Global Issues

Do we need a new offence to protect victims of family violence from psychological harm?

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The Liberal National Party has promised that if it wins the upcoming Queensland election it will introduce a “standalone” domestic violence offence for non-violent offenders who had shown a pattern of psychologically controlling behaviour. Marilyn McMahon Paul McGorrery  The new offence would also prohibit emotional and financial abuse. The Conversation The Queensland offence would be modelled on the English offence of “controlling or coercive behaviour”. A similar law is also being considered by the Scottish parliament. However, not all key ... Read More »

Air pollution linked to poor sperm quality

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Study finds ‘strong association’ between high levels of fine particulate matter and abnormal sperm shape – but impact on wider fertility remains unclear Matthew Taylor The Guardian High levels of air pollution are associated with poor sperm quality and could be partly responsible for the sharp drop in male fertility, according to a new study. A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studied the sperm of nearly 6,500 men and found a “strong ... Read More »

Buldan: Isolation on Öcalan is the reason behind today’s attacks

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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HPD) MP Pervin Buldan said that the isolation on Abdullah Öcalan and cessation of the negotiations with him is the main reason behind the massacres and attacks today. ANF Speaking about the isolation on Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan at the final event of HDP Women Assembly’s campaign, Pervin Buldan underlined his role in the building of peace in the country. “We will continue to struggle until Öcalan is free. The main reason behind today’s massacres and attacks ... Read More »

Eamonn Mallie: With Gerry Adams nothing is what it seems

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Sinn Féin’s outgoing president is a master strategist who took risks for peace Ascribing the favourable adage “E pluribus unum” – “One out of many” – to Gerry Adams will doubtlessly aggravate some readers. Eamonn Mallie The Irish Times Yet even as a teenager the outgoing president of Sinn Féin was marked out by his elders for higher things. The old Official IRA leader in west Belfast Jim Sullivan once told me, “We always got young Adams to draft the ... Read More »

When the US locked up white Australian immigrants like Australia does to asylum seekers

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Lurking behind the debates about offshore processing lies a little-known historical irony: white Australians were once locked up in immigration centres that bore a striking resemblance to the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which were recently harshly criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee. Anne Rees  The Conversation And unsurprisingly, they were far from happy about it. Back in 1921, the United States introduced immigration restrictions based on national quotas. The quotas were tightened in 1924, and again in ... Read More »

How to Avoid an ISIS 2.0 in Iraq

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Washington and Baghdad have a golden opportunity, but it is slipping away. Michael O’Hanlon Sara Allawi With Mosul and other key cities now liberated from the horrible scourge of ISIS, Iraq stands at a crucial crossroads. The National Interest Iraqis and Americans have squandered historic opportunities to build a new, stable and prosperous country together before. We must not let that happen again. The key danger, as before, is this: extremism combined with sectarianism build on each other in a vicious ... Read More »

Glitter Is Banned From This Nursery for What Is Actually a Great Reason

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Oh, glitter. We’ll miss you. Glitter is great, right? Particularly now that it’s getting dark and cold and a bit depressing outside. Imogen Calderwood  But, as much as we love glitter for making everything look festive, a chain of children’s nurseries in the UK might actually have a point. Global Citizen Tops Day Nurseries has decided that glitter has to go, for the sake of the environment. Take action: Fight Waste to Protect Our Oceans Just like microbeads — which have ... Read More »

5 Points On The Cleric Targeted In Mike Flynn’s Shady Dealings With Turkey

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The focus of former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s tangle of business dealings with Turkey is one man: Fethullah Gulen, an ailing septuagenarian Muslim cleric who lives in a Pennsylvania compound. Allegra Kirkland Talking Points Memo Plenty of ink has been spilled about the hundreds of thousands of dollars Flynn received to produce negative PR materials about Gulen and about Flynn’s alleged discussions with Turkish officials about forcibly removing him from the U.S. What’s received less attention is why Turkey would ... Read More »

Cambodia faces int’l action after opposition party ban

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The United States promised “concrete steps” against Cambodia and the European Union raised a threat to vital trade preferences after the main opposition party was banned ahead of elections. PHNOM PENH – Reuters Hurriyet The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court on Nov. 16 at the request of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose rule of more than three decades faces a major challenge at next year’s general election. The ban on the ... Read More »

The evolution of Turkish-Russian relations

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The past decade has seen considerable change in Russia’s Middle East policy, with greater involvement in regional crises and engagement in good relations with key countries and non-state actors. Sinem Cengiz Arab News Russia’s policy at times converges with Turkey’s, and at other times challenges it. Turkish-Russian relations have survived several crises, the most severe being in November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian jet along its border with Syria. Neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor his Russian ... Read More »

We have the tools to fight climate change. It’s time to start using them

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Stepping in to the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, is like wandering through an alternative reality. Johan Rockström Amy Luers At no point in these vast cavernous rooms are you confronted with the sheer urgency or the scale of transformation required to reduce the risk of a fossil-fueled catastrophe. World Economic Forum Meanwhile, back on Earth the Global Carbon Project announced on Monday that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are expected to grow approximately 2% this year. This comes as startling news ... Read More »

Erasing modern slavery is a slow process, but it catches on in Australia

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An important part of any legislation would require businesses to report what goes on in their supply chains And already, the battle lines are drawn Richard Ackland The Guardian Quite smartly human rights are back on the front page, thanks to Wednesday’s outcome of the voluntary postal survey on marriage equality. It should pave the way to a bigger infusion of rights, with the next milestone a Human Rights Act for the entire nation. Possibly, there would have been no ... Read More »

Why Did Israel Support the Kurdish Referendum?

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An independent Kurdistan would have created the possibility for Israel to reap a major strategic advantage: a well-positioned ally. Ari Heistein  The National Interest Israel was alone in its support for the Iraqi Kurdish referendum in September, and it has since become evident that KRG President Masoud Barzani miscalculated in deciding to hold the vote then. The Kurds overestimated both U.S. support for their independence movement and their own internal solidarity, while simultaneously underestimating the intensity and the near unanimity of the… ... Read More »

‘Yes’ campaign must keep its promises after 5 million people voted ‘No’ in same-sex marria

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Five million Australians is the number of people who voted “no” in the postal survey for the same reasons I did – because we are concerned about the impact on basic freedoms of speech, conscience and religion – freedoms that we expect to be upheld in our democratic country in accordance with human rights… Karina Okotel * The Canberra Times What has surprised me following the postal survey results is the “yes” campaign’s sudden turnaround to effectively ignore the need ... Read More »

How to future-proof the West’s economies

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Top economic thinkers from the U.S. and Europe say we need to start by fixing our politics Sure, growth could be more robust. MAURA REYNOLDS Politico Sure, some workers are getting left behind. Sure, corporate debt is high and markets look frothy. But those problems aren’t the biggest threat facing the economies of the United States and Europe. What is? The answer from a group of top economic thinkers convened by POLITICO isn’t something in the economy. It’s politics. At a ... Read More »

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas

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The $1 trillion fund that Norway has amassed pumping oil and gas over the past two decades wants out of petroleum stocks. Sveinung Sleire Bloomberg Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its ... Read More »