Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, March 22

Tragedy struck Brussels, Belgium earlier today when bombs went off in Zaventem and Maalbeek, killing at least 33 people and injuring as many as 250. For Fiery Tuesday today we cover these stories and more in this special edition of the Pagan News Beagle.

World leaders have come together today to condemn the attacks on Brussels and to express their solidarity with the Belgian people. The Indian newspaper the Times of India covers the world's reactions here on their website, from Belgian police's investigations to Islamic leaders' condemnations.

In neighboring Germany, the rise of the ultranationalist, xenophobic right continues to draw concerns from analysts and commentators. Der Spiegel analyzes the roots of the populist right's rise in Germany and what it could mean for the country's political system.

If there's one thing that reliably drives populist authoritarianism it's racism and an irrational fear of foreigners. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight describes how fear of Muslims has helped drive Donald Trump's poll numbers up and how the Belgium attacks may do the same thing.

On the other side of the world the controversy surrounding Taiwan's (aka the Republic of China's) status continues to evolve. A new survey indicates that as many as 73% of Taiwanese citizens perceive themselves as primarily Taiwanese and not Chinese, undermining the official positions of both the Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese governments which officially regard Taiwan as part of China.

How should the West respond to the Brussels attacks, which were very likely orchestrated either by agents of Daesh (aka ISIL) or those sympathetic to their cause? Here's how we shouldn't, according to The Guardian's writer Ken Gude: with fear and racist rhetoric.

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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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