Writing history in Palmyra
I break out into a grin when I see the famous Roman theatre, still standing upright. But my smile falls away when my eyes land on the Arch of Triumph, which was completely destroyed. I head towards what is left of the Temple of Bel, whose stones rest on top of one another on the hot earth under the noon sun. Sprouting among the stones were bright yellow flowers.
This is just the beginning.
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Iran's national internet: the next threat to free speech?
The Iranian government’s plans to create a national or “halal” Internet isolated from the World Wide Web have been underway for more than a decade and have been delayed time and again. Now, with new investments of hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology sector, Iran has shown major progress towards going its own way, causing human rights groups to warn against what they believe will be a threat to users’ safety, privacy, and legitimate access to information.
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Three surprising reasongs Saudi Arabia may be getting out of the oil business
Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman announced Friday that Saudi Arabia would use its oil assets to back a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund. The move suggested to many observers that the kingdom is preparing for a likely end of the petroleum business and transitioning to being primarily an investor. While it is true that the money for the sovereign wealth fund is expected to come from petroleum sales, it also seems clear that the kingdom recognizes that it has a stranded asset that won’t be nearly as valuable in a decade or two as it is now. It could even end up, like coal, being regulated out of existence in many countries.
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