Humanity

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

Julian Burnside in Lesbos 1a photo Supplied LLLL

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... 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 »

Syria, chemical weapons and the limits of international law

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Consider this shocking fact: Despite horrific images of yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the U.S.-led humanitarian intervention to protect civilians on April 13 was fundamentally illegal. Andrew Bell The Conversation Under current international law, President Trump lacks the authorization to launch a single missile to stop future attacks, even for the clear and just purpose of saving civilian lives. No matter how wise you consider this intervention, legal scholars generally agree that the United Nations Charter doesn’t allow ... Read More »

How the aid community responds in Syria will dictate its role in future crises

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The latest military strikes by the US, France and Britain in Syria highlight the Trump administration’s uncertainty on its role in the conflict. Denis Dragovic The Conversation With a near triumphant Syrian President Bashar al-Assad firmly under the control of Moscow and Tehran, the strikes against military bases suspected of facilitating the chemical weapons attacks will be nothing more than a footnote in the wider battle for influence in the… Trump must look towards the future and focus on influencing ... Read More »

On the streets with the desperate refugees who dream of being detained

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Out of money and out of options, the families camped outside Indonesia’s Kalideres detention centre are feeling the pressure Kate Lamb and Ben Doherty The Guardian It has been 58 days. That’s how long Farid Attaie has been sleeping on the footpath outside an immigration detention centre in Kalideres, West Jakarta, with his parents, five siblings, and another Hazara family of… Less than 20 metres from where they sleep the gates of the full-to-the-brim detention facility are topped with spirals ... Read More »

The children of Windrush: ‘I’m here legally, but they’re asking me to prove I’m British’

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Eight people tell of the harrowing experience of having to prove their status despite having been in the UK legally for half a century How the Guardian broke this story Amelia Gentleman A growing number of people who were born in the Caribbean and came to the UK as children during the 1950s and 60s have been experiencing severe problems with their immigration status because they have never formally naturalised or applied for a… They are the children of the Windrush ... 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 »

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »

WA health minister launches plan to ease access to medicinal cannabis

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Sick West Australians who have been prescribed medicinal cannabis by a doctor will be able to get access within 48 hours under a plan agreed to by Health Minister Roger Cook. Phoebe Wearne The West Australian At the Council of Australian Governments health council meeting in Sydney yesterday, Mr Cook and his State and Territory counterparts gave the nod to having a single approval process for all… The deal means patients will no longer have to apply to both State ... Read More »

Aid funding crisis hits Somaliland after 80 per cent of livestock die and 700,000 people forced from homes as result of devastating drought

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Donations which keep this clinic going will run out next month and urgent funding is needed Geraldine McKelvie Mirror Tiny Amran Hassan howls in agony from the hunger pains that ravage her ­emaciated body. She is four but weighs just 21lb – the same as the average one-year-old in Britain. Her skeletal frame is the result of a drought devastating Somaliland in East Africa, where rain last fell two years ago. Nearly 80 per cent of livestock has died, destroying ... Read More »

Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn

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How close the world is to a catastrophic collapse of giant ocean currents is unknown, making halting global warming more critical than ever, scientists say Damian Carrington The Guardian Serious disruption to the Gulf Stream ocean currents that are crucial in controlling global climate must be avoided “at all costs”, senior scientists have warned. The alert follows the revelation this week that the system is at its weakest ever recorded. Past collapses of the giant network have seen some of the ... Read More »

Syria: who’s involved, and what do they want?

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Among those glancing at Syria’s seven-year conflict, a simple but misleading declaration is circulating: “Assad is winning”. Authors The Conversation But the Assad regime has only survived because of the political, economic and military life support it’s had from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. It is now entirely dependent on them. And that’s for rule over just a part of Syria. The opposition, though very dependent on Turkish protection, holds much of the north-west, and it also – for now – ... Read More »

Theatre connects migrant communities with government NDIS services

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An amateur theatre production about disability services might not be the typical feature on a playbill but Everlyn Tsavalas thinks the stage is the perfect way to engage the Greek community on the topic. Luke Wong ABC “For us, theatre is a school,” Ms Tsavalas said. “In any of our productions we always want people to leave here enriched in some way or another, whether it’s a comedy or a tragedy. “It was quite challenging making such a serious subject ... Read More »

How economics can help solve South Africa’s crime problem

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Empowering people and dealing with poverty are needed to help fight South Africa’s high crime rate, Kingsley Makhubela, chief executive of Brand South Africa told CNBC. Only 30 percent of South Africans feel safe walking at night, an official report said. Justina Crabtree CNBC South Africa is notorious for its high crime rate, a reflection of its economic inequality and racial tension. However, there is an economic dimension to solving the problem, a prominent business voice in the country told ... Read More »

Alexis Wright wins 2018 Stella Prize for Tracker

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Alexis Wright has been awarded the 2018 Stella Prize for her remarkable biography of Aboriginal leader, thinker and entrepreneur, Tracker Tilmouth. Arts Review Tracker is a book uniquely written by weaving and layering first-person stories told about him as well as by him. It embeds Aboriginal traditions of oral and collective storytelling to create a new way of writing memoir – ‘giving many voices a part in the story’. In announcing the $50,000 prize at the Museum of Contemporary Art in ... Read More »

Avoiding the revolving door of crime and punishment

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Victims of crime often respond with an escalation of emotions that begins with fear, moves to anger and ends with a desire for retribution. John Silvester The Age And there is a growing sense that courts no longer reflect community expectations when it comes to offenders convicted of serious violent crimes. Garry Holloway has more right than most to be angry. He’s a high-end jeweller who last year saw his Canterbury store raided twice, with another attempt on his second ... Read More »