Features

Rohingya refugees ‘forcibly returned’ to Myanmar

Rights group asks Bangladesh not to turn away refugees, and slams Aung San Suu Kyi’s ‘unacceptable response’ to crisis. Al Jazeera Bangladesh has detained and forcibly returned at least 90 Muslim Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar, as thousands of civilians from the ethnic minority area, on the other side of the border, attempt to escape from continuing violence that has killed scores of people. At least 20 Rohingya were caught on Sunday and sent back after crossing the Naf river, ... Read More »

France’s Macron sees popularity fall to 40 pct

French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity rating slumped a further 14 points in August to hit 40 percent, following a sharp 10-point drop the previous month, according to a poll released on Aug…. PARIS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also saw his popularity fall nine points over the same period, with 47 percent now satisfied with his performance, the Ifop poll carried out for the Journal du Dimanche newspaper… Macron has seen his popularity plunge 22 points since ... Read More »

India guru rape: Followers start to leave Ram Rahim’s HQ

Followers of a controversial Indian guru have started to withdraw from his 1,000-acre compound in Sirsa, Haryana, after a tense stand-off with soldiers. BBC Tens of thousands are still believed to be inside the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect. Some 38 people died and hundreds were injured in riots on Friday after their leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was convicted of raping two disciples. Authorities fear more bloodshed could follow when he is sentenced on Monday. Police arrested some ... Read More »

Ben Quilty: it’s time to acknowledge our colonial terrorism

For the past few days I have listened to people I admire and people I don’t, talk about the challenge of facing up to our colonial past. Ben Quilty The Age One comment that struck me the hardest on radio was that “none of Australia’s first Europeans were as bad as their Confederate counterparts in the United States”. John Batman is widely known as the founder of Melbourne. He makes the American Confederates look friendly. As a bounty hunter in ... Read More »

Alex Salmond has backed independent Scotland to have own pound

Alex Salmond has backed Scotland to have its own currency if it becomes an independent country. The former first minister has changed his position from ahead of the 2014 referendum when he proposed sharing the sterling with the rest of the UK. Russel Jackson The Scotsman That suggestion was rejected by the UK Government, but now, with the effects of Brexit, Salmond believes Scotland should have its own pound. At his Edinburgh Fringe show, Alex Salmond… Unleashed, he was joined ... Read More »

Turkey ‘Searching for Ways to Reconcile With Assad’ Amid Situation in Idlib

Lately, Turkey has been actively engaged in contacts with regional states and allies, discussing the situation in Syria. Leading political observer Zeynep Gürcanlı, from the Sözcü newspaper told Sputnik Turkey that the attempt to alter foreign policy strategy and seeking a thaw with Damascus could be behind Ankara’s recent diplomatic efforts. Sputnik “Currently, perhaps the most significant steps have been made in the country’s [Turkey’s] foreign policy in terms of departing from the traditional 16-year political strategy  of the ruling the Justice and Development Party ... Read More »

‘Why won’t you have sex with me?’ A real look at disability and relationships

Louise Bruton’s Dublin Fringe Festival show examines our ignorance and prejudices, andtakes a real look at disability, sex and relationships Una Mullally The Irish Times  Louise Bruton is on her way to buy Buckfast ahead of a visit to a friend’s festival on Inishturk island. Standard. Bruton is a writer and journalist who rose to prominence with her website Legless In Dublin (leglessindublin.com) detailing accessibility issues and reviews of venues and events. As a wheelchair user, she has managed to ... Read More »

Hezbollah Has Been Active in America for Decades

Hezbollah has suffered serious casualties in Syria, but also feels emboldened by its battlefield successes and may seek to flex its muscles globally. Colin P. Clarke The National Interest  In early June, a Bronx man named Ali Kourani was arrested and charged with casing John F. Kennedy airport in New York City for a potential Hezbollah attack. Around this same time, Samer El Debek of Dearborn, Michigan, was arrested and charged with traveling to Panama to conduct surveillance against Israeli targets and ... Read More »

Benjamin Zephaniah: ‘I’m almost 60 and I’m still angry. Everyone told me I would mellow’

The celebrated dub poet might grow his own vegetables in the shires – but he is still in a revolutionary mood. From carnival surveillance to the abandonment of the Grenfell families, he says Britain needs radical political change – now Stephen Moss The Guardian Benjamin Zephaniah’s 1998 poem Carnival Days is a lyrical love letter to the Notting Hill carnival, where “We dance like true survivors / We dance to the sounds of our dreams.” Or, more accurately, it’s a ... Read More »

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring – Business Insider Paul Ralph The Conversation  Business Insider  An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring. I agree entirely. However, most universities will ignore this ... Read More »

The Quantum Internet is just a decade away. Here’s what you need to know

In brief As China moves closer to building a working quantum communications network, the possibility of a quantum internet becomes more and more real. Dom Galeon World Economic Forum But what does having a quantum internet mean? The next level The word “quantum” sounds so advanced and complex that people tend to get hyped up about anything attached to it. While not every quantum breakthrough elicits a positive response, in the case of a so-called quantum internet, people have a ... Read More »

The Tree Of Languages Illustrated In One Gorgeous Infographic

When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages of the world, they oftentimes use a tree metaphor. By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory The textbook version tends to be drab and boring, however, which is why Minna Sundberg, the creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent took the time to create a much more imaginative version.   Arika Okrent of Mental Floss writes, “An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, ... Read More »

Russian tanker sails through Arctic without icebreaker for first time

Climate change has thawed Arctic enough for $300m gas tanker to travel at record speed through northern sea route Patrick Barkham The Guardian A Russian tanker has travelled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic. The $300m Christophe de Margerie carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in 19 days, ... Read More »

Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study

Dating from 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s theorem, the Babylonian clay tablet is a trigonometric table more accurate than any today, say researchers Maev Kennedy The Guardian At least 1,000 years before the Greek mathematician Pythagoras looked at a right angled triangle and worked out that the square of the longest side is always equal to the sum of the squares of the other two, an unknown Babylonian genius took a clay tablet and a reed pen and marked out not ... Read More »

Tamie Fraser to continue legacy of late husband and former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser

The ASRC is thrilled to announce that Tamie Fraser, widow of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, stands beside us as a Patron. Mr Fraser, who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia between 1975 and 1983, was himself an active ASRC patron until his death in March 2015 (and he is still honoured as a Patron now). Mrs Fraser has long been an advocate for the rights of people seeking asylum, and a critic of offshore detention and other ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs labels Turnbull government ‘disgraceful’, accuses it of peddling ‘alternative facts’

Gillian Triggs has unloaded on the Turnbull government, labelling its actions “disgraceful”, and accusing it of abusing executive power and manipulating the truth. Eryk Bagshaw The Age In her first public speech since stepping down as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission in July, Professor Triggs attacked Coalition government ministers for interfering with the judicial system and for destroying the integrity of Parliament by peddling “alternative… ” A culture of post-truth has allowed politicians and Parliament to reject evidence ... Read More »