Culture

Europe’s youth wave

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The average EU leader is now under 50, with populists leading a generational shift. We map the new crop and the crumbling center. Ryan Heath Politico In 2018 European politics it’s hip to be young, male and railing against the establishment. While many expected the Continent’s economic crisis to upend the political order, the backlash took longer to build, and unfurled itself at the ballot box rather than the street, starting with the election of then 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras in… ... Read More »

The art of healing: five medicinal plants used by Aboriginal Australians

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People have lived in Australia for at least 65,000 years. In all those generations the land provided original Australians with everything they needed for a healthy life. Beth Gott The Conversation At least half the food eaten by the first Australians came from plants, and it was the task of women to collect them. Fruits, seeds and greens were seasonal, but roots could usually be dug up all year round, because the earth acted as a natural storage cupboard. The ... Read More »

NSW chooses timber over koalas, critics of habitat plan claim

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The great bulk of new reserves set aside by the Berejiklian government for koala habitat offer no new protection for an animal whose numbers are plummeting in some regions of the state, new mapping analysis shows. Peter Hannam Brisbane Times The government last month hailed the release of its $45 million koala strategy as “the biggest commitment by any state” to protect the “national treasure”. But mapping details obtained by environmental groups show 82 per cent of the reserves being set aside ... Read More »

Catholics offer burial spaces to Muslims as Sydney cemeteries fill up

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Muslim community leader Kazi Ali was distressed to see the nearly full Muslim section at Rookwood Cemetery that he helped transform 40 years ago from paddock to an oasis of palms. Julie Power The Sydney Morning Herald Many who helped Mr Ali build the cemetery in the 1980s are among the 6000 Muslims buried there now. A friend’s daughter was buried behind a white picket-style fence. Mr Ali pointed to a grave of his former teacher. “Our tradition is to ... Read More »

The Desperation to Keep Turkey Different

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With an election looming, secularists are on the defensive to protect their way of life. Donna Abu-Nasr and Cagan Koc Bloomberg It’s the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but in Istanbul smokers huddle outside offices, couples sip beer and sex workers call out to young men from balconies. The contrast with some Arab countries that penalize people for publicly breaking the dawn-to-dusk abstention from food and drink couldn’t be more striking in and around the city’s central Taksim Square. And supporters of that Turkish way ... Read More »

In Praise of Extreme Moderation

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Why does it seem like you can’t throw a paper airplane in some offices without hitting a person who is training for a marathon, planning a 10-day silent meditation retreat, or intending on scaling Kilimanjaro? Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Harvard Business Review On top of working 24/7 for a company that doesn’t pay overtime? Extremism is becoming the norm not only in our professional lives but increasingly in our personal lives as well, from politics and parenting to food and fitness. Extreme ... Read More »

Aboriginal reconciliation and what we can learn from a French philosopher

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What can a French historian and philosopher tell us about reconciliation between black and white in Australia? More than a century ago, when in Australia it was still widely presumed that Aboriginal people were a dying race, Ernest Renan was grappling with the question, what is a nation? By Matter of Fact host Stan Grant ABC It remains one of the most profound and powerful statements of identity, written in 1882 in the shadows of the French Revolution. Renan sought to ... Read More »

Largest swordfish ever caught in Australia may miss out on record due to fishing association requirements

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The largest swordfish ever caught in Australia — and the second-largest in the world — may miss out on the official record because it did not meet strict rules in the way it was caught. ABC Illawarra Nick McLaren The monster fish was caught off Mallacoota near the NSW Victorian border on Sunday afternoon by a crew from the Ulladulla Game Fishing Club. It weighed in at 436.2 kilograms, well above what is thought to be the current Australian record ... Read More »

How your religion changes your views on the right to die

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Rank-and-file Christians are at odds with religious leaders on euthanasia, with some denominations more supportive of voluntary assisted dying than others. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times As an ACT parliamentary inquiry into the end-of-life choices available to Canberrans continues, a survey of 1004 people has revealed how nearly half (48 per cent) of people with religious beliefs supported assisted dying laws. This is despite a hardline stance from some religious orders against legalising the practice. One of the report’s authors, Anthony ... Read More »

Universities need to do more to support refugee students

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In the past two decades Australian universities and schools have received growing numbers of students from refugee backgrounds. This is in line with increasing numbers of people accepted through… Authors: The Conversation But there are concerns refugee students are denied access to equitable educational opportunities as a result of: the challenges of settlement competing demands on their time due to family responsibilities (both in Australia and back home) financial concerns and getting trapped in low-skilled jobs. In addition, transition is ... Read More »

Infant mortality rates higher in areas with more Christian fundamentalists, study finds

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The odds of an infant dying before their first birthday are higher in counties with greater proportions of conservative Protestants, especially fundamentalists, than in counties with more mainline Protestants and… Portland State University EurekAlert! The study, published online in May in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, supports the idea that the more insular, anti-institutional culture of fundamentalists can lead to poorer health outcomes. Ginny Garcia-Alexander, a sociology professor in PSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and ... Read More »

Martin Luther King’s son says Australia should be ’embarrassed’ by Indigenous treatment

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The son of legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior has said Australia should be embarrassed of the way it treats Indigenous Australians. Steven Schubert ABC Speaking on a visit to Alice Springs, Martin Luther King III said Australia’s Indigenous people were worse off than when he first visited the country two decades ago. “For some reason, there’s been this desire to re-oppress people who are already oppressed,” he said. “Here I am 20 years later, and I don’t ... Read More »

Macron Defends Magazine That Labeled Erdogan a ‘Dictator’

James Boxell, editor for Bloomberg Gadfly, poses for a photograph in London, U.K. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Bloomberg, London, U.K. Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Photographer: Simon Dawson 

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French President Emmanuel Macron waded into a debate over a magazine cover that labeled Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “dictator,” saying attacks on kiosks selling the latest issue were unacceptable. Helene Fouquet Bloomberg “Freedom of the press has no price: without it, it’s dictatorship,” Macron said on Twitter late on Monday. “It is totally unacceptable that Le Point posters are being ripped off kiosks on the grounds they displease the enemies of freedom of the press, in France ... Read More »

Duterte: Don’t refer to my kin as ‘First Family’

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MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants to do away with another Malacañang tradition as he asked the public not to use “First Family” when referring to his family, saying the practice is passé and is not appropriate in a democracy. phil.star Duterte expressed his dislike for the term while he was warning officials not to talk to any of his relatives about government projects. “I told them not to talk (to my family). I really do not want it. ... Read More »

Jewish Americans changed their names, but not at Ellis Island

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A well-worn joke in American Jewish culture goes like this. A Jewish immigrant landed at Ellis Island in New York. Kirsten Fermaglich The Conversation The procedures were confusing, and he was overwhelmed by the commotion. When one of the officials asked him “What is your name?” he replied, “Shayn fergessen,” which in Yiddish means “I’ve already forgotten.” The official then recorded his name as Sean Ferguson. Today, members of many white ethnic groups – including Jews, Italians and Poles – ... Read More »

I teach refugees to map their world

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I first visited the Zaatari refugee camp in early 2015. Located in northern Jordan, the camp is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. Brian Tomaszewski The Conversation I was there as part of a research study on refugee camp wireless and information infrastructure. It’s one thing to read about refugees in the news. It’s a whole different thing to actually go visit a camp. I saw people living in metal caravans, mixed with tents and other materials to create ... Read More »