Misinformation, implications, and responsibility: fact-checking on Africa

"What do these statements about Africa have in common? A white farmer is killed every five days in South Africa. Earlier this year Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram burnt 375 Christians alive. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the rape capital of the world. Johannesburg is the world’s biggest man-made forest. Answer: despite being widely accepted, none of them are true." ("Get your Africa facts right") Sorting fact from fiction is particularly difficult when the stories come from afar and are buried in myths previously ...

Belief and bombs

Hardly a day goes by in the approach to the Sochi Winter Olympics without yet another news story about terrorist threat. The assumption underlying these stories seems to be that the terrorists in question are so strong in their unshakeable beliefs that they are willing to kill themselves and hundreds of others to achieve their political and/or religious goals.  (In this case, it seems to be both religious and political if there really are links to the Buynaksk terrorist group.) For ...