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COMMENTS 

'Highly problematic, to put it mildly'

Deciphering the Conservative Party’s proposals for a new ‘British Bill of Rights’ is not an easy task, as the eight-page policy document is riddled with errors, distortions and imprecise language. What is more, their two main policy aims are highly problematic, argues
Colm O'Cinneide
9 October 2014
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Starts: Oct 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM

UK & EU: New Faces, Old Problems?

The row between Britain and its allies that accompanied the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as the new Commission President was seen by some as an effective short-term tactic from David Cameron. But the ‘Juncker bounce’ was short-lived and left Cameron in a long-term strategic pickle.
Paola Buonadonna
6 October 2014
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Starts: Oct 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Five lessons of the Juncker Affair

It is now three months since Jean-Claude Juncker was elected President of the Commission, against the express wishes of the British and Hungarian governments.  What lessons can we draw from this episode about British attitudes to the European Union?
6 October 2014
Prof Michael Shackleton
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Starts: Oct 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM

What is the meaning of the ‘vampire graves’ unearthed in Poland?

22 July 2013

Dr Tim Beasley-Murray (UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies) says the root of the vampire legend goes right back to ancient Egypt and Greece. 


The world's media have been getting their teeth into the story of a "vampire grave" uncovered last week by archaeologists at a roadside construction site in the town of Gliwice in southern Poland. When four skeletons were found with their skulls placed between their legs, speculation followed that these were suspected vampires that had been prevented from rising from the grave through the once-ritualistic local practice of decapitation.

Interviewed by the Guardian, Dr Tim Beasley-Murray (UCL SSEES), who teaches on a course entitled Vampires, Society and Culture: Transylvania and Beyond, explained that the root of the vampire legend goes right back to ancient Egypt and Greece. The myth then spread up through the Balkans into eastern Europe where it proved fertile during the pre-Christian era: "There is a strong Slavic belief in spirits. Romanian folklore has vampiric figures such as the moroi and strigoi. The word 'mora' means nightmare. But these are common to many cultures. We often see bird- or owl-like figures that swoop down and feed on you."

Read the full article in The Guardian >>