Analysis

India vs. Pakistan: The Two Nations That Might Start a Nuclear War?

With millions dead? In Pakistan in February 2000, President General Pervez Musharraf, who was also the army chief, established the Strategic Plan Division in the National Command Authority, appointing… by War Is Boring The National Interest In October 2001, Kidwai offered an outline of the country’s updated nuclear doctrine in relation to its far more militarily and economically powerful neighbor, saying, “It is well known that… It’s possible that a small spark from artillery and rocket exchanges across that border ... Read More »

Saudi and Iran: how our two countries could make peace and bring stability to the Middle East

Relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have rarely been worse, regarding the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – for which both sides blame… Authors: The Conversation Nevertheless, in the history of relations between the two countries, there have been regular shifts between tension and rapprochement – and things can change for the better once again. As an Iranian and a Saudi, working as research fellows for peace studies, ... Read More »

Elder abuse increasing, without increased awareness

About 16% of older adults are victims of some form of mistreatment and the number of reported cases of elder abuse is steadily increasing. Authors: The Conversation Because of poor record-keeping, however, those of us who study elder abuse don’t know if the trend reflects an actual increase, an increase because of growing numbers of older adults, or only an… Elder abuse involves intentional or unintentional acts that result in physical, emotional or financial harm to an individual who is ... Read More »

Hong Kong protests against extradition bill spurred by fears about long arm of China

The dramatic protests unfolding in Hong Kong evoke memories of the most sensational episodes of the country’s “umbrella movement” five years ago at the very same sites. Malte Phillipp Kaeding The Conversation At the end of the unprecedented 79 days occupation in 2014, demanding genuine universal suffrage, protesters vowed to be back. Few would have expected that it would be so quick and with such vengeance. A mass demonstration on June 9 was followed by protests three days later that ... Read More »

Children with autism may use memory differently. Understanding this could help us teach them

Around one in every 70 Australians are on the autism spectrum. The proportion of children with autism is higher – more than 80% of all Australians on the autism spectrum are aged under 25. John Munro The Conversation Autism is most prevalent among school-aged children between 5 and 14. Many of these children have social, learning, communication and intellectual difficulties. The high proportion of children on the autism spectrum presents an obvious challenge to teachers and the learning environment. One ... Read More »

Chilling documentary exposes the grim truth behind China’s one-child policy

A horrific legacy of forced sterilisation, child abandonment and state-sponsored kidnappings has been exposed in a haunting new doco. Ben Graham News.Com.Au It wasn’t until acclaimed documentary-maker Nanfu Wang moved to the US and had a child of her own that she began to look at her upbringing in China in a whole new light. In a harrowing and deeply personal new documentary — One Child Nation — that’s screening at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, she describes the rush ... Read More »

The Keys to Restarting Nicaragua’s Stalled Talks

President Daniel Ortega’s government has released almost all political prisoners held since Nicaragua’s April 2018 uprising. ICG It should stay this course, honouring its other commitments to the opposition in national dialogue. International actors should promise consequences if the government drags its feet. Principal Findings What’s new?  A year after countering a civic uprising with lethal force, President Daniel Ortega’s government has reached agreement with Nicaragua’s opposition on two issues: releasing all political prisoners and strengthening citizens’ rights. Despite significant ... Read More »

The case for adding more and more people to the Earth

If life is good, are we morally obligated to create more of it? Philosopher Torbjörn Tännsjö says yes. Dylan Matthews Vox How many people should there be? This is the core debate in a whole branch of philosophy known as population ethics. The debate has two polar extremes. One extreme, anti-natalism, argues that creating humans at all is… The other extreme is the view that creating humans is always a good thing — even if that results in a less ... Read More »

Silenced.

Australian children are being placed in harm’s way by the legal structure designed to determine their best interests — the family law system. By Emily Clark and Heidi Davoren ABC James* says the earliest memories of his childhood involve being sexually and physically abused by his father. Also etched into his memory are the occasions he tried to tell someone what was going on and the system that didn’t believe him. James told his mother about the alleged abuse and ... Read More »

How did one of the safest cities in the world descend into violence?

Hong Kong (CNN) – Hong Kong is an extremely safe city. Darkened streets don’t harbor the same dangers that might be found in other major cities, but in recent years, simmering tensions over the city’s political future have created an underlying sense of unease. Analysis by James Griffiths, CNN While any metropolis of seven million will have some crime, violence is incredibly uncommon — around 2,600 violent crimes were recorded by police in the first four months of this year, ... Read More »

Why is the Strait of Hormuz so strategically important?

Explaining the economic and geopolitical significance of the key waterway out of the Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s single most important oil passageway, forming a chokepoint between the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Al Jazeera The 39km strait is the only route to the open ocean for over one-sixth of global oil production and one-third of the world’s liquified natural gas (LNG). The maritime area is in the news following explosions that damaged two oil tankers just ... Read More »

Ethics of AI: how should we treat rational, sentient robots – if they existed?

Imagine a world where humans co-existed with beings who, like us, had minds, thoughts, feelings, self-conscious awareness and the capacity to perform purposeful actions – but, unlike us, these beings had artificial mechanical bodies that could be switched on and off. Hugh McLachlan The Conversation That brave new world would throw up many issues as we came to terms with our robot counterparts as part and parcel of everyday life. How should we behave towards them? What moral duties would ... Read More »

Reversing Israel’s Deepening Annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem

Israel is pursuing new ways of cementing its grip on occupied East Jerusalem, further enmeshing the city’s Palestinians while maintaining a Jewish majority within the municipal boundaries. ICG These schemes could spark conflict. The new Israeli government elected in September should set them aside. What’s new? Israel is advancing new policies to entrench its de facto annexation of most of occupied East Jerusalem. Moreover, depending on what coalition government emerges from forthcoming parliamentary elections, it could shunt the… Reversing Israel’s ... Read More »

A growing source of Canadian asylum-seekers: US citizens whose parents were born elsewhere

Jokes about moving to Canada became common among progressives in the United States during Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Sean Rehaag The Conversation When he won, a spike in U.S. citizens seeking information about how to relocate crashed Canada’s immigration website. I’m a scholar of Canadian immigration law and will soon become the director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto. My friends and colleagues in the United States, who still make those jokes, are often surprised ... Read More »

Australia’s asylum seeker policy history: a story of blunders and shame

We know very little about the kind of government Scott Morrison runs. Carolyn Holbrook The Conversation After beating Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop to the prime ministership in August last year, most commentators assumed Morrison was keeping the chair warm until Labor’s Bill Shorten won the 2019 election. Following the Coalition’s unexpected victory, it’s time to ask more searching questions, not only about Scott Morrison’s political values and policy aspirations, but about his prime ministerial style. Recent history suggests processes ... Read More »

England’s history of defaulting on European lenders shows repercussions of not paying Brexit bill

Boris Johnson’s threat to withhold payment of the UK’s £39 billion Brexit divorce bill until the EU gives Britain better exit terms has been the source of much debate over whether or not it constitutes a… Authors: The Conversation Technically, the UK would argue that this is not a debt, as normally described when referring to sovereign defaults. Nevertheless, if the EU did consider it such a default, then the consequences would be very clear. They could include a hit ... Read More »