Features

Rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dropped

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Sweden today announced it has decided to drop its investigation in to rape allegations made against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. NZ Herald The dramatic decision was revealed by Sweden’s Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, who said the probe had been ‘discontinued’. The 45-year-old Australian has been living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for almost five years and has been granted political… Rape investigation into… Daily Mail Read More »

Standing royal commission to protect the vulnerable

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All Australians should be appalled at allegations about NSW mental health units and group homes for the disabled. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald The Herald, like many Australians, adheres to Gandhi’s adage: “The true measure of any society is how well it treats its most vulnerable.” With great regret, then, we all must recognise that abuses and mistreatment of the vulnerable occur daily in our neighbourhoods, communities, towns and… Standing royal commission… Read More »

Hokusai: the Great Wave that swept the world

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He called himself Old Man Crazy To Paint and made his best work in his 70s. As his dragons, deities, poets and wrestlers go on show, we look at the obsessions of the poster-boy for Japanese art John-Paul Stonard The Guardian Had Katsushika Hokusai died when he was struck by lightning at the age of 50 in 1810, he would be remembered as a popular artist of the ukiyo-e, or “floating world” school of Japanese art, but hardly the great ... Read More »

Anyone who thinks Westerners are flocking to Isil because of the Iraq war is a fantasist

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Isil and its jihadist ideology uniquely exploit underlying conflicts and offer the conspiracy theory solution: none of this is your fault. Dr Azeem Ibrahim The Telegraph When Islamist radicals commit some heinous act, they very often try to justify this as a legitimate response to the West’s foreign policy in the Muslim world. The West is the aggressor in “Muslim lands”, oppressing Muslims, so an equally violent response is therefore just and… Anyone who thinks… Read More »

Instruments of Pain (IV): The Food Crisis in North East Nigeria

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Five million people are hit by the humanitarian fallout of the Boko Haram insurgency. ICG Beyond ending the war, this briefing, the last of four examining famine threats in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia, urges donors to fund their UN aid pledges in full and the Nigerian government to step up relief for its… Overview The humanitarian crisis in… Instruments of Pain… Read More »

Vast set of public CVs reveals the world’s most migratory scientists

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Scientists are migratory beasts. It’s just the nature of the job: You spend your days at the border of human knowledge. John Bohannon Science Depending on the topic, only a dozen people may deeply understand your research—let alone help you push it further—and they are scattered across the world. For many, completing a Ph.D., doing postdoctoral research, and landing a permanent job all in one country is… And so you… Vast set of… Read More »

Iran’s Bipolar Election

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Iranian voters have a real choice on 19 May between a president promising engagement with the West or one focused on the… Ali Vaez ICG At the same time, both leading candidates are clerical insiders who support the continuation of Iran’s nuclear deal. Who are the leading candidates in the 19 May election and what should we know about the top two? The May 2017 election is essentially a… Iran’s Bipolar… Read More »

U.N. Sees Slavery Risk As Number Of Solo Migrant Children Hits Record High

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Some 300,000 children traveled alone worldwide from 2015 to 2016. Anastasia Moloney Reuters HuffPost A record number of refugee and migrant children are traveling solo to escape violence and poverty, falling prey to abuse and human traffickers in their journey to a new life, the United Nations children’s agency said on Wednesday. Be it to escape war in Syria or gang violence in… U.N. Sees Slavery… Read More »

It’s 50 years since Indigenous Australians first ‘counted’. Why has so little changed?

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In 1967 Australia voted in a landmark referendum to finally include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in its census. But, as Paul Daley reports, the fight for genuine equality for the country’s first people is far from over The Guardian Sol Bellear, a former rugby league player for South Sydney Rabbitohs and Aboriginal rights activist, sits in the soft autumn sunshine at a cafe intersecting Redfern Park and the oval that remains the spiritual home of his beloved… It’s 50 ... Read More »

Axworthy: ‘We can’t simply leave refugee policy to border control’

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Former Canadian minister of foreign affairs Lloyd Axworthy on the world’s flawed refugee system, why serious reform is needed, and his new project — the… Mary Ambrose OpenCanada When Lloyd Axworthy was in grade 11, an inspirational talk by Canadian prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lester B. Pearson set Axworthy on a path that would lead him to serve under three Canadian prime ministers and… After an illustrative 27-year political career, in… Axworthy: ‘We can’t… Read More »

A Patient With Diabetes No Longer Needs Insulin After Receiving A Bioengineered “Pancreas”

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A year after receiving a new type of islet cell transplant to treat her severe diabetes, a patient continues to do well and no longer needs insulin injections to manage her disease. Kristin Houser Futurism Even the most exciting breakthrough medical treatment can be rendered obsolete by a particularly insurmountable obstacle: time. A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY If a treatment only works temporarily, it has… A Patient With… Read More »

Government has role to play in stopping modern slavery

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We might think slavery is something relegated to the annals of history, but it is a huge modern-day problem. And a global one. Molly Harriss Olson Brisbane Times The Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people in 167 countries are in some form of modern slavery. And the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said that 21 million people were in forced labour in 2012, generating a profit of nearly… Government has role… Read More »

UCI doctor’s plan to stop superbugs is widely used. At her own hospital, it didn’t work

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By the end of December, a lethal bacterium had swept through UC Irvine Medical Center’s intensive care unit, sickening seven infants. Melody Petersen Los Angeles Times Dr. Susan Huang, the hospital’s infection control expert, had a plan. The strategy — which she had promoted so successfully that most U.S. hospitals now use it — included bathing all infants in the ICU with a powerful disinfectant, and swabbing inside their noses with an… UCI doctor’s plan… Read More »

A passport from a country that doesn’t exist

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The NSK has invented a nation as a work of art – and its pavilion at the Venice Biennale has much to say about statehood and globalisation, writes Benjamin Ramm. Benjamin Ramm BBC The woman who stamps my passport is called Mercy and she has no fixed abode. Born in Nigeria, she travelled via Libya to Italy, where she lives in the city of Padua in a… A passport from… Read More »

Palais Theatre in St Kilda reopens its famous doors after $26 million revamp

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Thirty years ago Martin Foley took a woman he’d just met on a first date to the ballet at St Kilda’s Palais Theatre. Elias Clure ABC Today Mr Foley, as the Minister for Creative Industries, unveiled a $26 million redevelopment that saved the iconic theatre from almost certainly closing. As well as hosting ballet, the 90-year-old venue has welcomed some of Melbourne’s best ever known gigs. The Rolling Stones supported Roy Orbison at the… Palais Theatre in… Read More »

Stephen Fry Explains Why People Believe Donald Trump

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It’s all to do with the Dunning-Kruger effect. Chris York HuffPost Say what you like about him, one thing you can’t accuse Donald Trump of lacking is confidence in his own beliefs. Even when they are demonstrably wrong. But what’s perhaps more worrying is the sheer number of people who believe him. From climate change being a hoax to immigrants raising the crime rate, there is barely a topic the President hasn’t eschewed a… Stephen Fry Explains… Read More »