Global Issues

Al-Jazeera network to slash 500 staff

Qatar’s al-Jazeera broadcasting network is laying off about 500 employees or more than 10 per cent of its staff, reflecting financial pressures on the tiny Gulf state due to low global prices for oil and natural gas. Most of those affected are based at its Doha headquarters, according to Sunday’s statement from the network, which is controlled by Qatar’s royal family… Source: Al-Jazeera network to slash 500 staff Read More »

What the 1916 Easter Rising means for Ireland today

Al Jazeera spoke to Ireland’s president and other prominent society members on the occasion of Easter Rising centenary. Dublin, Ireland – This week Irish people mark the centenary of the Easter Rising with commemorations across the country lasting until April 24. The uprising against the British Empire, which took place in Dublin and other cities and towns in Ireland during… Source: What the 1916 Easter Rising means for Ireland today – Al Jazeera English Read More »

Recognising cultural differences is not racism

Australians would rather celebrate their similarities than discuss what sets them apart – and that’s dangerous. Comparing cultural traits in these politically correct times can elicit rebukes, but brushing over the differences can be even more costly. With more than a million migrants welcomed into… Source: Recognising cultural differences is not racism Read More »

The Putins of the EU by Nina L. Khrushcheva

Hungary and Poland, once beacons of hope for liberal democracy in post-communist Europe, now have leaders who are determined to emulate Russian President Vladimir Putin, hollowing out independent democratic institutions and suppressing citizens’ fundamental freedoms. The question is whether the EU will follow through with sanctions… Source: The Putins of the EU by Nina L. Khrushcheva – Project Syndicate Read More »

It’s time that the US faced up to the ‘G word’ and finally recognised the Armenian genocide

Abou 1a

All week, the G-word has been rattling around the foreign ministries of the world. Ever since John Kerry – he of Israeli-Palestinian peace “in six months” fame – announced that Isis was committing genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims, we’ve been trying to work out just what he’s talking about. Even the poor old Canadians and their super-liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau, have since been refusing to recognise the Isis atrocities as “genocide” – the attempt to exterminate an entire race ... Read More »

Russia’s Artful Exit from Syria

Moscow entered and exited the conflict all within five months. Vladimir Putin’s surprise announcement that he is withdrawing the majority of Russian troops stationed in Syria will lead to much speculation over his true motives for doing so. Has the Russian military, as his announcement claimed, actually achieved its… Source: Russia’s Artful Exit from Syria | The National Interest Read More »

Economy rests on Christian foundations

I can’t think why, but Easter always reminds me of Christianity. Not, of course, that Christianity has anything to do with the grubby, materialist world of economics. Or does it? Australia is the most unbelieving it has ever been, with the most recent census saying that only 61 per cent people identify themselves as even nominally Christian… Source: Economy rests on Christian foundations Read More »

After Brussels, a new challenge for Defence

Our military is unprepared for 21st century threats and shows little sign of changing. The hellish destruction in Brussels strikes at the very heart of our conceit that government can protect us. It can’t. Not any more. The terrorists have learnt to hit, hard, the myriad of vulnerabilities that exist everywhere in modern societies. Each offers the opportunity for… Source: After Brussels, a new challenge for Defence Read More »

This is why Finland has the best schools

The Harvard education professor Howard Gardner once advised Americans, “Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States.”. Following his recommendation, I enrolled my seven-year-old son in a primary school in Joensuu. Finland, which is about as far east as you can go in the European Union before you… Source: This is why Finland has the best schools Read More »

Japanese history textbooks come under fire

Caur 1a

By Todd Crowell TOKYO China and South Korea have both officially protested new history textbooks that emphasize Japan’s control over disputed islands — yet another irritant in Tokyo’s relations with its near neighbors. The new textbooks designated for first- and second-year high school students, which… Source: Japanese history textbooks come under fire Read More »

Easter Rising: Irish President Michael D Higgins hopes NI people ‘approach commemorations generously’ 

The Irish president says he hopes people in Northern Ireland will approach the Easter Rising commemorations “generously”. Events are taking place in Dublin to mark the centenary of the 1916 rebellion against British rule, a seminal moment in Ireland’s past. Some unionists have been reluctant to take part in or support the events… Source: Easter Rising: Irish President Michael D Higgins hopes NI people ‘approach commemorations generously’ – BBC News Read More »

Taking Stock of Historic Trip To Cuba by Barack Obama

It wasn’t always easy, but in the end Barack Obama and Raúl Castro did the wave together in the stadium. Veit Medick was in Cuba, traveling with the US president’s press corps. Impressions from a memorable state visit… Source: Taking Stock of Historic Trip To Cuba by Barack Obama – SPIEGEL ONLINE Read More »

Held in Greece beside a closed border and EU relocation law

‘We try to explain the situation to them but many remain hopeful the border will reopen’. Damian Mac Con Uladh in Ritsona The RAF’s Red Arrows could not have picked a more unsuitable location for their annual overseas training than the skies above the Ritsona refugee camp, one of dozens set up by… Source: Held in Greece beside a closed border and EU relocation law Read More »

Is the Nine Dash Line a Super-Sized Exclusive Economic Zone?

Julian Ku 1a

China opened up a new front for South China Sea conflict this week when one of its coast guard vessels collided with an Indonesian coast guard ship in the process of towing a captured Chinese vessel alleged to be engaged in illegal fishing. In a remarkably direct and frank statement, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister protested China’s… Source: Is the Nine Dash Line a Super-Sized Exclusive Economic Zone? – Lawfare Read More »

These Refugees Are Being Returned to the Violent Circumstances They Left Behind

For some asylum seekers, their “well-founded” fear of persecution is proven only after they’re repatriated. By Michelle Chen Two years ago, back in their hometowns in Bangladesh, they were ordinary young men whose political involvement didn’t go beyond local support for the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP)… Source: These Refugees Are Being Returned to the Violent Circumstances They Left Behind | The Nation Read More »

Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear

Religious groups are not taxable. No wonder there’s no transparency in how their billions of dollars are spent. Whether or not you are a practising Christian, Easter is a time to think about religious traditions. The ongoing proceedings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual… Source: Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear Read More »