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Ronen Bergman on the Legacy of Khomeini
Ronen Bergman is one of Israel's leading investigative journalists. The senior security and intelligence correspondent and analyst for Israel's largest daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, and an anchor on a leading Israeli television news program, he is the author of three bestselling books published in Israel. He was awarded a PhD by Cambridge University for his dissertation about the Israeli Mossad.
Question: Does Khomeini’s philosophy remain influential?Ronen Bergman: When he came to power, basically what he said is that we are going to abolish all secular law and implement the Sharia. The religious law is the law of the land.
Now, can you run a country in the 21st century with laws that were written at the 7th century? It doesn’t work. According to Islam, you cannot have an interest rate in your bank system. So, he basically forbid all interest rates and destroyed the banking system. He destroyed the economy.
Iran has so much oil; needs to import 60% of its gas because their refineries are destroyed.
This revolution of Khomeini promised to bring better life. Now, leave the nuclear issue, leave terrorism, leave the export of revolution, just focus on life, and this revolution brought nothing but misery.
They forbid the use of condoms, and when they came to power there were 38 million Iranians. Today, 69 and a half. It’s imminent. Less condoms, more Iranians.
The revolution failed, but this regime was very, very smart with understanding that if they are going to continue to be very strict with religious law, at the end, the bitterness of the people would do to them what they did to the Shah, to the king that they toppled.
So, basically, not publicly, they gave up most of their religious laws. You can have condoms today and there are interest rates, Western music, internet, satellite television, even some freedom to the press, to release pressure, to give a sort of a democracy or pluralism to the people while maintaining strong control over the list of candidates to the parliament of presidency and all intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies.
These people might come across as very bizarre sometimes, like Ahmadinejad. They are very smart. They kept in power for the last 30 years in spite of all obstacles, in spite of a severe war with Iraq that cost the lives of more than a million people, and in spite of intelligence services of America and Israel, in spite of boycotts from the international community, in spite of internal opposition. They are still empowered and no real, effective opposition is in sight.
Recorded: Sep 19, 2008
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Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
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- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.