Culture

U.S. returns 3 church bells taken as war booty from Philippines in 1901

MANILA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — After 117 years, the United States returned the three original church bells taken by American soldiers as war booty during the Philippine-American war in 1901. Li Xia Xinhua A U.S. Air Force plane bearing the three historic bells landed in the Philippines on Tuesday morning. U.S. officials led by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim handed the… “It is a most memorable day of our nation’s history and we celebrate it with deep gratitude ... Read More »

Meet the first woman to contact one of the world’s most isolated tribes

Anthropologist Madhumala Chattopadhyay floated coconuts to the Sentinelese in an unusually friendly exchange with a tribe hostile to outsiders. Fehmida Zakeer National Geographic The recent death of an American missionary on North Sentinel Island has put the remote island in the Bay of Bengal, officially off-limits to most outsiders for decades, back in the news and raised questions about the… In the later 20th century, the Indian government, which administers the Andaman and Nicobar islands archipelago to which North Sentinel ... Read More »

North Sentinel Island: uncontacted tribes’ ‘right to be left alone’ doesn’t gel with broader human rights

John Allen Chau knew he might die. The 26-year-old US evangelical missionary was killed, in late November, on North Sentinel Island, by members of the indigenous community that he sought to convert to Christianity. Karolina Follis The Conversation He saw this as his life’s mission – and understood the risks. North Sentinel Island is part of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to the Sentinelese people, who are among the world’s last uncontacted tribes – ... Read More »

Detained and in danger: The tortured Australian families who fear for their missing loved ones

Increasingly helpless and desperate, Uighurs building new lives in Australian suburbs feel compelled to go public with their stories and identities despite the risks. Fergus Hunter The Age The security agents came for Adeham Abliz late on a Thursday night. That day, September 8, 2016, had been much like any other in the 59-year-old Uighur man’s life in the city of Ghulja in north-western China. Abliz, a shopkeeper, had performed his five daily prayers, starting with fajr at dawn through ... Read More »

A county in Idaho offered Spanish-language ballots for the first time and here’s what happened

On the morning of Election Day, the top trending search on Google was “donde votar,” which means “where to vote” in Spanish. Gabe Osterhout The Conversation Voter access to the polls was a major issue during the 2018 midterm elections in the U.S. Charges of voter suppression were made in in Georgia and North Dakota. Critics of new voting rules claimed they disenfranchised African-Americans and Native Americans. While those problems were extensively covered by the press, less attention was paid ... Read More »

Indigenous groups slam ‘pathetic, divisive’ Hanson for land rights comments

Pauline Hanson thinks Indigenous people “milk” the issue of land rights and the One Nation Senator says it really annoys her. Nick Baker SBS Indigenous organisations have slammed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for making “ridiculous” and “divisive” comments around land rights. On Sunday, Ms Hanson blasted Indigenous groups for “milking” land rights claims. Senator Hanson told Sky News she gets upset when Australia is referred to as Aboriginal land, arguing “I didn’t steal it”. “This is what’s happened in the… Indigenous ... Read More »

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. Tok Thompson The Conversation But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives? Roots of Halloween The origins of modern-day Halloween go back to “samhain,” a Celtic celebration for the beginning of the dark half of the year when, it was widely believed, the realm between the living and the dead overlapped and ghosts ... Read More »

Xinjiang top official defends Uighur ‘internment camps’

The top official in China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description yet of the alleged use of internment camps for Uighur Muslims. BBC In an interview with state media, Shohrat Zakir said the “vocational education” centres were proving effective in staving off terrorism. He said “trainees” were grateful for the opportunity to change their ways and make their lives more “colourful”. China’s massive security crackdown in Xinjiang has sparked widespread alarm. Rights groups say Muslims are being detained ... Read More »

EU human rights defenders alarmed at Ukraine’s surge in religious discrimination

European human rights organizations are concerned about the predicament of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers MOSCOW, September 28 / TASS European human rights organizations are concerned about the predicament of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers, Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, a vicar of the Kiev Diocese, said on Friday in an interview with the Church’s Information Department, following a Warsaw meeting of the Organization for Security and… “This year, a great number of international organizations focused on the… EU human rights… Read More »

Scott Morrison claims Indigenous voice to parliament would be a third chamber

Prime minister tells Radio National Uluru proposal ‘really is’ a third chamber and must be rejected Paul Karp The Guardian Scott Morrison has rejected the Uluru statement’s call for an Indigenous voice to parliament by claiming that the body would constitute a “third chamber”, a characterisation… In an interview on Radio National on Wednesday the new prime minister signalled there would be no change of policy since Malcolm Turnbull rejected the voice, and even walked back… Asked about the voice ... Read More »

Why Can’t I Criticize My Religion?

When I received a letter from a Shiite religious preacher from the United Kingdom, it did not surprise me. Majid Rafizadeh Gatestone Institute I receive many similar letters from extremist Muslims all over the world, as well as Western liberals, socialists, and others. Each time, opening these letters, I prepare for criticism of my careful scrutiny of my religion. As expected, the letter began with a familiar suggestion: “Stop criticizing your own religion.” The letter went on to support this ... Read More »

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Ashes to ashes: Britons follow David Bowie in choosing direct cremations

Demand for simpler services grows as tastes change and cost of lavish funerals increases Rupert Jones The Guardian The “cost of dying” is continuing to rise, figures out next week are expected to show. But the good news for those on a tight budget, or who simply don’t want a big fuss made, is that the cost of the very… “Direct cremation” is a low-cost, no-frills option where there is no funeral service and mourners aren’t present. In its most ... Read More »

Young and resilient

The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »

A history of happiness explains why capitalism makes us feel empty inside

Swedish researcher Carl Cederström on how corporations redefined happiness and turned hippies into Reagan voters. Sean Illing Vox What is happiness? It’s a very old question. And no one really knows the answer, although theories abound. Aristotle was one of the first to offer what you might call a philosophy of happiness. For him, happiness consisted of being a good person, of living virtuously and not being a slave to one’s lowest impulses. Happiness was a goal, something at which ... Read More »

How will Indigenous people be compensated for lost native title rights? The High Court will soon decide

Today, the High Court of Australia will begin hearing the most significant case concerning Indigenous land rights since the Mabo and Wik native title cases in the 1990s. Authors: The Conversation For the first time, the High Court will consider how to approach the question of compensation for the loss of traditional land rights. The decision will have huge implications for Indigenous peoples who have lost their land rights and for the state and territory governments responsible for that loss. ... Read More »