Global issues

Gaza conflict takes toll on Hamas rocket stocks and tunnels

An Israeli military convoy outside the central Gaza Strip. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

IDF says it has destroyed 30-40% of militant rockets and six tunnel shafts; Hamas has killed 29 soldiers and disrupted flights After more than two weeks of intense fighting in Gaza, both Hamas andIsrael have racked up significant military achievements, albeit at the cost of hundreds of lives. Around 140 militants have been killed in Gaza over the past two weeks, amounting to around ... Read More »

Church serves as shelter for war-hit Palestinians

Palestinians sleep on the floor of a Greek church in Gaza 1a LLLLL hurriyet

Some 400 Palestinians fleeing Israeli raids that have destroyed their neighborhoods have taken shelter in a Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza City. Desperate Gazans escaping from Beit Hanoun and Shejaia, where more than 70 Palestinians – many of them women and children – were killed on July 20, have entered the Church of Saint Porphyrius after Archbishop Alexios opened the door. The church ... Read More »

Tony Abbott achieves the impossible: unity among economists

Abbott taking off his glasses 1a LLL

Economists are refuting the three big picture claims made by the government: 1) We have a budget emergency 2) We have a debt crisis and 3) The carbon tax was ruining the economy  Jump to comments There’s a joke about economists: if you ask five economists the same question you’ll get six different answers. Granted, it’s not a very good ... Read More »

Isis Smuggling $50m of Oil Monthly to fund Medieval Caliphate in Iraq and Syria

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The Islamic State, which reportedly generates $50m (£25m) a month in oil operations in neighbouring Syria, has expanded its oil business in Iraq to fund its recently declared ‘caliphate.’ Having seized vast swathes of territory across Iraq, the jihadist group has begun selling crude oil and gasoline on black markets to fund its cross-border caliphate. Militants from the Islamic State ... Read More »

After Drugs and Guns, Art Theft Is the Biggest Criminal Enterprise in the World

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June 2014, and an unusual three-day conference is taking place in the basement room of New York University’s School of Law. The 200 or so attendees that have hurried their way across sunny Washington Square include FBI agents, lawyers, auction house heads, art dealers and collectors who buy and sell multi-million–dollar items. Waiting, sharp-suited, is -Brooklyn-born conference organiser Chris Marinello, ... Read More »

Get Fact: were there really 50,000 boat arrivals a year under Labor?

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has consistently said that the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat (or “illegal maritime arrivals”, in the government’s parlance) reached a rate of almost 50,000 a year by midway through last year. But did it? Certainly, if true, these are arresting figures. In fact, the government reported only 17,202 asylum seekers in 2012 and a further 13,108 to the ... Read More »

Previously Uncontacted Tribe Have Contracted Influenza

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Earlier this month, Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) confirmed that an Amazonian tribe that had never before had contact with the outside world had made voluntary contact; a rare event that is usually brought on by threats of violence. Rather than be excited to learn more about the group’s ways and customs, anthropologists have been fearful that the tribe would ... Read More »

Giant Rubber Duck Vanishes in Chinese Flood

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A giant rubber duck designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has disappeared amid heavy storms in China’s southwestern Guiyang City, the Wall Street Journal reports. The 54-foot-tall, 2000 pound  inflatable artwork was perched upon a floating metal platform, tethered to the bottom of the Nanming river by steel wires. The work has toured the world since 2007 and has been on display in the ... Read More »

Free Tibet exposes fake Twitter accounts by China propagandists

One of the fake Twitter accounts used to spread the Chinese line on Tibet

Images of Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and actor Erica Durance among those used in accounts to promote Beijing’s line on Himalayan region What do the late Pink Floyd vocalist Syd Barrett, the Canadian actor Erica Durance, and Brazilian model Felipe Berto have in common? They all suddenly appear to be big supporters of China‘s policies inTibet. Not that they had any ... Read More »