Facts not Fakes

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Eastern Germany: the most godless place on Earth


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Eastern Germany: the most godless place on Earth

East German atheism can be seen as a form of continuing political and regional identification – and a taste of the future

Peter Thompson

Germany Celebrates 20 Years Fall Of The Berlin Wall
A woman dressed as an angel waves from a roof top near the German Reichstag on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

They are sending missionaries to eastern Germany. A recent study called Beliefs About God Across Time and Countries found that 52.1% of people asked whether they believed in God identified themselves as atheists. This compared with only 10.3% in western Germany. Indeed, the survey was unable to find a single person under the age of 28 in eastern Germany who believed in God. Obviously there are some – I think…

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The fight for Kurdistan – the Guardian briefing


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The fight for Kurdistan – the Guardian briefing

The Kurds are the world’s largest stateless ethnic group and find themselves on the frontline in the battle with Islamic State

Turkish soldiers filter access at the Mursitpinar crossing gate as Syrian Kurds try to pass back into Syria.


Turkish soldiers filter access at the Mursitpinar crossing gate as Syrian Kurds try to pass back into Syria. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

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The Kurds are the world’s largest stateless ethnic group. They find themselves at the centre of a major international and regional crisis. Fighters from Islamic State (Isis) have laid siege to the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. Some 180,000 Kurds have fled across the Turkish border in recent weeks.

A US-led military coalition has been pounding Isis positions. But air strikes have not stopped the jihadis, who are on the brink of seizing the town and establishing an armed fiefdom next…

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Deaths in jail may be on the rise, according to a new report released today by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.


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BJS Reports Uptick in Jail Deaths

Photo by scragz, via Flickr

Deaths in jail may be on the rise, according to a new report released today by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.

During 2012, 958 inmates died in jail, according to the report, up 8 percent from the 889 deaths in 2011. The report also examined deaths in state prisons, which remained nearly unchanged between 2011 (3,353 deaths) and 2012 (3,351).

However, the population of inmates at state prisons decreased in 2012, which means the mortality rate actually increased about 2 percent.

Jails are run by local law enforcement, and typically hold inmates who have not yet been sentenced or have received relatively short sentences. Prisons are run by state corrections departments and inmates typically have longer sentences.

The majority of deaths in jail (55 percent) and prison (88 percent) in 2012 were related to illnesses, such as heart…

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FRONTLINE: A key witness has recanted his testimony against a man Texas executed. “Death by Fire,” tonight on


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FRONTLINE@frontlinepbs  ·  Oct 7

A key witness has recanted his testimony against a man Texas executed. “Death by Fire,” tonight on .

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