Humanity

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot

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The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as… Jonathan Chait New York At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the ... Read More »

Solitude Is About More Than Just Being Alone

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In my 20s I so yearned to find my cave. I thought I’d escape to that cave and not emerge until I was enlightened. Omid Safi On Being The fact that I was struggling in relationships and graduate school, I kept telling myself, had nothing to do with that desire. Spending time between reading Sufism (Islamic mysticism) and Buddhism, I had an idea of what my cave would look like. It would be in India (of course, because God and realization were ... Read More »

How Libya’s Fezzan Became Europe’s New Border

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The principal gateway into Europe for refugees and migrants runs through the power vacuum in southern Libya’s Fezzan region. ICG Any effort by European policymakers to stabilise Fezzan must be part of a national-level strategy aimed at developing Libya’s licit economy and reaching political normalisation. Executive Summary European policymakers increasingly are looking at the Fezzan, Libya’s vast and scarcely populated south west, as their frontier against sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees traveling the Central Mediterranean route to Europe. In 2016, ... Read More »

Life in limbo: the refugee experience in Southeast Asia

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With under half of all Asian countries having signed the 1951 Refugee Convention or having any domestic legislation in place, refugees in the region are forced to live on the fringes of society. Evan Jones TRTworld In today’s public and political discourses, the words ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ are used almost interchangeably. There is often no distinction made between someone fleeing violence and persecution, and someone moving for the sake of a better life or other voluntary reasons. With a historical ... Read More »

Refugees treated with disrespect and having payments docked, report finds

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Refugees settled in Australia are being treated with disrespect by federal service providers and having their welfare payments unfairly docked, according to a new report by the Refugee Council of Australia. Stephanie Dalzell ABC The draft paper, obtained by the ABC, examines a number of issues affecting humanitarian arrivals who have been settled in Fairfield, in Sydney’s west. The report includes several examples of hostile treatment from staff at government service provider Jobactive, such as a case where a refugee ... Read More »

A good death

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It would be foolish to think that we can control when our time is up. But neither should we face that moment unprepared. Not only for our sake, but for the people we leave behind. Vivien Shao Business Times THE only certainty in life is death. But this is not something we like to think about – not when we are at our prime, our careers powering ahead, and the future bright. In fact, as you flip through the papers, ... Read More »

Migrant farm workers take on one of Australia’s richest families, the Smorgons

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Migrant farm workers are taking on one of Australia’s richest families, the Smorgons, in what could be the first major strike in the farm sector for many decades. Ben Schneiders The Age The workers and a union are seeking better pay and conditions at giant glasshouses north of Adelaide at a company majority owned by a Smorgon-family investment company. Strikes are almost non-existent in the farm sector, which is overwhelmingly non-union. On Friday, three migrant workers appeared in the Fair ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Conflict-Affected Women: Dealing with the Legacy of War

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Tamil-speaking women in Sri Lanka’s north and east pushed for accountability and truth during the country’s civil war but have been marginalised during the transitional justice process. Crisis Group The government and international actors must include their voices and address their injustices and difficult economic situation to ensure lasting peace. Executive Summary Eight years after the end of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, Tamil speaking women in the island’s north and east are still seeking justice and truth for wartime violations. ... Read More »

UN: 80 pct of Yemen children in need of immediate aid

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A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations has said said. Sanaa Hurriyet ”Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance,” the executive directors of three U.N. agencies said in a joint statement released at the end of a two-day visit on July 25. ”Nearly two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera. Disease creates more malnutrition. ... Read More »

Why offshore processing of refugees bound for Europe is such a bad idea

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n the same day that a top UN official bravely called on Australia to end the harmful practice of processing asylum applications offshore in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, one of his colleagues announced his support for another proposed offshoring system – this time to prevent migrants reaching the… Daria Davitti  The Conversation On July 24, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that Australia’s policy to deny access to asylum in Australia for refugees arriving by sea “has caused extensive, ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs warns Dutton’s ‘super ministry’ endangers separation of powers

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Triggs also says campaign to change section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act has been exhausted due to public support Ben Doherty The Guardian The outgoing Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, has said the creation of a new “super ministry” of home affairs was part of a hastening trend towards centralised and unchallengeable… In a wide-ranging valedictory interview on ABC radio in Melbourne, Triggs also said a concerted campaign to amend section 18C of the… Gillian Triggs warns… Read More »

Human trafficking victims found dead in Texas truck

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Nine people dead and more than 20 critically injured in what police are calling a horrific case of immigrant smuggling. AlJazeera – News agencies At least nine people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, authorities said on Sunday in what they… The driver was arrested, and nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalised in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and… Human trafficking victims… Read More »

Yemen’s cholera epidemic is worst on record: Oxfam

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More than 360,000 suspected cholera cases have been recorded over just three months in war-ravaged Yemen, says charity. Al Jazeera and news agencies An ongoing cholera epidemic which has swept war-ravaged Yemen is the “largest ever recorded” in a single year, with more than 360,000 suspected cases in the three months since the… Since cholera began to spread in April, the epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people, while the country grapples with death, starvation, malnutrition and… Yemen’s cholera epidemic… Read More »

The EU Can’t Afford to Ignore Europe’s Migrant Crisis

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Brussels should help central Europe forge an effective funding and financing plan to help stop the conflict in Syria. Naman Jain The National Interest A lot has been happening in the midst of the European migrant crisis. Most notably, the political debate between EU member states is widening on how to best handle this significantly deteriorating crisis. Specifically, the Visegrad Group, consisting of Poland… Criticism of the Visegrad… The EU Can’t… Read More »

Eaten Fish receives Voltaire Empty Chair Award, Liberty Victoria

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Manus Island detainee and current CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning laureate Eaten Fish has received the Voltaire Empty Chair Award at Liberty Victoria‘s annual event celebrating free speech… Cartoonists Rights Eaten Fish’s staunchest allies, poet and human rights activist Janet Galbraith and cartoonist Andrew Marlton (aka First Dog on the Moon) attended on Eaten… Marlton read a message of goodwill and thanks from the young Iranian, still facing an uncertain future even as Australia’s facility in Papua New… Eaten Fish ... Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »