Politics

Computer says no: Irish vet fails oral English test needed to stay in Australia

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Louise Kennedy, a native English speaker with two degrees, says flawed technology is to blame An Irish veterinarian with degrees in history and politics has been unable to convince a machine she can speak English well enough to stay in Australia. Australian Associated Press The Guardian Louise Kennedy is a native English speaker, has excellent grammar and a broad vocabulary. She holds two university degrees – both obtained in English – and has been working in Australia as an equine ... Read More »

Official Immigration File Reveals One Nation Senator Was A British Citizen

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Exclusive: BuzzFeed News has obtained the official immigration file of Malcolm Roberts, showing the One Nation senator signed as a British citizen when he was 19-years-old. Mark Di Stefano BuzzFeed Official family immigration records obtained by BuzzFeed News reveal anti-immigration senator Malcolm Roberts personally signed that he was a British citizen. The fresh documents have come to light as calls grow louder for the Indian-born senator to be referred to the High Court over concerns he was a dual British ... Read More »

We need the voices of public servants in the political debate. Their free speech is in peril

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Praising your agency is welcome, but not criticising it – new social media guidelines continue a troubling trend of silencing public servants John Wilson and Kieran Pender  The Guardian John Wilson is the managing legal director of Bradley Allen Love Lawyers Kieran Pender is a freelance journalist and legal researcher Another day, another attack on the ability of public servants to participate in Australian democracy. On Monday the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) released revised guidance on how federal government ... Read More »

Egypt’s Sisi says proud of cooperation with Cyprus

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday that his country is proud of constructive cooperation relations with Cyprus. Xinhua In a phone call with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Sisi highlighted the importance of promoting “distinguished relations” between the two countries in all fields, official MENA news agency reported. The Egyptian president also expressed his appreciation for Cyprus’ supportive stances on Egypt’s efforts to establish the pillars of security and stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Anastasiades also hailed ... Read More »

Turkey is trying to get an ATOMIC BOMB in secret weapons plan, warns expert

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TURKEY’S President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to get hold of an atomic bomb in a plot to build up the nation’s weapons, an expert has claimed. Rebecca Flood Express With tensions threatening to reach breaking point between the US and North Korea it has emerged Turkey could be trying to build up its weaponry as relations with the EU reach a new low.  In a worrying claim, an expert has warned Turkey is the next country looking to expand ... Read More »

How to fight racism, or why we all need to mourn my aunt

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My aunt was buried last Friday, the last of her generation in my family. We were not close but out of respect for her son, my cousin, I went along to the service. Jenna Price Brisbane Times Jewish services for the dead are Spartan yet comforting. There are no endless eulogies, just a brief summary of the facts as we know them. My aunt and her sister were marched to Ravensbruck sometime in 1943. I never knew much of the ... Read More »

How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms

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Australia’s record of human rights protection in areas such as Indigenous people, asylum seekers and freedom of speech are perennial topics of debate. The focus of these discussions is now shifting to whether Australia can take steps to establish a stronger legal framework for protecting human rights. How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms George Williams Daniel Reynolds The Conversation One reason for this is Australia is in the final stages of defending its record in a ... Read More »

Australian Public Service Commission social media guidance sparks anger

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If the politicians who oversee Canberra’s public service workforce had to comply with a new social media dictate about public comments, Treasurer Scott Morrison would be the first person in trouble. Editorial The Canberra Times The guide on making comments through social media channels, issued by Public Service Commission boss John Lloyd on Monday, says “liking” a post on Facebook or Twitter “will generally be taken to be an endorsement of that material as though you’d created that material yourself”. ... Read More »

Why Baltimore’s Cease-Fire Effort Wasn’t a Failure

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Baltimore’s grassroots effort was the unexpected flash of light in a long, dark tunnel of cyclic mayhem. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Baltimore’s streets are pockmarked with tragic and violent incidents. Shootings, stabbings and other cruel crimes sparked by rage, retaliation and opportunity mar the street corners and buildings of the city. Sometimes deflated balloons tied to a streetlight are the only small sign that someone was loved and lost, but their memory never truly left behind. Sometimes city developers ... Read More »

Inquiry into The Status of the Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

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Time did not permit Liberty Victoria to address in full all aspects of the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry. Liberty Victoria Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Our concerns therefore centred on “3 — The relationship between the freedom of religion or belief and other human rights, and the implications of constraints on the freedom of religion or belief for the enjoyment of other universal human rights” (ToR 3). In particular we considered the balancing of freedom ... Read More »

Kosovo Roma seek justice for lead-poisoned children

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Kosovo’s Roma minority “are not treated as humans,” laments Florim Masurica, who is seeking justice for his disabled son, one of the children suffering from suspected lead-poisoning contracted at post… MITROVICA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet Kosovo’s pro-independence ethnic Albanian rebels saw Roma people as guilty of cooperation with Serbs during the 1998-1999 conflict – a gratuitous accusation as Roma largely kept out of the fighting. But some of them faced summary executions, while others were forced to flee from ... Read More »

Will China be a Factor in the Upcoming NAFTA Negotiations?

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Beijing is incentivizing Mexico City and others in Latin American to rethink their traditional trading relationships. Bill Bray Miyako Yerick The National Interest The first round of NAFTA renegotiations is set to take place in Washington, DC August 16–20 and one of the primary U.S. objectives is reducing its $63 billion trade deficit with Mexico. Mexico is in a position to drive a harder bargain than many would think, however. Unlike thirty years ago, Mexico today can leverage China’s growing foreign direct ... Read More »

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

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In Turkey, academics are currently at the mercy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who demands their compliance and threatens dissenters. A.J. Caschetta Gatestone Institute After last July’s failed coup (for which Erdogan blamed an American scholar), a series of emergency decrees have specifically targeted Turkish academia. One would think this assault would raise ire from the ivory towers, but as Turkey slides deeper into totalitarianism, academia yawns. The failure of many professors to stand up vigorously and publicly for what they ... Read More »

‘Germany in three days and France in one hour’ Shock threat to EU from Erdogan backers

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WARMONGERING rhetoric is being spewed by Turkey towards Europe after a newspaper close to the Turkish regime declared the country could overrun Germany in three… REBECCA FLOOD Express Newspaper Yeni Söz, closely aligned to the government, made the outlandish claim on the front page of its daily newspaper. Carrying the provocative headline “Turkey can occupy Europe within 3 days”, the move is the latest in a political spat between Ankara and Berlin. Turkey has been vying to join the EU for more than a ... Read More »

Vietnam backs off South China Sea drilling at behest of Beijing

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Suspension of project near border of exclusive economic zone another victory for Beijing Asia Unhedged Asia Times Spanish energy firm Repsol has suspended oil drilling off the coast of Vietnam in waters claimed by China, after Hanoi came under pressure from Beijing to stop, Reuters reported this week. “We are working with the PetroVietnam and with the Vietnamese authorities and the only comment is that right now, operations have been suspended,” Repsol’s chief financial officer, Miguel Martinez, was quoted as ... Read More »

Exclusive: EU migrants under age of 30 could be given 2-year visas to live and work in UK after Brexit

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EU migrants who are under the age of 30 could be handed two-year visas that give them the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit under plans being considered by a Government-commissioned review. Steven Swinford  The Telegraph The Migration Advisory Committee, an independent body, has been commissioned by ministers to review the economic costs and benefits of EU migration and examine potential border controls. In a call for evidence published yesterday the committee suggested that Britain could ... Read More »