Civil Rights

How US gun culture compares with the world in five charts

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The United States. Home to liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the most mass shootings in the world. Kara Fox CNN America’s unique relationship to gun ownership — enshrined as a right in its constitution — is also in the middle of an emotional and divisive debate about the meaning of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Twenty-seven words that give its citizens the right to own guns and also, in the views of many critics, helped usher ... Read More »

UN moves towards recognising human right to a healthy environment

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Formal recognition would help protect those who increasingly risk their lives to defend the land, water, forests and wildlife, says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment Jonathan Watts The Guardian It is time for the United Nations to formally recognise the right to a healthy environment, according to the world body’s chief investigator of murders, beatings and intimidation of environmental defenders. John Knox, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said the momentum for such ... Read More »

Women’s Day marches fill Latin America capitals to denounce

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Tens of thousands took to the streets of Buenos Aires and capital cities across Latin America on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day and protest against gender-based violence. BUENOS AIRES Hurriyet “A beautiful woman is one who marches” said one of the many placards held above the densely packed, slow-moving crowds of demonstrators in the Argentine capital. “We have to make a lot of noise. Over here, we have to be everything, not just women. This day should be ... Read More »

Why the gun debate needs to move away from simplistic ideas of ‘good’ and ‘bad’

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In the lead-up to the Tasmanian election, one issue proved particularly incendiary. Right before the vote on Saturday, the incumbent Liberal government was accused of having a hidden plan to “water down” the state’s gun laws. Dr Samara McPhedran The Conversation Much was made of the long-running Firearms Consultative Committee’s perceived role in shaping the policy. Suddenly, the Liberals were cast as being in cahoots with the “gun lobby”, leaving only Labor and the Greens to stand up against that ... Read More »

Australian gun lobby invests in rightwing parties in push to weaken reforms

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Exclusive: Cashed-up firearm groups are using ballooning memberships to flex their political muscle Michael McGowan The Guardian Australian gun lobby groups pumped more than $500,000 into helping minor rightwing parties win seats in last year’s Queensland state election as part of a growing push to weaken the nation’s strict firearm control laws. As Australia’s gun laws are again held up as an example to the US following the Florida school shooting, election disclosures reveal the pro-gun lobby is pumping thousands ... Read More »

Close up: the government’s facial recognition plan could reveal more than just your identity

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A Bill to set up the federal government’s biometric identity system is currently going through Parliament. Jake Goldenfein The Conversation But there are concerns over just how much information the system would be allowed to gather, and how that might be used to establish more than just the identity of a person. Strongly based on the FBI model in the United States, the Identity Matching Services Bill and its Explanatory Memoranda prescribe what data can be collected, shared and processed, ... Read More »

How landline phones made us happy and connected

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Smartphones and the internet have revolutionised society, commerce, and politics, reshaping how we work and play, and how our brains are wired. Barbara Keys The Conversation They have even revolutionised how revolutions are made. For enthusiasts, these technologies enhance freedom and democratise the flow of information, putting more power in the hands of people to generate political change. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, high school students have used social media to provoke a public debate about guns in the ... Read More »

Turkey Is Turning Into the Next Pakistan

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The U.S. should make clear to ersatz allies that betrayal has consequences. Eli Lake Bloomberg There isn’t much that Turkey’s president can do these days to further debase his reputation in the West. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed peaceful protests at home and abroad, closed newspapers, threatened American soldiers, and collectively scapegoated Kurds. But over the weekend, Erdogan managed to go even lower. At a rally at Kahramanmaras, the Turkish leader brought a trembling 6-year-old girl on stage dressed in military garb and told her she ... Read More »

Why the daunting economics of elder care are about to get much worse

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My sister Carol loves movies, but she hasn’t been out to see one in years. When she tries to watch one at home, she’s frequently interrupted. Patricia Smith The Conversation She shrugs this off, saying “Who needs to see movies when you’re living one?” You see, my sister is living the plot from the movie “Groundhog Day.” She takes care of our mother, who suffers from dementia. Our mom asks the same questions over and over and only wants to ... Read More »

After finding freedom, this former slave is now homeless and hungry

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Migrant returns home to brutal reality Benin City, Nigeria (CNN) – Dressed casually in slim-fit jogging pants and a T-shirt and sporting a trendy haircut, 21-year-old Victory looks like many of his peers in Nigeria. By Lillian Leposo, Nima Elbagir and Dominique van Heerden, CNN But one thing distinguishes him from the crowd: Victory is a former slave. CNN first met Victory last October, just days after he was rescued from traffickers in Libya and the most appalling conditions imaginable. Lying on the floor of ... Read More »

WA public confused in euthanasia debate: AMA

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The President of the Australian Medical Association’s WA branch has questioned whether there is a high level of community support for doctor-assisted euthanasia. Sophie Moore | The West Australian Orthopaedic surgeon Omar Khorshid told a parliamentary inquiry in Perth that questions in surveys and polls could be subjective, leading to the appearance of strong public support for changes to WA’s assisted dying laws. “With all surveys it really does depend on the question and I don’t believe that everyone in ... Read More »

Land expropriation motion amendment passed

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A National Assembly resolution allowing land expropriation without compensation will now be referred to the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30. Abongile Dumako SABC The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the African National Congress’ (ANC) amendment to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) motion for land expropriation without compensation. The ANC’s amendment, which was accepted by the House, inserts a clause about improving food security. The motion passed by 241 votes to 63, with the ... Read More »

Slavery: Australia’s hidden shame is being uncovered

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IT HAPPENS behind closed doors in homes all around Australia with increasing regularity and the numbers are simply staggering. WARNING: Graphic. Rohan Smith News. WARNING: Graphic WHAT Graeme John Slattery did to a woman in his garage will go down as one of the sickest crimes in Australian history. Slattery, from Warrnambool on Victoria’s south-west coast, kept a slave against her will and forced her to drink motor oil and stand on her head while naked. He paraded his victim ... Read More »

Black Teens Have Been Fighting for Gun Reform for Years

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Teens’ recent fight for gun control is awesome and inspiring, but don’t forget that it’s exactly what young black activists have been doing. teenVOGUE Lincoln Anthony Blades The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, in Parkland, Florida, which claimed 17 lives, is symptomatic of the plague of mass gun violence in the United States. Students from Stoneman Douglas responded powerfully to the loss of life in displays of courage that exemplified what kids are capable of. These teens started ... Read More »

Archbishop of Canterbury says Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws which have Christian values

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Justin Welby said Sharia law should never become part of the UK legal system His predecessor Lord Williams had said Sharia law could be incorporated Welby said British law had ‘values and assumptions’ rooted in Christian traditions By Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail MailOnLine Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday. Justin Welby said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws, which have developed over 500 ... Read More »

US should follow Aust on guns: Congressman

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America should follow Australia’s example on gun laws, says a US congressman from the state that suffered the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent Representative Jim Hines, a Democrat from Connecticut will join teenage survivors from last week’s school shooting in Florida in a new campaign for stricter gun control measures. Last Wednesday 17 students and teachers were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with a 19-year-old former student charged ... Read More »