Analysis

Will John McCain be the last Republican leader in the Senate to address climate change?

“He was just doing his job.” When I asked a longtime staffer to Sen. John McCain why the senator battled to address climate change in the early 2000s, that was his answer. Tim Profeta The Conversation A simple answer, but one essential to understanding how McCain led those early efforts to combat the challenge when no one else would step forward. Although others had brought climate change as an issue to the Senate, McCain, a Republican, and democratic Sen. Joseph ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Stalled Transition

Aung San Suu Kyi’s government appears stuck amid international condemnation of the Rohingya’s mass displacement and domestic unease about the economy. ICG To nudge Myanmar’s post-junta transition forward, the UN should combine engagement with pressure for accountability for crimes against humanity and eventual refugee return. What’s new?  Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is halfway through its first term, in what was to be a crucial phase in Myanmar’s transition away from authoritarian military rule. Thus far, however, her government is a… ... Read More »

We can all help to improve communication for people with disabilities

Around 5% of the population, or 1.2 million Australians have a communication disability. Communication disability can arise if a person has a health condition affecting their speech, language, listening, understanding, reading, writing, or… Authors: The Conversation Communication disability can be lifelong (as for people with cerebral palsy or intellectual disability) or acquired (as for people with stroke and aphasia, motor neurone disease, or… All people need to be able to communicate in order to work, build relationships, and seek the ... Read More »

Au revoir Mirka Mora, your joie de vivre will live on

Mirka Mora has left us, at the age of 90. She will be missed by her family and friends, who recall her sunny personality and formidable appetite for life. Sabine Cotte The Conversation But for all art lovers, her work will continue to shine in the city she contributed so much to: in front of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station, at St Kilda Pier, on the walls of the Tolarno restaurant… In reflecting on Mirka’s life and work we should remember ... Read More »

Book Review: Behrouz Boochani’s unsparing look at the brutality of Manus Island

It is a matter of wonder that Behrouz Boochani was able to write No Friend but the Mountains at all. Alex Reilly The Conversation He did so while in Manus prison, using text messages in Farsi on smuggled mobile phones. Egyptian and Australian academic Omid Tofighian worked closely with Boochani to translate the text into English. In a detailed introduction to the book, Tofighian explains that Boochani’s writing contributes to a Kurdish literary tradition. He describes his style as “horror ... Read More »

The Erdogan Question: Is It Time To Shrink NATO?

The Turkish president’s thuggish autocracy and reflexive anti-Americanism make him very popular in his country. Philip Terzian Weekly Standard There was once a country in what used to be called the Near East that was much admired in the United States and often regarded as America’s most valuable asset in the region. Although the country was predominantly Muslim, its government was resolutely secular in outlook and committed to “modernizing” its deeply traditional culture: Women enjoyed unprecedented equality, for example, and ... Read More »

Why it’s so hard to hold priests accountable for sex abuse

A grand jury report recently found shocking levels of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. It uncovered, in six dioceses, the sexual abuse of over 1,000 children and named 301 perpetrator priests. Carolyn M. Warner The Conversation It also found that religious officials had turned a blind eye to the abuse. In response, Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, wrote a letter addressed to “the People of God,” saying, “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ... Read More »

Time for President Donald Trump to Bury the U.S.-Turkey Alliance

The alliance was already dead—just not everyone realizes it yet. The U.S.-Turkey alliance is dead. Certainly, as long as Tayyip Recep Erdoğan is Turkey’s president. Doug Bandow The National Interest And probably well beyond that. The current dispute over the imprisonment of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson dominates the news. But more important is an increasing divergence in the two nations’ geopolitical interests. The traditional claim that Ankara was a “vital” partner long reflected the triumph of hope over experience. During ... Read More »

Explainer: why the rock art of Murujuga deserves World Heritage status

The West Australian government has committed to pursuing a World Heritage listing for the rock art of Murujuga. Jo McDonald The Conversation Murujuga is the Aboriginal name for the Dampier Archipelago and the Burrup Peninsula in north west WA and is home to at least a million individual works of art. Australia has some of the world’s richest and most diverse rock art. While rock art is found all around the globe, Australia is relatively unique because here there are ... Read More »

A Preview of Donald Trump’s Next Speech on Erdogan’s Turkey

Reflections on how to Make Turkey Great Again. When Recep Tayyip Erdogan jailed an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, and held him as a hostage, Donald Trump tried to get the fellow released. Ira Straus the Globalist This effort failing, he chose to respond with sanctions. Erdogan struck back with demagogic speeches about this being an attack on Turkey. The man in the Oval Office is unlikely to back down. He is not one to let go if someone locks horns ... Read More »

Cancer eating the heart of Australian democracy

Beneath the sound and light show that passed for Australian politics last week, there is a much deeper question of what underlying forces have been at work that have brought us this low. Kevin Rudd The Sydney Morning Herald The uncomfortable truth is since the coup of June 2010, Australian politics has become vicious, toxic and unstable. The core question is why? There have been many factors at work. First, the histrionic politics of climate change dividing the nation for ... Read More »

Al Gore, missionary man

For someone warning of dangers of climate apocalypse, former US vice president is surprisingly upbeat. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Al Gore spent a year in divinity school as a young man, but he was well into middle age by the time he found his calling as a climate preacher. Now 70, and both grayer and portlier than when he was a full-time politician, America’s almost-president travels the world to raise awareness about climate change and what mankind can do ... Read More »

Fascism: Are we there yet?

There’s a lot of discussion about Fascism at the moment, in the media it’s “this is fascism, that’s fascism”, which indicates there’s some confusion about what fascism actually is. IA Political editor Dr Martin Hirst interviews Australia’s most prominent Nazi-hunter, Andy Fleming, to better understand this vexing term. THE TERM “fascism” and descriptor “fascist” have been bandied around by ill-informed members of the commentariat in the last few weeks. The decision to remove Sky News from televisions in Victorian railway stations was… Fascism: ... Read More »

Greece was never bailed out – it remains locked in an EU debtor’s prison

Punitive conditions attached to the ‘rescue’ package mean the Greek financial tragedy may never end Yanis Varoufakis The Guardian Over the past week, the world’s media have been proclaiming the successful completion of the Greek financial rescue programme mounted in 2010 by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Headlines celebrated the end of Greece’s bailout, even the termination of austerity. Buoyant reports from ground zero of the eurozone crisis portrayed Europe’s eight-year long Greek intervention as a paradigm ... Read More »

Ankara Tries Turkish Cypriot Journalist for Criticizing Turkey

A veteran journalist in Europe’s last divided city, Nicosia, has been targeted and intimidated by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for criticizing Turkey’s actions in Cyprus and elsewhere in the region. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute Şener Levent, editor-in-chief of the Turkish-language daily newspaper, Afrika, in Cyprus, has been charged with crimes by Turkish prosecutors in Ankara. The charges concern the January 21 front page of the newspaper, which criticized Turkey’s invasion of the Syrian city of Afrin as well as ... Read More »

People who see men and women as fundamentally different are more likely to accept workplace discrimination

How should people who care about gender equality in the workplace argue their case? The most popular approach is to make the “business case” argument: that greater inclusion of women enhances profits and performance. Authors: The Conversation Unfortunately, the business case argument often draws on a “gender essentialist” view. This holds that women are fundamentally, immutably and naturally different from men. The inclusion of women benefits the organisation, it suggests, because women bring uniquely female skills and perspectives that complement ... Read More »