Ethics

Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s prize for fiction for ‘story of our times’

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Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ Antigone to tell the story of a British family caught up by Isis, takes £30,000 award Alison Flood The Guardian Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State, has won the Women’s prize for fiction, acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. The British Pakistani author’s seventh novel riffs on the ancient Greek play in which Antigone is forbidden ... Read More »

Friday essay: how do you measure remorse?

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The first court case I ever observed belonged to a woman guilty of murder. She had deliberately run over a young man with her car. Kate Rossmanith The Conversation I had followed news reports of the trial, for the story seemed so strange, and had seen grainy CCTV footage: the vehicle lunging at the 21-year-old who darts out of its way; the car reversing and charging once more, striking him, thrusting him underneath. Anyone can attend court. You scan the ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce’s decision to sell his story is a breach of professional ethics

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Barnaby Joyce’s decision to accept money – reportedly $150,000 – from Channel Seven in return for giving an interview about his relationship with his former staffer Vikki Campion, calls into question his fitness for public office. Denis Muller The Conversation It betrays a complete lack of understanding of the convention that in democratic political systems, public officials are accountable through the media to the people. That responsibility to be accountable comes with public office. It is not a marketable commodity. ... Read More »

Have you got an end-of-life plan?

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Lawyers are encouraging us to think about how we want our lives to end as part of a campaign to record end-of-life wishes with a free online tool called Advance Care Directive. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly While the topic of death and dying remain uncomfortable subjects for many, lawyers in South Australia are urging members of the community to think seriously about the end. These can include questions about whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated or placed on life support ... Read More »

Richard Glover: In need of some moral support

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I’ve just signed a contract for a new book and – for the first time – there’s a clause demanding that I be morally upstanding. Richard Glover The Canberra Times It notes that the “commercial value of the work” is intrinsically linked to the “standing in the community of the author” and, therefore, if I misbehave they have a right to seize back the modest advance and – presumably – burn all copies of the… This puts a lot of ... Read More »

Hope and fear surround emerging technologies, but all of us must contribute to stronger governance

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It’s been a big year for companies pushing the boundaries of technology – and not in a good way. The Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a public outcry about privacy, the Commonwealth Bank’s loss of customer data raised concerns about cybersecurity, and a fatal self-driving car crash put the safety of automated systems in the spotlight. Authors: The Conversation These controversies are just the latest warning signs that we urgently need better governance of the technologies redefining the world. There ... Read More »

Quit if you think a policy is immoral, and other advice from Peter Varghese

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What can a public servant do if they have a moral or ethical crisis about working on a current policy of the government? Put up with it or quit. Stephen Easton The Mandarin That is the stark reality, according to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Peter Varghese — unrelated to his own decision to retire from the public service after 38 years to become chancellor of the University of Queensland. The open forum that followed Varghese’s extremely well received ... Read More »

Jacinda Ardern vows to get all NZ homeless off the streets before winter

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The New Zealand government has vowed to find shelter for the country’s homeless population in time for winter. Nick Baker SBS New Zealand will attempt to get its entire homeless population off the streets during the colder months. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing Minister Phil Twyford on Friday announced a $100 million homelessness funding package which included $37 million “to urgently increase housing supply this… “There’s no reason why there should be homelessness in a country like New Zealand. ... Read More »

What the law says about a stranger taking a photo of your child without permission

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Imagine this — you’re at home and in the backyard with your children. You notice a nearby neighbour begin to snap photographs of your kids. ABC Radio Brisbane Patrick Williams Naturally you’re concerned, so you call police to see what can be done only to be told that it’s legal provided no-one photographed is naked. That’s what happened to one Brisbane woman this past week. Her brother told ABC News: “My sister’s kids were working in the backyard yesterday doing ... Read More »

‘This is my country’: how a Melbourne suburb defied the far-right to welcome refugees

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The settlement of refugees in Eltham sparked far-right protests. But locals presented a different vision of Australia Denham Sadler The Guardian Οn a dreary Sunday afternoon in late March, the sort that provides a harsh lesson on what Melbourne weather is capable of, a Syrian refugee talks through an interpreter about her escape from the conflict that has torn her… Amena*, who along with about 100 other refugees from Syria and Iraq settled in the suburb of Eltham on the outskirts of north-east ... Read More »

Australian consumers are becoming ethically-minded and businesses are taking note

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Charles Murgha is 36 and had never had a job until he got a carpentry apprenticeship a few years ago. RN – By Ann Arnold for Best Practice ABC Soon he’ll be a qualified tradesman, and will have helped build 29 homes in his Indigenous community of Yarrabah, not far from Cairns. The town has a 45 per cent unemployment rate. Charles says boys stop by to watch him work, and ask him how they can also get a job building houses when they ... Read More »

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

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A life in pictures Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, has died. The Guardian During her husband’s incarceration, she campaigned tirelessly for his release and the rights of black South Africans. She later became a controversial figure in South African politics due to allegations of corruption and involvement in acts of brutality. Matt Fidler Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

Cheating at cricket just one of the unthinkable things Aussies do now

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I can’t see why people are so shocked to discover our cricketers have been cheating. Surely that’s only to be expected in a nation that’s drifted so far from our earlier commitment to decency, mateship and the fair go. Ross Gittins The Sydney Morning Herald Such behaviour is unAustralian? We do, or condone, many things that used to be thought of as unAustralian. There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for Australians to stand by while an ... Read More »

An American Imam Talks Islam and Money

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf came to America as a child, and learned that prosperity presented its own religious riddles. WealthSimple Feisal Abdul Rauf is a longtime Imam, public intellectual and the author of numerous books about Islam’s place in the West, including What’s Right With Islam is What’s Right with America. There’s a passage in the Bible that says it is more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a ... Read More »