Culture

The Threshold Choir: Singing for people on the cusp of death

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Do you find comfort in music? The Threshold Choir sings for people on the cusp of death, hoping to alleviate some of their anxieties… Fiona Pepper ABC The concept of a Threshold Choir first began in America in 2000; a book of ‘comfort’ songs were written and local chapters… Now there are more than 130 choirs worldwide… The Threshold Choir… Read More »

The Pursuit of Happiness in Work

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Money can’t buy you happiness, but what you actually do for a living is key, according to new research which found not-for-profit workers were among the… Wendy Williams  Pb Curtin University in collaboration with mwah (Making Work Absolutely Human) has launched a new report to find the happiest and unhappiest workers in… The report, Happy Workers: How Satisfied are Australians at… The Pursuit of… Read More »

Northeast Regional

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Audio: Emma Cline… Close to five hours on the train. And then twenty minutes by taxi from the station to the… Emma Cline The New Yorker He would have time to call the lawyer, work through the… He had the number of a consultant, in case Rowan needed to apply somewhere… Maybe the school legally had to contact the college he’d got into, but Richard wasn’t… And maybe it wouldn’t come to that. The school wouldn’t want to make anything… ... Read More »

Who are Egypt’s Coptic Christians and why are they persecuted?

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Coptic Christians, known as Copts, are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, constituting roughly 10 per cent of the country’s… Steven Viney ABC Although many now identify as Arabs, Copts do not historically believe themselves to be of Arab origin, but are instead… The word Coptic is derived from the ancient Greek word for… Who are Egypt’s… Read More »

Old Bailey’s first non-white judge was mistaken for defendant

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The Old Bailey’s first non-white circuit judge has said she was often mistaken for a witness or defendant when she started working as a… BBC Anuja Ravindra Dhir began her career in the… She became a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in… The 49-year-old said at first, most clients did not want to be represented by a young Asian Scottish… She also said that, when she wanted to go to university in the… Old Bailey’s first… Read More »

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and… Joobin Bekhrad BBC So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the… At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a… Yet, a brief glance at an… The obscure ... Read More »

Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels Australian tour

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The outspoken critic on Monday abruptly cancelled the Australian and New Zealand leg of her upcoming tour, citing security concerns… SBS With AAP The talks were expected to begin in Brisbane on Thursday, before heading south to Sydney and then concluding in Melbourne on the… Organisers Think Inc., who were scrutinised for their decision to… Islam critic Ayaan… Read More »

One man’s quest to save the Jewish Iraqi language

Torah scrolls are exhibited at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv, in this October 19, 2006 picture. World Jewish groups began a global campaign on Sunday calling for recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees in the Middle East conflict.  REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen  (ISRAEL) - RTR1IKQX

On Friday mornings in a class on the heritage of Babylonian Jewry, Oded Amit has taught a small group of Israelis to speak Jewish Iraqi, the language of his ancestors. Jacky Hugi Al Monitor Amit, 70, was born and raised in Baghdad, and Jewish Iraqi was the language in which his mother raised him. “It’s a beautiful… One man’s quest… Read More »

A One Nation senator claims race-hate speech laws stop ‘decent’ people speaking out against Muslim criminals.

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Malcolm Roberts says Australian Islamists are the real beneficiaries of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, comparing restrictions on race-hate speech to “Stalinist… SBS Source: AAP “If your Muslim Sudanese neighbour is engaging in female genital mutilation or your Syrian Muslim cafe owner is a terrorist building a bomb or… A One Nation… Read More »

Supporting Syrian refugees not only an act ‘of generosity’ but also of ‘enlightened self-interest’ – UN chief

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Visiting the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan that is hosting about 80,000 Syrian refugees, the United Nations chief urged the parties to the conflict in Syria and the countries that have influence over… UNnewsCentre “This is the moment for all countries that are involved, directly or indirectly in the conflict, to put aside their differences and… Supporting Syrian refugees… Read More »

How French ”Intellectuals” ruined the West: Postmodernism and its impact, explained

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Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity… Helen Pluckrose Areo Magazine That may sound like a bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of academia and… The irrational and identitarian “symptoms” of… How French ”Intellectuals… Read More »

The 100 best nonfiction books: No 60 – On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859)

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Darwin’s revolutionary, humane and highly readable introduction to his theory of evolution is arguably the most important book of the… Robert McCrum The Guardian When Charles Darwin first saw On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life in book form, he is said to have remarked that he… Actually, the book, composed in a hurry to forestall his… The 100 best… Read More »

A Psychiatrist Who Survived The Holocaust Explains Why Meaningfulness Matters More Than Happiness

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“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” In September 1942, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist in Vienna, was arrested and transported to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and… Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic Business Insider Three years later, when his camp was liberated, most of his family, including his pregnant wife, had perished — but he, prisoner number 119104, had… A Psychiatrist Who… Read More »

Interculturalism: how diverse societies can do better than passive tolerance

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Western liberal democracies are again embroiled in debates about the value of multicultural policies. Glenda Ballantyne and Amrita Malhi The Conversation In Australia, the federal government has just released its own statement on multiculturalism. The current debates… Interculturalism: how diverse… Read More »

7 Religious Women Explain How Their Faith Empowers Their Feminism

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‘People say to me, doesn’t your faith oppress you?’ Nitya Rajan The Huffington Post As part of our All Women Everywhere month, we asked seven women of faith whether their belief helps or hinders their… From battling stigma to fighting for their rights in the workplace, each woman explains, what has been at times, an “uncomfortable” journey to balance their faith with… 7 Religious Women… Read More »

Multiculturalism will only work if all Australians sign up, Coalition’s first policy statement says

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The Federal Government’s first policy statement on multiculturalism declares it a “success” but says every Australian must sign up to shared values and mutual obligations. Jane Norman ABC Releasing Multicultural Australia: United, Strong, Successful today, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs Zed Seselja said the Coalition had put its stamp on the “unifying” statement, which is also the first since 2011. The son of… Multiculturalism will only… Read More »