This week's good reads include an interview with a photographer who documented female prisoners in Mexico, debunking theories about which nations are 'ready' for democracy, how smart phones disorient their users, and the surprising history of high heels.
Interest in the Quran has risen dramatically. Yet no independent association for Quranic study exists in the US – nothing like the Society of Biblical Literature, for instance. That will soon change, and as violent protests over an anti-Muslim video show, the need for scholarly insight is great.
In an interview, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul says that Egypt should embrace secularism based on a 'respect for all faiths;' that Russia's role in ending violence in Syria is key and Moscow needs to be engaged to act constructively; and that economic power in the world is shifting.
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan warned Friday that the US and Europe were not doing enough to resolve the core causes of the global economic slowdown.
The French Senate today approved a controversial bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide in what many see as a political ploy ahead of elections this spring.