Emergency talks over migrants
entered at this time in 2017. But even though arrivals are declining, the unity of the 28-nation bloc is being torn apart by a crisis of confidence.
Most migrants land in Italy and Greece, and those countries feel abandoned by their EU partners.
Member states like Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are unwilling to share the burden and refuse to accept refugee quotas.
The commission said Sunday’s meeting, just days before a full EU summit, was aimed at ‘‘finding European solutions’’ to the migrant challenge.
Tougher checks at train and bus stations are among the actions participating countries are considering as part of efforts to stop asylum seekers from travelling freely across Europe’s open borders.
The proposal is part of a draft agreement that also proposes penalties for asylum seekers who don’t remain in the first EU country where they are registered.
German business newspaper Handelsblatt said the proposed agreement also foresaw a significant expansion of the EU’S border control force, Frontex, and the creation of an asylum processing agency for the entire bloc.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country takes over the EU’S rotating presidency on July 1, said the gathering ‘‘is not about German domestic politics, it’s about a solution of the migration question that is long overdue’’.
Efforts to reform the EU’S asylum laws have run for two years without success, blocked mostly over the issue of which country should take responsibility for migrants and refugees and for how long. –AP The builders of Britain’s ancient stone circles such as Stonehenge used Pythagoras’s theorem 2000 years before the Greek philosopher was born, experts have claimed.
A new book, Megalith, has reexamined the geometry of Neolithic monuments and concluded they were constructed by sophis- ticated astronomers who under- stood lunar, solar and eclipse cycles and built huge stone calendars using complex geometry.
One contributor, Robin Heath, a megalithic expert, has even claimed that a great Pythagorean triangle in the British landscape links Stonehenge, the site from which the Preseli bluestones were cut in Wales, and Lundy Island, an important prehistoric site.
Pythagoras’s discovery – that the sum of the areas of two squares on the sides of two triangles will add up to the area of a square on the hypotenuse – has been used for millennia to help builders attain perfect right angles.
The book, published to coincide with the northern hemisphere summer solstice, shows how within one of Stonehenge’s earliest incarnations, dating from 2750BC, there lies a rectangle of four sarsen stones, which when split in half diagonally forms a perfect Pythagorean triangle.
The eight lines that radiate from the rectangle and triangles align perfectly to important dates in the Neolithic calendar, such as the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes. They also mark Imbolc, the ancient date for the beginning of spring on February 1; Beltane, or May Day; Lammas, the start of the wheat harvest; and Samhain on October 31, when cattle were brought down from summer slaughtered.
John Martineau, the book’s editor, said: ‘‘People often think of our ancestors as rough cavemen, but they were also sophisticated astronomers. They were applying Pythagorean geometry over 2000 years before Pythagoras was born.
‘‘We think these people didn’t have scientific minds, but first and foremost they were astronomers and cosmologists. They were studying long and difficult-to-understand cycles, and they knew about these when they started planning sites like Stonehenge.’’
Many stone ‘‘circles’’ are not fully circular but have geometry derived from Pythagorean triangles, which were probably laid out using ropes and pegs.
The huge stones of Stonehenge were once surrounded by 56 wooden posts or stones, which could be used for predicting eclipses as well as showing the position of the Sun and the Moon and the lunar phases. The bluestone horseshoe in the centre is thought to contain 19 stones to represent the 19-year metonic cycle of the Sun and Moon.
‘‘People see the Neolithic builders of Stonehenge as howling barbarians, when they were very learned,’’ Heath said.
– Telegraph Group pastures and