The Guardian - How do religions die? - If religions are born, they must also be able to die. How does this happen? I think we can discount at once the idea that it happens because people realise that science is better. It's obvious that the more people try to replace religion with science, the more they reproduce the worst features of organised religion.
BBC - Will we ever... live in underwater cities? - Creating larger-scale underwater habitation wouldn’t only benefit research (or indeed romantic getaways). Proponents maintain it could help alleviate over-population problems, or guard against the possibility of natural or man-made disasters that render land-based human life impossible. The question is how feasible this actually is.
The Moscow Times - Lukashenko Exploits Putin's Weakness - A dream has come true for Russians who thought that their country was incapable of protecting its citizens and sending aircraft carriers to their defense. No sooner had Belarussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko detained visiting Russian businessman Vladislav Baumgertner than Moscow sent special forces and thousands of troops to that country. Unfortunately for Baumgertner, those soldiers had not come to free him but to take part in West 2013, the year's largest military exercises. And the scenario of these maneuvers is shockingly "realistic."
PhantomReport - Swiss military simulates French attack - The exercise employed a scenario in which a financially stricken France had been fractured into several regional entities, one of which was on the verge of attacking Switzerland to retrieve money it had allegedly stolen from France.
The Diplomat - How China Would Fight the US (And Win) - Modern militaries are designed with certain objectives in mind. While Beijing is clearly focused on a possible challenge by U.S. forces intervening in some sort of future conflict (yes, A2/AD comes into play), China’s armed forces are designed to win, according to most experts, “local wars under informationized conditions.”
Russia Today - World faces major challenges as old-age population balloons - global report - While economic and medical advances mean that people are living longer, much of the world is not prepared to provide a high quality of life to its surging old-age population, according to a new UN-backed report.
Deutsche Welle - Israel and the US disagree over approach to Iran - On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Obama in a surprise move called the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, after the latter had struck a conciliatory tone in his speech at the Assembly. Rouhani had said Tehran was taking the West's concerns over its nuclear program seriously and was willing to discuss the matter. Straight after the phone conversation, Obama announced that he saw a chance to calm tensions. From the perspective of Israel and Washington's allies in the Gulf, the phone call must have been the geopolitical equivalent of discovering your best friend flirting with your main rival