Global Issues

Illegal trade in antiquities: a scourge that has gone on for millennia too long

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Looting of artefacts has always been a sign of military might or economic power. Evangelos Kyriakidis The Conversation Over millennia, conquering generals would take away with them trophies to adorn their cities. In more recent centuries, the wealthy upper classes would make “grand tours” of classical sites and acquire – through whatever means – anything from vases to statues to entire temple friezes to show off at… Owning a piece of antiquity was seen as demonstrating wealth, a love of ... Read More »

‘Stay safe’: why women are enraged by advice to steer clear of violent men

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This week, a man allegedly raped and murdered a young woman – emerging comedian Eurydice Dixon – as she walked home from a comedy gig. 19-year-old Jaymes Todd has since been charged with one count of murder and one count of rape. Bianca Fileborn The Conversation In the wake of yet another tragic – but, importantly, not unavoidable – loss of a woman’s life, police predictably advised people to “stay safe” by engaging in a range of “protective” strategies. The ... Read More »

Bavaria’s man in Berlin pushes Merkel to brink

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and leader of the Bavarian Christian Democrats (CSU) prepares to take an elevator during a day of wrangling at the Bundestag between the CSU and the German Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is at odds with Seehofer over migration policy. While Merkel wants a European-wide approach to migration, Seehofer is insisting that Germany be able to unilaterally turn away asylum seekers when they first reach the German border should they not meet asylum criteria.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Horst Seehofer puts home state election first in clash with chancellor. Janosch Delcker Politico BERLIN — Horst Seehofer may be Germany’s interior minister but he’s doing Bavaria’s bidding. The 68-year-old’s career looked to be on the slide when he was ousted as premier of the southern state at the end of last year. Yet he is center stage once again after pushing Angela Merkel’s government into crisis with his plan to toughen Germany’s asylum policies. By threatening to implement his plan even without Merkel’s ... Read More »

From the St Louis to the Aquarius: the history of refugee boats as archipelagos of misery

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The Aquarius, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean carrying 629 people, is now on its way to Spain, after being refused docking in Italy and Malta. Simone Gigliotti The Conversation The crisis has caused a diplomatic row between France and Italy and highlighted the stalemate within the EU on asylum policy. Sadly, there have been many historical examples of boats laden with refugees, that were refused docking. In the aftermath of World War II, the historian Eugene Kulischer wrote: “The ... Read More »

DR Congo: The Bemba Earthquake

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The ICC’s acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba’s likely return. ICG Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to… What’s new? On 8 June Jean-Pierre Bemba, a charismatic Congolese leader and fierce rival of President Joseph Kabila, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court’s appeals chamber of a 2016 war crimes conviction. His likely ... Read More »

Action against Russian meddling cannot threaten our civil liberties

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The greatest threats to civil liberties often occur in the name of “national security.” Alex Baiocco The Hill History has shown that free political speech is almost always among the first rights to be curbed. In the ongoing debate surrounding appropriate remedies and responses to foreign election campaign interference, we must remain skeptical of any proposal that risks repeating this shameful history. This brings us to the Honest Ads Act. The bill’s sponsors in Congress are pitching their proposal as a… Action against ... Read More »

‘Not equal before the law’: Why regional drug addicts are often sent to jail, not rehab

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A retired judge has backed calls for more drug rehabilitation centres in the bush, warning addicts in regional areas are too often thrown behind bars. Background Briefing – By Bronwyn Adcock ABC John Nicholson SC served as a New South Wales District Court judge for more than a decade and regularly presided over sittings in Dubbo, where drug-related crime is high. When sentencing offenders, Mr Nicholson told Background Briefing there were times he had no choice but to impose a jail ... Read More »

Yemen war: UN calls for vital port of Hudaydah to stay open

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The UN Security Council has reiterated its call for the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hudaydah to remain open after urgent talks on the Saudi-backed offensive. BBC However, the council rejected a call by member state Sweden for an immediate halt to hostilities. Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition launched the offensive after Houthi rebels ignored a deadline to leave the port city. Hudaydah is a key entry point for humanitarian aid to war-torn… Yemen war: UN… Read More »

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

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The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

Crime stats: Victoria sees another big drop in crime

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Police say forensic targeting of known criminals is helping to make some of Melbourne’s offending hot spots safer, as official figures show the annual crime rate down 9.5 per cent across the state, and some of the… Noel Towell & Craig Butt The Age The Crime Statistics Agency says the number of criminal incidents recorded by police in the year to March 31 this year was 380,150, down nearly 9 per cent from 416,925 incidents recorded in the… There were ... Read More »

Europe jumps off easy money train

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi gives a press conference following the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank in Riga, Latvia, June 14, 2018. - The euro fell against the dollar after the European Central Bank said it expected interest rates to remain at their current record lows until well into 2019. (Photo by Ilmars ZNOTINS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mario Draghi puts pressure on Berlin and Paris to shore up eurozone. By PIERRE BRIANÇON Politico An era has ended at the European Central Bank. On Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced that the bank would stop its massive bond-buying program at the end of December. The policy, known as quantitative easing or QE, has seen the ECB buy €2.4 trillion worth of government debt in the last three years to help pull the eurozone out of recession. Draghi is ... Read More »

Nazi flags and war crimes? Our armed forces need better leadership

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The culture of the defence forces has allowed some nasty aspects of our society to take hold in the junior ranks Bridget Clinch The Guardian I never expected to wake up to the news that a special forces vehicle had been flying a swastika flag on operations in Afghanistan in 2007 and, I imagine, neither did the Australian public. We have entrusted these soldiers to defend us and our way of life, not to become the monsters we have fought ... Read More »

An Autopsy: Why Liberalism Failed

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To hear a number of liberals themselves tell it, the United States has already abandoned liberalism—at least until the 2020 election returns history to its right path. Daniel McCarthy The National Interest Today, liberalism appears to be dying in much the same way that Soviet Communism did a generation ago. It is collapsing on its periphery, shedding its colonies and facing a crisis of faith at home. History has gone into reverse in the realm of the old Warsaw Pact, ... Read More »

Can airport authorities search your phone or computer?

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At no other time in history has airport security been so rigorous: travellers have come to expect pat downs, bag screenings and random drug detection tests. RN – By Alexandra Fisher and Damien Carrick for Law Report ABC But you might be caught by surprise if you’re asked to surrender your phone or laptop for Australian Border Force (ABF) authorities to search. Zaahir Edries, the president of the Muslim Legal Network of NSW, says the ABF’s powers are “relatively broad”. How ... Read More »

U.S. expected to retreat from main U.N. rights forum: activists, diplomats

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GENEVA (Reuters) – Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the… Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Offers Putin to Jointly Produce New Gen S-500 Missile System

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Turkey is eyeing a long-range missile defense system of its own as part of its current effort to enhance the county’s defensive strategic military capabilities. Sputnik Ankara is looking forward to the joint production of a new generation S-500 air and missile defense system with Russia, President Recep Tayyip has said. “I have contacted President Putin with a proposal about the joint production of the S-500,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV. He didn’t mention the… Turkey’s Erdogan Offers… Read More »