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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, February 21 2017

A Ghanaian musician and witch talks about social change. Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan are underway. And a disheartening wave of anti-Semitic attacks and threats sweep the United States. It's Fiery Tuesday, our segment on political and societal news from around the globe. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Choosing to follow a minority religion is often in many ways a political act. It should follow then that many members of religious minorities around the globe are fairly political. The Wild Hunt interviews Azizaa, a Ghanaian musician and witch who's interested in making social change a reality in her country and elsewhere.

While running for president, Donald Trump railed frequently against the "unfair" trade deals he felt the United States was being subjected to. But in fact, Trump's trade policy may hurt the United States' standing abroad. Already, countries resenting the abrupt withdrawal of America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership after half a decade of negotiations are considering making a pivot towards China, which is offering its own similar trade deal.

With the Syrian rebels on the edge of annihilation and the threat of Daesh waning, the advantage is returning to dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria. Now Assad's representatives are meeting with rebel leaders as well as representatives of Russia, Turkey, and Iran in Kazakhstan to discuss a ceasefire, while the U.S. is pointedly left out.

As a general rule the Communist Party of Russia (formerly the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) and the Russian Orthodox Church have not been friends. During the Soviet regime, Orthodox Christianity (alongside other religions) was brutally repressed and forced to acknowledge state overlordship. However, things are changing in modern Russia and as the Orthodox Church becomes more popular the Communist Party (also the largest opposition party in Russia) has reached out to it.

Much of the religious violence in the United States in recent years has been directed as Muslims or black churches. But there is an increasing and troubling tide of anti-Semitic violence being committed as well, especially since Donald Trump was elected and many white nationalists took it as a personal victory for their cause. Israeli newspaper Haaretz covers some of the recent, disturbing acts here.

Top image by Christiaan Triebert

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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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