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Ramsay Centre degree in Western civilisation to be offered at Wollongong University after rejection from ANU

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is set to become the first institution to deliver the controversial Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation degree. By Danuta Kozaki and Jamie McKinnell ABC The Ramsay Centre will provide about 150 scholarships for the new course, to be funded by a bequest by the late health pioneer, Paul Ramsay. The partnership is worth more than $50 million over eight years. The centre was knocked back earlier this year by the Australian National University, which ... Read More »

Brexit: Prepare for fresh referendum within months, Nigel Farage tells Leave supporters

Former Ukip leader’s warning comes as ex-minister reveals growing support in cabinet for Final Say vote Benjamin Kentish Independent Nigel Farage has told Brexit campaigners they should prepare for another referendum amid parliamentary deadlock over Theresa May’s planned deal. The former Ukip leader told Leave supporters to be “ready” for a fresh public vote as reports suggest some cabinet ministers are increasingly receptive to the idea of giving the public the Final Say on Brexit. Speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally in London, he “implored” Brexiteers to prepare for ... Read More »

Brexit pressure rises, but UK government says no to second vote

Britain’s government is not preparing for a second referendum on Brexit, ministers said on Dec. 16, sticking to the script that Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal could still pass through parliament with a… LONDON – Reuters Hurriyet May delayed a vote last week on her agreement to leave the European Union because she was set to lose in parliament and has tried to secure “assurances” from the bloc to try to better sell it to… Brussels said last week it was ready to help ... Read More »

Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation

Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation. By David A. Fahrenthold, Matt Zapotosky and Seung Min Kim The Washington Post Trump’s private company is contending with civil suits digging into its business with foreign governments and with looming state inquiries into its tax practices. Trump’s 2016 campaign is under scrutiny by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose investigation into Russian interference has already led to guilty pleas ... Read More »

UN climate talks: final agreement on reducing carbon emissions remains elusive

Stand-off on international co-operation on carbon trading persists as closing plenary session pushed back Kevin O’Sullivan Katowice, Poland The Irish Times The UN climate talks have a finishing line in sight as “70 per cent of the text” has been published but final agreement on how to raise ambition in reducing carbon emissions remained elusive at noon on Saturday. While significant progress has been made in agreeing to pursue a new climate finance goal for supporting developing countries and states that ... Read More »

Assisted dying ‘only option for many with terminal illness’

The introduction of assisted dying in Scotland is coming and is the only way to “relieve the suffering” for many with terminal conditions, MSPs have been told. By SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman Medical leaders from Canada were in the Scottish Parliament last week to set out how the medical assistance in dying (MAID) system has worked there since being introduced two years ago and how splits in the profession were overcome. Dr Sandy Buchman, president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), ... Read More »

Obamacare: Texas court rules key health law is unconstitutional

A federal judge in the US state of Texas has ruled that a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. BBC Twenty states argued the whole law was invalidated by a change in tax rules last year which eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance. President Donald Trump said the ruling was great news for America. The law’s provisions will, however, remain in place until an appeal is heard at the US ... Read More »

As Kurdish fighters move on last Isis-controlled town in Syria, Turkey threatens attack

Syria’s main Kurdish parties called Turkey’s warnings a ‘declaration of war’ Richard Hall Independent Kurdish forces are on the brink of capturing the last town under Isis control in Syria – but before that battle is over they might have to face a Turkish invasion. The town of Hajin, on the banks of the Euphrates river in eastern Syria, is Isis’s last holdout in the country. After three months of intense fighting, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Friday that it had taken most of the ... Read More »

Government to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but keeps embassy in Tel Aviv

The Australian Government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but will not immediately move its embassy from Tel Aviv. Jade Macmillan ABC It is understood Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce the decision during a speech in Sydney today. He is also expected to acknowledge the aspirations of Palestinians for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem. The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network said it was dismayed by the Prime Minister’s plan, which it argued would ... Read More »

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign

Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” if… By George Stephanopoulos, Eric Avram, Eliana Larramendia James Hill abc NEWS Cohen’s comments are his first since being sentenced earlier this week to three years in federal prison for financial crimes, lying to Congress and two campaign finance violations in connection with the… “I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cohen told ABC ... Read More »

‘Everyone has time to sit down and have a coffee’: Fitzroy cafe bans takeaway coffees

Fitzroy cafe Napier Quarter is banning takeaway coffee in a bid to get its customers to slow down. Cara Waters The Age “Our customers are all locals and they enjoy the ritual and part of their day is sitting down and having a coffee or pastry,” owner Daniel Lewis says. “There is a conglomerate of people standing around with backpacks, on their phones, and it takes away from the experience. It’s turning into a takeaway generation, it’s not what we ... Read More »

Hours before her collapse in U.S. custody, a dying migrant child’s condition went unnoticed

Twenty-seven hours before she died at an El Paso children’s hospital, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal walked across the U.S. border with her father and 161 other migrants outside Antelope Wells, N.M. Nick Miroff * The Washington Post It was 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the small, remote U.S. border crossing was closed for the night. There were four Border Patrol agents on duty, and no medical staff. The migrants skirted barriers and crossed into the United States. Like most Central American asylum ... Read More »

Reviving UN Mediation on Iraq’s Disputed Internal Boundaries

The fallout is settling after the Iraqi army’s seizure of territories disputed between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region. ICG More conflict over these areas, particularly oil-rich Kirkuk, is predictable. The UN should take advantage of today’s quiet to explore negotiations on the contested lands’ status. What’s new?  Following parliamentary and regional elections this year, Baghdad and Erbil are forming new governments. This presents a fresh opportunity to settle longstanding disputes between them. One of their principal disputes concerns the ... Read More »

What the US could learn from Thailand about health care coverage

The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) draws to a close on Dec. 15. Joseph Harris The Conversation Yet, recent assaults on the ACA by the Trump administration stand in marked contrast to efforts to expand access to health care and medicine in the rest of the world. In fact, on Dec. 12, the world observed Universal Coverage Day, a day celebrated by the United Nations to commemorate passage of a… While the U.N. measure was nonbinding ... Read More »