Emer­gency talks over mi­grants

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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