Belgium & Democracy

David Van Reybrouck predicts the underlying causes of Belgium's political crisis will repeat themselves elsewhere as the new media call into question established democratic practices.

What is the second reason for this crisis in Belgian politics? "It is the enormous change that new media have brought to professional politics: the involvement of citizens has become significantly more important. Every step a politician takes, every negotiation he is involved in, finds its way into the press immediately. Previously, discretion could sometimes be effective for months: politicians would get together and thrash out a compromise that they could all live with. Then they went and defended the compromise before their party and their electors. Now, every move they make is immediately a political fact. Politicians do not talk to each other any more."

California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

Photo: Vladislav Muslakvo / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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