Features

The Most Famous Museums in the World

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If you’ve ever tried to snap a pic of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, or lie under the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History, then you know just how much people love museums. by Caitlin Morton Condé Nast Traveler But which of the world’s famed cultural spots are the most famous? Just ask the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), an an international, nonprofit organization that ranks attractions by attendance every year in their Museum Index. The most ... Read More »

What is China’s PLA doing in Laos?

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Beijing’s ‘Train of Peace’ mission to provide medical care to Lao armed forces was nominally a goodwill mission but underscored the country’s strategic importance to China’s plans for Southeast Asia. Zi Yang Asia Times China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest fighting force with over 2.3 million soldiers, is fast expanding its operations in its near abroad. A 90-person PLA medical team recently concluded a little noticed goodwill mission in neighboring Laos. Dubbed “Train of Peace 2017”, the team ... Read More »

Official Immigration File Reveals One Nation Senator Was A British Citizen

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Exclusive: BuzzFeed News has obtained the official immigration file of Malcolm Roberts, showing the One Nation senator signed as a British citizen when he was 19-years-old. Mark Di Stefano BuzzFeed Official family immigration records obtained by BuzzFeed News reveal anti-immigration senator Malcolm Roberts personally signed that he was a British citizen. The fresh documents have come to light as calls grow louder for the Indian-born senator to be referred to the High Court over concerns he was a dual British ... Read More »

We need the voices of public servants in the political debate. Their free speech is in peril

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Praising your agency is welcome, but not criticising it – new social media guidelines continue a troubling trend of silencing public servants John Wilson and Kieran Pender  The Guardian John Wilson is the managing legal director of Bradley Allen Love Lawyers Kieran Pender is a freelance journalist and legal researcher Another day, another attack on the ability of public servants to participate in Australian democracy. On Monday the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) released revised guidance on how federal government ... Read More »

Everybody Is Talking About Blockchain, And Here Is Why You Should Care

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New technologies with all kinds of interesting names are popping up every day, but few of them are as hyped as the word “blockchain.” Sami Rusani HuffPost This technology has the capability to reinvent the Internet and technology as we know it. From startups disrupting trillion dollar industries, to massive crowd funding campaigns raising over 100 million dollars in a few hours, to solving social inequality – blockchain is on fire! To understand why it’s becoming such an important part ... Read More »

Turkey is trying to get an ATOMIC BOMB in secret weapons plan, warns expert

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TURKEY’S President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to get hold of an atomic bomb in a plot to build up the nation’s weapons, an expert has claimed. Rebecca Flood Express With tensions threatening to reach breaking point between the US and North Korea it has emerged Turkey could be trying to build up its weaponry as relations with the EU reach a new low.  In a worrying claim, an expert has warned Turkey is the next country looking to expand ... Read More »

How to fight racism, or why we all need to mourn my aunt

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My aunt was buried last Friday, the last of her generation in my family. We were not close but out of respect for her son, my cousin, I went along to the service. Jenna Price Brisbane Times Jewish services for the dead are Spartan yet comforting. There are no endless eulogies, just a brief summary of the facts as we know them. My aunt and her sister were marched to Ravensbruck sometime in 1943. I never knew much of the ... Read More »

‘Dunkirk’ and the West’s myopia about World War II

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“Dunkirk,” the taut blockbuster by British-born filmmaker Christopher Nolan, is one of the runaway successes of the summer, grossing more than $300 million worldwide since its July 21 release. Ishaan Tharoor The Washington Post It depicts the harrowing May 1940 evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force, which had been trapped by the rampant Nazi military at the French port of Dunkerque.In their hour of desperate need, more than 300,000 British soldiers were rescued with the aid of a motley civilian flotilla of fishing ... Read More »

Why the Liancourt Rocks Are Some of the Most Disputed Islands in the World

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Both Japan and South Korea lay claim to these islands In this week’s Maphead, Ken Jennings explores a controversial cluster of Asian islands the size of Grand Central Terminal. Ken Jennings Condé Nast – Traveler The Liancourt Rocks sound French, but that’s just because they’re named for a French whaling ship that almost ran aground there in 1849, the first European vessel to see the little islands. They’re actually in East Asia, almost exactly halfway between Japan and South Korea—and ... Read More »

[OPINION] Is Erdoğan’s Turkey after nuclear weapons?

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Considering the fact Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been emulating the Iranian model for some time, from investing in proxy groups for leverage and regime change to exporting the ruling party’s Islamist ideology overseas, one should not be surprised to find out that a clandestine program to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) including a nuclear device for deterrence is actually in the works. Abdullah Bozkurt Turkish Minute If it is any indication, the deliberate campaign to push ... Read More »

Downplaying sexual assault to attack the Human Rights Commission is a new low

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In denouncing a survey into university sexual assaults, rightwing ideologues aren’t just tormenting survivors – they’re ignoring the nationwide response. Allison Henry Allison Henry is the campaign director for The Hunting Ground Australia Project The Guardian When we started The Hunting Ground Australia Project two years ago we knew the day would come when the rightwing ideologues would come after us. There had been some savage responses to the documentary in the US and we expected that our campaign to ... Read More »

Yassmin Abdel-Magied: where were my free-speech defenders?

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Andrew Bolt, are you up to the challenge? Mechanical engineer, author and social justice activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied has provoked the right-wing columnist: “If Andrew Bolt cares so much about freedom of speech as much as he reckons, he should have defended… Timna Jacks The Age “Where were all the defenders of freedom of speech in my case?” Ms Abdel-Magied – who describes herself the most “publicly hated Muslim in Australia” – made the comments after months of intense criticism following a Facebook post on ... Read More »

How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms

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Australia’s record of human rights protection in areas such as Indigenous people, asylum seekers and freedom of speech are perennial topics of debate. The focus of these discussions is now shifting to whether Australia can take steps to establish a stronger legal framework for protecting human rights. How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms George Williams Daniel Reynolds The Conversation One reason for this is Australia is in the final stages of defending its record in a ... Read More »

Australian Public Service Commission social media guidance sparks anger

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If the politicians who oversee Canberra’s public service workforce had to comply with a new social media dictate about public comments, Treasurer Scott Morrison would be the first person in trouble. Editorial The Canberra Times The guide on making comments through social media channels, issued by Public Service Commission boss John Lloyd on Monday, says “liking” a post on Facebook or Twitter “will generally be taken to be an endorsement of that material as though you’d created that material yourself”. ... Read More »

Why Baltimore’s Cease-Fire Effort Wasn’t a Failure

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Baltimore’s grassroots effort was the unexpected flash of light in a long, dark tunnel of cyclic mayhem. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Baltimore’s streets are pockmarked with tragic and violent incidents. Shootings, stabbings and other cruel crimes sparked by rage, retaliation and opportunity mar the street corners and buildings of the city. Sometimes deflated balloons tied to a streetlight are the only small sign that someone was loved and lost, but their memory never truly left behind. Sometimes city developers ... Read More »

Inquiry into The Status of the Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

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Time did not permit Liberty Victoria to address in full all aspects of the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry. Liberty Victoria Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Our concerns therefore centred on “3 — The relationship between the freedom of religion or belief and other human rights, and the implications of constraints on the freedom of religion or belief for the enjoyment of other universal human rights” (ToR 3). In particular we considered the balancing of freedom ... Read More »