Humanity

How Crete changed the course of World War Two

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The Cretan Resistance caused significant damage to German morale and is likely one of the reasons why Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union was unsuccessful. Jessica Bateman BBC Our car pulled up a dusty track next to a grove of olive trees. My guide, Stelios Tripalitakis, got out and started briskly walking in between their gnarled trunks, stopping every couple of metres to investigate objects he spotted on the ground. I followed, desperately trying to keep up in the heavy ... Read More »

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

Illustration by Kotryna Zukauskaite

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought. Zach Dorfman FP It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle. How were the Chinese able to roll up the network? Now, nearly eight years later, it ... Read More »

How the moral lessons of To Kill a Mockingbird endure today

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Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the classics of American literature. Never out of print, the novel has sold over 40 million copies since it was first published in 1960. Anne Maxwell The Conversation It has been a staple of high school syllabuses, including in Australia, for several decades, and is often deemed the archetypal race and coming-of-age novel. For many of us, it is a formative read of our youth. The story is set in the ... Read More »

Qld senator unapologetic for racist speech

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Queensland Senator Fraser Anning has no regrets and won’t apologise after calling for a “final solution” to immigration in his widely-criticised first speech. Daniel McCulloch msn But senior minister Josh Frydenberg, whose parents were Jewish immigrants, has demanded The Katter’s Australia Party member immediately retract his “ignorant and insensitive” remarks. But Senator Anning, who joined KAP after leaving One Nation, is unapologetic about using a phrase historically associated with the World War II Nazi Germany plan to murder Jewish people ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

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The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

Guna Yala: The islands where women make the rules

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In the small indigenous territory of Guna Yala off Panama’s eastern coast, a flourishing ‘third gender’ community is defying stereotypes – and venerating women. Egle Gerulaityte BBC As our old, rickety sailboat glides effortlessly over the calm waters of the Caribbean, I am overwhelmed by the feeling we’ve just arrived in paradise. Scattered across the turquoise blue waters, the tiny islands of glistening white sand, covered in palm trees and green coconuts, look too perfect to be real. This is ... Read More »

America Doesn’t Need Another Tape to Know Who Trump Is

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault attend a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., September 3, 2016.   REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - S1AETZFCTSAA

A recent memoir from a former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, has reignited interest in the possibility of a recording in which the president employs a racial slur for black people. Adam Serwer The Atlantic In 1993, The New York Times published an article headlined “Rap’s Embrace of ‘Nigger’ Fires Bitter Debate.” It’s not a word likely to find its way into headlines today. Sometime in the past 25 years, using that word became the only proof of racism that ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

How we use good deeds to justify immoral behaviour

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We all like to think of ourselves as morally sound individuals. However in doing so we often assume that morality is static – that we are consistently moral to some extent over time. Nishat Babu The Conversation In reality, research suggests that most of us will behave in contradictory ways and act both morally and immorally from time to time. Interestingly, when we think about our past moral actions, we are likely to engage engage in compensatory behaviour and act ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: a year since it shocked the world, what’s changed?

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This August marks a full year since one of the 21st century’s worst refugee crises gripped the world’s attention. Abdullah Yusuf The Conversation In 2017, an unprecedented number of Rohingya Muslim refugees began fleeing Myanmar’s Rakhine state for neighbouring Bangladesh, after Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in response to attacks on border posts by Rohingya rebels. This crisis is, as rightly pointed out by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “a humanitarian and human rights nightmare”; the United Nations described the ... Read More »

£100m plan to take thousands of homeless people off the streets

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The PM aims to help homeless people “turn their lives around”, but charities warn the new strategy will not provide a “total fix”. By Joe Tidy, news correspondent SkyNews A £100m government plan to halve rough sleeping in England by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027 has been launched. Thousands of rough sleepers will be offered rapid specialist assessments and support, as part of a package of new measures announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. The Rough Sleeping Strategy will ... Read More »

Jewish leaders question timing of EU summit

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Scheduling conflict with Yom Kippur holiday raises concern amid rising rhetoric about ‘Christian Europe.’ By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico Austria’s scheduling of an EU leaders’ summit to begin on Yom Kippur — the Jewish Day of Atonement — is raising questions of cultural sensitivity at a time of rising pro-Christian rhetoric among European politicians and… Jewish leaders said the scheduling conflict reflects an unfortunate but unsurprising lack of attention to their religious calendar. The situation is especially awkward for Austria, which ... Read More »

China Uighurs: Beijing denies detaining one million

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China has said reports it is holding a million Muslim Uighurs in detention in Xinjiang are “completely untrue”. BBC Uighurs enjoyed full rights but “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”, officials said. The rare admission from Beijing – at a UN meeting in Geneva – came in response to concerns that the region “resembles a massive internment camp”. Xinjiang has seen intermittent violence – followed by crackdowns – for years. China accuses Islamist… China ... Read More »

Taliban Kill More Than 200 Afghan Defenders on 4 Fronts: ‘a Catastrophe’

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan government forces lost more than 200 officers and soldiers in fighting over the past three days as Taliban insurgents launched sustained attacks on four different fronts. By Rod Nordland, Fahim Abed and Mujib Mashal The New York Times The hardest-hit area was the southeastern city of Ghazni, where more than 100 police officers and soldiers had been killed by Sunday, a hospital official said, and the insurgents appeared to be in control of most of the… Ninety miles west, in Ghazni Province, ... Read More »

Refugees are integrating just fine in regional Australia

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As the Australian population surpassed the 25 million mark last week, another immigration debate emerged over the burden newcomers are placing on Melbourne and Sydney in terms of congestion and… Authors: The Conversation With government data showing 87% of skilled migrants settled in either of the two cities in the past year, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Minister Alan Tudge made an urgent appeal to… New research being released publicly on Tuesday suggests Tudge is spot-on in his argument that regional Australia ... Read More »

Jury finds Monsanto liable in the first Roundup cancer trial – here’s what could happen next

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In the first of many pending lawsuits to go to trial, a jury in San Francisco concluded on Aug. 10 that the plaintiff had developed cancer from exposure to Roundup, Monsanto’s widely used herbicide, and… Richard G. “Bugs” Stevens The Conversation The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, had used Roundup in his job as groundskeeper in a California school district. He later developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The jury awarded Johnson $39 million in compensatory damages to cover pain, suffering and medical bills due ... Read More »