Analysis

How do Americans really feel about interracial couples?

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According to the most recent U.S. census, approximately 15 percent of all newlywed couples are interracial. Allison Skinner The Conversation More interracial relationships are also appearing in the media – on television, in film and in advertising. These trends suggest that great strides have been made in the roughly 50 years since the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws. But as a psychologist who studies racial attitudes, I suspected that attitudes toward interracial couples may not be as positive as ... Read More »

Whale sharks gather at a few specific locations around the world – now we know why

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The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, but much of its lifecycle remains shrouded in mystery. Authors: The Conversation These gentle giants gather in just a handful of places around the globe – something which has long baffled scientists – but our new research has started to explain why. Better understanding of whale shark movements could help prevent further population loss in a species that has already experienced a 63% population decline over the past 75 years. ... Read More »

Time to honour a historical legend: 50 years since the discovery of Mungo Lady

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This month we celebrate an event 50 years ago in western New South Wales that changed the course of Australian history. Jim Bowler The Conversation On July 15, 1968, the discovery of burnt bones on a remote shoreline of an unnamed lake basin began a story, the consequences of which remain sadly unfinished today. It’s the story of a legend, the discovery of Mungo Lady, the first in the series of steps that led to the creation of the Willandra ... Read More »

Can you raise an autistic child to be bilingual – and should you try?

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Diagnosed with autism and delayed language development, five-year-old Jose lives with his bilingual English-Spanish family in the UK. Authors: The Conversation In addition to all the important decisions that a family with an autistic child has to take, Jose’s parents must also consider what languages to teach him and how. They would like Jose to learn English so he can make friends and do well at school. But they also value Spanish – the native language of Jose’s mother. The ... Read More »

Here’s How the Road to Iraq Is Repeating Itself with Iran

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America had better hope that its leaders and media learn from the clamor for invading Iraq in 2003. Christopher A. Preble The National Interest Rob Reiner’s movie “Shock and Awe,” due to hit theaters on July 13, reminds us of the role that provocateurs and conspiracy theorists played in building the case for war with Iraq. (Spoiler alert: this article reveals key movie plot lines, including that the United States did, in fact, invade Iraq in 2003, and that most of the ... Read More »

Cambridge Analytica used our secrets for profit – the same data could be used for public good

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Ever since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had taken data from 87m users via a Facebook app that exploited the social media site’s privacy settings, it has been suggested that anything from Donald Trump’s election in the US to the European Union referendum result in the UK could have been the result of the persuasive power of… William David Watkin The Conversation But Aleksandr Kogan, the University of Cambridge researcher whose data-collecting app formed the basis for Cambridge Analytica’s ... Read More »

Patriotic Mobilisation in Russia

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The Kremlin is fostering a culture of military-tinged patriotism, partly to rally support for armed interventions abroad. ICG The sentiment springs from pride in Russia’s past as a global power and desire to reclaim that status. Its possible co-optation by far-right nationalists, however, should worry Moscow. What’s new? In recent years, the Kremlin has pursued a policy of patriotic mobilisation – encouraging national pride, commemorating past military victories and promoting a vision of Russia as a reborn global power. While ... Read More »

Why technology puts human rights at risk

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Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Terminator brought rogue robots and computer systems to our cinema screens. Birgit Schippers The Conversation But these days, such classic science fiction spectacles don’t seem so far removed from reality. Increasingly, we live, work and play with computational technologies that are autonomous and intelligent. These systems include software and hardware with the capacity for independent reasoning and decision making. They work for us on the factory floor; they decide whether ... Read More »

The Guardian view on regulating elections: democracy needs a tougher defence

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The campaign for Brexit now looks dishonest and discredited. Its dodgy legacy casts a shadow over Theresa May’s government Editorial A healthy democracy has many mechanisms to hold politicians to account, but none as mighty as the ballot box. The government that fails to fulfil its promises can be expelled from power. This contract between electorate and elected is one reason why many democrats are suspicious of referendums. The danger is that they elevate a one-off verdict above the normal ... Read More »

6 US “Allies” That Are Russia’s Newest Partners

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Russia has mastered the art of making new partnerships among nations that in the 20th and much of the 21st century were and in some cases still are traditional American allies. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture As the long dead realities of the Cold War era become dramatically re-shaped by the age of multipolarity and increased interconnectivity between global regions, it is helpful to look at some of the countries with whom Russia is a close partner or healthy friend in spite ... Read More »

Prawn white spot virus, and how we tracked down its source in Asia

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This week Four Corners aired Outbreak – an investigation into alleged “quarantine failures putting the Australian economy at risk”. Wayne Knibb The Conversation The story in part reviewed how a pathogen known as White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) had decimated prawn farms located along the Logan River in Queensland. Some of my published research was presented as part of this ABC report. These data, with earlier reports, support the argument that Australia’s biosecurity arrangements were breached by WSSV from Asia. ... Read More »

A new bombing in Afghanistan and the tragedy of refugees

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One of the participants in a research project I am working on was recently killed in the Afghan city of Jalalabad in a suicide bombing attack targeting Sikhs and Hindus. Liza Schuster The Conversation The young women I work with who had interviewed him and his family are shattered, and his distraught wife in agony. Like so many others over the past few years, he was killed by the so-called Islamic State (IS). And like other victims of IS in ... Read More »

Can the bond between Macron and Merkel keep the rest of the EU united?

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Summitry is a staple of international diplomacy and the European Union is no exception. Summits raise expectations: of last-minute, heroic breakthroughs; of meaningful change. Helen Drake The Conversation They exist to punctuate the tensions of international relations with images of harmony and hope that may well be illusory. In the EU, summits are often a last resort to reach agreement. Approaching the EU’s long-awaited summer summit in the final week of June, the stakes were high and expectations already low. ... Read More »

Welcome to a world where your privacy is being sold for billions

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A new Crikey series, edited by technology writer Stilgherrian. Before she’s even awake, Susan is under surveillance. Her sleep tracker recorded a restless night, the third in a row. In a database, somewhere, she’s flagged as being stressed. While she’s reading the news over breakfast, in an automated process that takes milliseconds, an advertiser exploits that knowledge to serve her with an ad for a meditation app. Susan downloads the app. When she starts meditating, both the time she begins, ... Read More »

“Turkish gov’t takes a page from the Gulenist playbook in Washington lobbying” – 3

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This is the third piece in a series on Turkish government and Turkish-American lobbying in the United States. Claire Sadar Ahval In the first two pieces, I discussed how both the Turkish government and its former ally turned enemy, the Gulen Movement, are courting the Trump administration, and particularly Vice President Mike Pence, through Trump-connected lobbyists. In 2017, both sides spent considerable sums on lobbying. The Gulen-connected Alliance for Shared Values spent at least $310,500 on three lobbying firms. Unsurprisingly, ... Read More »

An Alternative Way to Deal with the Cyprus Co-Op Bank

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Socialising the losses and privatising the gains I have written two articles on the subject of “the Deal” sought and negotiated by the Government for privatising the ailing Co-Op Bank in Cyprus. Savvas Savvides StockWatch I continue here with “Socialising the losses and privatising the gains – Part 3” which provides an alternative proposal than the one that the Government arrived at with Hellenic Bank. It makes the argument that the concessions made in desperation to the Hellenic Bank (which ... Read More »