Features

Dutton’s airport ID checks are ripe for abuse and take us closer to a police state

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Police intelligence is far from 100% reliable and ethnic profiling is an obvious risk Rex Patrick The Guardian ”Your papers please!” It’s a phrase associated with the workings of a police state. It’s a trope favoured by Hollywood movies, but it’s an expression that can trigger dread for those who have had the misfortune to encounter the arbitrary power of an authoritarian government. And it’s a phrase you may soon hear when you arrive at one of Australia’s major airports. ... Read More »

How African American folklore saved the cultural memory and history of slaves

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All over the world, community stories, customs and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. Jennifer Dos Reis Dos Santos The Conversation This folkore is used by elders to teach family and friends about their collective cultural past. And for African Americans, folklore has played a particularly important part in documenting history too. The year 1619 marked the beginning of African American history, with the arrival of the first slave ship in Jamestown, Virginia. Slavery put African Americans ... Read More »

Last gleaming of the liberal democratic age?

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten (left) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, September 18, 2018. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

Australia’s media and politicians have eschewed the serious debates of the past to engage in an endless and senseless culture war, writes Malcolm King. InDaily The great liberal democratic experiment born from the American and French Revolutions is dying. Reason is in retreat as political chaos marches on Britain, Western Europe, America and Australia. Trust in politicians, financial institutions, the media and the church, has crumbled. We lost our vision for Australia and forgot our history – or were never ... Read More »

The Karen road to Nhill

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Famous for 1997 movie The Road to Nhill, the town of that name is now home to 200 Karen refugees from Myanmar. Far from dividing locals, the huge influx of newcomers – many of whom arrived traumatised, unfamiliar with western society – has brought new life to the community. Is this a model for the rest of Australia? Words by Margaret Simons Pictures by Damien Pleming SBS It’s too quiet in Kay’s Kreations flower and gift shop. There aren’t any fresh ... Read More »

It Is Time to Debate—and End—Identity Politics

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A democratic society based on civil liberties cannot survive being torn apart. Michael Gonzalez The National Interest America’s partition into mutually antagonistic identity groups has reached every nook and cranny of society, from sports to education , the corporateworld and politics . It has never been openly debated or voted on by the American people, however. Identity politics sparks emotional reactions both among its supporters and its detractors because it deals with the larger issues of our day. It is about what convinces people to band together ... Read More »

In the exclusive economic zone of Latvia was invaded by Russian warship – news ZIK.UA

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In the exclusive economic zone of Latvia near the border recorded the appearance of the Russian warship. TSP This is reported by the National armed forces of Latvia in Twitter. “On 6 October in the exclusive economic zone of Latvia, at a distance of 14 nautical miles from the state border was fixed the Russian military ship “guarding”, – stated in the message. We will remind, military ships and aircraft of the Russian Federation with the beginning of the conflict ... Read More »

Putin’s Arctic land grab

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How to weaken Russian expansionism and aggression in the Arctic Jed Babbin The Washington Times On Sept. 30, Britain’s Secretary of State for Defense, Gavin Williamson, announced that 800 British commandos would be sent to the Arctic for a joint military exercise with Norway next year to help stop Russia’s Arctic land grab. According to a report in The Sun newspaper, Mr. Williamson said, “Beyond the High North and Arctic we must be ready, and must show that we are ... Read More »

Japan surveying border isles to protect maritime interest, security

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Japan has started surveying border-area islands, whose owners and usage often remain a mystery, to maintain its territorial waters and far-flung locations in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). By SATOSHI OKAMOTO/ Staff Writer The Asahi Shimbun Many of these outlying islands serve as fiducial points to mark the boundaries of territorial waters and the EEZ. Government officials also hope that updated, detailed information on ownership and usage will help protect against intrusions, occupations and… Japan has the world’s sixth largest ... Read More »

Why so many businesses are behaving badly

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While we digest the royal commission’s evidence of shocking misconduct by the banks and insurance companies, there’s another unpalatable truth to swallow: they have no monopoly on bad behaviour. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times It seems almost everywhere you look you see examples of companies behaving badly. In a major speech he gave a few months ago, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, offered a remarkable list of business household names the commission was taking proceedings ... Read More »

U.S. Claims Chinese Destroyer Encounter was Unsafe

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The U.S. Navy carried out a freedom of navigation operation with the destroyer USS Decatur in the South China Sea on Sunday, with a Navy spokesperson claiming it resulted in an unsafe encounter with a… By MarEx  The Maritime Executive USS Decatur, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Chinese artificial islands at Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratley Islands. The reefs are claimed by China, the… U.S. media outlets have quoted defense officials ... Read More »

How we can reverse rise in suicide

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Twice as many people die by suicide than on our roads. Yet, like the road toll, deaths by suicide are preventable. Editorial The Age Despite greater community awareness, the suicide rate increased by almost 10 per cent in the past year, according to official figures. It is a deeply complex issue, and, as The Sunday Age recently editorialised on the basis on numerous reviews and studies in the past decade, requires, above all, a significant boost to mental health funding, which ... Read More »

Cooperation needed to tackle fisheries subsidies

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In July 2016, an arbitral tribunal established that China — through failing to exercise due diligence in preventing Chinese-flagged vessels fishing in various locations in the South China Sea — had violated the… Margaret Young EastAsiaForum China had not, the tribunal found, exhibited due regard for the Philippines’ sovereign rights with respect to fisheries in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China was also found to have breached provisions in the Convention relating to the protection of marine environment. The findings ... Read More »

Abbott hopes Australian republic ‘never happens’

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Former prime minister and staunch monarchist Tony Abbott hopes an Australian republic will not happen in his lifetime. The Age AAP The issue has been in the limelight this week after former Labor prime minister Paul Keating lashed recently-toppled Liberal PM and Mr Abbott’s rival Malcolm Turnbull over the issue. Mr Keating said Mr Turnbull had capitulated to conservatives in the Liberal Party by failing to hold another referendum over a republic, a key cause supported by the former Liberal ... Read More »

Romania marriage poll: One man, one woman definition up for vote

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Romanians are deciding this weekend whether a family should revolve around a married man and woman. BBC The two-day vote on changing their constitution has been portrayed by supporters of the referendum as a way of protecting the status of the “traditional” family. Opponents warn it will come at the expense of same-sex couples, single parents and children too. And there are accusations that the whole exercise is a sideshow to distract from a corruption case involving the leader of ... Read More »

Nauru orders MSF to stop mental health work on island

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Nauru’s government has ordered Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to stop work there immediately, despite a physical and mental health crisis in the country. Luke Henriques-Gomes The Guardian The medical NGO has been providing psychological and psychiatric services to residents, asylum seekers and refugees on the island since late 2017. MSF staff wrote to its clients on Saturday to tell them it could no longer offer them treatment because of an order from Nauru’s health minister, who said the its services were “no ... Read More »

Why did Jill Lepore write an epic of U.S. history? It’s a long story

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. She is pictured along the gates of Harvard Yard. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Harvard scholar discusses spark, aims behind ambitious project, and how students helped her along the way Colleen Walsh The Harvard Gazette “I thought that the general reading public needs an ambitious, sweeping account of the American past … because there’s no sense of a shared past,” says historian Jill Lepore. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer Finding topics to write about has never been a problem for Jill Lepore. The Harvard historian’s fascination with everything from Wonder Woman and Frankenstein to matters ... Read More »