Features

A short story based on the death of Savita Halappanavar

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Madame Zero review: Sarah Hall excels in murky territory in this short-story collection Sara Baume The Irish Times A page into the third story of Madame Zero, I started to experience deja vu. The setting of Theatre 6 is a hospital in London; the point of view is second person, and the “you” being addressed is Dr Rosinski, an anaesthetist. It begins with the… A short story… Read More »

“Who Is Rich?” and the Literature of Infidelity

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No human behavior presents a literary problem quite as obviously as an extramarital affair. Sex, love, and illicit instincts are horrendously cliché in the abstract, but they feel—and this is the… Jia Tolentino The New Yorker And so, in a way, affairs and fiction often circle the same question: how we might frame something that is entirely quotidian as a delirious, enveloping, existential… Matthew Klam, the author of the short-story collection “Sam the Cat,” has a… •“Who Is Rich… Read More »

DR Congo loses $1B per year to child malnutrition: UN

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Losses to the country each year could equal 4.5 pct of country’s GDP, says new UN report. Godfrey Olukya AA ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is losing more than $1 billion a year due to the effects of child malnutrition, according to a new UN report. This could amount to some 4.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, said a UN statement on Friday. The report was undertaken by the nation’s government in… ... Read More »

These countries have the most positive influence on the world

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The idea of the United States as a “shining city upon a hill” is most closely associated with President Ronald Reagan but has been used by politicians since the… Keith Breene  World Economic Forum The founding founders wanted America to be a beacon of freedom and democracy that would light the way for the rest of the… But it seems the brightness of that light has faded of late, with a new survey showing a significant and sudden drop in ... Read More »

The European Union Has a Currency Problem

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Germany is largely to blame for it. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Donald Trump, for all his rhetorical clumsiness and intellectual limitations, still sometimes makes a valid point. He does when he says that Germany is “very bad on trade.” However much Berlin claims innocence and good intentions, the fact remains that the euro heavily stacks the deck in favor of German exporters and against others, in Europe and further… It is surely no coincidence that the country’s… The European ... Read More »

Viewpoints: should euthanasia be available for people with existential suffering?

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Euthanasia debates often focus on people experiencing unbearable physiological or psychological… Xavier Symons Udo Schüklenk The Conversation But research suggests “loss of autonomy” is the primary reason for requesting euthanasia, even among patients with terminal… There have also been suggestions existential suffering could be one of the main motivations behind such… Existential suffering refers to an individual experiencing a… Viewpoints: should euthanasia… Read More »

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 »

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 »