Daily Archives: November 26, 2016

Subduction zone geometry : a mega-earthquake risk indicator

Mega-earthquakes (with a magnitude greater than 8.5) mainly occur on subduction faults where one tectonic plate passes under another. But the probability of such earthquakes does not appear to be even across these zones. In a study published on 25 November 2016 in the journal Science, researchers from the University of Oregon and Géoazur laboratory (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis/Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur/IRD) show that mega-earthquakes mostly occur on the flattest subduction zones. Thus, the Philippines, Salomon Islands and Vanuatu areas would not be favorable to mega-earthquakes, unlike South America, Indonesia and Japan. The discovery of this new indicator should improve earthquake monitoring and seismic and tsunami risk prevention.

Russia | Greek to be taught as second language in Russian schools

Russian school students will be taught Greek as a foreign language as of January 1, 2017. The final decision and approval was signed by Russian Minister of Education, Olga Vasilieva, in the middle of this month.

A proposal for the teaching of Greek as a language selection from the Modern Greek Literature Faculty at the University of Kuban in Krasnodar (southern Russia), preceded the Ministerial decision, in the framework of the country’s policy for teaching the languages of minorities in the region.

Israel | Forest fire in Israel: arrests and foreign help

As an estimated 220 fires raged across central and northern Israel.

A number of arrests have been made by security personnel as Israeli firefighters continued on Thursday to battle blazes raging across the center and north of the country, with communities in the south opening their doors to those who were forced to flee the flames.

UK | SOAS and the fight against precarity

by Carrie Benjamin

Last week The Guardian ran a series of articles on the proliferation of casual contracts and the exploitation of teaching staff in universities around the UK. The reports, compiled and analysed with the help of the University and College Union (UCU), revealed that 53% of academic staff working at universities across Britain are employed on insecure, fixed-term or zero hours contracts. While these accounts are important for shedding light on the increasing precarity of academic staff in institutions where tuition fees are set to increase every year for the foreseeable future, it is hardly ‘news’ to many of us employed in the sector.

History Will be the Judge: Fidel Castro: 1926-2016

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s leader of revolution, has died aged 90. Here is an extract from Tariq Ali‘s introduction to The Declarations of Havana, Verso’s collection of Castro’s speeches.