced a flower in Switzerland was 75 years ago. World-wide, there have only been 134 […]

Saleh agrees to step down under GCC deal

By SAEED AL-BATATI | ARAB NEWS SANAA: Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to a proposal by Gulf mediators to step down within 30 days and hand power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution, state television announced Saturday. The protest movement demanding his immediate departure earlier said […]

Mirage and reality in the Arab Spring

If rebels start using violence, as has happened in Libya, then decades of turmoil could follow, professor argues. Reading the chronicle of the violence and death that have blanketed the western Libyan port city of Misurata during the last week, I couldn’t help thinking of a quote from Martin Luther […]

Iran to Open Trade Center in Brazil

“Given the expansion of Iran and Brazil’s ties and Iranian companies’ demand for having a foothold in this country’s market which has 200 million population as well as the Brazilian companies’ enthusiasm for developing cooperation with the Iranian companies, the association is seeking to set up an Iranian trade center […]

Easter chronology conundrum

As Christians worldwide prepare to celebrate Easter on Sunday, they will follow a familiar chronology: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on “the third day,” in the words of the ancient Nicene Creed. But if Jesus died at 3 p.m. Friday and vacated h  is […]

A new chance in Egypt for Islamic finance

Covered head-to-toe in a black abaya embroidered with red and yellow flowers, Amal Abbas waits for her turn to place a deposit at Cairo’s Al Baraka Egypt Bank, one of Egypt’s two fully-fledged Islamic banks. Although Egypt is considered the birthplace of Islamic finance, which adheres to Islamic principles banning […]