Analysis

Scared state: Crime looms large but we don’t know who’s best to fix it

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Voters across Victoria say crime is the biggest issue facing the state, with a long-running survey finding it is a far greater concern than healthcare, transport, cost of living, education or housing. Adam Carey & Craig Butt The Age Concern about crime has surged in the past two years and is much greater now than it was when Labor came to power in November 2014. The results of April’s Ipsos Issues Monitor suggest that crime policy will do more to ... Read More »

Will a Robot Take My Job?

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A restructuring of the global economy fueled by changes in technological capabilities is underway. These changes will result in a complementary restructuring of entire sectors of the global economy. Daniel M. Gerstein The National Interest A REVOLUTION is occurring at the intersection of technology and labor. Change will be uneven across sectors and across the globe. But it will come. Technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy and robotics will fuel these changes, aided by the synergistic effects of the ... Read More »

Richard Flanagan: ‘Our politics is a dreadful black comedy’ – press club speech in full

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Indigenous Australia, Anzac Day, the descent of democracy – in a National Press Club address Flanagan examines a divided Australia which he says can be free only if it faces up to its past Richard Flanagan The Guardian I told a friend the other day I was to be speaking here in Canberra today and she told me a joke. A man is doubled over at the front of Parliament House throwing up. A stranger comes up and puts an arm ... Read More »

Erdoğan seeks to expand Turkey’s influence in the Middle East through diplomacy – and force

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On our third trip to Istanbul, my wife and I visited the 19th century Dolmabahce Palace, once the administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire. Nicolai Due-Gundersen The Conversation As we toured the 285-room palace my wife was struck with not just how well preserved it was, but that it was one of at least five palaces from the Ottoman era in Turkey that are now museums open to the public. This is telling, because it is not something found across ... Read More »

France’s autism problem – and its roots in psychoanalysis

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France has a problem with autism. The country’s highest administrative court estimates that there are 700,000 autistic people in France. Richard Bates The Conversation However, only 75,000 are diagnosed. Autistic children have historically been diagnosed later in France than in neighbouring countries. They have often been excluded from mainstream education and lacked access to support services and extracurricular activities. Many French autists are confined to day hospitals and live-in institutions, isolated from the community and frequently unable to communicate through ... Read More »

Libyan Refugee Crisis—EU Must Take Responsibility and Alter Its Migrant Policy

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The European Union’s relief efforts must not contribute to the subjugation of the asylum seekers and deny them their basic human and legal rights. Sajid Farid Shampoo The National Interest The world seems to be slowly coming to terms with the Libyan refugee crisis. Despite the loss of over five hundred migrant lives in the Mediterranean sea in the first three months of 2018, the issue has failed to occupy the media spaces in the way it had in the ... Read More »

Would America vote for Oprah for president?

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America has had a black president. Is the country ready for a black president who is also a woman? Chryl N. Laird The Conversation Speculation about the candidacy of Oprah Winfrey makes clear that some voters think so. Granted, Winfrey says she won’t run, but friends, commentators and many in the Twitterverse are pushing for her to reconsider. As a scholar of race and politics, I’m curious about whether Oprah will change her mind about running – and even more ... Read More »

Legal highs: arguments for and against legalising cannabis in Australia

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Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants Australia to legalise cannabis for personal use, regulated by a federal agency. Nicole Lee Jarryd Bartle The Conversation This proposal is for legalisation of recreational use for relaxation and pleasure, not to treat a medical condition (which is already legal in Australia for some conditions). According to the proposal, the government agency would licence, monitor and regulate production and sale, and regularly review the regulations. The agency would be the sole wholesaler, buying from ... Read More »

Germany’s (not so) grand coalition may cause ripple effects on European refugee policy

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After a tumultuous 2017 election and six months of political uncertainty, Germany finally has a government. The so-called “grand coalition” made up of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), its right-wing sister party, the… Kelly Soderstrom and Philomena Murray The Conversation At the centre of it all is the coalition agreement. The 179-page document sets out the goals for the government, including a new approach to Germany’s refugee policy. The agreement explains “a new direction for Europe, a new dynamic for Germany, ... Read More »

What children can teach us about looking after the environment

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United States President Donald Trump sparked outrage last year when he announced that the US would pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Rebecca Koomen The Conversation The decision frustrated world leaders because it undermined the process of global cooperation, setting a bad precedent for future agreements to unify countries in the effort to avoid climate disaster. This is an example of a very common social dilemma, called a common-pool resource (CPR) dilemma. When a natural resource is open access, ... Read More »

Trial by judge alone may not be the answer to giving high-profile defendants a fair hearing

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In April 2013, Adrian Bayley pleaded guilty to Jill Meagher’s murder. As the case was the subject of heavy media coverage, there would have been few Australians who were not well aware of it. John Eldridge The Conversation It’s worth pondering, then, what might have happened had – as was possible – Bayley pleaded not guilty. Would it have been possible to empanel a jury that could bring a fair mind to the assessment of Bayley’s guilt? If not, what ... Read More »

Syria, chemical weapons and the limits of international law

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Consider this shocking fact: Despite horrific images of yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the U.S.-led humanitarian intervention to protect civilians on April 13 was fundamentally illegal. Andrew Bell The Conversation Under current international law, President Trump lacks the authorization to launch a single missile to stop future attacks, even for the clear and just purpose of saving civilian lives. No matter how wise you consider this intervention, legal scholars generally agree that the United Nations Charter doesn’t allow ... Read More »

How the aid community responds in Syria will dictate its role in future crises

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The latest military strikes by the US, France and Britain in Syria highlight the Trump administration’s uncertainty on its role in the conflict. Denis Dragovic The Conversation With a near triumphant Syrian President Bashar al-Assad firmly under the control of Moscow and Tehran, the strikes against military bases suspected of facilitating the chemical weapons attacks will be nothing more than a footnote in the wider battle for influence in the… Trump must look towards the future and focus on influencing ... Read More »

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »

China Is Moving into the Indian Ocean

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China is pushing westward in the Indian Ocean while New Delhi is pushing eastward through its Act East and Indo-Pacific strategies. Vivek Mishra The National Interest In the past few years, the Maldives has quintessentially exemplified the shortcomings of India’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy. But there is a larger geopolitical premonition that could be anticipated from the recent crisis in the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives, one that points to the immediacy with which China and India are approaching towards a… At ... Read More »

China’s Worst Fear: Can America Turn Taiwan into a Submarine Power?

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Even as they tussle over trade, China and the United States are entering into a more under-the-radar dispute over Taiwan. Last week, the State Department approved a marketing license that allows U.S. defense companies to explore selling Taiwan technology it needs to build submarines. Zachary Keck The National Interest The approval was reported by Taiwanese media outlets who cited Maj. Gen. Chen Chung-chi, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman. Sidney Lin, a spokesperson for Taiwan’s president, also confirmed the news. The United ... Read More »