Global Issues

Zimbabwe: Lack of Reform Risks Credible Elections

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President Mnangagwa Should Act on Pledge for Free, Fair Vote (Harare) – The Zimbabwe government’s failure to carry out legal and electoral reforms threatens the credibility of national elections scheduled for July 30, 2018. HRW Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s repeated promises that elections will be free and fair, the ability of voters to freely choose their leaders is in serious doubt. Human Rights Watch research in May, including interviews across the country, found that security force involvement in the electoral ... Read More »

Why Israel Still Can’t Afford to Destroy Hamas

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Destroying Hamas’ control would lead to either an open-ended Israeli presence that governs Gaza or to chaos. Shimon Arad The National Interest In a June 2017 article in the National Interest, I asserted that while Israel is militarily capable of destroying Hamas, in the absence of a viable alternative to the group’s control of Gaza, strategically it could not afford to do so. The recent flare-up along the border with Gaza, which escalated on May 29 into the most intense day since the large-scale ... Read More »

Teenager held in solitary confinement sues state government

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A young Aboriginal man is suing the state government for placing him in solitary confinement in an adult prison for three months when he was 16 years old. Tammy Mills The Age Wonyarna Edwards and two other teenagers were transferred to the Charlotte Unit of Port Phillip Prison in 2012 after a staff member was stabbed in the neck and injured when the inmates tried to escape from the Parkville youth detention centre. Mr Edwards was in solitary confinement in ... Read More »

Bangladesh body count mounts; group urges U.N. action to stop drug war

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DHAKA/MUMBAI (Reuters) – The death toll in a Bangladeshi “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs has risen to 140, with about 18,000 people arrested, the government said on Thursday, as a group of activists urged the United Nations to step in to stop the… Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of methamphetamines but the killings have raised fears among rights groups of a bloody Philippine-style campaign to wipe out… “In a manner… ... Read More »

The epic story of a 97-year-old Palestinian freedom fighter

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Born in 1921, Abu Nihad remembers the toughest battles against Zionist militias after the British left Palestine. Zena Tahhan AlJazeera Sur Baher, occupied East Jerusalem – In the village he defended from Zionist militias 70 years ago, Muhammad Mahmoud Jadallah is celebrated as a “blessing”. Born in 1921, the 97-year-old, known as Abu Nihad, witnessed the unfolding of what has been dubbed by some as “the world’s most intractable conflict”. He is one of the few Palestinian men who fought against ... Read More »

EU faces Poland test

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Law and Justice party (PiS) and twin brother of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski (unseen), his co-workers and supporters attend a ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the presidential plane crash in Smolensk, in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw, Poland, on April 10, 2016. / AFP / AFP PHOTO / WOJTEK RADWANSKI        (Photo credit should read WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The showdown with Warsaw is about more than the rule of law. It’s about the bloc’s very identity. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — The European Union has a last chance in the next few weeks to stop Poland from emasculating its justice system by forcing dozens of Supreme Court judges into early retirement and packing the courts with government supporters. It must not blink. This is not just about preserving the rule of law in the largest of the ex-communist member countries ... Read More »

Brumby law ‘turns Australia into global laughing stock’

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Environment groups condemn legislation protecting feral horses in national park Lisa Cox The Guardian Australia has become a “global laughing stock” after the New South Walesparliament passed legislation to protect the heritage of feral horses in the Kosciuszko national park, environment groups say. The Berejiklian government, with support from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party and the Christian Democrats, passed the Kosciuszko wild horse heritage bill 2018 through the NSW Legislative Council late on Wednesday. On Thursday, Dave Watson, a… Brumby ... Read More »

How we talk about Kate Spade could help others survive

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I was sitting at my desk when a push notification came on my phone about Kate Spade’s suicide, and I felt a rush of vertigo, as if the room had tipped sideways. Gayle Brandeis CNN I had to clutch the arms of my desk chair to steady myself, had to take a few deep breaths. My mother took her own life in 2009, and whenever I hear news of a suicide, it both reopens that grief and sends my heart ... Read More »

In pictures: Chile students protest against harassment

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Thousands of people have marched through the Chilean capital, Santiago, to protest against sexual harassment and sexist behaviour in universities and schools. BBC The march saw schoolchildren joining students to demand an end to “institutionalised sexism” and violence against women on campuses and in schools. It is the latest in a string of protests since April, when allegations of sexual abuse by members of faculty and students first surfaced at a number of Chilean universities… In pictures: Chile students protest ... Read More »

Why long-term separation from parents harms kids

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As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. David Rosenberg The Conversation The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids. Case in point: children separated from their parents at borders as new immigration policies are debated. Separation from parents for even short periods can cause anxiety disorders that can last a ... Read More »

The desperate global need for medical diagnostics

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Prince, a three-year-old boy, is brought to the emergency room in Monrovia, Liberia, with fever and a decreased level of consciousness. He is critically ill. He is treated for malaria. Authors The Conversation Time is the only way to tell if this was the right treatment choice — but time may not be on his side. An astute nurse asks a visiting doctor if she can borrow a blood glucose monitor and nails the diagnosis: Type 1 diabetes, requiring urgent ... Read More »

Bavaria plans tougher approach to asylum-seekers in Germany

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Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder has unveiled new measures to speed up the asylum process and deport rejected applicants. Christoph Hasselbach DW He believes the rest of Germany should follow his lead. With Bavaria’s elections only a few months away, State Premier Markus Söder of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) is advocating a tougher stance on asylum-seekers. The CSU, which has traditionally dominated Bavarian politics, fears large numbers of voters could turn their backs on the party and support the far-right ... Read More »

The Presidential Fight over War Powers Could Strip the Constitution of Its Value

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The Trump administration is trying to render Congress irrelevant on matters of war and peace. That would be a big mistake. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest In the late evening of April 13, 2018, President Donald Trump delivered a brief statement to the nation announcing that the U.S. military—in partnership with its French and British allies—launched a… The strike was designed to send a warning to Bashar al-Assad that any additional chemical attacks on the battlefield would elicit a ... Read More »

Justice Reinvestment Key To Reducing Indigenous Incarceration: Tom Calma

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Crime rates are dropping, but jailing rates – particularly of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – are sky-rocketing. A new approach is needed, and already well known writes Professor Tom Calma. New Matilda The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Pathways to Justice report tabled last week is one of a long line to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison, and not the first to point to justice reinvestment as a… Almost 10 years ago, in my ... Read More »

Religious freedoms should include spiritual beliefs too

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Nearly a third of Australians at the last census checked “None” when asked about their religion, up from 19% in 2006. What many people might not realise is that while some “Nones” are indeed atheists or agnostics, a substantial percentage do have faith. Jeremy Patrick The Conversation It’s just not in mainstream religion as we generally understand it. The number of people identifying as “spiritual but not religious” appears to be rising in the western world. A 2017 McCrindle report ... Read More »

Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s prize for fiction for ‘story of our times’

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Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ Antigone to tell the story of a British family caught up by Isis, takes £30,000 award Alison Flood The Guardian Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State, has won the Women’s prize for fiction, acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. The British Pakistani author’s seventh novel riffs on the ancient Greek play in which Antigone is forbidden ... Read More »