Civil Liberties

Have you got an end-of-life plan?

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Lawyers are encouraging us to think about how we want our lives to end as part of a campaign to record end-of-life wishes with a free online tool called Advance Care Directive. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly While the topic of death and dying remain uncomfortable subjects for many, lawyers in South Australia are urging members of the community to think seriously about the end. These can include questions about whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated or placed on life support ... Read More »

Do you even know what apartheid means?

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Op-ed: A state with complete academic freedom, with Arab ministers and MKs, a state that fosters Arab professors, doctors, pharmacists and teachers, can’t be called an ‘apartheid state,’ unless it’s by ignorant or evil people. Noah Klieger y net news And the last person who can throw this accusation at Israel is a dictator like Erdoğan who has been cracking down on freedom of speech and the free press in his own country. In the late 1950s, on a flight ... Read More »

Irish abortion referendum: Ireland overturns abortion ban

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The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. A referendum held on Friday resulted in a landslide win for the repeal side. BBC Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality. The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn, will be replaced. The declaration was made at at Dublin Castle ... Read More »

‘We are absolutely in a new culture war’: ‘Religious freedom’ next on the Liberal agenda

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On Monday night, former deputy prime minister John Anderson delivered a rousing and ominous speech to a gathering of religious educators in Parliament House. Michael Koziol WAtoday With a gusto more suited to the Great Hall in which the Christian Schools Australia gala dinner normally takes place, Anderson dared speak the name of a spectre which is often invoked but rarely acknowledged: the culture war. “We’re living in the age of enormous cultural disharmony, I put it to you,” he ... Read More »

Wikipedia publishes open letter to Turkey urging end to access ban

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Wikipedia is open for improvement by anyone around the world and should be open to editors in Turkey, the Wikimedia Foundation has stated in a letter addressed to the government of Turkey, where the website has been banned for over one year. SAN FRANSISCO Hurriyet “The Wikimedia Foundation is deeply concerned about recent statements attributed to the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime, and Communications Ahmet Arslan from [May 18] regarding the blockage of Wikipedia in Turkey,” Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel member Eileen B. Hershenov wrote in ... Read More »

Texas school shooting: Arm teachers to stop gunmen, official says

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Arming more teachers could help tackle gunmen targeting students if there were “four to five guns to one”, a senior Texan official has said. BBC Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was speaking two days after 10 people were killed at the Santa Fe High School, which had an armed guard. He had previously said schools had “too many entrances and too many exits” and their design should be reconsidered. The proposal to arm teachers is not a new idea. After a ... Read More »

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

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Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

A Peace Of Fiction: Australia Should Celebrate A National Day Of Violence

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If we’re going to engage in so much violence, then why not celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil. New Matilda What’s all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nation’s dalliance with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

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Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »

Can Turkey’s opposition finally unite and challenge Erdoğan?

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June 24, 2018 instead of late 2019: that’s the date decided for Turkey’s “snap presidential and parliamentary elections”, called by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political partner from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli. Authors: The Conversation The elections are needed by the incumbent president, who wants to maintain his position and stay in power. AKP’s weaknesses Erdoğan has to deal with several issues that have recently weakened his party and leadership both domestically and abroad. Turkey’s military intervention in Syria has ... Read More »

‘Dangerous times’: Police to have new powers to check IDs at airports

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Police will be given sweeping new powers to demand identification from travellers under new laws to boost counter-terrorism efforts at Australia’s airports. Fergus Hunter The Age The Australian Federal Police will be able to ask anyone for ID and eject them from the airport under the changes that will also see the introduction of advanced X-ray and body scanning machines. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conceded the new powers were a big step but said they were necessary for “dangerous… Mr ... Read More »

Are dictators on the way out – or on the way up?

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All around the world, democracy is looking shaky. While consolidated democracies are struggling to stay healthy, many flawed ones have turned into outright authoritarian regimes – most notably Russia under Vladimir Putin and Turkey under… Natasha Ezrow The Conversation But the news isn’t all bad: on several continents over the last decade, longstanding dictators have resigned, lost elections, or been deposed. As the table below indicates, the number of dictators who’ve fallen in recent years for all sorts of reasons ... Read More »

Erdogan’s visit to the UK: open letter to Prime Minister May

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Lobby for Cyprus * open letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Dear Prime Minister President Erdogan’s visit to the UK will take place against the shadows cast by his destruction of democracy in Turkey, his government’s appalling human rights record, his country’s gunboat diplomacy and the enduring consequences of the two Turkish invasions of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Having ethno-religiously cleansed and colonised 36 per cent of the territory (and 57 per cent of the ... Read More »

104-year-old academic David Goodall says in his final hours he has ‘no hesitations whatsoever’

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As 104-year-old academic David Goodall prepares to end his life through voluntary euthanasia in Switzerland, he has told a press conference he hopes his story encourages Australians to take a more liberal view on assisted dying. ABC This week, Dr Goodall travelled to Switzerland where an end of life clinic has approved his application to exercise the so-called “Swiss option”. Speaking at a press conference in the Swiss city of Basel on Wednesday, Dr Goodall was surprised by the crowd ... Read More »

The Making of a Kurdish Mandela

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By keeping a key challenger in jail, Turkey’s government risks making Selahattin Demirtas an even more popular and formidable opponent. Henri J. Barkey FP The Turkish government has just called snap presidential and parliamentary elections, which will be held on June 24. Most analysts are predicting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) will sail to victory primarily because of the weakness of the main opposition parties and… He also appears to have developed ... Read More »

Facebook banning foreign ads related to Ireland’s abortion referendum

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Facebook has announced it is banning foreign advertisements related to Ireland’s abortion referendum amid concerns that North American groups are trying to influence the campaign. AP ABC Irish voters will decide on May 25 whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion, in a divisive referendum that has drawn international attention. Ireland bars political donations from abroad, but the law does not apply to social media advertising. US-based anti-abortion groups are among those who have bought online ads in Ireland ... Read More »