Fifteen minutes west of the cobbled streets and chic boutiques of Aarhus old town in Denmark, on a bleak road of prefabricated warehouses and low-rise industrial units, is a former ice-cream factory that now houses the Grimhojvej mosque. In this squat, drab building, at prayers or in its Muslim youth group, 22 young men – regular high school and university students and first-jobbers – heard something last year that persuaded them to abandon their families, studies and careers to make jihad in Syria. Now, many are coming back, and Denmark’s second city is giving them an unconventional welcome. Most western countries, fearful of the threat they could pose, are cracking down on returning fighters. In France, tough new anti-terror legislation allows authorities to seize passports and ID cards from would-be jihadists “likely to jeopardise public security on their return”. Britain has arrested at least 60 returnees; … [Read more...] about How do you deradicalise returning Isis fighters?
Normal aging process
Back in the 1920s my mother never went to a funeral if she could help it, and was horrified when she heard of children being exposed to such an ordeal, and my father vanished from the room if death was mentioned; very much later, in the 1960s, when the publishers in which I was a partner brought out a beautiful and amusing book about the trappings of death, booksellers refused to stock something so “morbid”. I was born in December 1917, so was fully immersed in this refusal to contemplate death. Indeed it was not until more than 30 years later, when I had to visit a coroner’s office to identify a woman who had been found dead, that I thought for the first time how extraordinary – indeed how ridiculous – it was to have lived for so long without ever having seen a dead body. I have heard it suggested that this recoil from the subject was a result of the first world war filling everyone’s minds with an acute and appalled awareness of death, but my own … [Read more...] about Diana Athill: It’s silly to be frightened of being dead
10.06pm BST Summary We're going to wrap our coverage for the day. Here's a list of the day's key events. • A rebel commander "admitted" separatist forces had a Buk missile system of the kind believed to have shot down MH17. Alexander Khodakovsky, of the Vostok Battalion, hinted strongly that the anti-aircraft weaponry came from an outside power in an interview with Reuters. Later, Khodakovsky apparently denied the report to Russian media, but witnesses had previously told the Guardian of seeing a Buk system in rebel hands. • Rebels shot down two Sukhoi Ukrainian fighter jets, and the military and separatists are searching for the pilots. Kiev said the jets were downed by a missile launched from Russian territory, and that the pilots had parachuted out. As the Ukrainian military retook suburbs near rebel-held cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, rebels blew up bridges and fought sporadic battles. • Forty coffins arrived on two transport planes in the Netherlands, with the … [Read more...] about MH17: Bodies arrive in Holland as Ukrainian rebel ‘admits’ missile system – as it happened
My physio, a young woman called Lucy, was simply making conversation. She wanted to distract me from the serious discomfort she was about to inflict by massaging the nerves around my painful posterior tibial tendon, an ankle injury that I assumed I had brought on by running too much. “My mother’s post-tib has ruptured,” she said. “It’s really common in menopausal women.” This definitely worked as a distraction. What did all this have to do with the menopause, I asked? She looked surprised, because to her the answer was obvious: “Collagen.” For about a year, the skin on my hands had been peeling, monthly. I had seen GPs and pharmacists and been given various remedies, from “Try thick hand cream,” to “Drink more water.” Lucy’s comment made me research more: oestrogen is related to collagen production, and when oestrogen levels start to change in women who are in the stage approaching the menopause (the … [Read more...] about What science doesn’t know about the menopause: what it’s for and how to treat it