Features

North Sentinel Island: uncontacted tribes’ ‘right to be left alone’ doesn’t gel with broader human rights

John Allen Chau knew he might die. The 26-year-old US evangelical missionary was killed, in late November, on North Sentinel Island, by members of the indigenous community that he sought to convert to Christianity. Karolina Follis The Conversation He saw this as his life’s mission – and understood the risks. North Sentinel Island is part of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to the Sentinelese people, who are among the world’s last uncontacted tribes – ... Read More »

PM escapes threat to his control of Parliament as Labor backs down on encryption

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has survived a dire threat to his control of Parliament from a determined attempt to change asylum seeker policy, sparking a blame game that forced Labor to back down on… David Crowe The Age Mr Morrison blocked attempts to amend migration laws to transfer more asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia, but was forced to delay a major policy on energy in order to avoid a… The ruthless tactics deepened hostilities between the ... Read More »

It’s no wonder we no longer trust our institutions

I’ve been thinking about institutions a lot lately. About how if there is anything that characterises our current political moment of disillusionment, anger and a rampant, destructive cynicism, it is that we no longer… Waleed Aly The Canberra Times Try to name one; it’s more difficult than you’d think. Our trust in politics – even in democracy itself – is at an all time low. Whatever belief we once had in the idea that business, for all its self-interest, was ... Read More »

Hunger, violence and constant stress: The brutal truth of life as a child refugee

As a former child refugee, I feel very strongly for the children on Nauru. I know the sense of uncertainty and hopelessness that comes from being stuck in limbo — not knowing if or when you might get to live freely in a… Sayed Rabbani ABC I was just 9 years old when my family fled Afghanistan for the third time in 2001, when the war in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks on America began. I remember the first airstrike ... Read More »

U.S. Military Tests Russia at Sea Days After Warning From China

The U.S. military has sent a message to Russia by sailing through a disputed waterway near Japan. Tom O’Connor Newsweek The move came only a week after China mobilized its own vessels in response to a perceived transgression by the Navy. Navy Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the Pacific Fleet, told CNN Wednesday that Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS… The Navy considered the move one of its “freedom of navigation” operations, which are outlined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on ... Read More »

Yemen: Giving Peace a Chance?

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong. What are the talks in Stockholm expected to achieve? In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for Libya – many ... Read More »

Australians’ trust in politicians and democracy hits an all-time low: new research

Over the past four years, we have conducted a range of attitudinal surveys with the Social Research Institute at Ipsos on the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes towards democracy in… Authors: The Conversation Our latest research, conducted in July 2018 (prior to the Liberal Party’s leadership spill), includes a quantitative survey of a representative sample of 20 focus groups and 1,021 Australians from a wide range of… We understood political trust in this survey as “keeping ... Read More »

‘Killed for speaking the truth’: tributes to nine journalists murdered in 2018

Over 30 journalists – including Jamal Khashoggi – have been murdered so far this year. With the help of colleagues and relatives, or in their own words and pictures, we pay tribute to some of them here. by Aamna Mohdin and Bibi van der Zee The Guardian Maharram Durrani, 1990–30 April 2018 A trainee producer and presenter at Radio Azadi in Afghanistan, Durrani was one of at least nine journalists killed by a suicide bomb while making her way to ... Read More »

What moves markets more, Twitter or traditional news?

Can a single tweet make a country’s currency depreciate by 16%? Apparently it did on August 10, when Donald Trump tweeted that US tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium would rise sharply. Authors: The Conversation Amid 36,100 retweets, and calls by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his people to dump foreign assets, the Turkish lira plunged. It’s not just the president of the United States that has such Twitter power. Around the same time, Elon Musk’s infamous tweet about ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for… Why does it ... Read More »

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things. Elizabeth Goitein The Atlantic In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans. Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an “open borders” bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting ... Read More »

What’s the Encryption Laws Got to do With the Social Sector?

Digital rights activists warn the implications of the federal government’s encryption bill will need to be closely watched by social sector organisations, who may be open to law enforcement agencies tapping their… Maggie Coggan PRObono Laws allowing police and intelligence agencies to intercept encrypted messages are expected to pass federal Parliament this week, with Labor and the Coalition government striking a deal on Tuesday… Labor’s approved changes include an ongoing committee process into 2019, and assurances that interception powers could ... Read More »

Narcissists less likely to support democracy

New research suggests that people with a narcissistic self-view are more likely to demonstrate lower support for democracy. University of Kent EurekAlert! They are also more likely to feel that democracies are not good in maintaining order, or that it would be better if countries were run by strong leaders or the military. The research, which was co-led by psychologists at the University of Kent, suggests this is probably because narcissists tend to feel entitled and superior to others, which ... Read More »

The rise and fall of Macron’s European revolution

Recent events have shown not much is left of French president’s vision. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — When Emmanuel Macron was elected French president by a landslide in May 2017, many in Europe sensed a new dawn. After years of crisis, Europe now had a leader who would deliver it from the malaise and turmoil. The youthful Frenchman had a fiery rallying call (En Marche!) and the vision to rebuild the European house, renewing the battered Continent’s spirit of fraternité. ... Read More »

NSW could pilot ‘morning and afternoon schools’, Rob Stokes says

Education Minister Rob Stokes says he is open to trialling separate morning and afternoon schools  in NSW to reduce traffic peaks and address the enrolment boom. Pallavi Singhal The Sydney Morning Herald “Effectively having double schools by having morning and afternoon schools is one option, it’s already being done in some countries,” Mr Stokes said in response to a question at the launch of a new report into school design by architecture and… “That would create problems in the middle ... Read More »