Humanity

Lawyers defending immigrant children in detention are relying on a court case from the 80s

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The Trump administration’s immigration policies have brought an old court case back to life in defense of immigrant children at the border, often referred to as “the Flores settlement.” Kevin Johnson The Conversation The case, which was filed in 1985 and settled in 1997, set the rules that the government must follow when it keeps migrant children in its custody. The latest court order based on the settlement took place on July 30, in which a judge barred immigration authorities ... Read More »

We Are All Climate Refugees Now

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This summer’s fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. Jeffrey D. Sachs Project Syndicate NEW YORK – Modern humans, born into one climate era, called the Holocene, have crossed the border into another, the Anthropocene. But instead of a Moses guiding ... Read More »

Neil Sedaka’s 1975 song revived for anti-immigrant era

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Neil Sedaka is an American singer-songwriter who has written dozens of hit songs. Many of them he sang himself. Others are better known in cover versions by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Ariana Grande. Robert Morrison The Conversation Sedaka’s wholesome image and infectious cheerfulness are easy to slight and have too often belied an extraordinary career. His song “The Immigrant” was a Top 30 hit when he released it in 1975, but today it seems even more relevant, as ... Read More »

Friday essay: the ‘great Australian silence’ 50 years on

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It’s 50 years since the anthropologist WEH Stanner gave the 1968 Boyer Lectures — a watershed moment for Australian history. Stanner argued that Australia’s sense of its past, its very collective memory, had been built on a… Anna Clark The Conversation It is a structural matter, a view from a window which has been carefully placed to exclude a whole quadrant of the landscape. What may well have begun as a simple forgetting of other possible views turned under habit ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

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Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

The Great Brexit Disorder

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Seeking, and being able to afford (!), a brief psychological decompression from the nightmarish Land of Caged Toddlers, and the almost daily police executions of unarmed blacks, I’m back in the… Kenneth Surin CounterPunch In Blighty, not quite as yet a banana republic like the US, young children are not (so far) kidnapped on a massive scale by the state, and its non-whites (so far) only generally endure systemic and repetitive police harassment and… The burning issue in the UK, ... Read More »

Sri Lankan asylum seekers are being deported from Australia despite fears of torture

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Earlier last month, Thileepan Gnaneswaran was separated from his wife and 11-month-old baby and deported from Australia back to Sri Lanka, the country from which he had fled six years ago. Kirsty Anantharajah The Conversation On his arrival in Colombo, he was taken into custody and questioned by Sri Lankan police. He’s since been released, but the ordeal was no doubt a traumatic experience, given his claims of being interrogated and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces during the country’s ... Read More »

Misogyny hate crime: new research reveals true scale of issue – and how the public are united against it

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A widely shared video of a woman being attacked by a man outside a Parisian cafe when she told him to “shut up” after he allegedly used “dirty words that were humiliating and provocative” brought the issue of misogynistic hate crime to the… Authors: The Conversation But this wasn’t a… It’s an example of something countless women endure every day – as we discovered during our research. Our research focused on the UK, where Nottinghamshire Police became the first force ... Read More »

The lifesaving power of gratitude (or, why you should write that thank you note)

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Gratitude may be more beneficial than we commonly suppose. One recent study asked subjects to write a note of thanks to someone and then estimate how surprised and happy the recipient would feel – an impact that they consistently underestimated. Richard Gunderman The Conversation Another study assessed the health benefits or writing thank you notes. The researchers found that writing as few as three weekly thank you notes over the course of three weeks improved life satisfaction, increased happy feelings ... Read More »

The Australian Government can save Julian Assange

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Julian Assange is an Australian. He is in trouble overseas.  He needs the Australian government’s help. Julian Burnside For six years he has been virtually a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  The reason he is there is because he is the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, which published evidence of war crimes leaked by an American soldier, Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning as a matter of conscience. WikiLeaks has since revealed the secrets of the world’s unaccountable forces. This ... Read More »

Sacking a woman for her views on abortion? Cricket Australia should be ashamed

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But the real villain in the sacking of Angela Williamson is the Tasmanian government for its dastardly abortion policy Melanie Tait The Guardian Tasmania is already a tricky place to speak up. It’s a place where expressing your opinion is likely to aggrieve someone close to you – a sibling, an aunt, an uncle, a boss, a cousin of a boss, a… The news happens very close to people in Tasmania. The drama behind the sacking of Angela Williamson by Cricket Australia happened ... Read More »

Stuck in Lebanon: a Syrian refugee family’s life in limbo

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I don’t remember exactly how Reham and I came to meet on Facebook but I do recall how articulate she was, her love for her younger sister Fatima and her quiet desperation for a new life. Heaven Crawley The Conversation Reham is just nine years old, a Syrian refugee living in a small town in the north of Lebanon with her parents and three siblings, the youngest of whom is just eight months old. Her father Abdul told me that ... Read More »

Asylum seeker should be alive: Qld coroner

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Australia must do more to care for asylum seekers held offshore after an Iranian man died in entirely preventable circumstances, Queensland’s state coroner says. Christine Flatley Yahoo7 AAP Terry Ryan found 24-year-old Hamid Khazaei would be alive if he’d received proper medical care after developing a leg inflection at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island. But he died in a Brisbane hospital in September 2014, two weeks after seeking help at the centre’s medical clinic, which didn’t even have ... Read More »

Mentorship key to encouraging Indigenous students into higher degrees

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It took the encouragement of two mentors for Indigenous university student Graham Akhurst to even consider the possibility of enrolling in a higher degree by research. Lucy Stone Brisbane Times Now a master of philosophy student at the University of Queensland, Mr Akhurst said without that encouragement, it would never have crossed his mind to keep studying – it just wasn’t an option. Mr Akhurst’s story is representative of what a new report says is needed to boost the small ... Read More »

Former vice mayor of China’s Lyuliang City sentenced to death for corruption

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Zhang Zhongsheng, former vice mayor of Lyuliang City in north China’s Shanxi Province, was sentenced to death on Wednesday for taking bribes, the Intermediate People’s Court of Linfen in Shanxi Province said. CGTN According to the court, Zhang received bribes in cash and property worth a total of 1.04 billion yuan (165 million US dollars) from 1997 to 2013. Apart from being sentenced to death, Zhang has also been deprived of all his political rights for life and all of ... Read More »