Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, June 21

Britons consider whether or not to leave the European Union. Controversy continues to embroil Brazil's government in the wake of corruption scandals. And the debate surrounding America's gun culture is explained. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

This Thursday, some portion of Britain's 64.7 million inhabitants will vote on whether to leave the multinational European Union or not. Polls show support for and against leaving the EU to be neck and neck and neither side has shown significant signs of letting up in the last few days. Writing for the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Christian Teevs questions the wisdom of a Britain outside of Europe.

There's little question that China's power has been on the rise for the last few decades. While still secondary in most respects to the United States, China now arguably possesses the largest economy and has an increasingly large influence on world affairs. With that power has come an increasing acceptance of Chinese academia in the West. But it's important to remember, writes Wu Jianguo, that Chinese academics are not as free as their Western counterparts.

Recently Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended from office following accusations of corruption. Her successor, Acting President Michel Temer, has hoped to distinguish himself in the public's eyes as a legitimate successor as well as someone immune to the charges which have brought down Rousseff and her party. However, almost immediately Temer's presidency has been tainted by similar accusations.

Although the United States does not formally recognize either the Tibetan government-in-exile or the Republic of China (Taiwan), it has maintained informal diplomatic relations with both for decades. This has, however, rankled the Chinese government, which regards both as illegitimate and claims full territorial sovereignty over both Tibet and Taiwan. Recently, Chinese ministers warned the U.S. not to meet with either the Dalai Lama or Taiwan's new president.

When a shooter killed 50 people in Orlando more than a week ago, it re-ignited the debate surrounding gun violence and legislation aimed to prevent or reduce it. Many analysts have long argued that the United States is a rather unusual exception in the world when it comes to gun laws, which are generally stricter in comparable countries. But why is that? Vox makes an attempt to explain.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.

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