Global Issues

Strengthened hate speech laws pass NSW Parliament in ‘great day’ for Australia

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Inciting violence against a community or person based on their race in New South Wales could result in three years in jail under new laws which have passed State Parliament. Meredith Griffiths ABC The Keep New South Wales Safe Alliance, a coalition of about 31 community organisations and leaders, has been lobbying for the changes for three years, saying that previous provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act had not led to a… They described the passing as a “great day for ... Read More »

The surprising corporate response to a global crisis

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THIS week, it was revealed that the level of forced displacement globally has reached a new, alarming high. Naomi Steer The Daily Telegraph Some 68.5 million people are now displaced according to UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report. That’s one in every 110 people in the world. More than half are children. On top of this, the report shows the vast majority — 85 per cent — of displaced people are hosted in developing countries that simply don’t have the resources ... Read More »

Thailand: Resuming Death Penalty a Major Setback

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Government Executes a Prisoner After 9-Year Moratorium (New York) – The Thai government should halt further executions and publicly resume its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Thai authorities executed a 26-year-old man by lethal injection on June 18, 2018, the country’s first execution since August 2009. “Thailand’s resumed use of the death penalty marks a major setback for human rights,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The Thai government’s many pledges ... Read More »

More time needed to achieve peace, South Sudan rebels say

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JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudanese rebels said on Thursday that more time is needed to secure lasting peace in the country and it would be necessary to address the root causes of a civil war. Denis Dumo “There is no shortcut to peace,” the group said in a statement after peace talks in Ethiopia between its leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, the first time the two men had met since… SPLM/SPLA (IO) said the solution to the five-year ... Read More »

New Yorker cover shows migrant children hiding at Statue of Liberty’s feet

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The latest cover of The New Yorker takes on President Trump‘s immigration policies, showing migrant children hiding at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. Aris Folley The Hill The issue, which is slated to hit shelves on July 2, features artwork showing five migrant children hiding underneath the robe of Lady Liberty, gripping her legs… “I can’t watch TV news anymore; it’s always people yelling at each other or… There’s always a background drone of outrage, it seems. Stories ... Read More »

How a photo research project gives refugee women a voice in resettlement policy

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Between 2000 and 2017, the number of refugees and asylum seekers globally increased from 16 to 26 million. Authors: The Conversation In 2016, women made up 49% of global refugees. Dominant representations of refugee women are that of vulnerable and helpless victims. This disregards women’s agency, voice, and deep desire for education and social enterprise. Australia’s refugee intake is expected to increase to 18,750 in 2018-19, the largest intake in 30 years. In 1989, Australia established a “Woman at Risk” ... Read More »

UN Human Rights Council Should Act on Venezuela

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Venezuelan Crisis needs to be a Council Priority Leila Swan HRW No one was surprised when Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected last May, or when the opposition alleged voting irregularities. Unofficial reports estimated low voter turnout, less than 40%, despite government officials’ frantic attempts to increase participation. Upon hearing the results, Maduro sang victory, claiming “The whole of Venezuela has triumphed! Democracy has triumphed! Peace has triumphed!”. Yet the elections were rejected by democracies world-wide. The Lima Group – comprised… UN ... Read More »

Friday essay: Australia’s dangerous obsession with the Anglosphere

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Over the past three weeks the ABC program Four Corners has presented special reports on American politics, which involved one of our best journalists, Sarah Ferguson, travelling to the US on special assignment. Dennis Altman The Conversation I watched these programs and I enjoyed them. But in part I enjoyed them because they covered ground that is already familiar. If the same effort had gone into bringing us in-depth special reports from, say, Jakarta or Mumbai they would have been ... Read More »

How refugee children make American education stronger

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In recent years, there has been a great deal of public angst about refugee resettlement in the U.S. and Europe. Shawna Shapiro The Conversation Americans are deeply divided on the issue. For instance, a Pew Research Center study published in May of this year found that only a quarter of Republicans and right-leaning independents say the U.S. “has a responsibility to accept more refugees,” compared with almost three-quarters of Democrats and… Policies under the Trump administration reflect this division: The ... Read More »

You just got a speeding ticket in a driverless car. Who has to pay it?

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Queensland may need a new class of licence, the definition of a “driver” would need to be changed and insurance claims would be shaken up under the looming reality of driverless cars on our roads. Felicity Caldwell Brisbane Times QUT Professor Andry Rakotonirainy said laws and regulations would need to be changed before driverless cars were allowed to roam Australian streets. “If you look at the situation where you drive an autonomous car and you get a ticket, now who ... Read More »

‘Reason I live without fear’: We need to listen to this cop’s daughter

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There have been dozens of newspaper columns and thousands of social media posts over the death of Eurydice Dixon, killed more than a week ago as she walked home through Princes Park. John Silvester The Age There has been empathy, sadness, shock, and anger that resulted in a fair amount of blaming. Some were angry at police for suggesting people (read women) should be vigilant, for this was interpreted by many as blaming the victim herself. Others claimed this was ... Read More »

Keeping the Calm in Southern Syria

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As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. ICG The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement. What’s new? Having retaken the last rebel-held areas in Syria’s western interior, the Syrian regime is turning southward. Regime forces are massing in preparation for a reconquest of the “de… Why does it matter? The south ... Read More »

Vietnam Mass Protests Expose Hanoi’s China Dilemma

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The protests highlight the difficulties in embracing Chinese investment while defending Vietnamese independence. Tom Fawthrop The Diplomat The huge nationwide protests that rocked Vietnam last week have highlighted Hanoi’s headaches in dealing with China, both as a hostile power in the South China Sea and as a key trading partner and economic investor. The history of Vietnam-China relations is steeped in a thousand years of Chinese colonization, conflict, and rebellion. The last Chinese invasion was a two-month border war in ... Read More »

Stem cell match brother ‘denied visa for life-saving op’

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A woman with a rare blood cancer is being denied a life-saving transplant from her brother because he doesn’t earn enough, a charity has said. BBC Shirley Kordie, 33, has hypoplastic MDS and will leave her son, Blessing, four, without a mother if she is not treated. Her brother Joseph, who lives in Ghana, is a “perfect” stem cell match but his visa application was denied due to his “financial circumstances”. The Home Office said it was “urgently reviewing” the… ... Read More »

Brave international judges needed to champion trial rights, barrister says

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Australian Kate Gibson shares what life is like working as a barrister on the international stage and explains why achieving justice under intense political pressure is important for the legitimacy of UN-backed institutions. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Kate Gibson’s start as a corporate lawyer in Brisbane had little to do with the international career in criminal defence that she would go on to forge in Geneva. A member of St Philips Chambers in London and fluent French speaker, she has defended ... Read More »

Turkey to get F-35 jets Thursday despite opposition from Congress

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Washington (CNN) – Despite opposition from the US Congress, Turkey is set to receive its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighters on Thursday during a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Ryan Browne “Lockheed Martin will hold a rollout ceremony for Turkey this Thursday in Fort Worth, and the two jets will follow-on to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona at a later date,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told CNN. “Turkish F-35 pilots and maintainers have arrived ... Read More »