Tony Abbott commits to free vote on euthanasia

Abbott skeftikos & afirimenos 1a LLLLL

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised a dying man that he will allow Liberal Party members to vote with their conscience on a euthanasia bill being developed by a Greens senator. The Age – Kate Hagan Peter Short, 57, said receiving the commitment during a half-hour phone conversation with the Prime Minister on Friday was like reaching “the top of a ... Read More »

Julie Bishop and the empathy deficit

Julie Bishop 2b LLLLL

Julie Bishop’s status as the rising star of the Abbott government was enhanced in the popular media this week when she toppedWho magazine’s list of the “most intriguing people” of 2014, just one month after our ownGood Weekend magazine pondered in a cover story whether she might one day be prime minister. Brisbane Times – Michael Gordon, Political editor, The Age In ... Read More »

Tony Blair gets sweaty over Wendi Deng question

Tony Blair upset 1a LLLL

The former Prime Minister denies any impropriety when asked about the affair rumours The Telegraph – Rosa Silverman Tony Blair has said he will never discuss the nature of his relations with Wendi Deng, the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch. The former Prime Minister lost his cool when questioned on the subject in a recent interview, banging his coffee cup “so loudly ... Read More »

Tunisia’s Elections: Old Wounds, New Fears

ICG logo 1a

Middle East and North Africa Briefing N°4419 – This full briefing is available in French. OVERVIEW ( ICG ) The standoff between incumbent President Moncef Marzouki and former Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi in the second round of the presidential election, scheduled for 21 December 2014, has revealed fault lines in Tunisian society that political elites believed they had bridged with ... Read More »

Post Sydney siege idea over gun laws is absurd

The Canberra Times 1a logo & pile of newspapers LL

Editorial If the government cannot protect individual Australians from evil acts of the sort that occurred at Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday, then it ought not to stand in the way of a rational discussion about the practical right to self-defence, Senate crossbencher David Leyonhjelm said on Thursday. The liberalisation of Australia’s gun laws, for that is what Senator Leyonhjelm ... Read More »

On guns, David Leyonhjelm is neither a champion nor a villain. He’s a libertarian

David Leyonhjelm 1a LLLL

How can David Leyonhjelm support marriage equality on one hand and want us all to be armed on the other? His libertarian world view is alien to most Australians The Guardian - Eleanor Robertson Australian progressives tend to have a love-hate relationship with Senator David Leyonhjelm, a “purist libertarian” who won his Senate race thanks to enviable luck and the psephological ... Read More »

Eastern Ukraine: A Dangerous Winter

Ukraine tank & flag 1a LLLL ICG

Winter in Ukraine is injecting further uncertainty into an already volatile conflict. After well over 5,000 deaths and eight months of war, eastern Ukraine – particularly the separatist-held parts of Donetsk and Luhansk – now runs the risk of a humanitarian crisis. ICG All parties involved in the conflict should refrain from offensive operations, concentrating instead on helping the population ... Read More »

Philip Ruddock: Psychological problems part of humanitarian refugee intake

Philip Ruddock 1a LLLL

Former immigration minister Philip Ruddock has said that traumatised refugees with psychological problems are part of any humanitarian refugee program, as attention focused on the background of Man Haron Monis. The Age – David Wroe, National security correspondent Monis, who carried out the Sydney siege that left him and two hostages dead, fled his native Iran and arrived in Australia seeking asylum ... Read More »

Q&A: what we can learn from the Sydney siege, and what next

Pol4l 1a

The Conversation spoke with counter-terrorism expert Clarke Jones of the Australian National University to understand the right response for the media, politicians and law enforcement agencies. The media was quick to report this as an “act of terror”. Do we need to be more careful about what we label as “terrorism”? Without a doubt. If you look at the international ... Read More »