Long-time MercatorNet contributor Michael Coren writes from Canada. He had just released his book on the persecution of Christians by Muslim extremists when a Muslim convert with a gun killed a soldier and stormed Parliament House in Ottawa. His essay below reminds us that the age of martyrs is far from over.
I'm Tim Lee, MercatorNet's Business Manager and Comments Editor. A big thank you to all who took the time to respond to our recent readers’ survey. We have received more than 700 responses – a record! Here are some of the more significant findings we’d like to share with you
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Tone of the comments – especially the negative ones. There should be a word limit and moderation. Comments should be on the issue at hand not the person speaking about the issue.
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Have you watched "The Apprentice" in any of its international spin-offs? I'm glad that I found someone who shares my misgivings.
Martin Parker, a business professor in the UK, writes that "a largely false depiction of the business world which shows a kind of moral emptiness as a condition of being successful. At least, I hope it’s a false depiction, because if it’s an accurate one, then I wouldn’t want to meet any of these people on a dark night."
Time marches on. Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam died today and a younger acquaintance of mine asked me which party he had belonged to. The man at the centre of Australia's greatest constitutional crisis became a cultural treasure in his later years, liked by his comrades in the Labor Party and his old foes in the Liberal Party. He was an excellent speaker with a sharp wit.
But his finest words, I think, were about his wife. In 2002 he said, "My 25 years as member for Werriwa and three years as prime minister were just flashes compared in the long, warm glow of the other significant anniversary I celebrated this year - 60 years together with Margaret Elaine Dovey." Read about the political side below...
Today Sheila Liaugminas wraps up two weeks' reporting on the Synod on the Family held in Rome, quoting extensively from Pope Francis' concluding address to the bishops -- you can't get a more authoritative interpretation than that.
Also -- courtesy of some experts who held a congress recently -- we take the opportunity to provide an update on La Sagrada Familia, the amazing basilica in Barcelona designed and begun by Antoni Gaudi. Don't miss the video animation of its completion, scheduled for 2026.
Almost overnight a small industry in freezing women's eggs has sprung up. One enterprising company is holding "Let's Chill" parties for 30-something career women in Manhattan. Apple and Facebook are covering the cost for employees. Is this liberation or a new way of keeping women under the corporate thumb? Miriam Zoll reports.
Even in a job like mine, where you see headlines daily about artificial reproduction, its breakthroughs, techniques, problems, debates -- it comes as a surprise to read an article like Miriam Zoll's in today's list and find that egg freezing has leapt the barrier betwen the laboratory and the marketplace. Drug companies and fertility clinics are marketing themselves to young women through "Lets Chill" parties (how cool!) and websites with cute names like Eggbanxx and pictures of laughing 20-somethings with no intention of having a baby until they are 30-something. It costs, of course, but that's just something else for employers to cover in insurance plans. Read Miriam's article and wonder at the life plan young women are being sold.
"They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it." That's a quote from Confucius, taken from Zac Alstin's article about the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also quotes the sage. Xi is reputedly “repulsed by the all-encompassing commercialization of Chinese society, with its attendant nouveau riche, official corruption, loss of values, dignity, and self-respect.” Zac, who is a student of Chinese phiosophy, wonders whether the president is really keen to "rule by virtue", or just using the sage's mantle to enhance his power. What do China watchers think?
Leading the news hour tonight was a bulletin about the Ebola crisis in West Africa -- most of it about the few Western people who have died from or been affected by the virus. Simon Rushton in one of today's articles makes a fair comment, I think, in pointing out that the current situation would not be such a crisis if the West put more resources into developing adequate health systems in the poorest countries. But global leaders react to crises and the rest of the time seem reluctant to deal with the infrastructure needs.
As we have often remarked on this site, Western leaders assume that controlling the number of Africans being born is the answer to everything. Doesn't this atttitude poison all our dealings with Africa, including our response to their crises?
Tomorrow the Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case which may decide whether the Criminal Code’s prohibition of assisted suicide is constitutional. If the prohibition is struck down, doctors will be involved in assisted suicide and euthanasia. Two of our stories today deal with this momentous issue: an open letter from the Physicians' Alliance Against Euthanasia and a touching essay on the meaning of suffering at the end of life.