Features

North Korean missile launch pits China and Russia against the US

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Analysis There’s a saying in politics: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” North Korea’s missile test is indeed a crisis — and a test of Donald Trump’s still-young presidency. Ben Knight  ABC But he is being outmanoeuvred by Russia and China, who have teamed up against the United States to achieve a mutual goal: weakening the US military presence on their doorstep. Both Russia and China have a land border with North Korea. For China especially, North Korea ... Read More »

France will ‘ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040’

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Environment minister unveils five-year-plan to fulfil country’s commitments under Paris Agreement Chloe Farand    Independent France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced. Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by… France will ‘ban… Read More »

Yanis Varoufakis: A New Deal for the 21st Century

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ATHENS — The recent elections in France and Britain have confirmed the political establishment’s simultaneous vulnerability and vigor in the face of a nationalist insurgency. Yanis Varoufakis The New York Times This contradiction is the motif of the moment — personified by the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, whose résumé made him a darling of the elites but who rode a wave of anti… A similar paradox is visible in Britain in the… Yanis Varoufakis: A… Read More »

Internal crime perpetrating through law firms

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An increasing number of law firms are leaving themselves open to internal crime, despite many stating that pre-employment screening is… Emma Ryan Lawyers Weekly A new report conducted by Lawyers Weekly and InfoTrack surveyed 216 Australian legal professionals to better understand the perceived impact of internal crime as well as the processes law firms have put in place to protect against… Firstly, the survey asked respondents where they see the greatest value in pre-employment… Internal crime perpetrating… Read More »

Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union

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Over the past few months, as the disturbing prospect of a Trump administration became a disturbing reality, I decided to reach out to Noam Chomsky, the philosopher whose writing, speaking and activism has for more than 50… George Yancy and Noam Chomsky The New York Times Our conversation, as it appears here, took place as a series of email exchanges over the past two months. Although Professor Chomsky was extremely busy, because of our past intellectual exchange, he… Chomsky: On ... Read More »

New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars

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After years of painstaking research, an online map marking the massacres of Aboriginal clans across Australia’s colonial frontier has… By national Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan ABC More than 150 sites have been recorded along the east coast, where violent attacks on Aboriginal people took place for decades after the First Fleet… Historian and conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle Lyndall Ryan believes it will be one of the most comprehensive maps of the Frontier Wars ever… New map ... Read More »

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

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At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Arms Control Association The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), ... Read More »

Colombia’s FARC Ends its 53-year Insurgency

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With the official disarming of its main rebel organisation, Colombia has passed a remarkable new milestone in its peace process. ICG But major challenges remain: the destruction of remote arms dumps, reintegration of ex-combatants, and progress towards peace with other armed groups. The International Crisis Group celebrates the most significant achievement of the Colombian peace process to date: the… Colombia’s FARC Ends… Read More »

Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays

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Scientists have cracked the secret to Roman water-based structures’ strength – and findings could help today’s… Nicola Davis The Guardian Their structures are still standing more than 1,500 years after the last centurion snuffed it: now the Romans’ secret of durable marine concrete has finally been… The Roman recipe – a mix of volcanic ash, lime (calcium oxide), seawater and lumps of volcanic rock – held together piers, breakwaters and… Moreover, in contrast to modern materials, the…. Why Roman concrete… Read More »

Why Iraq Needs a Cultural Surge

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Iraq needs a new surge—one that is focused on the reconstruction of the country’s cultural heritage. Bartle Bull The National Interest IT IS no secret that the Islamic State brought many tragedies. Potentially the most consequential of these is that in Iraq the rule of the erstwhile caliphate encompassed perhaps the world’s single richest trove of cultural… Now, as ISIS territory disappears yard by yard from the Iraqi map, it is… Why Iraq Needs… Read More »

ATO fraud scandal: just how big is the public service’s nepotism problem?

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Public servants’ conflicts of interest remain ineffectively monitored. Richard Mulgan The Canberra Times The recent resignation of Tax Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, along with allegations of impropriety against other senior ATO officials, raises important questions about public sector ethics and… The accusations arose out of extensive inquiries into a tax fraud involving Plutus Payroll Australia, a company providing payroll services for large… ATO fraud scandal… Read More »

What does ‘the last chance’ really mean?

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The imperial origins and neo-imperial purposes of a misleading mantra Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 4 July 2017 Introduction  On 28 June 2017, the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ was ‘reconvened’ in the luxury Alpine resort of Crans Montana in Switzerland. In common with what occurred in connection with the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ held in Geneva on 12 January 2017, the ‘reconvened’ version has been accompanied by the widespread dissemination of a simple proposition: that the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ ... Read More »

What’s Keeping One of Opera’s Greatest Sopranos From Singing?

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MUNICH — The joy of Elisabeth’s entrance aria in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” recedes for a line of sadness as she recalls her beloved’s departure. ZACHARY WOOLFE The New York Times The soprano Anja Harteros, whose performance of the role at the Bayerische Staatsoper here will be streamed at staatsoper.tv on Sunday, July 9, makes of that passing moment an entire anatomy of… Her voice suddenly turns gray and hazy, without losing its steely core. Sinking to its… What’s Keeping One… Read More »

March for ‘justice’ by Erdogan opponents in Turkey gains momentum and alarms government

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DUZCE, Turkey — The midday sun was roasting, their limbs were aching, and the protesters, from Turkey’s largest opposition party, still had 125 miles to march before Istanbul, their destination. Kareem Fahim The Washington Post The road had been hard: One elderly protester died of cardiac arrest, and another was hospitalized with heart spasms. But spirits were soaring as they walked through Duzce last week, holding banners that said “justice,” to protest a… March for ‘justice… Read More »

Calls on surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies to respect strong encryption

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Liberty Victoria is one of 83 organisations and experts from 5 nations demanding “Five Eyes” respect strong… On Friday 30 June 2017, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong… The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada last… Calls on surveillance… Read More »

Politics podcast: Anna Krien on the climate wars

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Melbourne-born author Anna Krien’s latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting. Michelle Grattan The Conversation She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into “climate change nihilism”. Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a… Politics podcast: Anna… Read More »