Features

Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside flips support for Wynne to Greens

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has lost a high profile supporter as he battles to defend his inner city seat of Richmond from the Greens at the state election. Noel Towell The Age Barrister and asylum seeker advocate Julian Burnside QC, a long-time supporter of Mr Wynne, has defected to the Greens and written to Richmond residents calling on them to vote for the party’s challenger in the seat Kathleen Maltzahn. Mr Burnside will not be voting for either candidate in Richmond, ... Read More »

Australians are the richest people in the world

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Shayanne Gal & Hilary Brueck Business Insider A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. But a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story. While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster ... Read More »

Bitcoin Pioneer Who Gave Away Over $100 Million Has No Regrets

Jeff Garzik started writing software code for Bitcoin after reading a blog postabout the digital currency in July 2010. Olga Kharif Bloomberg At the time, he was working remotely for open-source powerhouse Red Hat Inc. from an RV parked in an empty lot in Raleigh, North Carolina. He soon became the third-biggest contributor to Bitcoin’s code after the cryptocurrency’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto and developer Gavin Andresen, and remained so through 2014. Looking back 10 years after its creation, Garzik says he is ... Read More »

Craig Kelly MP mocks climate change ‘exaggeration’ in presentation to Liberal party members

Fossil fuels make us ‘safe from’ climate change, says MP who is working with Tony Abbott to move Liberals to the right Anne Davies The Guardian Coral bleaching has been happening for centuries, threats of rising sea levels to countries such as the Maldives and Tuvalu are greatly exaggerated and temperature gains have been grossly exaggerated by scientists. These are the assessments of the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, who is part of a Tony Abbott-led speaking campaign to pull the Liberal party back ... Read More »

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks

In Mozambique, researchers are racing to understand the genetics of elephants born without tusks—and the consequences of the trait. Dina Fine Maron National Geographic The oldest elephants wandering Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park bear the indelible markings of the civil war that gripped the country for 15 years: Many are tuskless. They’re the lone survivors of a conflict that killed about 90 percent of these beleaguered animals, slaughtered for ivory to finance weapons and for meat to feed the fighters. Hunting ... Read More »

What mass shootings do to those not shot: Social consequences of mass gun violence

Mass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in the American life. They happen too often, and in very unexpected places. Concerts, movie theaters, places of worship, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation Often, and especially when a person who is not a minority or Muslim perpetrates a mass shooting, mental health is raised as a real concern or, critics say, a diversion from the real issue easy access ... Read More »

German politicians remember Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom

Germany is marking the 80th anniversary of attacks on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust. November 9 has been a fateful date for Germany in other regards as well. Ben Knight DW German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for “democratic patriotism” as the country commemorated three fateful moments of German history that occurred on November 9. In a speech to the Bundestag on Friday morning, Steinmeier said the date was “marked by ambivalence” for Germany. “On November 9, we Germans remember both things — the light and the shadows ... Read More »

World War I: Europe and the politics of remembrance

Exactly 100 years ago, World War I came to an end. France and the UK will be holding major commemorative events, and high-ranking German leaders will be attending. What does this tell us about our respective cultures? Christoph Hasselbach DW On the morning of November 11, 1918, at 10:59, American soldier Henry Nicholas Gunther stormed towards a German machine gun position and was killed — exactly one minute before the armistice that ended World War I came into effect. Gunther was ... Read More »

What would it be like?

Swati Dhingra and Josh De Lyon on the realities of a No Deal Brexit London Review of Books More than two years after the referendum, there is still a possibility that the UK will fail to reach a withdrawal agreement and an agreement on future relations with the EU. If a deal cannot be reached by 29 March next year, when the UK will cease to be a member of the EU, the consequences will be severe; many of them ... Read More »

‘One China’ means different things to different people. It also might mean war

The “One China” policy means there is only one Chinese nation and that it is governed from Beijing. ABC – RN – By Antony Funnell for Rear Vision Right? Wrong. In fact, the policy allows for the existence of two separate Chinese entities, not one. They are People’s Republic of China (PRC), governed by the Communist Party from Beijing, and the Republic of China (ROC), based on the island of Taiwan and governed by the Democratic Progressive Party. If that sounds confusing, it’s because ... Read More »

‘Bionic mushrooms’ which generate electricity could power our future lighting, say scientists

White button mushrooms have been developed into a new source of green power Sally Guyoncourt The Scotsman Ordinary white button mushrooms have been transformed into ‘bionic’ fungi capable of producing eco-friendly electricity with a little help from some bacteria and nanotechnology. Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey have added cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green bacteria) and graphene nanoribbons to the cap of the mushrooms to generate and… Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the… ... Read More »

A 1965 Novel About an Unhinged President Is Being Rereleased

A 1965 Times review of Fletcher Knebel’s “Night of Camp David” called the book “too plausible for comfort.” Alexandra Alter The New York Times A couple of months ago, prominent political pundits began buzzing about a provocative book by a Washington journalist. The book — which raised questions about what Congressional leaders should do if the president was mentally unstable and unfit for office — wasn’t a new expose about the Trump administration. It was a 1965 political thriller by Fletcher ... Read More »

Weapons-enthusiast detained for threats to kill Spain PM

A man who owned an “arsenal of weapons” was arrested in September for threatening online to kill Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, officials said Thursday. BARCELONA – AFP Hurriyet The Publico daily, which broke the story, said the man was 63 and among his weapons were sniper rifles and a submachine gun. It said he had apparently made the threats against Sanchez because he was furious at the prime minister’s move to exhume late dictator Francisco Franco from his high-profile resting place near Madrid. ... Read More »

EU PLOT: Varoufakis hits out at Brussels attempts to get Theresa May ‘stabbed by comrades’

FORMER Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has explained techniques used by the European Union which have been used to try to “diminish” Theresa May’s power in discussions. Darren Hunt Express Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said that a key example of the EU trying to damage Theresa May’s power in Brexit negotiations was at the Salzburg summit. Mr Varoufakis, who has negotiated with the EU during the debt crisis in 2015, also warned his battle was “lost at home” and claimed ... Read More »

Blasphemy law is repealed in Ireland, enforced in Pakistan – and a problem in many Christian and Muslim countries

The citizens of Ireland voted recently, in a nationwide referendum, to remove a clause from their constitution that had made blasphemy a criminal offense. Steve Pinkerton The Conversation Ireland’s now-defunct Defamation Act of 2009 prohibited the “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.” Just last year, in fact, Irish police opened a brief investigation into whether comedian Stephen Fry had broken the law when he described God as “capricious, mean-minded, stupid” and “an utter maniac” during a televised interview. The case was closed, however, as the… ... Read More »

“Maria by Callas”… New Documentary On The Legendary Opera Singer Told Her Own Words

Time magazine called her “a woman for whom the term prima donna could have been invented” and the “undisputed queen of the world’s opera”. WYSK This weekend, the life story of Maria Callas, one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century, is coming to the big screen. Maria by Callas is the first film to present the story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer, completely in her own words. Her remarkable journey through stardom is ... Read More »