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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, May 17

A woman convicted of witchcraft centuries ago gets a second look. Illegal sand mining in Taiwan raises concerns among environmentalists. And trade between Europe and the United States is debated. 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!

In 1716, Maria Bertoletti Toldini was executed in Italy on charges of witchcraft. Now, 300 years later, local authorities are taking another look at her case. You can read why at The Guardian.

Sand mining, the extraction of valuable minerals from sand, is controversial under the best of circumstances, blamed for erosion and the destruction of wildlife habitats. When it's illegal though and violates national boundaries it's more controversial still. New evidence suggests Chinese miners have been illegally exploiting sand along the coast of Taiwan, drawing concerns from both environmentalists and local officials.

Even before succeeding to the premiership of India two years ago, Narendra Modi was a divisive figure in Indian politics. Now, two years after becoming Prime Minister, Modi and his allies gather in Uttar Pradesh to consider his government's record and rally support for the Indian state's upcoming elections.

There's been a lot of talk over the last year about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the free trade deal proposed between the United States and several other countries throughout the Pacific region. But there's been comparatively little discussions, at least in America, about it's sister pact: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a similar deal proposed between the United States and European Union. German newspaper Der Spiegel weighs in on this similarly controversial agreement.

As surprising as it may seem, women often still lack sufficient legal protection against violent crimes and sexual assault. In Indonesia, however, rights activists are hoping to change that. You can read more about the proposed bill and the social background underlying it at The Jakarta Post.

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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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