Global Issues

Robots will probably help care for you when you’re old

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Among the symptoms of dementia is a phenomenon called “sundowners syndrome”: an increase in agitation, confusion, and anxiety as late afternoon transitions to evening. Corinne Purtill Quartz Its cause isn’t well understood; circadian rhythm disruptions precipitated by the change in light, anxiety over end-of-day activity, and hormonal fluctuations have all been floated as theories. Whatever the trigger, sundowners can make otherwise amiable people combative and even violent, a frightening and unsettling experience for patients and… Staff in hospitals and nursing ... Read More »

‘This is not what privilege is for’: Ex-Border Force boss complains to speaker

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The astonishing war of words between Peter Dutton and former Border Force boss Roman Quaedvlieg has escalated further. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Quaedvlieg has now complained to the speaker Tony Smith over Mr Dutton’s use of parliamentary privilege to accuse him of “grooming” a younger woman. The Minister also said that Mr Quaedvlieg, who was sacked for helping his girlfriend get a job within the agency, was “discredited and disgraced”. “He was a man who had groomed ... Read More »

Russia is cracking down on minority languages – but a resistance movement is growing

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Russia has spent the last several years aggressively advocating for the rights of Russian minorities abroad, and in particular for the “protection” of the Russian language. Guzel Yusupova The Conversation Whenever a country takes any step that can be construed as suppressing or marginalising Russian speakers, the Kremlin is quick to respond in the most strident of tones. In October 2017, when Latvia’s government made Latvian the default language of education, Sergey Zheleznyak, the member of Russia’s State Duma Committee ... Read More »

How to eat well – and save the planet

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Switching to a healthier diet can reduce an individual’s water footprint by as much as 55%. BBC According to new research, turning vegetarian has the biggest impact, but even cutting down on meat gives a saving of at least 10%. Shifting to a healthy diet is a “win-win situation”, say researchers. Citizens will be healthier and their food can be produced using less of one of our most precious natural resources – water. “The main message is that if you ... Read More »

When MSNBC or Fox News airs in public places, how do people react?

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Have you been traveling and noticed that all the televisions in an airport terminal were set to CNN? Or grabbed a drink at a bar and realized that Fox News was being broadcast to its customers? Frank Waddell The Conversation You might grouse that you’re being forced to watch something that doesn’t jive with your political views. Or maybe you think it’s no big deal – your views are already fully formed, so you can just tune it out. However, ... Read More »

US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes

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The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with… WASHINGTON – Agence France Presse Hurriyet White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an… “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said. ... Read More »

Hungary’s Viktor Orban accuses EU of ‘abuse of power’

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The Hungarian premier has told EU lawmakers that Brussels’ actions against Budapest “violates the EU treaty.” Viktor Orban is facing pressure to correct measures that have undermined “fundamental values” of the EU. DW Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday told the European Parliament that potential disciplinary measures against his country are a “moral decision” that amounts to “abuse of power.” Under pressure from the European Commission, Orban is facing a vote that could see Hungary lose its voting rights in the bloc ... Read More »

Nonprofit newsrooms are reaching bigger audiences by teaming up with other outlets

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When images of NBC intern Cassie Semyon sprinting out of the Paul Manafort trial to deliver the verdict to her newsroom went viral, questions bubbled up on social media. Is she a trained runner? Was she barefoot? What was she… Magda Konieczna The Conversation What no one asked was, why was she running so fast? That was obvious: to beat the competition. After all, everyone expects journalists to fight for scoops and guard sources jealously to make sure no one ... Read More »

Sweden election: yes, the far right made gains, but we’re not falling apart

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Sweden is recovering after a very tense election night. The centre-right and the centre-left blocs have effectively secured very similar shares of the vote, but neither have come away with quite enough leverage to form a strong government alone. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten The Conversation The far-right Sweden Democrats, a niche party campaigning on a nationalist agenda, registered its highest electoral score to date. Under different circumstances, its vote share of around 4.7% would put it in the position of kingmaker. ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

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As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

Sweden heads for political deadlock as Sweden Democrats surge

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Stockholm: Sweden is heading for a hung parliament after an election that saw the popularity of the nationalist Sweden Democrats surge, as one of Europe’s most liberal nations turns right amid fears over… Johan Sennero and Helena Soderpalm Reuters WAtoday Far-right parties have made spectacular gains throughout Europe in recent years amid growing anxiety over national identity and the effects of globalisation and immigration following armed conflict in the… In Sweden, an influx of 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 – the most in ... Read More »

The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

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The aftermath produced a lost decade for European economies and helped lead to the rise of anti-establishment political movements here and abroad. John Cassidy The New Yorker Audio: Listen to this article. To hear more, download the Audm iPhone app. September 15th marks the tenth anniversary of the demise of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which presaged the biggest financial crisis and deepest economic recession since the nineteen-thirties. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, and great swaths of the markets froze, ... Read More »

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

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A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

303,000 crimes in three years: Insurer scrambles at royal commission

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A life insurance company has admitted to 303,000 criminal breaches of the law through its use of a pushy cold call sales force that intentionally upset potential customers in the hope they would make “grudge purchases” of its products. Sarah Danckert Brisbane Times The admissions by ASX-listed life insurance group Clearview came as the banking royal commission turned its gaze to the life insurance sector. The royal commission heard on Monday that Clearview – a company born out of NRMA’s life ... Read More »

Quinquepartite meeting of Energy Ministers: “The Balkans are the next energy hub”

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Initiative to showcase the Balkans as an energy hub for the wider region are expected to be taken in the near future with the aim of, creating a single energy market in SE Europe, among other things. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna The quinquepartite meeting held on the sidelines of the Southeast Europe Energy Forum, organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in the framework of the 83rd… All sides share common objectives, including the need for further interconnection of infrastructure and ... Read More »

When the Beach Is Out of Reach—Coastal Access Becomes a Growing Concern

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As Americans crowd toward the coasts, states and municipalities are caught in passionate battles about public access, while lawsuits seem headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Timothy B. Clark Route Fifty NORTHEAST HARBOR — Maine, it is said, has more coastline than any other state. Measured along the twists and turns of countless coves and inlets, the coast stretches 3,478 miles, a few more than California’s—and over 5,000 miles if one counts the shorelines of… But Maine does not grant the ... Read More »